Archive for the 'Tips/Advice' Category

3 votes, average: 2.33 out of 53 votes, average: 2.33 out of 53 votes, average: 2.33 out of 53 votes, average: 2.33 out of 53 votes, average: 2.33 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 2.33 out of 5)
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Published by idahoelk on 27 Jul 2009

Bowhunting Excuses!!

I have hunted many years both with a Rifle and a bow but 20 years ago I put my rifles away and went exclusively to archery and since that time I have heard and read as well as used several excuses to blame failure on!!!!!! But it seems they all had the same result Operator Error!!! I also try to keep up as most of you do on all the new inovations in the archery business to up the odds so to speak but again it still comes down to ME!!!!!! I have heard so many complaints about broadheads not leaving good bloodtrails on well placed shots, there are a few occasions where it just happens but for the most part I have come to find out that the broadheads were not sharpened after the purchase. All I hear is that I took my practive head off and put a new one right out of the package on!!!!!!  I for one will not place my once in a lifetime shot in the hands of chance, dont be lazy it does not take that long to touch them up and make sure they are at there best!!!!

    This is not a chance to take shots at anyone or any product I just wanted to post this to help some of my fellow archers in a problem I have heard about for many years. I have worked in the archery retail business and can tell you first hand that the broadheads are not as sharp as they could be right out of the packagesome in fact I was able to press them very firmly to my skin and drag the blade without cutting myself!!!! Keep that in mind!!!!

   I have also witnessed fellow archers shooting practice shots in camp and an hour later hunt with the same heads without touching them up! The broadhead must be sharp my friends its all about getting the animal to bleed out as fast as possible so the animal does not suffer and also so we can recover them, I am no saint when it comes to this I learned my lesson years ago but some seem to be blocked from this concept. If you want to up the antie in your favor keep them razor sharp my friends and you will enjoy this sport even more.

  Sorry for the rampage but I just gone through listening to another lost animal story that was blamed on the broadhead that person chose….. He too never sharpened his heads “it said on the package caution very sharp” lol

I wish you all the best this year on your hunts.

Always
Idahoelk

3 votes, average: 4.00 out of 53 votes, average: 4.00 out of 53 votes, average: 4.00 out of 53 votes, average: 4.00 out of 53 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Published by airborne49719 on 08 Jul 2009

The Journey from Right hand shooting to Left hand!

 

    I was introduced to archery at a very young age. This was kind of expected of the boys from our family that grew up in the back woods of the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My first bow was a 30 to 50 LB Darton compound bow. My dad bought it for my 11Th Birthday. It had no sights and when I asked my dad why the bow didn’t have sights he replied with “you have to earn them” so I asked being young and naive “how do I earn them then” and that is when he told me. When you can put six arrows in a pie plat at 15 yards I will get you sights for your bow. I spent all summer shooting that year trying to put six arrows in a pie plate. This was a hard task to accomplish at my age and at times I got so discouraged I just wanted to quite but my passion for hunting at this age had only begun. As the summer went by I tried my best but could never really get the hang of it completely.  My dad would watch and coach me telling me that I was dropping my arm or I wasn’t keeping my anchor points the same it was ruff. Plus my fingers would hurt from shooting for hours.   

  

    Then one day my dad while he was watching and coaching me I got really frustrated I was at 15 yards and still could not get my group to get any smaller than the size of a plate. He started to talk to me about  when I was even younger and how he would take me with him some times to meet a group of guys that always came to the Upper Peninsula from Ohio to bow hunt. These guys were quite the group they loved to party and tell stories about when they were younger and all the trouble they got into as they grew up.  For a kid it made going to deer camp so much fun. But it was there at deer camp around all those guys and my dad that I had learned about instinctive shooting. All the guys would get ready for opening day by pulling out a hundred dollar bill and put them on the bail of hay. The first one to put the arrow in the center of the bill at 20 yards won that round then they would back up to 30 yards and do it all over again sometimes they would even go as far as trying to do trick shots. It was this day that I remembered all the guys out shooting at those bills. How could they do it, what were they doing that I wasn’t. Then I realized they were just honing there skills to make them selves better and having fun while doing it.

 

    My dad asked me why don’t you go back to 5 yards and shoot. I looked at him and said but dad I have already mastered the pie plate at those ranges. That is when he reminded me about those guys and him shooting at the hundred dollar bills at 20 yards.  He then told me that if I move back up to 5 yards.  I would need to start working at grouping my arrows tighter in the target and picking different points on the target to aim at and you will improve. I took his advice and moved back up to the 5 yard mark and shot at the target like he told me. I felt like I had started all over again. But to my surprise I learned pretty quick that my grouping was not all that great and when I picked different points on the target I would be a half inch to a inch off.   I finally got the hang of it after I went back to the 5 yard mark and started over.  It was the summer I turned 12. I finally was able to put the six arrows in the pie plate at 15 yards. I got my sights and to boot my dad got me the new ball bearing release.  

 

    I have shot my fair share of deer in the past years with my bows that I have owned. I joined the Army in August of 2001 and it wasn’t till I deployed in February 2007 for Operation Iraq Freedom that would change my life. While I was deployed in Iraq we lost our first Soldier in March 2007 to a vehicle born improvised device. It was a dump truck loaded with 16,000 lbs of explosives that put a thirty foot crater in the ground. Since that day we had minor casualties up until August 2007.  When a Black Hawk crashed and Fourteen Soldiers perished in the wreck from the 25thInfantry Division. It was the day of the memorial service for the fourteen. My whole Company went to the memorial service paying there respect to the fallen Soldiers. I am not sure to this day why I left early to go back to my office but I did. It was there at my office where I meet SGT Collins, CPL Cornell, and PFC Axtell. I let every one in the office mind you that our office was your basic tin garage package minus the garage doors.  I was sitting at my desk and just finished talking to SGT Collins and CPL Cornell as they turned to leave and PFC Axtell was just entering the building from smoking a cigarette.  When a 127mm Brazilian rocket land five meters from the building. SGT Collins was KIA instantly he also took the brunt of everything that would have hit me. CPL Cornell was seriously wounded he received multiple wounds to his legs and upper body. PFC Axtell was also seriously wounded both of his legs were severed off at the waste. I was not wounded as bad as everyone else due to SGT Collins being only a foot and half away from me and taking the brunt of the shrapnel that would have hit me. I was the only one to walk out of that building on my own two feet that day. CPL Cornell and PFC Axtell are both doing really good and are a big inspiration to me on how i live my life now. PFC Axtell now SPC is out of the Army and has competed in two triathlon’s since he was wounded.

  

  I was very lucky that day for I must of had someone watching over me. I received shrapnel wounds to my right eye, top of the head and down the left side of my body. I was medivac to ballad, Iraq were they did my first surgery on my right eye to remove a large junk of shrapnel from my cornea that was allowing the fluid to leak out from my eye. I was then medivac back to Brook Army Medical Center in Texas. It was at Wilford Hall in Texas that I meet a Air force Doctor (Dr. Lane). He conducted my second Surgery which consisted of removing the rest of the shrapnel that was in my right eye and draining all the bad fluid and blood, he also did a lens transplant and sewed my Iris shut this surgery took around three hours. Since then I had a detached retina surgery in June 2009 to boot.  The seriousness of the eye injury is why I am here writing today it has been almost two years since that day in Iraq and my shooting style had to change.

 

    I just recently purchased my first left handed Compound Bow a Mathews Hyperlite.  But it took me a long time to finally switch to a left hand bow but I am glad that I did.  When I first got back from the hospital in September 2007 I was stationed at Fort Riley, KS the home of Monster Whitetail. I went straight into trying to make pins for my hoyt bow that would allow me to shot my right handed bow. I went to home depot and purchased some threaded rod 1/8 inch and took the dermal and started to make the pins I then found a old cobra sight bracket it all fit together perfectly but the bow look hideous. I didn’t care as long as it worked. The second time out in the woods I forgot my glasses and I took a stick to the right eye walking out in the dark so that ended archery season that year for me. I was then sent to Fort Carson, Co in June 2008 I love it here. I got so excited when I got out here “Elk” was the only thing I could think of and archery season was coming. I got my hoyt out and started to practice but after shooting right handed with my left eye it started to feel uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure why. I passed up a spike elk that season at 36 yards because I started to doubt myself and the ability to shoot right handed with being left eye dominate now.

 

    So in February of 2009 I bought a Mathews Hyperlite. This bow is awesome and Bill set me up right in every way. I went in to the Archery hut here in Colorado Springs and talked to the owner Bill about my situation and explained what I was looking for in a bow. He pulled his bow out from the office and said this is my hunting bow a Mathews right handed Hyperlight. He says its smooth easy to pull and light for packing around after elk. He let me shoot his hyperlite and I fell in love with that bow. After I shot it I looked at Bill and told him to order me one in left hand 55 to 65 lb pull.

 

   

I have been going to the range every chance I get to shoot it.  Took only two weeks to make the switch completely of brushing my right arm with the string and get the form of left handed shooting down. I am now once again chomping at the bit for elk archery season to begin. I will say this much from shooting right handed to switching to left handed it takes practice and it can be done. I am now shooting as good if not better left handed then I was right handed all because of the growing pains that I went through as a kid and learning how to shoot instinctive.  If you are going to learn you must be able to step back and think about everything you are doing in all situations to be able to grow in life.              

  

SGT Bennett

United States Army

 

“An army of deer led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a deer.”

Chabrias 410–375 B.C. 

4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Published by RightWing on 05 Jun 2009

Beetles and Bowhunting

Jason Wilborn
10/23/05
.

Beetles and Bowhunting……

What was I thinking? Here I am hot, bruised, and bleeding, trying to figure the quickest and easiest path to get out of this mess. O.K., let me explain my problem here. It started out a beautiful mid spring morning, the kind of day custom made to take a nice long nature walk. I decided to go to a place that I had visited several years before on Dale Hollow lake. A short drive to the entrance of the Accordion Trail located near the famed Willow Grove Resort on the Tennessee side of the lake started my journey. This trail runs from Willow Grove to Lillydale camping area, both very popular recreational areas on Dale Hollow.
I made my way through the hardwoods very easily, as the trail meandered along the lake’s edge. I would soon find this to not be the case as I work my way along the trail. Here is where the fun begins, halfway around the trail I started to find fallen trees. The farther I go the more deadfalls I find. These were Pine trees and the fallen trunks made for difficult walking. It was soon obvious that this was not going to be the pleasurable walk that I had anticipated. I soon found myself in a near impenetrable pile of dead pine trees. It was clear at this point that I should have asked more about the trail before taking this hike. The trip around this small section of the lake should have taken around one hour to complete, but with the added obstacles it was more like three. I was finally able to climb, crawl and scratch my way over and through the fallen fauna. Occasionally I would take a break and try to enjoy myself, despite the unwanted pitfalls that I had encountered. It was during these periods of rest that I made the discoveries that lead me to the reason for writing this story.

The large areas of fallen trees had really opened the canopy of the surrounding woods. There where some areas that looked very similar to the way a portion of logged woods would look. The extra sunlight that now made its way to the forest floor caused a surge in growth of green shoots from young hardwoods and bushes. Some of these included valuable deer browse such as young greenbrier, honeysuckle, hearts-a-bursting and other woody plants. Young honey locust trees, as well as young mast bearing trees now received considerably more sunlight and thus flourished. This was a special find on this public tract of land. The substantial plant life and new structure provided excellent cover and food for whitetail and what had began as a brisk nature walk now turned into a preseason scouting trip.

In early September, with just a few weeks left till archery season I made one final scouting trip to the area. My suspicions were confirmed when a jumped several bedded deer, which took very little time retreating from the area. Not to worry, as I knew they would return, because the place had everything a whitetail needs security, subsistence, and with the lake nearby, water.

Early bow season found me hunting my old familiar haunts. The agricultural edges and woodlots that I have hunted and harvested deer at for years, however the little sanctuary stayed on my mind and I vowed that when activity at my usual hotspots subsided, that I would return to it and try my fortune. My chance came in late October after coming back home from a bow hunt in Southeastern Missouri and after filling my Kentucky deer tags earlier in the season. I made my approach quietly through the calm morning water. A dense fog lay heavy on the lake and surrounding woods. It was still archery season in Tennessee and the deer had not received very much hunting pressure at this point. I tied up my boat in a nearby hollow and entered the woods.

I was able to find a suitable white oak tree to attach my stand and soon was looking over a nice opening in the tangle of trees and vines. From this vantage point I could see several small rubs on the remaining pine saplings. This observation was cut short when I noticed movement to my right, a mature doe and her yearling fawn nibbled away at the leaves of some scrubby looking bush. They were unaware of my presence and soon fed on lichen that covered a decaying log before leaving. The shot presentation was tempting, but with a freezer full of venison, I elected to just enjoy the two deer as the feed out of sight. Throughout the morning I saw several other deer, including some small bucks that moved past my elevated position. I never harvested a deer that morning, but I had proven my theory about the newly created habitat. I will return next year to see how much those young bucks have grown and if I haven’t been as fortunate as I was this year, I might look at harvesting one of those plump does for the freezer. As I layout plans for next bow season, I will include this little spot in my rotation.

Once again through nature’s destructive ways something new has emerged and I couldn’t be happier then the day I found a little overlooked section of trail now clogged with fallen trees. With the pine beetles came destruction, but somehow the deer and the Bowhunter have taken advantage of the situation.

Written By:  Jason Wilborn                                Allons,  Tennessee

Jason, lives in Allons TN and enjoys bowhunting and competing in archery events throughout Tennessee and surounding states. Jason is also a National Bowhunter Education IBEP/NBEF Instructor and a member of the Christian Bowhunters of America

 

 

4 votes, average: 4.00 out of 54 votes, average: 4.00 out of 54 votes, average: 4.00 out of 54 votes, average: 4.00 out of 54 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Published by marcusjb on 28 Sep 2008

Garmin’s Rino Series Radio/GPS

          Garmin’s Rino Series Radio/GPS

If you’re in the market for a GPS and you regularly use radios to communicate with your hunting buddies, you should take a close look at the Rino series by Garmin. I have used several different models over the course of several years and have found them to be useful, reliable tools. In this post we’ll take just a quick look at these products.

There are many different Rino models to choose from with varying options and price ranges. Admittedly they are not cheap, but by combining a radio and a GPS into one unit they have created a number of unique features that you won’t find anywhere else. Obviously one benefit of having a two in one unit is less to carry. Another great benefit is being able to send your location and that of waypoints to other Rinos. They can then see your location on their GPS and navigate to you or you to them. With some of the models you can even send text messages. I am unaware of any other product that is able to do this.

The Rino comes in five different models. The 110, 120, and 130 models are very similar in appearance and only vary slightly in features from one another. The higher priced of these models have such additional features as weather radio, electronic compass, and increased internal memory (for topo map storage). They vary in price from about $150 to $340. The 520HCx and 530HCx are a step up from the aforementioned models and feature such things as color screen, rechargeable long-lasting battery, 12 channel high-sensitivity GPS receiver, and longer range radio. They retail for $400 to $450, although if you do some careful research on the internet you can often find lower prices on all these models.

I have had experience with several of these models and have owned a 120 for about five years now. Here are some of my observations. My 120 has been used a lot, dropped many times, and has given me very little trouble. The unit is user friendly and the screen is of good quality. Garmin has topo maps available on CD-ROM to install on all the Rino models and I have found it to be very handy to have them when hunting and hiking. The road and trail detail is quite good. The GPS has probably saved me from getting lost several times now. The location sending feature is also great when out hunting with friends; it makes it a cinch for them to find you and your downed elk! The Rino 120 runs on three AA batteries and battery life is about a day and a half. On the downside for the 120, I live and hunt in mountainous terrain with heavy forests and both of these limit the radio somewhat. The GPS can also cause some frustrations when in heavy timber as it loses satellite contact frequently.

The HCx models are a different story, however. Deep forests and even basement walls are no match for their GPS receivers. These also have increased radio range. The other day while elk hunting, we were on top of a ridge and were able to contact a friend on a mountaintop over 20 miles away. The batteries on the HCx will generally last for several days, and you can purchase an accessory battery pack to use AA batteries as well. The only downside to the HCx models is the price. They are also slightly larger than the 120 variety.

If you’ve been looking at the Rino series, I hope this helps you make an informed decision. Garmin also has free software updates for all these models on their website. Overall, I have been very pleased in my experience with the Garmin Rino.

 

 

5 votes, average: 3.60 out of 55 votes, average: 3.60 out of 55 votes, average: 3.60 out of 55 votes, average: 3.60 out of 55 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5)
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Published by Klyph on 28 Sep 2008

Planning the Perfect Hunting Season…

My wife and I have always wanted a large family. To date, we have a beautiful 4 year old daughter and a crazy “all boy” son… As many of you already know, kids take a lot of time and they deserve it! So needless to say, the amount of time in the woods, since having children has slowed some… but I am looking forward to the time when they are old enough that I can pass on the tradition and take them hunting. About a year ago, my wife had a miscarriage and as we continued to have a desire for a “big family” we decided that we would give it some time and try again as soon as the doctors felt it was ok. Once we got the ok, we began looking at our calendars and with us both working we tried to “plan” the best time to bring another little one into the world and our schedule…

With my wife being a teacher, she quickly thought, “wouldn’t it be nice to have my 6-8 week maternity leave line up with the holidays so I can get a few extra weeks off.” Without giving it much thought I agreed… what was I thinking? I wasn’t…

We have always had an easy time getting pregnant… usually we just start thinking about it and “ta-dah,” one is on the way…

Well, needless to say this time was no different. We were very excited and as we looked at the calendar to figure out the baby’s due date, it quickly hit me… the baby was due Sept 29th… and the archery season begins Oct 4th… panic quickly set it… as I shared this new found revelation with my wife, she didn’t seem to be nearly upset enough to me… She was more upset with me than the due date!

As my mind was racing, I blurted out, “Actually that will probably work out great! You’ll be on vacation throughout all archery season!” The look on her face told me, everything… but she didn’t just end it with a look… “What do you mean, Vacation?”

Now I was in trouble. I couldn’t see any way out. So I tried to laugh it off… she wasn’t as amused.

So for the last 9 months, every time someone asked about the due date, I just quickly thew in a quick, “Yep, my wife loves me so much she wanted to be home with the kids during archery season, so I could have the best season ever! Isn’t she great?!” 

It’s kinda funny how men always smiled and seemed excited for me, yet women just looked at me with such disgust…

As my hopes for a hunting season seemed doomed, especially since our last two children have all been more than 5 days late… I have started looking for more places closer to home, in hopes of some quick morning hunts before and after work… I just wish daylight savings came sooner…

Well, this week Collin Jonathon was born! And its funny how this hunting season may not turn out as far as time in the woods is concerned… but it still will always rank up there as the best fall of my life!

6 votes, average: 3.67 out of 56 votes, average: 3.67 out of 56 votes, average: 3.67 out of 56 votes, average: 3.67 out of 56 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5 (6 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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Published by Klyph on 18 Sep 2008

Hand Climber Seat Strap – A MUST have

I used a Summit Viper for the last few years and loved it as a climbing stand… the only issue I had with it was its large frame when carrying it through the woods, and the amount of space it took up in my vehicle. So with much hesitation I traded it for a hand climber that folds completely flat and took care of my “issues” with the summit.

The Problem that quickly revealed itself was that the hand climber stand is much more difficult to use, especially with winter clothing, as I found out late season last year. As I climbed my first tree, I wondered why I ever got rid of my summit and spent most of my time contemplating listing my new stand on AT Classifieds as soon as I got home. Fortunately all wasn’t lost as I was able to harvest a nice doe and my thoughts quickly became focused on the “rush” of the hunt. That was my last tag of the year and my equipment was put away and I didn’t think much about my new issue until a few months ago.

I noticed the new Lone Wolf Hand Climbers now come with a strap that you use to sit on as you climb. (Link given for visual purposes: http://www.lonewolfstands.com/shoppingcart/Products/Hand-Climber-SitStrap__LWHCS.aspx ) I quickly ran to my tangled mess of old safety harnesses and created my own seat strap. (Disclaimer: Use at you own risk) 

I took it to the back yard and fell back in Love with my hand climber!

I now have the best of both worlds… A light, compact stand, that can also be used effortlessly as a sit and climb style stand.

If you are a penny pincher like my self, I am sure you can find some strapping around the house to use… but I would recommend for safety purposes to go out and purchase a seat strap if you don’t have on on your hand climber. It is worth it!

15 votes, average: 3.67 out of 515 votes, average: 3.67 out of 515 votes, average: 3.67 out of 515 votes, average: 3.67 out of 515 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5 (15 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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Published by Ieatmeat on 15 Sep 2008

Archery Talk: 6 Steps to World Class

I was introduced to Archery Talk by a close friend over a year ago. In that time I have poured through countess threads and have tripled my knowledge regarding bow hunting techniques, tactics, gear and a plethora of other topics. I have viewed hundreds of photos, agreed and disagreed with hundreds of opinions, and sacrificed hours of work as a result. (It is a good thing it was my boss who introduced me to Archery Talk!)
I believe these forums to be one of the best in the hunting world. It allows archers (hunters) from many backgrounds to share their best practices, successes and failures with each other. Through all of my time spent lurking about in the AT forums (specifically the Bowhunting forum), I have observed several idiosyncrasies that, if modified, can bring Archery Talk to a “World Class” level. As with everything stated in AT, take it or leave it; which brings us to number 1:
1) It isn’t personnel! If something does become too personnel, that is what the Mods are for. These forum’s foundations are based ENITRELY on opinions. Don’t let someone’s opinion dictate a negative response. Many threads seem to start to spurn heated discussions. Usually ignoring said comments will squash the situation leaving more time and energy to “quality” threads. If you absolutely cannot hold back simply (and politely) state your opinion and agree to disagree.
2) Use the search function. I do not have many posts. There are two reasons for this: 1. There is almost always a user that shares the same opinion as myself and has posted it already. 2. I use the search function. I have had many questions regarding gear, scents, strategies, etc. Instead on jumping right into creating a new thread, I search the topic first. 9 times out of 10 there are several threads that address my question(s) that have already been posted. Not only does this save me from waiting for some answers, it cuts down on some of the “noise” in the forums. Do we really need to see another post of pictures of the color of our fletchings?
3) Enough with the broadhead complaints and comparisons! Refer to number 2! Until (If) we get a sub-category for broadheads can we cut down the broadhead bashing? (refer to number 4) The exception to this is where there have been a true comparison test (there have been a couple tests done through phone books, steel drums, etc)…with pictures!
4) Take responsibility! Even with the high quality of our equipment there is a lot of blame placed on it. While I do not discount that there are equipment failures, I would be willing to bet that most of the “failures” are operator errors or miscalculations. Even when our equipment does let us down, it is more likely an operator oversight or unpreparedness. I speak from experience. There have been several instances where I wanted to blame gear before I realized it could have been avoided with more practice (I speak of more than just target practice). Also, do not jump to the conclusion of failure when it may be simply something not fitting to your style of shooting, hunting, etc.
5) Prevent fodder for the anti-hunter groups. AT was designed for the sharing of knowledge within the archery community. If we continue to attack each other, this will only give fuel to the anti-hunting groups. Unfortunately we are a minority. We don’t need to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, however, we should avoid personal attacks at all costs.
6) Reply without the pictures. When replying to a post, don’t include the pictures from that post. We should remember what pictures the thread is about. Including the pictures in a reply only slows down our personal computers as well as the servers.
I will always enjoy reading many of the threads posted on Archery Talk. The above suggestions are merely that; suggestions to make AT better for everyone. If you disagree, that is great! That is what AT is for and what our country stands for. However, prior to responding, please refer to number 1.

15 votes, average: 3.80 out of 515 votes, average: 3.80 out of 515 votes, average: 3.80 out of 515 votes, average: 3.80 out of 515 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5 (15 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5)
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Published by Montalaar on 12 Sep 2008

Create your individual arrows!

There are dozens of possibilities to fletch an arrow. You can select the manufacturer of your choice, the color, the size and the form. Dozens of combinations are possible. But is it not always the same? The archery next to you uses nearly the same fletching. Do you want to create your own arrows? You should read further.

What do we want to do?

This Tutorial will guide you to the making of your personal and individual arrow. I will cover two spots in this article. First we will do some cresting which means that we will add some color to our arrow. After that we will fletch our arrow with some individual spliced feathers. After we finished both parts we have an arrow that is absolutely personal.

We require:

  • a set of arrows you want to work with
  • loads of feathers in at least two colors of your choice
  • some fletching cement and a fletching rig
  • a knife or scissors, tape measure
  • a pen, paint and tape
  • patience

Before we start.

It is important that your arrows are already in the right length and have also the nock installed. Most fletching rigs need the nock to proved the perfect fit in the rig. You can also glue the point or broadhead into the shaft before installing the nock besides easton recommends to glue the point in before adding the nock.

This tutorial contains work with sharp objects and in the case of cresting also the use of paint which can contain thinner. A new arrowshaft or a new feather can be bought easily, a cut finger or thinner in the eyes is more of a problem. Be careful at all time and rather work slow and accurate.

Step one – Cresting.

The first thing we will do is some cresting that means we will add some color to the arrow shaft. Painting of wodden arrows has been common for decades as it is easy to do before adding the finish to the whole arrow but it is certainly possible with aluminium or carbon shafts, too. Very popular are also arrow wraps as they are easy to use and very durable but if you want to create your own arrow you should do your own cresting as it is truly unique.

How to do that? I will tell you.

At first we need to do some brainstorming. Which colors do we want to use and which patterns we want to draw. I chose someting easy for this tutorial. The arrow shaft will get a wide silver ring with some smaller rings dividing it. Now we need to choose the colors. As i mentioned i will use some silver paint and black or blue paint for the smaller rings. You can use everything as long as it can be applied in very thin layers and dries in a short time. If you just want to do some rings a white permanent marker will also work. I will use spray paint because it is easy to apply and dries very fast. Before starting so aplly the paint we have to mask the rest of the shaft that should not be painted in the color we use.

After masking the arrow we can add the paint to it. It can take some time to find out how it should be apllied but always bear in mind that the paint has to be as thin as possible. If you use spray paint you can aplly two or more layers to get a perfect result. Is everything colored we have to let it dry. In the meantime we can paint the next arrow.

After painting everything in the same way we can jump over to the next step. It was not too challenging until yet, was it?

Step two – Splicing.

Let us raise the grade of difficulty a bit. The next steps will need loads of patience so better be prepared. Splicing means cutting down the feathers you got to fletch your arrow with. With the parts we will get some new feathers of differenct colors and fletch your arrows with them. Splicing feathers and fletching your arrow with them will make your arrow unique!

In this tutorial i will use red and black feathers in 4 inch length. The red colored feather shall be the front part of the fletching and the black one the rest. As we want to fletch every arrow the exact same way we need to work with accuracy so take your time to get everything right. We need a tape measure to get always the same length of the pieces we cut off. I chose 1.8 inches for my red feather so i markerd my tape measure to find always the same position.

Now we have to slice every feather at 1.8 inches from the front. As we need both colors we have to cut off the red feathers but also the black ones. We will keep the red front part and the black rear part for our arrow. To cut the quill get a sharp knife or a scissors.

It is important to cut only the quill and nothing more. We want to keep the original form of the feather to put them together in the end.

Use your knife (or scissors) to make a small cut at the point you want to slice the quill in two parts. Then take the feather, retain it with one hand and cut the quill in two parts. Try to keep the intersection as small as possible and do not damage the feathers. After our little feather surgery we can remove the part we do not need and keep the other one. Now we can use some sandpaper to even the sction.

Proceed the same way with all the feathers you will need for fletching.

After slicing and sandpapering everything we have to find paires of parts to get a new feather. As not every feather has the same structure than the others we will need to find paires that will stick together on the shaft without having gaps between them. As you can see on the picture i chose two parts that seemed to be okay and put them together. The natural velcro of the feathers will keep them together.

At this point we will need the fletching rig and the fletching cement. Our prepared feathers will be glued onto the arrow at the same time so put the two parts together, aplly the fletching cement and fletch the arrow as you do it everytime.

After letting the feather dry out we can take the arrow out of the fletching rig and take a look over it. If we worked with patience and precision we will see no gaps between the quills and feathers. If you will notice a difference in the height of the feathers you should take a scissors and remove the spare feathers. Better take a smaller scissors as the larger one will cut too much out of the feather so that you will get no staisfying form

Step Three – finishing

If you have enough time and feathers you can do more unique things. You can use as many differenct colors and feathers as you wish to as long as you can glue it together whilfe flechting the arrow. You can also use a scissors and cut your own form into the feathers like a wave or something else. There are nearly no limits as long as you leave some feathers to ensure proper arrow flight.

I should also say something about the weight.

The used paint will add some grains to your arrow. As long as you use very thin layers you do not need to care about that.

I hope this tutorial will inspire you to do your own cresting, splicing and fletching. Good luck. 😉

15 votes, average: 3.33 out of 515 votes, average: 3.33 out of 515 votes, average: 3.33 out of 515 votes, average: 3.33 out of 515 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5 (15 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
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Published by djohns13 on 11 Sep 2008

To Shoot or Not to Shoot?

Does, that is. The question is about as old as the philosophy of quality deer management itself. It might just be the most debated topic in deer hunting and management but to this day a “one size fits all” answer eludes us. What works great for one property might be woefully wrong for another. For those who haven’t made up their minds where they stand on the issue, read my theories below and see how you think they would apply to your situation. I don’t believe that my answer is 100% correct for everyone and every property, but I think it will work well for the vast majority.
The basic question is whether or not to purposefully maximize the doe harvest on your hunting grounds, and if so, do you concentrate on younger does, mature “matriarch” does, or both. The most straight-forward answer to the first question is yes; by all means maximize the harvest of does, unless your current deer population is well below the carrying capacity of the land. If this is the case, let them walk for a year or so until you see the population reaching the limits of the land, and then employ a heavy doe harvest strategy. The answer to the second question is to take both mature and young does for the reasons described below.
For those of you who have plenty of, or even too many deer for your land, here are four strong reasons why you should focus on doe harvest:
1. Does with fawns will chase their young buck offspring out of their home range to prevent the possibility of inbreeding and genetic problems. If you want the young bucks born on your property to end up on someone else’s property, leave the mama does alone. They will see to it that almost every young buck leaves in a hurry. If you want those bucks to stay and grow big, harvest their mothers and your property will become their home range. Even better would be if your neighbors don’t take any does so that you get to keep your bucks and get their runaway bucks as well.
2. The land only has so much carrying capacity for deer. Taking mature does off of the property allows more of this capacity per mature deer. As a result, almost immediately after reducing the mature doe population, birth rates rise from singles/twins to twins/triplets with the occasional quad birth. The more births you have, the more bucks that are born, period.
3. It is critical in my opinion that you harvest not just old or young does, but a combination of both. It is common for young, middle aged and very mature does to come into estrus at slightly different times. This is due to a variety of factors but the result is that by having a good mix of young, middle aged and mature does on the property, the aggregate doe population is in estrus for a longer period of time. Whether you prefer to call it a longer rut, or multiple rut periods, it all equals great buck hunting. Some have said that taking a matriarch doe causes upheaval in the herd and can even force the herd to change their patterns and/or leave the area. Others will say that without the matriarch, the chance of predation on the younger deer increases. I have seen neither of these situations. In my opinion, with or without a matriarch, the deer population is drawn to the areas with the best availability to water, food and shelter with the least predation risk.
4. Finally, with less does, bucks naturally move more to find the does in estrus. This usually means greater scrape activity, more responsiveness to decoys, rattling and grunting, etc. The greater the buck movement the greater chance they will come into bow range for you, period.
Above are what I believe to be four strong reasons to commit to a heavy doe harvest and in the meantime, increase your chances of seeing the buck of a lifetime. Good luck and good hunting.

14 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 514 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5 (14 votes, average: 3.93 out of 5)
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Published by djohns13 on 10 Sep 2008

Eight Steps to Better Accuracy

Eight Steps to Better Accuracy

1. Get the equipment right – consistent accuracy is dependent on using the right equipment for you and ensuring that the equipment is properly tuned and working right each time you shoot. The brand new high-end bow just doesn’t shoot like one if it doesn’t fit you correctly or if it is out of tune.
2. Correct technique – once the bow fits and is working optimally, now the next wild card is the form of the shooter. With today’s technology the properly tuned and equipped bow is better than the shooter. If it could be shot by a robot, it would hit the bull’s eye all day long. It is only when we introduce form errors that the arrow group sizes begin to spread out. Have someone video you while you are shooting and then have a pro or coach review the video and make suggestions. Remember that your goal is to improve your technique so don’t take their responses too personally. We are all trying to be the perfect archer but none of us will ever achieve perfect status.
3. Create and use a draw/aim/fire routine – archery is like most other sports in that its actions can be broken down into a technique or series of techniques. Success is generally achieved when the athlete creates the technique, practices it repeatedly, builds muscle memory and mental focus, and finally executes the technique over and over in exactly the same manner. Imagine a pro’s golf swing or a guard’s free throw, both are very refined and repeatable. In archery, a routine can be developed that begins with pulling the arrow from the quiver and ends with seeing the arrow strike the bull’s eye. Many pro golfers “talk their way” through their routine, meaning that they say a phrase where each word corresponds to a specific action or movement. If they find that they are not at the right spot or doing the right action at the right time, they stop and start over. Creating a routine and sticking to it each time takes the draw/aim/fire sequence and turns it into an assembly line-like process where the actions are identical each time and the results are too.
4. Shoot from long range – one of the best ways to get good at 20 yards is to shoot from 30, 40 and 50 yards. It is amazing how we can struggle at 20 yards, then go shoot a few arrows at 50 yards, come back to the 20 and the shot seems like a layup. The confidence you build doing this will carry over to the next time you shoot the 20 yard targets.
5. Move your sight pin – one of my best friends gave me this tip and I believe it works great. Adjust your sight pin so that you hold it just under the bull’s eye for the arrow to hit the bull’s eye. This way you never lose sight of the bull’s eye while you are aiming. I was somewhat skeptical until I tried it and now I am a firm believer in this technique. Trap shooters have been doing this for years now with great success.
6. Don’t over practice – for most shooters, physical fatigue sets in rather quickly. After 20-30 arrows, the body is having trouble executing with correct form and sometimes mental fatigue is setting in. Each shooter needs to determine the appropriate stopping point and walk away at that point each practice session. I know great shooters who shoot 100 arrows per session and some that shoot only three arrows per session. They all have great accuracy so their specialized approach works well for them. I firmly believe that accuracy can be improved more by several short focused practice sessions instead of longer “marathon” sessions.
7. Shoot with family and friends – inviting others to join you makes it more fun and light-hearted. Without realizing it, the competitive juices will kick in and you will find yourself working harder to out-shoot the others. The result will be more fun and improvement for all of the shooters.
8. Learn from others – as a shooter, you are probably facing the same problems that most other shooters have faced. Work with a coach/pro or access great information sources like Archery Talk. The combined wealth of knowledge at AT is incredible and most users are very willing to help out. Don’t waste time recreating the wheel when you don’t have to.

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