Archive for the 'Bowhunting' Category

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Published by mark kennedy on 31 Mar 2008


To most everyone who has ever shot a bow this really seems to be one of those questions better left unasked. Unfortunatly I have been readimg more and more about how archers are buying 70# 80# and 90# limbs so that the buck won’t jump their arrow.

I don’t mean to knock on everybodies hunting stories but seriously when I am shooting 40# and shooting 175 fps there aint no way that deer is jumping my arrow, so why the heck push the extra dollars for a few more feetper second?  I couldn’t understand it until an insightful at’er started a post about the many younger shooters that beliee they are invincible and will pull 80# there whole life.  Now not every young shooter is like this but as i read more and more about it i see why people generalize in this way and it is extremely dissapointing to see threads that even hint at suggestign that the more speed your bow packs or the more power it has the less perfect your shot needs to be.

Speed is not a substitute for anything, it doesn’t matter if your shooting 400 fps if you shoot the deer in the [email protected][email protected] all your gonna get for  your SPEED is a clump of hair and no deer, heck that deer may even thank you one day for given him the oppurtunity to live another year.

Poundage is the same thing, you don’t need 90# if you hit the animal in the heart, it’s just overkill, i mean 65# easily tears through a deer, all your doin is tearing up the trees as the deer runs away.  If anything is a substitute for anything else, skill, and talent is a substitute for speed and power, i’ll bet you for every 5 deer shot in the tail with an arrow shot at 90# your not going to get a single one.For every 5 deer shot in the heart at 45-55 # i’ll bet at least four will be drop dead. (always need to account for the inexperienced tracker or the occasional color blind hunter in the dark).

In my mind you always have a better chance taking a steady shot at 60# that is gonna rip through that deers vitals than a power shot to the tail bone, but lets just see who takes the better buck this deer season.

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Published by CLB on 31 Mar 2008

Photography – The Other Season

The big whitetail buck was slowly browsing near the dugout, he had one of the most unique racks I had ever seen.  Both main beams swept forward in a paddle like formation more like a moose than a whitetail.  I wanted a shot at this whitetail.   I slowly crawled towards a small patch of wolf willow that I figured would put me in a good position if he followed the path I figured he would.  The buck now had a companion and the doe would occasionally look towards me as they worked my direction.  She would only pay attention for a second or two, so my ghillie suit must have been doing its job.  The buck had now worked his way to within 35 yards and I prepared for the shot.  As the buck stopped to look in my direction I took the shot.  I then shot again and again. The buck slowly continued on his way out to feed.  I was ecstatic as I knew my shots were direct hits and the buck would continue on for me to shoot again another day.       

            Photography is a great way to extend your hunting season and to shoot animals you would otherwise let walk if hunting.  It is great practice if you are into spot and stalk and allows you to hone your skills on getting close to the animals.  The distances required to get a great photograph closely mimic bowhunting distances. The more time you can spend up close and personal with the animals you are after the more successful you will be once the season starts.  Photography allows you to spend more time out in the woods observing animal behaviour and this will do nothing but help you once archery season rolls around.  The great thing about photography is you are not limited to shooting a specific animal or species.  Many times I have went out with the intention of getting some deer photos when I happen across a bird of prey or other animal of interest which will totally change my focus for the day.  You are also not limited to specific season dates.  Photography is a year round sport and you can always find something to shoot no matter what time of year it is.  For those who like to have something to hang on your wall as a trophy you can still get a framed print of that special shot which looks great on the wall.  It can really be a bonus to get a great shot of a buck and then harvest him as well.

            Photography is like any other hobby and can get very expensive or not so much depending on the equipment you use.  Now a days with digital format cameras it is easier than ever to get out and get wildlife photos.  There are many point and shoot cameras on the market which will give you great results in the field.  When looking at point and shoot cameras, which will be your cheapest option, you will most likely want to get one that has at least a 10X optical zoom lens on it.  This will allow you to zoom in on the subject and not have an unrecognizable spot in the middle of your photo.  Many companies including Canon, Fuji, Panasonic, Sony and Nikon make cameras that will have at least a 10X optical zoom and some are up to 18X zoom.  Forget about digital zoom as it does nothing but degrade your photos.  Any cropping that may need to be done can be done on software on your computer.  Another nice addition to the camera is Image stabilization.  Image stabilization will allow you to shoot at slower shutter speed while still getting a crisp image.  This is something that comes in very useful in low light situations which you may encounter quite often when photographing wildlife, especially deer.  Some of the pros of a point and shoot camera is that they are usually fairly compact and light which will make them easier to carry around.  A second advantage of point and shoot cameras is that they are usually quite a bit cheaper and will suit a photographer who might be on a tight budget.  The photos they produce are still of high quality.  A couple cons of the point and shoots are that they can limit you in some ways.  They tend to have more background noise at high ISO ( basically this means your photos will appear somewhat grainy when shooting in lower light conditions).  They also do not have the flexibility of removable lenses which can limit your creativity with your photography. 

  If you want to spend a little more money you can invest in a digital SLR camera which will have removable lenses and will, overall, give you more options and allow you to be more creative with your photography.  SLR’s will tend to be heavier, and when toting around your extra lenses, quite bulky.  SLR’s and their lenses can also get fairly pricey.  Usually with this option you will buy a camera body and the lenses will be bought separately.  This is where it can get costly as some lenses will run in the several thousands of dollars.  Don’t let this scare you however, as there are many lenses that will fit nicely into most budgets.  Lenses are available with image stabilization just like on point and shoot cameras and some bodies are even coming out now that have image stabilization.  A good 300mm lens is a good starting point for wildlife and also a wide angle lens for landscapes is nice to have.  There are many zooms which cover a large focal range and these can be very usful ( eg sigma 50-500mm).  My dream lens would be a Canon 600mm f/4 IS lens but at around $7000 dollars I will have to keep dreaming.  Again there are many companies that makes digital SLR cameras to fit most budgets including Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sigma and Sony.  Which camera you purchase, much like which bow you purchase, is a personal choice and there are many photography review sites on the internet to help you make your choice. 

            Some of the accessories I feel I must have for my photography include a monopod, which is what I will generally use when taking wildlife photos.  It still allows some support for the camera to help with getting crisp photos and is still quite manoeuvrable when dealing with wild animals.  A tripod is also a must have.  I use it more for landscape photos, macro photos or long exposure photos but it can also be used for wildlife.  It will provide you with more support than a monopod and allow for a rock solid base.  As with any hobby there are countless accessories including filters, flashes, camera cases, additional lenses, storage media, laptops etc etc. that you can purchase as you find you need them.  It can be as simple, or for those who like the latest and greatest technology, as complicated as you want to make it.  The basics you will need are a camera a lens and a subject.  The most important thing is to get outdoors and enjoy mother nature and the animals we all love.

 Throughout the next year I will try and keep you up to date on how my photogrpahy is going in the field and share some of my photos here with you.  Hopefully it will get some of you interested in a great hobby.

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Published by Jeffress77 on 30 Mar 2008

How did you learn about scrapes? – An informative look into the detail regarding whitetail scrapes –

Growing up as a young hunter at the local shop or the 3D range, I would always hear other hunters chatting about rubs, scrapes, shed antlers, funnels, staging areas, and many other terms used about whitetail hunting in the Midwest.   Did I always know what the old guys were talking about?  That can be answered with a very quick “No.”  Now that whitetail hunting has become a passion and obsession that can only be understood by those men and women who also have my affliction, I can look back into my learning experiences to see exactly how and why I have learned so much.

Unlike many of the fine, budding youth hunters on the planet, I didn’t have a mentor.  My father worked hard to take care of my family.  With a newly handicapped mother, my dad found himself working just as hard at home as he did for a paycheck.  Hunting wasn’t a priority in his life.  My only living grandfather wasn’t healthy enough to take me out to the woods in the winter months.  Shooting sports and hunting, in general, were introduced by my uncle whose own family convictions kept him out of the woods for years upon end.  Hunting had no longer become a priority on his end of the line either. 

Although my first two or three outings into the whitetail woods were nothing to be excited about with single digit temperatures, double digit wind speeds, and heavy snowfall on public ground that hadn’t ever been seen by any of the four eyes of my uncle or myself, I was hooked.  The thought that a majestic creature like a deer may actually be that close to me, was more than I could bear.  I never set eyes on live deer that season, but I had to have more of that feeling.  After that, for years, I was forced to learn on my own.  I made my way into the thick brush and the outskirts of the Indiana croplands as often as I could during the season, paying no attention to wind direction, deer sign, or even getting off of the ground.  

Ten years later, hundreds of deer observed, and tons of blown opportunities behind me, I have developed a better understanding of what it takes to be successful “almost” every time that magical fall season starts approaching.  Continuous scouting for the season may just be the single most important tool in a whitetail hunter’s repertoire. 

When I look back to the days that words like scrapes, rubs, and funnels made as much sense as an Indian restaurant menu, I can laugh a little.  With a little more knowledge into the biology, and sexual tendencies of a whitetail deer, your hunting skills can be honed into what you always wanted them to be.  Trying to figure out why, when and where whitetail bucks and does make scrapes will only help in getting that buck you dream about.

Deer utilize a scrape, which is basically a pawing motion on the ground in conjunction with their scent glands and urinary/solid waste, to create a sexual or territorial marking for communication with other deer.  Deer use mainly five different glands to communicate with the other deer.  The pre-orbital (around the eyes), and tarsal glands (inside the hind legs) are familiar to most hunters, but whitetail bucks and does alike utilize the interdigital glands (between the hoof toes), forehead glands, and metatarsal glands (below the tarsal glands).  These scent glands leave a blueprint, unique to each deer, which may arouse curiosity, stimulation, or anger instincts to other deer in a scrape or on surrounding flora.

In the past 20 or so years creating your own scrape or continuing the curiosity or sexual impulses of an existing scrape has become a valuable addition in the hunter’s bag of tricks.  This is a fairly easy way of patterning deer, not only during the pre-rut, but all season. You can actually treat scrapes all year long during the pre/post rut periods by using “non-sexual” scents. By this I mean non-estrus urines or ammonia-based synthetics that are available on the growing scent market.

Sexual scents are present during stages of the rut, but not as effective any other time of the year. Using estrus urine in June or February is going to confuse the deer and possibly provide a means of avoidance in that area. If you are nearing the rut within two-three weeks (second week in October here in the Midwest), it would help to use a buck urine/dominant buck urine/tarsal gland/doe urine combination.  Providing a pre-orbital scent or an overhanging licking branch positioned lower (for use by does) and possibly one higher (for use by dominant bucks) are necessary additions to a good scrape. The buck urine provides a territorial scent, keeping the other bucks interested in who is visiting the same scrape that he is. The tarsal gland scent is another territorial scrape scent on which bucks will urinate in the scrapes to provide another point of territory and communication.  Female deer also often frequent scrapes to leave their urine, pre-orbital, metatarsal, and interdigital scent also. The licking branches are rubbed, licked, and nibbled to provide pre-orbital and forehead gland scent deposit as well.

During the rut, including the week before and possibly a few weeks after the final stages (of the first rut) is a good time to introduce estrus doe urine into the scrape. This will trigger the highly sexual interests of the bucks. The tarsal/urine buck scents from other deer will also trigger an intense anger towards another deer, possibly having the buck wondering “Who is coming here on my turf? Who is trying to get my females?”

Often, making these scrapes early in the season will allow for the deer to tend to the scrapes themselves. If one or two deer are interested in the scrape early on, they will tend to the scrape and leave their REAL scents in the FAKE scrape. Now your original FAKE scrape has become an ACTIVE scrape, the deer are using it regularly, and you may not need to tend to it again.

Since deer also often defecate in or around their scrapes, one technique that Michigan hunters Greg and Fred Abbas of A-Way Outdoors use with their scrapes is to put droppings from another buck in a different hunting area in their mock scrapes. Fred Abbas harvested a nice buck from a different part of the county, but also harvested his droppings and dirt from the scrapes in that area. Fred utilized the distant buck’s scents to make his own success in another area.

Use trail cameras or other forms of monitoring to observe your scrapes.  See what works and what doesn’t for your area. Try these great scent tactics this year, and make sure you use good scent-free methods of treating/making the scrapes. Use rubber boots, possibly gloves, and stay on the outside of the scrapes and never step too close. Maybe, just maybe, you will be able to baffle a kid at the local shop just I like used to be baffled when the good hunters started talking about their scrape success!

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Published by rose-n-arrows on 29 Mar 2008

My Husband-My Hero

glassing-in-fog.jpggetting-a-view.jpg     My husband thinks of me as a city girl.  When we met just over five years ago, I was an aspiring cosmetologist with the goal of entering into big city styling and glitz.  Don’t worry, guys.  That’s all you’ll hear about that subject.  Something happened along the way that changed everything.  I knew he was into archery and hunting.  I wanted to be around him as much as possible and since he liked to go shoot his bow, I went along.  He let me shoot a recurve with some odd arrows he had laying around.  Like most people, I had shot a few arrows as a kid, and I was excited to give it a try again.  I launched arrows into mucky swamps, blackberry thickets, trees, and an occassional bale.  I felt bad when some of the arrows vanished, but he just said, “They make ’em everyday.”  By the third time out, I was doing okay.  He always let me shoot from 20 yards so my confidence grew.  He gave me pointers and acted like I was doing so well.  One day he surprised me with a compound bow.  He had measured my draw beforehand, using some excuse that I believed because I didn’t know any better.  Soon after, he bought me a release.  I was no longer shooting from the 20 yard stake.  We went to 3-d shoots where I’d have to guess the yardage before shooting.  In the beginning, he told me to add a few yards or subtract a few yards.  Then I graduated into shooting it for what I figured it to be.  I went a little down hill for a couple of weeks, but we kept at it.  When I missed, he’d find something positive to say, like “Good line, just a little low.”  I was out-shooting a lot of guys at our club and at first I thought they’d be upset, but they were proud of me also.  I’ve been shooting for five years now and am on my third bow.  I’ve been the president of our archery club for three years and am involved with our state archery association’s hunting committee.  When my husband wants a new bow, sight, quiver, rest, strings, bow case, target bow, release….you know the deal…he gets it.  Our wedding anniversary will be spent in Redding, Ca. at the 3-D trail shoot.  I know his favorite color is camoflage, so Christmas and birthdays are easy.  As a hair stylist, I would share my stories with other gals (guys, too) and they want to play, too.  Men, take your gals out in the woods.  Don’t force them, but make them feel welcome.  Be patient and let them make some mistakes, just like you did at one time.  You might think they’ll get in the way, but women CAN learn-don’t be too upset if she gets an elk before you one of these seasons.  I’ve taken three deer and two elk(and a grouse) with a bow.  We hunt in the unforgiving terrain of the Pacific Northwest where we bicycle in many miles and hike many more.  Don’t underestimate what your gal may be able to do.  I didn’t pack out a quarter on my first hunt, but I can now.  I respect my husband for the incredible hunter that he is.  He has taken more Roosevelt bulls than many hunters take in a life time.  My husband is my hero.  Are you a hero?

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Published by keep on 28 Mar 2008

A Bowhunter’s Obligation

The morning starts to break, cool, crisp and new. Like all of us he sits in the stand waiting, listening. Then a snap of a twig and leaves shuffling, the adrenaline rush, then quiet again. Hours pass with nothing but hope, soon that hope passes as well.  It’s late morning and he starts looking forward to the next day because now it is time to get home and go about the business of taking care of life.

Meanwhile, his son/ daughter has gotten out of bed and started their normal day. A quick breakfast, little to no interaction with the rest of the family then rush off to their room to have a fun filled weekend watching TV or staying on the computer being taught values by someone other than their parent. Values we wouldn’t want them to have, nor would we approve of them. Values like animal rights, anti-hunting or worse.

Everything the father holds dear, the cool crisp mornings, ever-lasting friendships, the adrenaline rush, the enjoyment of an unsuccessful hunt and the exuberance of a successful hunt, will now be in jeopardy in the future. Not bringing the child into the fold may not create an anti-hunter, although it could, it will create an indifferent non-hunter. By not taking time to include him/her on the hunt mentioned at the beginning of the story will force the boy/ girl to get their enjoyment, knowledege and adrenaline rush else where.

I believe bowhunters are obligated to introduce this great sport to new non-hunters, especially kids, as they are our future. Although no deer were harvested in the hunt, valuable time was lost, time to teach, teach about nature, animal  movements, and just time spent together.  If we were to each make a commitment to get one new person involved per year we would increase our numbers greatly and the fear of our sport being legislated away would be all but gone within a decade.

I never thought it would be possible that I could ever watch someone else hunt and be more happy over their success than any I have had in the past, but it happened. I took my daughter on her first hunt which happened to be a bowhunt. She has been with me as I hunted for at least half the season every year since she was four, just learning and talking to each other. Now she is nine and she still has much to learn but that one weekend she took huge strides. As for me, to be there the first time she drew on and animal and let down because it was turned wrong, then again because another animal was behind it was an emotional roller coaster not only on me but her as well. Finally, it all came together and she pulled off a great shot and she had her first animal. If I could explain, and I can’t, the excitement, jubilation and squeals in the blind, I would tell you those noises would be etched in you mind forever as they are mine. I would also tell you that with all my love of bowhunting I would set the bow down and not pick it up again as long as I could sit next to her when she hunts. Yes, it’s that rewarding getting a kid involved.

The whole hunt I just described was an accumulation of getting a kid involved. I wasn’t the guy sitting in the tree by himself, I had her with me. She was with me when we spooked animals and when we both sat there coloring in coloring books. She was with me when she had complete melt downs in the blind because she fell asleep and got a crick in her neck and when she learned that the moisture in your breath will stick to the top of the blind when its cold and create a single snowflake that will fall every few minutes. She was with me at five when I had shot my biggest deer to date and with me when we met my wife to track her first deer she ever shot. She has turned into a great tracker and is heading to be a great hunter. In turn I got to be with her on her first hunt.

As I said before, it is our obligation to get the kids involved in order to sustain this sport we love. The rewards will be better that you could imagine, not monetary, but memories. After all that, the one thing I can say to you, my bowhunting brothers and sisters, is that you will not have to worry about my daughter being anti-hunting, she is and will remain one of us because I got a kid involved. I ask that you do the same and help our future.

The morning starts to break, cool, crisp and new. Like all of us he sits in the stand waiting, listening. Then the snap of a twig and the leaves shuffling, the adrenaline rush, then quiet again. He looks at her and says “did you hear that?”. She questions back “yea, what was that?”………………………………

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Published by Hyunchback on 28 Mar 2008

More practice

I’m making a committment to myself to practice more on my archery. When my local “range” was actually inside an operating business I felt like shooting archery was interfering with their business. They had to close certain doors and not use them while I shot.

But I went out to the range on the property of our club president and it’s entirely different.

Up to now ALL my shooting was indoor since I was around 17. Up to now my furthest target was 20 yards.

Today I shot outdoors with wind doing what it chooses and I shot to 30 yards.  I did try shooting the 40 yard target (which I shot only a few days before) but missed it. I’d been shooting for an hour and was tired. I didn’t have a solid sight picture and the result was a ruined arrow. Expensive lesson. I called it a day.

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Published by csinclair on 26 Mar 2008

Thoughts on becoming a 3D Archer / Bow Hunter


My Name is Craig Sinclair,  I have been an archery enthusiast for many years and a serious archer for the last couple of years.

As of late archery has become my passion and somewhat of an obsession, (eat, sleep, archery comes to mind), and I’d like to use this blog to track my progress  and development as I become a 3D Archer, (mostly due to the fact that I’ve only  been to an indoor range once, see photo), and eventually, when I feel I’m ready after a little more instruction, coaching and lots of practice, a Bow Hunter.

Craig at the Bow-Shop Range in K/W Ontario Canada

Join me if you wish in exploring the world of Archery from the perspective of a newbie, learn with me as I try and err and try again until I get it right.

Practice makes perfect,


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Published by Hyunchback on 26 Mar 2008

My new love. 3 D archery.

I’m in love.

I finally tried 3 D archery and love it.

Previously I shot 5 spot and assorted novelty targets but now I live in a part of the world with an over-abundance of deer.

I need to help reduce the overpopulation and 3 D is a way to prepare.

My first 3 D archery shoot

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Published by mafriend03 on 25 Mar 2008

Bowhunting Turkey Success Tips!

Bowhunting turkeys can be a challenge in itself, however if you take your time and do things right you should have a set of spurs and a beard on your wall quicker than you think, here’s how!

Do your homework! Typically a week or so before season begins I go out and mow down about an acre of tall grass and weeds, this seems to bring the turkeys in better than anything else. When I have knowledge of turkeys in my area I’ll go and wait about an hour or so before dark outside my truck and attempt to get turkeys to gobble at the sound of my owl call using the cadence “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all”. This will let you know where to set up the turkeys the next day.

Set up on em’ When hunting turkeys with a bow my set up of choice is out of a ground blind such as a double bull Matrix 360 to give me the optimal field of view. With the rapid success of strutting jake/tom decoys on the market I told myself I will never enter the woods again without one after my first attempt to hunt with one! Set up a hen decoy only 5-10 feet out side your blind directly facing your set up followed by a strutting tom decoy (a real tail fan adds realism) only about 10-15 feet away from your set up on a 45 degree angle facing your set up.This set up will ensure you that either a tom will come in to breed with the hen, or face the strutting tom decoy face on to fight.

Calling is overused and overrated! Most guys will go out and call and call and call just to feel macho that they can get a Tom to gobble… Put your ego aside if you really want to bag a long beard. While the Tom is still oh his roost (from the previous night you should know where this is) give him just a few SOFT yelps and purrs, nothing more because you don’t want to throw your whole bag of tricks at him all at once. Just let that Tom know there is another Hen in the area. Yelp approximately 4-6 times SOFTLY depending on how vocal the gobbler is. Once the Tom pitches from his roost give him a few (2-4) more yelps this time let him know your serious with a higher pitch. If the gobbler sounds like he is without a hen there should be no need to give him anymore than 2-10 yelp sequences in order to make that gobbler commit. If your gobbler is hened up (with a hen) you might need to do a bit of cutting on your call, this will excite not only the Tom but more importantly the Hen! Wherever the Hen goes you can expect the long beard to follow. Once the Tom spots your decoy set up, be prepared with your bow in hand and your release clipped on! It would be a huge benefit if you mastered a few calls on your diaphragm (mouth) call because once that gobbler comes running in to fight you may not get a chance to reach down and pick up your favorite call without being spotted.

Tips Wear black in the ground blind, remember the closest part of your body to the turkeys will be your hands, so cover them up! Put your fancy wrapped arrows away, again try to make your arrows as dark as you can (fletching also). Lower your bow poundage if you can, its better to have your arrow stuck in the bird rather than blowing right through it. “Hit em’ high, watch em’ die, hit em’ low, watch em’ go” is the old saying when shooting at turkeys with a bow. Try a large expandable broadhead, or even a broadhead designed to hit the bird in the head/neck if your confident in your shooting.


Best of luck!


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Published by Pabowhunter29 on 25 Mar 2008

The Best Broadheads for you

Whats the Best Broadhead for you? It all depends on what your hunting, what pound your shooting, and you over ability to tune a bow. If your your hunting big game like moose or elk, i would shoot a cut-on-contact head like the Magnus Stingers. But if your hunting deer, mostly every bow today has enough KE ( kinetic energy) to shoot any broadhead with the power for a pass-thru. If your bowhunting the Wild Turkey, i would shoot a Big mechanical head. But if your not   shoot a med. to high weight or your draw length is short, your best bet would be a cut-on-contact. But the best broadhead for you is the one your most comfortable with.


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