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Published by admin on 22 Jan 2010

Western Connection by Tom Tietz

Western Connection
Word on the street says that big mule deer are
almost impossible to find.  But this is far from true
Story and Photos by Tom Tietz

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 Mule deer herds are declining throughout the west.  There are no longer any trophy mulies to be found.  This is the talk of the day throughout the western states.  Some pundits make it sound like a waste of time, money and effort to pursue trophy mule deer bucks these days.  Well to that, I say HOGWASH!

 

Although mule deer herds and trophy bucks are nowhere near the levels as during the heydays of the 60s, there are still sustainable populations with quality bucks out there for the hunting.  It just takes a little more effort on the part of the hunter nowadays.  Granted, the days of driving your truck down a road and having your pick of big four-pointers are probably gone forever, but good bucks are still out there, on both public and private lands.  A bowhunter with reasonable expectations of taking a buck that qualifies for P&Y can find success in any western state.  It just takes a little homework and pre-season effort on your part.  While there are very few, if any, areas that consistently produce 190-class mule deer, there are a myriad of areas where one can pursue and have a reasonable chance at harvesting 150-plus class mulies.

Getting a Tag
 The first thing one has to do to find big bucks is to learn how to play the draw.  Most of the better hunts in the West are now on some type of limited draw system for tags.  At first glance this may look incredibly complicated, what with bonus points, preference points, multiple choices, hunt codes and the like, but it really isn’t all that difficult to learn.  The key is to start early.  The days are gone when you can decide in July that you’re going deer hunting in August.  You need to start getting your act together in December.  Every state has a somewhat different system, and application deadlines can range from January to May, Contact the states you’re interested in hunting in late fall and get on their list to receive information and applications as soon as they become available.

Playing the Odds
 Drawing a tag can range from literally once in a lifetime (due to astronomical odds) to something you can do virtually every year.  Usually the tougher the draw, the better the quality, but you can find P&Y bucks in nearly every unit in nearly every state.  Some areas may be excellent for 150-class bucks but you will have no realistic chance at a 190.  These areas are usually much easier to draw.  Believe it or not, some areas are still capable of producing 200-point bucks, but getting a tag in these areas can be another story altogether.  Some guys try to hit a home run and apply for only the premier areas in every state, in hopes of drawing at least one really special tag every couple years, whereas other guys prefer to hunt more often and apply for areas that have the better odds of drawing.

 

Some states reward those who apply but don’t draw a tag with bonus or preference points for future drawings.  This way the hunter who puts in every year has a better chance to draw the more sought-after units.  Others just have an all out draw, where every applicant has an equal chance of drawing every year.  The key here is to start getting points in the states that offer them and keep trying to draw prime units in the other states.  If you set up a system for drawing different states, you can pretty well assure yourself of a good quality hunt somewhere each year.

Selecting an Area
 The first key to getting a trophy mulie is to find out where thy live.  You can be the world’s greatest hunter, but if the area you’re hunting doesn’t hold big deer, you’re not going to get one.  There are several ways of finding areas that harbor trophy bucks.  Read as many articles and books on mule deer as you can find.  Although you may not get much on specific areas through these sources, you can still glean a lot of valuable information.    For example, an article on trophy mulies in Nevada’s high country will narrow your search down to units in Nevada’s high country will narrow your search down to units in Nevada with high mountain ranges.  Or an article about hunting in CRP will narrow your search to those areas and states with large expanses of CRP.

 Another source for information is state game departments, where you can get harvest data, herd data, draw odds and hunter distribution.  Look for areas with light to medium hunter pressure, high buck-to-doe ratios and stable or increasing deer numbers.  Don’t just rely on one year’s data either.  Get at least three years up front, then update your information each year.  Set up a file for each state or area.  From this you can determine trends in overall quality for each area.  Areas that meet these criteria have the highest likelihood of producing trophy bucks.  The best areas will usually be the toughest to draw, but there are some gems out there with good odds of drawing, you just have to look.  Put this data together with things you’ve read and you can narrow your search drastically.

 

Another way to get up-to-date information is from sport shows and conventions.  Talk to other hunters about where they have had success.  Again, most won’t give you specific information, but put what you hear together with what you’ve learned and your search becomes even narrower.

 I know you’re thinking, “man this is a lot of work.”  It really isn’t as bad as you might imagine.  You can do a lot of your research in the winter months when you’re relaxing after a few hours of snow shoveling.  And what could be better than planning your next trophy mule deer hunt?  Just sifting through the information you accumulate will get you pumped up for the upcoming season.

 

One last thing is to watch the weather.  Is the area you’re wanting to hunt having an unusually sever or mild winter?  This will have a lot to do with the health of the herds and trophy quality come fall.  If an area looks good statistically but had a very sever winter within the past couple years, it may be best to shy away from it.  On the other hand, if the area has put together a string of mild winters and the statistics add up, you may have discovered one of those uncovered gems.  Remember that just because an area produced some big deer in the past, things can change, and it may not live up to your expectations next fall.

When to Scout
 You’ve done your research and drawn that coveted tag.  Now it’s time to find out where the big boys play.  A lot of where to look will be based on the time of year you’ll be hunting.  Mule deer are generally migratory and where you find them in August could be miles from where they are in October.  Even though you may not hunt until later in the fall, the best time to do some pre-season scouting is in late July or early August.  Due to their reddish summer coat (which sticks out like a vegetarian at a barbecue), mulies are very easy to find this time of year.  Their antlers will be nearly fully developed, although the velvet coat that covers them will generally make them look about 15 percent bigger than they really are.

 The first step towards successful scouting is to obtain topo maps of your area.  These can be obtained from USGS, or Delorme has some neat software that enables you to print up-to-date topo maps right from your computer.  They also have state atlases that are very detailed and show basic topography and access roads.

Scout Smart
 When scouting, do so with little or no impact.  Glass wide expanses from a distant high point using a high-quality binocular or spotting scope.  With their reddish coloration, deer will be easy to spot from a distance, and you will be able to observe them without disturbing them.  This is especially critical if you are going to hunt in August or September, as the bucks you see will probably still remain in the same general area.  If your hunt is later in the fall, the bucks probably will have headed for lower elevations, but at least you’ll have an idea of the overall quality available to you.

 If scouting early isn’t a possibility, you can still get some pre-season scouting in.  The best chance you’ll get at a real trophy is in the first couple days of the season before other hunters have stirred things up.  If you are going to take seven days for your hunt, for example, you would be better off scouting for two or three days prior and only hunting four or five days, than to arrive the night before season and hunting for the full seven days.  Your best chance of taking a real buster buck is to locate him before opening day and then try to nail him in the first day or two of your hunt.  Once the deer get stirred up, all bets are off.  Those big guys didn’t get that way by being stupid.  They had to survive a number of hunting seasons to grow trophy antlers and know where to go to get away from hunters.

 Remember that scouting is important, but scouting smart is even more important.  The less you disturb the deer before the season, the better your chance of taking your trophy come opening day.  If you continually disturb the animals and the area while scouting, the bucks, especially the big ones, can be miles from where you first found them.

 Trophy mulies contrary to some beliefs, are still out there for the taking.  With just a little common sense and by using the information that is readily available, you will uncover areas that you can consistently hunt for that trophy of a lifetime.  Although luck always plays a part, trophy hunting is an endeavor where you usually get out of it what you put into it.  Research is an essential part of today’s trophy mule deer hunting.  It can be hard work and somewhat time consuming, but the rewards can make all the effort more than worth it.

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Published by admin on 21 Jan 2010

Arrow Crafting By Mike Veine

Arrow Crafting
Not only does building your own arrows save money,
but it can greatly improve the quality of them.
By Mike Veine


I’ve always been a stickler for details, and that panache for near perfection is readily apparent with my bowhunting equipment, especially my arrows. I’ve been building my own arrows for 30 years. I save $10 or more per dozen by building my own and I have fun in the process. I also use premium components, and by following proven techniques my arrows are always the best they can be.


A few years ago, a friend of mine was bowhunting for whitetails from a ground blind when a good buck presented a high percentage, close-range shot opportunity. At the shot, the buck recoiled and scampered away a short distance before stopping to look back at what had scared him. The buck then snorted an alarm and ran away unscathed.


Baffled, my friend recovered his arrow and upon examination he was shocked to see that all of the vanes had torn loose. In fact, all the arrows in his quiver suffered from the same malady. He had just purchased those rather expensive, new, carbon arrows from a discount sporting good store and had not shot them yet. Because they were the same model and size as the ones he had been shooting, he just assumed that they’d be OK. His lack of attention to detail cost him dearly. Savvy bowhunters that properly build their own arrows can avoid such a disaster.


Shaft Selection and Cutoff
Bulk shafts are typically purchased by the dozen, which is where the main savings comes in when building your own arrows. Depending on the manufacture, raw shafts are typically sold in 34-inch lengths. Unless you have exactly a 34-inch draw length, then you’ll need to size the shafts by cutting them off.


Shafts can be cut off using two different methods. The cheapest, and the one I mostly use, requires a shat cut-off tool that functions like a pipe cutter. These tools cost $20 to 30, but will only work on aluminum shafts. The cut must be perfectly clean to provide proper alignment of the insert or bushing. After cutting my shafts with such a tool, I then smooth off the end that was cut off using a jig made from scrap 2×4. The jig has several holes drilled through it to fit various sized shafts. The holes hold the shaft straight while I lightly file the end until it’s smooth and flat. I then use a dremel rotary tool to ream out the interior of the cut to remove any burs.


For carbon arrows you’ll need to use an electric arrow cut-off saw. Those saws also work great on aluminum shafts. An electric cut-off saw represents the largest investment that an arrow builder might consider. The A1-Arrow Saw made by Apple Archery Products is a good saw that retails for about $115. I’s sometimes wise to get together with a few friends, pool your funds, and buy one together. I just take my carbon shafts to an archery pro shop to have them cut. Even with a cut-off saw, though, the edges sometimes must be smoothed out using a dremel tool.


Installing Inserts
Inserts should fit snugly and must align perfectly. I prefer aluminum inserts like the ones made by Easton. For aluminum shafts, I use Bohing Ferr-L-Tite hot glue. Screw an old field point into the insert and then clamp onto it with vice-grips. Using a small propane torch, heat up the insert and the end of the shaft. Apply a small amount of the glue to the insert and then push it into the shaft until seated fully. Before the glue cools and hardens, wipe the excess off with a rag. Installed in this manner, the inserts can be rotated for broadhead alignment or removed by simply reheating them.


Carbon shafts require the use of an epoxy to adhere the inserts. I’ve used Bohning’s AAE Epoxy, which is a flexible adhesive ideally suited for inserts and bushings on carbon shafts. Once inserts are installed, screw n a broadhead and spin test it. I use an arrow straightener for this function, which will also check shaft straightens in the process. Spin the shaft by quickly rolling it and if the head wobbles at all, remove the insert and install a new one. With carbon shafts, this process must be done before the epoxy sticks.


Vanes or Feathers?
Bowhunters have been debating the virtues of feather fletching versus plastic vanes for as long as I can remember. I started out using feather as they provided more forgiveness off the crude arrow rests used in those olden days. When tests evolved to allow total fletching clearance, I switched over to plastic vanes and haven’t looked back since. Vanes are just about impervious to the weather and much more durable than feathers. Feathers are also much noisier in flight and the racket made from brushing anything against feathers has been the undoing of many bowhunters. I may take some flack for this, but unless you’re having arrow flight problems, I recommend using quality plastic vanes for bowhunting.


Many top archer use feathers. Scott Purks, one of the country’s best 3-D archers, prefers feathers even with his Mathew’s bow equipped with a drop-away rest. He says, “Feathers are kind of a pain, but they seem to shoot a little more accurately, especially at extremely long ranges.” Feathers are lighter than vanes, which equates to slightly faster arrow speeds.


When you build your own arrows, you can pick and choose from various fletchings. I prefer vanes that are very thin and flexible. Because arrows will be smashed in bow cases and otherwise bent and folded, vanes that pop back to their original shape are especially desirable. I’ve been using Easton vanes for many years and have been very happy with them. Bohning, Duravane, Arizona, Sims Vibration Labs, Flex-Fletch and others also make high-quality vanes.


Fletching color choices are virtually limitless and arrow builders have the ability to mix and match what ever colors they desire. Some bowhunters prefer colors that blend in. For them, camo fletching is available. Years ago, I used olive-drab fletchings, but today I prefer bright-colored fletching and florescent nocks so that I can watch my arrow flight better. Red and orange colors are my favorites as they provide good visibility, yet they still blend in with the fall woods as the leaves turn colors. Bright colors also make it easier to find arrows on the ground.

Most bowhunters use either 4- or 5-inch fletchings. As a rule, use longer fletching on larger-diameter shafts. For skinnier shafts, 4-inch or smaller fletching usually work best. It often pays to experiment though for optimal broadhead flight.


Applying Fletching
A fletching jig is required for proper fletching alignment o the shaft. I recommend a single arrow-fletching jig, which will ensure identical fletching alignment on every arrow made. I’ve been using the same Jo-Jan Mono Fletcher for as long as I can remember, and it works great, costing less than $40. Bitzenburger, Cabela’s and Bohning also offer quality fletching jigs.

When purchasing a fletching jig, you’ll have three options: right helical, left helical and straight fletch. Most bowhunters prefer a right-helical fletching. Right helical means that if you look down the shaft from the nock end, the fletching will angle to the right. Right helical will spin the arrow clockwise. Feather fletching users should be aware that the wing of the feather must match the helical direction. For instance, right-wing feathers require a right-wing helical fletching jig. You can also choose from three-fletch or four-fletch models. Most bowhunters use three-fletch arrows.

Ron Quick builds custom arrows at Outdoorsman (317/881-7446) a full-service archery pro shop in Greenwood, Indiana. Ron says, “Cleaning the shaft thoroughly before gluing on the fletching is the key to making them stick properly. We fist soak both aluminum and carbon shafts in acetone prior to fletching them. After that we go over the shaft with a Scotch Bright pad and water. The final cleaning step is wiping the shaft with denatured alcohol. Be warned, though, that acetone and alcohol are both highly flammable liquids.” Bohning offers a product called SSR Surface Conditioner specifically designed to degrease and prepare aluminum or carbon shafts for painting and fletching. I use acetone, but I just put some on a rag and then wipe the shaft with the stuff.


Quick added, “After the alcohol dries we glue on the fletching using Bitzenburger jigs. We just started using the new Bohning Fletch-Tite Platinum glue and love the stuff. It will glue any type of fletching to any shaft material, even the slippery carbon ones. Some of the quick-set glues that we have tried have not held well to graphite.”

For release shooters, place your fletching in the clamp so the back of the fletching is 3/4-inch from the end of the shaft( not the end of the nock). Finger shooters should use a 1-inch spacking. I set my fletching jig for a five-degree right helical, which is a common setting for a bowhunting arrow. I lay a very small bead of Fletch-Tight glue down the length of the vane and then gently press the vane in place on the jig.

With Fletch-Tire glue, I wait about five minutes before removing the fletching from the clamp, rotating the shaft and then repeating the process for the next fletching. It takes about 15 minutes for the glue to harden completely and that’s when I apply a small dab of glue on the from and back of each vane for added durability. After the fletching are installed, check for any excess glue that may have bulged out along the edge of the fletchings. I use a scalpel to trim away any excess.

Fletching Removal
Just about every one of my shooting sessions results in damaged fletchings. Arrow maintenance is another good reason to get into building your own arrows. If I had to take my damaged arrows to the pro-shop for repair, I’d go broke in a hurry. I remove my fletching with a dull knife. However, for those that need a special tool for everything, Cabela’s, Saunders and Norway offer fletch strippers. Bow & Arrow Hunting Editor Joe Bell really likes the Zip Strip model by Norway Industries.

After scraping most of the glue off the shaft, I then go over it with coarse steel wool and then follow the same procedure as described earlier for cleaning the shaft prior to applying the fletchings. Incidentally, for small tears in the vanes of my practice arrows, I sometimes just use a little Super Glue to reconnect the tear. The next time I replace a fletching on that flawed arrow, though, I replace the cobbled vane.


Dipping, Cresting and Wrapping
Dipping, cresting and wrapping arrows allows archers to customize their arrows. Adding a personal touch to your arrows is fun and the colors and designs one can create are limitless. I personally don’t bother to dress up my arrows anymore, although I’ve experimented with dipping and wraps in the past. Before cresting, dipping or wrapping, it is highly recommended to clean our shafts using the same procedure used prior to gluing on fletchings. In fact, dipping and cresting is typically done prior to installing the nock and fletchings.

I’d recommend buying a cresting kit like the one offered by Bohnng. Their kit contains everything needed to create personalized arrows including a motorized spinner to rotate the shafts for painting. Bohning also sells an instructional video for customizing your arrows.

Arrow wraps are also available through Bohning or Easy-Eye. Wraps are stickers that are rolled around the arrow shaft to create designs. Buying and applying wraps is much easier and cheaper than cresting arrows, but the degree of personalization is limited to the wrap designs available.

Dipping arrows is nothing more than painting the end of the shaft under the fletchings. Most bowhunters dip their arrows in paint to allow better visibility of the arrow when shot at game. The proliferation of video taping of bowhunters has certainly increased the number of bowhunters dipping their arrows. It’s much easier for the camera to pick up arrows dipped in brightly colored paint. White is the color choice of most pro videographers.

As a final step in the arrow building process, I apply a light coat of silicone to my arrows. This serves three purposes: First, it causes water to bead up on the shaft and run off. It also allows the arrow to be drawn over the rest with much less friction and resulting noise. Lastly, the silicone may enhance penetration.

Building your own arrows allows you to experiment with different components, helical settings and other arrow nuances to fine-tune your setup for optimal performance. It’s a lot like a rifle reloader working up a particular load to perform best in their firearm. Arrow builders fine-tune their load as well, but we just go about it a lot quieter.

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

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Published by admin on 18 Jan 2010

2010: Aspirinbusting 25 Years by frank addington, jr.

2010: Aspirinbusting 25 Years
by frank addington, jr.


 
         It is hard to believe that 25 years ago  the late Rev. Stacy Groscup tossed a Pepsi can into mid air and challenged me to hit it.  I did and that same day he put me in front of an audience and had me shooting at aerial targets.   I’d actually assisted Stacy on stage for years by tossing targets for him from time to time.  Ann Clark  also had me assist her when she visited the West Virginia Sport show around 1981.  Those early experiences with Ann & Stacy let me know I’d found my calling.  I wanted to make a living shooting a bow and arrow.  It’s the only thing I wanted to do.
      The shows have come full circle since that time and I have evolved into performing  my own shows.  When I first started I basically imitated Stacy’s show, the same shots and the same script.   I soon came to realize that there was only one Stacy and as my confidence grew I began designing my own show and my own shots.  That’s part of how the behind the back shots came into play.  I wanted to break new ground and do some shots that had never been attempted in front of crowds before.  I wanted to rewrite the books on exhibition shooting with some of the shots I’d attempt.  Some worked, some didn’t.  I kept the good ones and forgot the others.  I once fired two bows at once in California— and hit both targets with two arrows.  That was a crazy shot!  I couldn’t do that shot often, when you consider that shooting twin 45# bows meant I was really pulling 90#. 
      I’ve written about some lucky shots I’ve done before, including the long distance shot in Union Grove, NC in 1988.   I won’t revisit that tale now but I would be lying if I said that 80-90 yard shot wasn’t luck!  Sometimes there’s a fine line between luck and skill.  I Am always happy when luck is on my side.  I’d like to think all my first shot shows on baby are 100% skill but I must admit sometimes luck plays a part. 
      2010 will mark my 39th year shooting a bow and arrow.  Crazy huh?  It’s hard to believe I’ve been flinging arrows that long.  It’s been so long that I really don’t ever remember not shooting a bow.  I have made many friends during that 39 years in the sport.  Fred Bear, Earl and Ann Hoyt, Stacy Groscup, and so many others.  Sadly, many of these legends are gone.  Fortunately we have some icons left, like Chuck Adams. Ted Nugent, and many, many more.  My son Gus, 3, has been shooting a bow since he was about 18 months old.  I had to help him but he loved it.  I was glad to see a third generation Addington come along that enjoyed archery!
      Many of the folks I have shared seminar stages with when I started have moved on, retired or passed away.  I miss many of them.  I’ve met some unforgettable characters in this business, that’s for sure.  My equipment has changed over the years.  When I very first started I used a wooden Bear Kodiak recurve bow.  I have a special blonde colored Bear Kodiak Fred Bear signed and sent me that I never put a string on.  I remember his shoulders rocking with laughter when I told him I was hitting aspirin with one of his bows.  He smiled and said, “I thought I was doing good when I used to hit coins…”  I have some photos Dick Mauch shared with me of Fred on stage doing exhibitions.  Fred used to trade these shows for booth space when he first started out. 
     In the mid 1980’s I would join Hoyt/Easton’s Advisory staff.  There I’d meet folks like a serious bowhunter named Chuck Adams.  He climbed the ladder quickly and was one of the hardest working men in the sport.  Driven and focused on what he wanted, he became the first to obtain the famous “Super Slam” by bagging one of all 27 big game species in North America.  Chuck has lasted all these years because he has worked for his position, he doesn’t cut corners and he plays by the rules.  We remain good friends and I was delighted when Chuck agreed to write the forward for my book when it finally comes out.  Some may be jealous of Chuck’s fame or position but he put in the hours and the sweat to become the sport’s most successful bowhunter. 
      During my time at Hoyt I held various positions, including Gold Staff member, and a one man member of a term Eric Dally made up, “Promotional Pro Staff.”  I left Hoyt in 2003 and shot Mathew’s Sky recurves beginning in 2003.   2004 was a wild year for my shows, we even ended up doing an exhibition on behalf of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.  “Old Blue” is the Sky bow I used for 6 years.  I had newer bows from Sky including two Mathews prototype bows that were never launched to the public, but I remained true to “Old Blue.”  It was a great shooting bow.
       July 1, 2009 I returned home to Hoyt.  Mike Luper and I had talked and I knew that it would be great to work with Mike again.  He knows the archery industry and has a knack for promotional efforts and promoting the sport and Hoyt.  He thinks out of the box.  I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Mike and I am glad to be back working with him.  For 2010 I will be shooting twin Formula RX bows.  I am just now getting them ready for our new show season.  If they shoot as good as they look the baby aspirin are in trouble.  Here’s the website, check out these bows for yourself:
 
   http://www.hoytrecurve.com/recurve_bows/hoyt_formula_recurve_bow.php
 
       My how bows have changed since 1971!  My first bow was a fiberglass stick with a string.  It’s funny that I use the same shooting style now that I used way back then!  Instinctive shooting has been good to me.  I am thankful my father set me up that way.  He still sets up every bow that I perform with on stage.  I always am quick to say I have the very pit crew in archery with Pop!  I can set up my own equipment but prefer he does it.
        His retail shop, Addington’s Bowhunter Shop, turns 32 this year!  If you visit you’ll find a shop full of vintage photos, hunts he has made all over, signed photos from folks like country singer George Strait (he set up a Hoyt for Strait in the 1990’s),  and an indoor range full of full mounted animals.  I also have a display of my show bows.  I have kept at least one of every bow I’ve ever used on stage the past 25 years and have them on display.  We are working on an additional display which will have some special Stacy Groscup items in it.  One visit to the shop and you’ll see why my parents love the sport so much.  They have bowhunted together all of my life and have a lifetime of memories and photos on display.  By the way, Mom has taken 17 or 18 bear with her bow! 
        During the past 25 years I’ve seen countless airports, hotel rooms, thousands of miles of highway, and met lots of new friends.  For the 25 year mark I have some new shots up my sleeve.  You will have to catch our show this year to see what we have planned!  I feel very blessed to have been able to perform at a professional level 25 straight years.  However, I am just getting started. A few years ago I saw that my friend Ted Nugent always had cool names for his rock and roll tour each year, so I dubbed my tour the HAVE BOW WILL TRAVEL tour.  Catchy huh? 
 
Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank
 
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by admin on 18 Jan 2010

My beat up leather tab…Frank Addington Jr.

My beat up leather tab…

 

One frequent question from traditional archers is what type of finger protection do I prefer when shooting.  I have always said that instinctive shooting is mostly personal preference and you should shoot what allows you to shoot best.  If you are comfortable and can shoot accurately that’s the answer. 
 
When I was a kid I preferred a Bear glove.  The package had Fred’s photo on it and I knew he wore a glove so that’s what I wanted to wear.  I would wear a new glove around for days trying to soften it up and get it broken in.  I still have my first Bear glove.  Those were happy days.  I’d spend hours in the back yard shooting pretending to be Fred Bear on some remote adventure.  I always told Fred he’d made me a better shooter and those big shoulder’s of Fred’s would rock with laughter.
 
I tried some tabs along the way and eventually went to bare fingers.  I shot this way for several years and built my fingers up.  I tended to drag my third finger so it usually had more calluses than the others.  However, one time around 1990 the late Rev. Stacy Groscup and I shared a stage together performing at a local sports show.  There was a stage but no chairs so the audience would stand at the stage.  After about eight rows back people couldn’t see so Stacy and I would do a show, let that eight rows leave and then we’d immediately do another show.  I think we ended up doing more than 20 shows that weekend and my fingers were throbbing so much that they hurt when they touched the sheets at night.  So the last day of the show Stacy handed me a special hand made leather tab he made.  I used it that day and had great results with it, even with my sore fingers. 
 
I gave his tab back and he told me he would make some tabs especially for me.  I forgot about it until a few weeks later a package arrived.  It was full of leather tabs, mostly brown leather but a few were out of different materials.  I picked one and noticed Stacy had signed the back of it.  That was 1990.  Now, 20 years later, I use that same tab today.  I have never had to use one of the back up tabs.  I am still using the original tab.
 
It’s made out of flat leather and I carry it in my wallet.  I always have it with me.  The last thing I do before heading on stage is take out my wallet and place the tab on my right hand.  It’s a quiet reminder of Stacy and a tradition that I’ve stuck with all these years.  I say a quick prayer and then head on stage. 
 
What type of finger protection do you prefer? 
 
Wearing a tab helps me get away from dragging my third finger so much.  I feel I get a cleaner release with the tab.  I also like the fact that I can always have it with me, even if I don’t have my bow and someone wants to shoot I am ready.  I like the tradition and feel of a leather glove but feel I am just a little more accurate with my Groscup tab.  I have several in my desk drawer at home.  I told someone this supply should get me through the rest of my archery career and still have some left over to pass along to my son Gus.
 
In closing, my best advice is to shoot what allows you to shoot best.  We want you enjoying archery and hitting what you shoot at.  That’s the name of the game.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster
 
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by KurtD on 14 Jan 2010

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Published by admin on 22 Dec 2009

Dip Your Own Arrows By Steven Barde

Dip Your Own Arrows
It’s Only Minor Trouble And Your Shafts Can Carry
Your Favorite Colors!
By Steven Barde

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

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 Dipping Arrows is one way to add color to the shaft, make it more individual and in hunting, easier to find.  There are several ways of adding color.  Some spray the shaft, which can be messy, some prefer to paint it on but the easiest and perhaps the best method is to dip the shaft full length in a tube.  The dipping insures a complete coating, smoothly applied, while the end result is even and has no runs or blemishes if done properly.

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 Any lacquer designed for wood will work well.  Some automotive lacquers can be used but many of these have a different base and it may be hard to find a thinner that works.  If the lacquer and thinner won’t work together, you will get blisters, and in some cases, the lacquer won’t adhere to the wood but will run or peel off.  If you plan to use a lacquer you’re not sure of, try a small amount and use some parts of a shaft for testing.  Some combinations will work even against the rules but it is best to test first.  The wood lacquers and thinners are easily obtainable.

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 If you buy one pint  of lacquer, get at least one quart of thinner, since the solution used for dipping is thinned a great deal.  If you plan to do quite a bit of dipping, add to your list of purchases some retarder, to prevent the thinned lacquer from drying too fast on the shaft causing runs and blobs, and a silicone additive.  The silicone gives the lacquer mixture a high glossy finish and makes the lacquer flow smoothly during dipping.

 Mix the lacquer  and thinner to the ratio you desire.  Most use a mixture of two parts thinner to one part lacquer.  Add one eighth part retarder, if you plan to use it, and a few drops of silicone additive.  A little of the silicone does an excellent job.  Some archers prefer to use a thinner solution and mix three or four parts thinner to one part lacquer.  The thinner the solution, the more dipping is required to get a good high gloss finish.  Put the solution into a bottle that can be tightly capped and shake well.

 If you haven’t tried dipping before, the two parts thinner to one part lacquer works well and requires less dipping.  The more dipping and polishing that is done, the higher the gloss on the finished arrow.  You also will need your dip tube, (see Nov.-Dec. 65 issue), some 0000 steel wool to take the hair grain of the shaft, and a rag.  Stretch a line from two supports, preferably a line with a twist, to hand the shafts on while drying.  Some archers use household clothes pins, some use electrical alligator clips but carpet tacks have proven best for many archers to hold the shafts to the line while they dry.

 When selecting your arrows for dipping, the edge of the grain, which is the side with the finest lines in it, should face the side of the bow, since the edge grained side of the shaft is the strongest part.  If you don’t have a method to mark this grain side, it is hard to find after the shaft has been dipped.

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 By using carpet tacks, you can put the tack in the grain side of the shaft and the little hole left is easily found when it comes time to nock the dipped arrow.  The line or raised edge of the speed nock goes in line with the hole left by the carpet tack.  One other advantage of the tack is that there is less handling of the dipped shaft.  When using the alligator clip, the clip is just hung over the edge of the line, the same as the carpet tack.

 When you use the clothes pin, it is necessary to dip the shaft with the fingers and hold while attaching the shaft to the jaws of the clothes pin.  In this step, you will get covered with lacquer if you dip too high on the shaft.  These are a few of the ways to hand the shafts to dry but the final choice will be the one that works best for you.

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 Select the shafts you intend to dip and lay them in place.  Take a damp rag and wipe each shaft.  This will dampen the wood and raise the hair grain.  Cut the nock taper on both ends of the shaft prior to wiping.  The reason for cutting the nock taper is that it allows the lacquer to drip from the end rapidly, and when the nock is applied to the dipped shaft, there is no holiday of bare wood where the nock taper has missed the edge of the nock.

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 After wiping, allow the shafts to dry about thirty minutes.  When they are dry, apply the carpet tack or other holding device and dip the arrow in the tube, pushing it to within an inch or less of the top of the shaft, but slowly.  A line attached above the dip tube will let the drops from the dripping shaft fall into the tube instead of on the ground or mat.  When the drops have almost stopped, place the dipped shaft on the drying line and proceed with the next shaft, and so on, until all shafts have been dipped once.  Allow the dipped shaft to dry at least two hours.  The drying time will vary with humidity and temperature.

 Remove the dry shafts from the line, take a piece of your steel wool and rub each shaft to remove the hair grain that was brought up by the damp rag and lacquer.  After steel wooling each shaft, wipe them with a dry rag to remove the steel particles and dust, revers ends and dip again.  Apply the tack or other holding device, dip, drain and hang to dry.  For most hunting shafts, two dips will be enough with a two part thinner and one-part lacquer solution.  Allow to dry for another two hours.  If the color is still too light, steel wool, wipe down, reverse ends and dip them again.

 Some colors cover better than others and some lacquers are thicket than others.  The best thickness of the mixture is determined after you try a few shafts.  If the lacquer runs too slowly and causes runs down the side of the shaft, it is too thick and needs more thinner.  If the lacquer is too thin, it will run rapidly.  If you like to use a thin solution, it will work but will require more dipping to get the desired finish.  The solution that works well in dry Arizona will not work the same in humid Florida, sot he proper mixture must be determined by the number of dips required to give you the best color and finish for the climate you live in.

 After the shaft has been dipped  and you have the desired color and finish, remove the tack and lightly steel wool the finished shaft to remove any roughness, place the shaft in your arrow rack and you are then ready to nock the shaft and fletch.

 The nock should go with the speed nock ridge in line with the edge of the grain of the shaft so the arrow will have the strongest part of the wood bearing against the side of the bow.  The edge may be determined by the previous use of the carpet tack or by cutting the opposite end.

 Remember the best solution is one that gives you the best results.  If you want to experiment with different colors and lacquers, try them, but be sure the lacquer and thinner mix together and do not form bubbles or blotches.

 Recently I decided to try a new color for hunting.  I wanted a bright orange, almost international orange, but couldn’t find it anywhere.  I went to a paint store and after checking the lacquer, added some bright orange from one of the new color mixing machines and shook it up.  When this lacquer and thinner were poured into solution, I didn’t know what to expect so I tried a few shafts.  The dealer said the color mix would work with anything but I was doubtful.

 These shafts came out beautiful!  They are a brilliant orange, the color I wanted, and there were no runs o blotches to mar the finish.  These shafts have been easy to find and have stood up well with rough use.

 If you decide to experiment like this, go ahead, but try a few shafts first before gambling all your undipped shafts.  A garage or any open place where the dust and dirt can’t bother the wet shafts will work well.  Dipping is fun, inexpensive and the colors and results are left only to your imagination.

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Published by admin on 22 Dec 2009

A Key to Hitting the Mark by Frank Addington, Jr.

A Key to Hitting the Mark by Frank Addington, Jr.

fence
 
I think that one of the most important aspects of any style of shooting is “target acquisition.”  I don’t care how good or bad your vision is, what your method  of shooting is, or how long you have been an archer.  If you aren’t effective at target acquisition, you won’t be successful in the long run.  Whether you are a 3-D champ, a bowhunter, backyard archer, or someone that enjoys days afield stump shooting, you cannot hit what you cannot see.  And you must be able to do this consistently.
 
This single thing allows me to hit objects as small as a baby aspirin in mid air with an arrow.  I have tuned my eyes, mind and body through years of practice to immediately acquire the target. In the old days they called it, “picking a spot.”  It is simple in theory yet hard to master.  I myself am guilty of occasionally staring at a huge set of horns and the whole animal instead of a particular spot.  I miss when I do this and I bet you do too.  You have to be able to shut out everything but where you want your arrow to land.  I think this is a mental and physical exercise.  I cannot rule out the mental side, after all, you have to be able to concentrate. 
 
In my stage shows I have to be able to shut everything out except the baby aspirin.  I have to ignore loud crowds, noises at sports shows, kids yelling, music blasting, and all the other sounds that go with sports shows.  I also have to be able to ignore the media when they show up, VIPs, and anyone else in the audience that can break my concentration.  When I am “in the zone” you could blow a bugle beside me and I’d never hear it.  I would simply do what I do and hit the target.  But being the zone can come and go if you don’t practice.  You have to have a strong mental concentration.  We did shows in downtown New York city a few years ago.  Talk about mental concentration.  I was outside at Tavern on the Green in the middle of Central Park on a Spring day.  We also performed in the Bronx at Van Courtland Park.  Again, concentration.

Locking down on a very small, distinct spot.  No waiver, no second guessing, just locking down and putting 100% of your concentration on one particular mark.  You can train yourself to do this with some practice.  Learn to “acquire” the target.  Focus.  Concentrate.

As a bowhunter, you have to be able to ignore things too.  The big rack, any other game, the elements,and anything else that serves as a distraction.  As a competitive shooter, you have even more to ignore.  Don’t let a competitor anywhere near your mental game.  If they get in your head you may as well hand them the trophy.  Game over.  Be strong and stay focused.  The late, great AL Henderson was the first to call my attention to the mental side of archery.  I suggest everyone reading this column pick up a copy of Al’s book, “Understanding Winning Archery” sometime soon.  It is a good read.  Al was ahead of the game on his theories on the mental side of archery.  Look for his book on Target Communication’s website.
 
When it all comes together you will bring a strong amount of shooting practice, a strong mental game, and the ability to acquire a target all together.  Can target acquisition be learned?  I certainly think so.  My eyesight is good.  Really good.  But even if yours isn’t, I still think you can get better at target acquisition with lots of practice.  When you see an object, look at it.  Really look at it.  Instead of the whole 3-D deer target, pick a spot where you can see a mark or a shadow or anything that serves as an “aiming point.”  Smaller is better.  Always try to aim small. Pick a tuft of hair when you see that big buck.  Don’t see the whole deer, see a spot where you want that arrow to land.  I do this on the balloons I shoot.  I never shoot at the whole balloon.
 
I don’t shoot at flat target faces often.  Why?  It is more difficult for me to pick a small spot on those type targets.  I prefer a lifesaver, a balloon, or any 3-D object.  I will even tear a piece of paper off the target face and shoot at it instead of a bullseye.  As an instinctive shooter, I look at what I want to hit.  What I write about here will apply to all shooting styles. Think about it.  You cannot hit what you cannot see.  I hope this coulmn will help you become a better shot.
 
 

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirinbuster
 
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by admin on 16 Dec 2009

Archers of Antiquity By Col. Robert H. Rankin

Archers of Antiquity
This Bow Has Been Under Development For Some Six Thousand Years,
And The End Is Not Yet In Sight!
By Col. Robert H. Rankin

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 Although the bow is one of the oldest of all martial weapons, we are fortunate in that we do have some idea of what even the earliest bows were like.  We are fairly certain that bows were being used in warfare as far back as 400 B.C.!  Pictures of these bows and those of later eras are to be found in bas reliefs, carvings and paintings in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine and other sections of the Middle East.

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 Yet there is some doubt as to just where the bow originated.  Some military historians believe that the Semetic peoples, who thousands of years ago come out of the Arabian desert and spread throughout the Middle East and along the north coast of Africa, invented the bow.

 Incidentally, the bow is of particular interest to military historians inasmuch as its introduction made possible for the first time the tactical element of surprise, as well as attack from beyond range and from behind cover.  In addition, it greatly reduced the possibility of retaliation.  All of these are important military considerations in any age.  In fact, the bow was directly responsible for the introduction of armor and it was one of the few weapons actually to revolutionize warfare, itself.

 The simple bow was, of course, the first type to be introduced.  It appeared as early as 4000 B.C., possibly earlier.  The earliest representation of the composite bow is to be found on a 2000 B.C. Bas relief commemorating an Accadian (Babylonian) victory over the Summerians.

 In discussing composite bows of any era, it is interesting to note the words of an Arab writer of the fifteenth century, A.D., who wrote:

 “The structure of the composite bow is not unlike that of man.  The human body is made up of four basic elements- bones, flesh, arteries and blood.  The composite bow has the same four counterpart elements: Wood – its skeleton; horn -its flesh; tendons – its arteries; glue – its blood.  Man has back and belly.  So has the bow.  And just as man can bend forward but is likely to damage himself by bending too far backward, so with the operation of the bow.”

 Composite bows were, of course, complicated and difficult to make, so their manufacture and use was restricted to the more civilized peoples of ancient times.

 From evidence which comes down to us through the centuries, we know that the bows were not braced until just before use.  To brace the bow, the string was fastened by means of a loop to one end of the bow.  This end then was placed on the ground and the bow was bent by arm until it was possible to attach the loop on the other end.  Several interesting pictures of this operation exist.

 Bows were used both in open battle and in the attack and defense of fortified positions.  The war chariot, introduced sometime around 200 B.C. By either the Hurians or the Hitties, was used principally as a mobile fore platform for archers.  Chariot bowmen usually carried a quiver at their side suspended from a strap which passed over the shoulder.  In addition, one and sometimes two additional quivers were attached to the side of the chariot within easy reach of the archer.  Mounted archers carried the quiver at the side or on the back, as did the foot archers.  As an exception, some early Egyptian paintings show dismounting archers with bundles of arrows at their feet.

 From the number of bas reliefs, paintings, et cetera, which have been preserved for thousands of years, showing archery practice, it appears that great importance was attached to archery training.  Apparently the novice had to develop basic skills with the simple bow after which he progressed of the composite bow. 

 Quivers usually were made of leather, metal, wood or of a combination of these.  Assyrian quivers were unique in that they had a fringe – covered opening to prevent arrows from jostling out.

 Although most composite bows were of the conventional pattern, triangular composite bows also were used, the arms forming a 120 degree angle.  Many of the painting of the time of Rameses III of Egypt (1192-160 B.C.) show these triangular bows in use.  Just how such bows compare with the conventional pattern is not known, although it would seem that from their basic design they would not be as efficient.

 Sometime during the 800’s B.C., the ends of the bow were turned back in a so-called duck’s head pattern.  This served both as an ornament and as a means of making the ends of the bow string more secure.

 The ancient archers of the Middle East used what would later be called the “Mediterranean Release.”  The tips of the first two fingers were used to draw the string back and the arrow was held between these two fingers.  The string was drawn back to the point of the shoulder, with the bow held at arm’s length in front of the body.

 Although the early Greeks used the bow extensively, it was practically discarded later, the Greek warriors apparently preferring close combat tactics.  The Romans did not regard the bow with favor.  They placed reliance on various forms of the javelin and their wicked short double-edge sword.  Interestingly enough, however, the Athenians developed a highly efficient body of naval bowmen.  During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.), these specialists were used with great success against the Spartans.

 From the early beginnings noted above, the bow would continue, in one form or another, to be a decisive weapon in warfare for many centuries to come.

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Published by admin on 16 Dec 2009

Nutritional Bowhunter By Patrick Cillbrith

Nutritional Bowhunter
Become a stronger, more alert hunter by properly fueling your body
By Patrick Cillbrith

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http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 Were you one of those hunters last fall huffing and puffing as you climbed a hill in an effort to get to your stand?  Maybe you were seen gasping for air as you moved closer to that big bull elk screaming his brains out amid the rugged landscapes of the Rockies?  If so, didn’t you wish you were in better shape?

 Maybe you are just strictly a whitetail-hunting fanatic who thinks staying in great shape is really for those high-country bowhunters.  You might think, “Why become a fitness goon when all I do is sit in a tree stand?”

 But, if you think this, you’d be dead wrong.  Every successful whitetail bowhunter I know agrees that being fit definitely works to your advantage.  For example, hanging tree stands in different locations, usually all in one day, is tough work.  Only by eating healthy and exercising a bit will you be able to slip around in those trees like a monkey.  Besides, if you can hang a stand like it’s a small chore, you’ll be easily motivated to move it when necessary (like when a big buck’s pattern says you need to) where out-of-shape bowhunters usually drag their heels… until eventually it’s too late.

 I’ve had many clients live the benefits of solid eating habits in an attempt to increase energy and improve alertness while hunting.  Below I have listed essential nutritional information along with a few pointers that will increase your chances of being in better shape come next hunting season.

Know What You Eat
 I have read many articles that emphasize the importance of nutrition for deer.  The end result leads to an improvement in antler growth and development.  Isn’t it ironic that we are so concerned about what the deer have to eat and yet on our way back from the stand we think nothing of grabbing a candy bar?  What if our nutrition was the sole factor in determining deer antler growth?  Most of us would throw that candy bar a mile and a half into the woods.

 Dr. Michael D. Hurt of Iowa Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines said, “The value of nutrition extends well beyond the scope of health. Individuals who consume a variety of foods, in the proper caloric allotment, can achieve optimal energy levels and state of mind throughout the day.”

 Hurt stressed the importance that frequency and timing of meals has a direct response to energy levels.  “In addition to satiety, our body functions best when provided with smaller, more frequent meals.  When compared to the above, the ‘three square meals a day’ philosophy is truly outdated.”

 Before delving into the technical aspects of nutrition, it is essential to note special health conditions and circumstances that exist which require individuals to be under the care of aphysician.  If you fall into this category, any information or recommendations provided below should yield to the instructions of your physician.

 The Various Foods
 Food can be broken down to two large groups, macronutrients and micronutrients.  The macro (large) nutrients have three sub groups: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  Let’s analyze the macronutrients first.

Building Blocks
 Protein is the only macronutrient that can be used for building and repairing essential body tissues and as an energy source.  Proteins play an intricate roll in every chemical reaction that takes place in your body.  Healthy muscle tissue and optimal brain function rely on proteins.  Maintaining the proper pH (acid/base balance) in your blood along with fluid balance would not occur without proteins.

 I want to caution you on the use of protein as a source of energy.  Protein is a very inefficient source of energy and should only be used as such when absolutely necessary.  The body can only efficiently use between .8 and 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body wight (1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds) in a day for tissue growth and repair.  Excess protein will either be used as energy or stored as fat.  Mega doses of protein increases the level of nitrogen in your body, which among other things causes the kidneys to work overtime.  Unless directed by your doctor, protein intake should never exceed 2 grams per kilogram of body weight.

 Proteins are composed of subunits refereed to as amino acids.  Our body requires 22 different amino acids, in a specific sequence, to synthesize body tissue proteins.  Complete proteins contain all of the amino acids necessary for support repair.  Incomplete proteins are missing one or more amino acids and must be combined with a different protein to provide the missing link.  The purposeful combination of two or more proteins to form a complete sequence of amino acids is referred to as a complementary protein.

Nutrients That Power Up!
 Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy.  Two types of carbohydrates exist: simple and complex.  Simple carbohydrates are those that break down very quickly and yield immediate energy.  Good examples are fruit, honey and sugars.  Complex carbohydrates commonly known as starches, break down slower but yield energy in a gradual manner over an extended period of time.  Some examples include wheat bread, pasta, potatoes and vegetables.  The ideal meal will include a combination of both simple and complex carbohydrates in an attempt to sustain consistent energy levels.

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 The claim that sugar makes you fat is usually spoken by those who don’t have any idea what they are talking about.  All carbohydrates break down into a simple sugar called glucose.  Simply put, glucose is the body’s preferred source of energy.  When glucose (blood sugar) levels drop too low, fatigue and lethargy soon follow.  Many individuals also experience mild to moderate shaking in their extremities.  That is the last thing a hunter needs when drawing back on a 10-point buck.

Real Scoop on Fat
 Most consumers know that there are two types of dietary fat, saturated and unsaturated.  Saturated fat is found primarily in animal byproducts (i.e. fat found on flesh, butter , cream) and should be kept to a minimum.  The molecules are linear and thus can be tightly packed together.  This explains why they are difficult to break down.
 Nutrition experts recommend that we avoid processed foods due to the high levels of saturated fat and preservatives that are used to increase flavor.  For years physicians have cited concrete evidence indicating that diets high in saturated fat can increase the risk of heart attack, so put down those fatty burgers and greasy fries.

 Unsaturated fat is the good type of dietary fat.  The molecular configuration and subsequent organization of the fatty acids allow them to easily be disrupted by heat.  This means the body can dispose of them more efficiently than saturated fats.  Of the fat you eat, try to keep unsaturated fat in the majority.  The following is a good rule of thumb to determine if a fat is good or bad.  For example, if a fat source is solid at room temperature, then it should be kept to a minimum.  A few examples of healthy fats are Omega-3 fatty acids (the fat found in salmon) , olive oil and flax seed oil.

 In the wake of low-fat diets, I am here to promise you that too little fat in your diet can lead to as many problems as too much fat.  The key is balance.  The proper ration amount of dietary fat can dramatically improve levels of satiety, energy and health.

Disease Fighters
 The nutrition industry refers to vitamins and minerals as micronutrients.  Most, if not all, of the nutrients your body needs to function are available in the foods you eat.  A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables will provide your body with B vitamins, fiber and antioxidants that fight off the agents which can cause disease.  Meat, fish and dairy products provide essential fatty acids, certain B vitamins, and vitamins A, D and E.  All of the above foods contain minerals that help strengthen the body, prevent disease and aid in bone and tissue maintenance.

 Scientific studies indicate a diverse variety of healthy foods have proven to be the best way to get the micronutrients your body needs.  Food provides other healthy essentials such as fiber that can’t be found in a pill.  To use supplements in place of food or as an excuse for poor eating habits is a major health mistake.

 Your family doctor should first clear any supplement that you decide to take.  While many food supplements are harmless, some can be deadly.  Rare but dangerous interactions between certain medications and supplements have been known to occur.  Only your doctor is qualified to tell you what is acceptable to take.  The herbalist and the guy behind the counter at the local health food store are not acceptable substitutions.

 The above information should provide you with a solid base to interpret the sample menu on page (64).  Most hunters are notorious for under eating during the day.  I once heard a hunter say, “ if deer eat only twice a day then I don’t need more then breakfast and dinner when on stand.”  The fewer meals you eat the more your body slows its metabolism and sacrifices other bodily functions.  The body will attempt to maintain  life at all cost, even if it is to the detriment of your health.

Always Drink Water
 Every aspect of our body, ranging from healthy muscle tissue to kidney function, uses water to operate at an optimal level.  Because water is the solvent our body uses to conduct nearly all of its faculties, roughly 70 percent of a healthy body composition should be water.

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 Hydration studies indicate that an average man will lose ¼ cup of water per hour in a sedentary state.  In my opinion, activities like tree stand hunting surpass sedentary energy requirements.  This is not like sitting on a couch and therefore your body is required to exert more energy to stay in stand.  Even on a cool day (30-40 degrees F) you could lose up to a ½ cup of water pr hour in a tree.  The key is to drink water consistently throughout the day to maintain hydration levels.  Try to drink 8 ounces of water before you go to stand to replace what you have lost overnight.

 I also recommend taking an additional 32 ounces of water to stand for each four- to five-hour hunt.  This means if it’s the peak of the fut and you plan to sit all day, take nothing less than 64 ounces of water for the entire hunt.  At first thought this may seem excessive, but keep in mind that waiting until the end of the day to rehydrate puts you well past the critical point affecting performance.  Even moderate net-water loss has noticeable effects on the body including lowering core temperature, reduced ability to concentrate, and mild to moderate shaking.

 If you are worried about having to jump out of stand to use the outhouse, the urge to urinate can be reduced by taking small sips on your water bottle periodically.  This way the body uses what it receives in a timely manner.  Try not to pound 16 ounces at 9:30 in the morning because by 11 you will wish that you hadn’t.

 If you plan to spot-and-stalk hunt out west, hydration requirements will dwarf those in comparison to still-hunting.  Due to many factors including elevation and climate, you may have to drink as much 8 ounces of water per hour depending on the intensity of your activity to stay in balance.  Proper hydration is a key component for staving off altitude sickness.  Anyone can be afflicted, but the individuals who reside at lower elevations are at the greatest risk.  There are even times when acute altitude sickness can require hospitalization.  This is a sure-fire way to ruin a great hunt.  Stay hydrated.

Weight Control
 A 1997 study was conducted in conjunction with the American Medical Association (AMA) in an attempt to determine the cause of our nation’s expanding waistline.  The findings concluded the average American consumes 260 more calories a day than he or she did 10 years ago.  So it is no surprise that our nation is getting fatter at the fastest rate in recorded history. 
 
 If you remember one thing about nutrition, memorize this statement: When calories in equals calories out, mass remains constant.  Forget what you have read about carbohydrates being the devil’s sidekick.  A meal after 8 p.m. won’t make you fat.  Fat grams alone will not tack on extra pounds.  What will cause your waistline to bulge is eating more calories than you expend (burn) in a 24-hour period.  As long as you live on earth this is not subject to debate, as it is a law of physics.

 People alive prior to the 20th century spent 60-plus hours a week in the field to support their family.  Today these events have been replaced by 40 sedentary hours at a desk.  If physical activity isn’t present in a job, then it must be attained through extracurricular activities (i.e. we must work out!).

 To some, food holds an emotional bond to happiness.  Others tend to eat out of boredom or habit.  Whatever category you fall into, the best way to address this issue is to first ask yourself why you practice your current eating habits.  This will often reveal the root of your weight problem.  Once established, you can effectively plan an attack on your issue(s).  Years of experience have taught me that diligence will eventually pay off.  Just a few corrections can put you on the path to better health.
 Having access to the best hunting ground in the world won’t help you bag a record-book buck if you aren’t in the timber.  Altering a few eating habits can make incredible changes in health, energy and strength.  Manage your lifestyle such that health is one of your top priorities.  The favor will be returned with more energized seasons, chasing the trophies you think so much about.

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Published by admin on 14 Dec 2009

Deep Freeze sophisticated layering approach. By Gary Simms

Deep Freeze
When conditions get bitter cold, fight off the chill with this
sophisticated layering approach.
By Gary Simms

cover

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 After five years of wearing T-shirts in November, the 2000 season produced a great opportunity to once again revisit the notion of staying warm.  I had almost forgotten what it felt like to have the inside of my nostrils freeze on a hard inhale.  That’s something that sticks with you—that’s cold!

 I spent the coldest part of last fall hanging from trees in central Kansas.  The Rocky Mountains were the nearest feature taller than the local elevator with any hope of deflecting the northwest winds, and they were 500 miles away.  The wind slammed me without letup for nearly the entire 12 days of my hunt.  With the temperatures in the single digits most mornings and rarely getting above the teens during the day it would have been a miserable time had I not luckily included a couple of pieces of clothing in my gear bag.  Actually, the items were incidental but they proved to be indispensable and opened my eyes to the importance of cutting the wind.

 I hadn’t packed enough clothing for such exposure, but I had brought along a lightweight fleece-lined nylon-shelled jacket and a pair of lined nylon sweatpants for casual wear.  After a couple of days I started wearing the jacket and sweats under my insulated camo outerwear.  Immediately, I was hunting in comfort for the rest of my trip.  I then spent a cold week on the plains of eastern Colorado in late December using the same system with similar results.

 After those hunts I began to study the many pieces of clothing on the market that could replace my crude system.  Things have really changed since the last time frigid temperatures forced me to take a closer look at the mail order catalogs.  Here are some of the great new products and concepts that I’ll be putting into service next time the mercury hits rock bottom.

Cutting the Wind
 Wearing windproof materials is one of the smartest things you can do if you want to stay warm (along with protecting your head).  In late fall and winter it is the wind that really makes for a cold and miserable experience on stand.  Anything you can do to cut it will keep you much warmer and will do it with less bulk.  Any of the modern waterproof membranes such as Gore-Tex, Dry Plus and Omni-Tech are also windproof.  Of course, you can also choose garments made from Gore’s Windstopper to achieve the same goal.
 
 Clothing made from laminated micro-fiber is becoming very popular but it is  not  a good choice for cold-weather hunting.  In most cases the fabric becomes stiff and noisy when the temperature gets below about 15 degrees.  The glue used to secure the synthetic fleece is what causes it to become stiff.

 I spoke with Van Larson from Due North Apparel about facemasks and headwear.  At the time, I was looking for a facemask lined with Windstopper, but Larson warned me away from that line of thinking.  According to Van, the head is the body’s thermostat and to work properly it relies on natural evaporative cooling.  When you impede the process by using a windproof membrane, the head reportedly loses its natural ability to sense and set the body’s temperature.

Creative Solutions for your Head
 The only part of your body that you should strive to protect better than your midsection is your head and neck.  An enormous amount of heat leaves the body through this area.  There are traditional solutions such as knit or fleece facemasks, neck gaiters and stocking caps that will do a good job, but now you also have a new option that serves double duty by actually warming the air before you breathe it.  The benefits of this are obvious.

 The now Polar Wrap Exchanger facemask received great reviews from my buddies that tried them last winter.  The system is fairly simple and intuitive; it works like a heat exchanger.  The facemast captures heat and moisture from your breath when you exhale and uses the energy to warm and humidify the air that comes into your lungs when you inhale.  Any facemask will do the same thing to a lesser extent, but the Exchanger absorbs more of the heat and moisture from your breath by passing it through a system of channels before it exits the mask.  Your next breath enters through the same path and is warm and moist by the time it reaches your mouth.  Not only does this preserve body heat, but it also prevents dehydration during a long stand session.

 I spoke with Myles Keller about the system and he marveled at how well it works.  Myles is one of the most hard-core late-season bowhunters that I know and if Myles says it works you can bet that it does.

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Don’t Forget the Feet
 I had a chance to test a unique system of cold-weather foot protection this past fall and came away very impressed.  The boots were from the new set of hybrids that have made their way onto the market in only the past two years.  They aren’t pack boots but they aren’t walking boots either—they are a little of each.  They are characterized by thick, lightweight Thinsulate insulation but with the fit and appearance of a walking boot.  Not only were they warm, but they also made walking very easy.  I’ve never liked walking long distances to reach a stand while wearing conventional pack boots.  The fit is often sloppy and the foot can move around inside the boot easily.  This makes it tough to climb ridges and steep banks comfortably, silently and safely.  These new hybrids, however, made the hike to and from the stand a real pleasure.

 The boots I tested were Deer Stalker  Extremes from Rocky.  They feature 1,600 grams of Thinsulate insulation and Gore’s Gore-Tex Supprescent fabric.  Supprescent reduces odor while making the boots waterproof and windproof in the process.  Other examples of this style of boot include the LaCrosse Gamemaster 1300 with 1,300 grams of Thinsulate and a comfortable leather walking boot design, and Cabela’s 1200 Gram Cordura Boots that feature 1,200 grams of Thinsulate in a durable, affordable Cordura design.  Another example is the RedHead 10-inch Leather Boot with 1,000 grams of thinsulate.

 I sized my boots so they would be slightly loose with a single pair of socks so that I could test a new Polartec bootie from Due North Apparel.  The bootie incorporates ComforTemp to help control temperature.  The material stores heat when your feet are warm, such as when you are walking, and gives it back when you sit immobile on stand.  Under it I wore only a thin polypro liner.  I never once experienced cold feet even though the wind chills hovered around 20 degrees below zero each morning.  That was a first for me.
 
 Conventional pack boot are also a great choice if you don’t have far to walk to reach your stand. Tinmerland’s 12-inch Iditarod Mukluks are extremely warm and waterproof.  LaCrosse’s Ice King boots are rated for minus 100 degrees and are also available in all-rubber design for maximum scent reduction.  Rocky’s Kenai are all rubber to protect your feet down to minus 100 degrees and reduce human scent.  Their Barrow features a rubber bottom and leather uppers and are for comfort rated to minus 135 degrees.  Field tested under arctic conditions, Sorel’s warmest pack, the Alaska, features ThermoPlus 100 inner boots and is comfort rated to minus 100 degrees.
 
 Make sure you buy boots with a little room to spare.  Most manufacturers don’t recommend a lot of bulk inside their boots.  One polypro liner under a medium-weight wool sock will get the job done nicely.  If you wear pack boots with removable liners it is well worth the money to buy a second pair of liners.  You will be surprised by how wet they can become from sweat as you walk to and from your stand.  The extra pair of liners permits you to swap them out at midday if you go back to the vehicle.  At the very least, make sure to remove your liners and insoles at night so they can dry thoroughly before the next morning’s hunt.

The Ultimate Layering System
 For expertice in layering using today’s high-tech materials I relied on input from Steve Culhane, Cabela’s Product Manager for Big Game Clothing.  Steve makes his living choosing the best new clothing systems to include in the catalog and his tried virtually everything.  I offered a typical cold-weather scenario: Nebraska in late December.  It’s 10 degrees on the thermomerter with a 20 mph wind causing the wind chills to bury in the double digits below zero.  It is a stand hunt with a falf-mile walk to and from.  Here are Steve’s recommendations for such a hunt: 

 “First, I’d pick the best underwear I could find.”  Steve said.  “In the Cabela’s line I really like the Polortec Power Stretch underwear.  It is thick and creates lots of dead air space close to your body.  I recommend the bib for really cold conditions, covered on top by the full-zip jacket.  The material stretches so it doesn’t affect your range or motion and has a slick outer surface so it doesn’t bind with other clothing making it easier to draw your bow.”

 A similar product in the Bass Pro Shops catalog is the RedHead Expedition Weight Polartec Fleece Thermal.  Other thick, long underwear systems will also work well in this application.

Deep_Freeze

 Over the long underwear Steve recommends a thick layer of fleece.  “Fleece is perfect for this layer,” he said.  “It is lightweight and offers great insulation as well as moisture wicking.  From our line I like the Fleece Layering Pullover for the upper body.  I wouldn’t use Windstopper on an inner garment because it won’t  breathe as well, but if you will also be using it as an outer garment on milder days Windstopper here gives you more versatility.”  A similar product in the Bass Pro Shops line is the Scent-Lok Pullover.

 Over everything, Steve likes a heavy bib and parka constructed with plenty of insulation and a windproof membrane.  In the Cabela’s line he suggested the Whitetail Extreme system.  The outer shell on this clothing is warped (brushed) polyester that is silent even in cold temperatures.  Don’t overlook the importance of wearing a bib instead of pants.  Bibs eliminate cold spots that can occur when wearing pants.

 Personally, I’m a big fan of vests because they offer insulation for your core but don’t restrict the movement of your arms as you draw your bow or climb down from your stand at the end of a long cold day.  When things are particularly cold I like a thick vest like the one made by Winona /High Caliber (800/851-4868) that I’ve worn for years.  It is a combination of wool and fleece that is both thick and large enough to keep me very warm while fitting comfortably over any combination of underwear.  In the Cabela’s line, Steve recommended the Berber Fleece Outfitter Series Vest.

When It Gets Really Cold
 Under the toughest conditions, almost any cold weather system needs help.  That’s where the over-boots, hand muffs, neck gaiters, electric socks and even body blankets find their application.

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 Heater Clothing (920/565-3273) offers a unique product for the cold weather hunters.  The Heater Body Suit is basically a poly-fill sleeping bag with legs.  The bag closes up tight around your neck and zips easily down the front allowing you to slip your arms out for the shot.  Shoulder straps hold the garment in place as you shoot, preventing it from flopping down and spooking game.

 Icebreaker Inc. produces two great items designed specifically to relieve cold hands and feet.   Boot Blankets zip on over your regular boots to add a layer of thick Hollofil insulation where you need it most.  They will keep your feet toasty in the coldest conditions.  I wear them regularly when sitting on stand for extended periods, and they permit me to endure at least 15-degree colder conditions.

 Ice Breaker’s Handblanket is a thick Hollofil hand muff held in place in front of you by tie straps that go around your waist.  You can stick a handwarmer inside to keep your hands warm with only thin gloves.  For more information contact Icebreaker Inc., Dept. B&AH, P.O. Box 236, Clarkseville, GA 30523; (800) 343-BOOT.

 A new over-boot system introduced this past winter appears to have a lot of potential.  The ArcticShield Boot Insulators (877/974-4353) are less bulky than Boot Blankets and constructed with a layering system that includes patented Reflek-Tek that reflects body heat.  The pair weighs one pound and can be rolled up for storage in a pack.  If we have cold temperatures again this fall you can bet I’ll be testing a pair of these.

 Investing in warm clothing is one of the few ways in which you can actually buy-up your odds for taking nice buck.  For every extra minute you can stay on a cold stand your odds for success increase:  the better the clothing system, the longer the hunt.  You’ll not only be a more successful hunter but you’ll also enjoy it more.

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