Archive for March, 2008

7 votes, average: 3.86 out of 57 votes, average: 3.86 out of 57 votes, average: 3.86 out of 57 votes, average: 3.86 out of 57 votes, average: 3.86 out of 5 (7 votes, average: 3.86 out of 5)
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Published by CLB on 31 Mar 2008

Field Photos – Preserve the Moment Forever

In the heat of the moment when we are hunting sometimes we forget to document our successes with a field photo or two.  Nothing brings back the memory of a hunt like a well taken photo.   Alot of photos end up being taken in the back of the truck or on the garage floor.  These types of photos while documenting our deer do not capture the essence of the hunt like we really want them to.  It only takes a few minutes to get good field photos and the photos will last a lifetime and bring back a flood of memories like the hunt happened only yesterday.  Field photos do not require any special equipment and even a point and shoot camera in the backpack will work.  What is really important is how you set up and compose the photo.  In the next few paragraphs I will try and set out a few guidlines for taking good field photos. 

The first step in getting a good field photo is to clean the animal up a bit before taking the photo.  Blood is a natural part of our sport but excessive blood can be distasteful even to other hunters.  Wipe off as much blood from the animal as you can and clean up around the mouth a bit.  Make sure the tongue is not hanging out.  If the tongue will not stay in the mouth you can go as far as cutting it off.  If you can, tuck the legs up under the animal for the photo.  This is not always possible if the animal has stiffened up or it is a very large animal like a moose.  Next try to  have the animal in its natural landscape, not in the truck or on the garage floor.  Have the animal set up so that there is not too much clutter in the background.  Clutter in the background such as bushes will make the antlers hard to distinguish.  If possible try and have the antlers against a clear sky.  Also make sure that there is no clutter in front of the animal.  Try  and clear any debris such as sticks, grass or other items which may cover any part of the animal. 

When setting up to take the photo try and get as low to the ground as possible.  Even lay on your belly if you have to.  Getting down on the animals level will give a more natural aspect to the photo and fully show off your trophy.  Try not to stand over the animal and hunter and shoot down on them.  Try and keep the sun at your back if possible or off to the side.  Taking photos with the sun at the hunters back will cause you to lose detail in the photo and can cause unsightly lens flares and can totally black out the hunter and animal with point and shoot cameras.  One thing to be careful of, as the photographer with the sun at your back, is to make sure your shadow is not in the photo.  If the hunter is wearing a hat the sun may cast a shadow across his face which will black it out in the photo.  If this is the case have the hunter remove his hat for the photo or use fill flash to brighten the hunters face.  If it is dark out make sure to use a flash or if possible you can wait and get photos the next morning.  This is not always an option with bowhunting as many times it is quite warm out and taking care to salvage the meat is very important.   Take many different angles of the animal and hunter,  this way you will always get an angle which will look the best in photos.  Fill the frame with the hunter and his or her trophy.  Having the animal and the hunter too small in the photo brings too many other distracting objects into the photo and makes the hunter and animal hard to see.   Try and not have the hunter hold the animal out at arms length in an attempt to make the animal look bigger.  This just gives an unnatural appearance to the animal.  Do not have the hunter straddle the deer.  It is best to have the hunter kneel or sit in behind the animal.   Try and have the hunter smile, this should be a happy moment.  If you are alone in the feild you do not have to go without a field photo.  Carry a small tripod with you or use a log or your backpack as a rest and use the self timer on your camera.  This can sometimes  take a little time to get a good photo but with digital cameras it is easy to check your photos and make sure you have a good one.

Field photos do not have to only be of the hunter and his or her trophy.  Photos of the hunter as they are hunting or sitting in their blinds or treestands also make great memories of the hunts.  Photos of your hunting buddies sitting around the camfire after a day hunting make great keepsakes.  Take photos of your hunting dogs or decoy spreads while bird hunting.  Anything that will help you remeber the day makes a great photo.    Hopefully these tips will help you capture that special moment the next time you are out hunting, and you can look back on your hunts and remember them for years to come.

5 votes, average: 2.80 out of 55 votes, average: 2.80 out of 55 votes, average: 2.80 out of 55 votes, average: 2.80 out of 55 votes, average: 2.80 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 2.80 out of 5)
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Published by wyojon137 on 31 Mar 2008

Five Days Hunting The Ghost

I put in my time that is for sure. I had applied for an X zone tag in Northern California for 6 straight years. Each year looking at maps and planning a trip that would be unique when compared to other hunt trips. Not that I would be farther out in the wilderness or physically challenged more so than in other years. But a trip that would put my bow hunting skills to an ultimate challenge, a spot and stalk hunt in the Northern California Wilderness. I have hunted here before and the deer seem to be a whole lot more educated that anywhere I have ever hunted. Mainly Blacktails with a few Mule Deer that migrate from Nevada, they are simply ghosts of the early morning, seldom seen and never heard.

So it started in the summer of 2007 when my X zone tag appeared in my mail. I was so excited I darn near started packing my truck in June. The hunt in October I began again doing my research in the hundreds of dollars of topo maps I have acquired of the area over the years. I called my Dad who lives near the hunt area, and asked him to do some scouting in the areas that I liked on my maps food, shelter and water, where you find that you will find deer just a matter of time.

Finally after a few agonizing months wait, one scouting trip the month before and a truck full of supplies, I was on my way. I met up with my father, my long time hunting partner and best friend, at his home 2 days before season. We threw together our pack and headed for the mountains. The night before opener I cold front blew in and dumped a foot and a half of snow on our base camp. I was quite pleased as I knew there would be deer up and feeding now that the storm had blown over. What I was not pleased about was how many people I saw, we had done our scouting but never took into account what prime location this was. After running into two other camps I decided to go over to the next side of the mountain, there was still good feed and with all the activity on this side the deer were likely to be headed over there.

I spent the first three mornings glassing a ridge line of oaks about 4 miles from camp that had seen quite a bit of activity in the last few days. I was seeing lots of deer, but that is just it, the ghost I was looking for was still absent. I spent the fourth day hunting near camp as there had been a large herd pushed through there by nearby hunting pressure. Again I never saw anything worth taking none of these deer were mature.

The deer I was looking for I found in September while I was scouting. A respectable four by four that had been the biggest one I saw in 3 days of scouting. He appeared as a ghost in the mist of the early morning and just as soon as hear showed his majesty, he was gone. Really I was getting discouraged. I had only planned 5 days of hunting, I have a job to get back to and I was right in the middle of my busy season. It seemed that all hope was lost. I could have taken a number of younger bucks, but I could do that back home. It was mid day when I decided to pack me a day pack with a tent and all my supplies and head on a hike to were I figured my deer might have went. I trekked out and headed northeast 9 miles, it was now or never. I finally made camp about 11:30 and set down for a good old dehydrated dinner. I had decided that I would shoot the first legal buck that I could with the short amount of time I had left.

I woke about an hour before dawn, had a bit to eat and slowly made my way to a ridge to glass that I had found on my map. What I found that morning was absolutely amazing; it was literally a deer haven. No one had made it out this far to hunt and just a mile east was all private. I had hit the jackpot, my deer had to be here somewhere, food water and shelter, it was just a matter of time. I slowly went from vantage point to vantage point and spent time glassing. By about 9 AM I found him. I would recognize this deer anywhere, the ghost, he deliberately and carefully made his way from mighty oak to mighty oak browsing on falls bounty of acorns, me in toe just a few hundred yards away, I watched as he wisely chose a bedding location to lay down for the day and that is when I made my move.

I went South around him and headed up the next ridge to position above him for a kill. Anyone that has hunted spot and stalk in the mountains knows just how far a few hundred yards really is. Two hours passed as I got behind him and above him. I pulled out my range finder and he was 250 yards still, I was hunting with my trusty Pearson recurve so I knew I needed to be less than thirty yards to kill, and that was pushing it. I spotted a rock outcropping that sat just above and to his right that would be perfect. The next 2 1/2 hours were the longest most agonizing of my life. I couldn’t move to fast or the ghost would pick me off and head out. I couldn’t move to slow because he would be getting up to feed or water soon. Every sound I made hurt, I wanted this deer bad enough that my patients was being tested to the max. I slowly made my way down the ridge, 100 yards to go. I took off my boot and threw on some extra sock. I painted my face, rolled down my sleeves and was ready to make a stalk on the ghost.

I slipped though the grass sticks and acorns undetected and at a snails pace. I closed the distance to 50 yards in no time, my heart started to beat a little faster, my breathing was quickened. I steadily made my way towards the rock, stopping every time he would twitch his ear or turn his head. I got to the rocks, my heart was uncontrollable, I leaned around them to get a range and he was 23 yards, close enough I thought, “Don’t mess this up it is your only chance.” I leaned out around the rocks once more I had a good broadside shot on the ghost that was still bedded down, I grabbed my bowstring drew to a solid anchor and let my arrow do it’s work, the 125 Magnus on the end did what it was supposed to, the buck ran 30 yards and piled up. I had done it, and now my heart and breathing was more out of control that it was before, I fell/sat down on the ground and let the adrenaline rush through me. The ghost was dead, the hunt was over, and the only thing left was the real work ahead of packing him out. But no bother, I would gladly pack him out again, guess it will just have to wait till next season.

4 votes, average: 2.50 out of 54 votes, average: 2.50 out of 54 votes, average: 2.50 out of 54 votes, average: 2.50 out of 54 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5)
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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.

5 votes, average: 3.80 out of 55 votes, average: 3.80 out of 55 votes, average: 3.80 out of 55 votes, average: 3.80 out of 55 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5)
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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 wyojon137 on 31 Mar 2008

Don’t Like Antelonpe, Then Cook It Like This

It seems that a lot of people here where I live really give Antelope a beating on how it tastes. Now I will be the first to admit that, yes it is quite strong, often has a bad smell and requires one heck of a recipe. Well I happen to have one that is just that. I came across this a while ago and figured that I would share it with you guys here on the talk. It is cheep and easy and will be sure to help assist you on getting rid of some of the antelop out of your freezer, I know it has mine.

Sweet and Sour Antelope

1 pound anntelope round steak, cut into thin strips

1 3/4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 clove garlic, whole

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup pineapple juice

3/4 cup pineapple chunks

1 green pepper cut into chunks

Place antelope, water, salt, soy sauce and garlic in a two quart sauce pan. Cook on HIGH until at a boil, about 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until meat is barely cooked, about 12-15 minutes. Remove meat and set aside. Dicard garlic. Strain broth through cheesecloth to remove meat drippings; save broth. (I am cheep so a coffe filter works just fine.)

In a sauce pan, blend the sugar, caornstarch, vinegar, pineapple juice and ginger until smooth. Gradually stir in meet broth and mix well. Cook on HIGH until sauce in thick and transparent; stirring thoroughly about every two minutes until done, about 6-8 mintues.

Combine sauce ith antelope meat, add pineapple and green pepper. Allow mixture to sit befor serving. Serve over rice and enjoy.

2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Published by mark kennedy on 31 Mar 2008

Don’t Knock it till’ you’ve tried it!

I don’t know about the rest of the bowhunting community but one of my favorite foods i like to keep around the house is jerky. I’m not talking about that overpriced distasteful jerky in the Wal-mart checkout line, i’m talking real game jerky made in some of the best recipes i have ever been pleasured enough to try.

Here are some of my favorite game jerky recipes

The mild flavor of turkey makes a perfect starting point for your favorite flavors in this turkey jerky recipe. It is also lower in fat than beef jerky. Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your own tastes. If you do not own a dehydrator, you can use your oven on the lowest setting and leave the oven door slightly ajar for air circulation.


  • 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons mesquite flavoring liquid
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound turkey meat, sliced thin


Combine liquid smoke, soy sauce, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mesquite flavoring, onion powder, garlic powder, and kosher salt in a large zip-top bag.Add turkey strips to the Marinade, seal, and squish to coat all the meat. Re-open the bag, squeeze out all the air, re-seal, and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

Remove turkey strips from marinade and gently pat off excess moisture with a paper towel. Place strips in a single layer, with space in between, on dehydrator racks. Dehydrate until turkey jerky is leathery and chewy but not crisp enough to snap when bent.

Store jerky in sealed bags in the refrigerator.

Now some of you may be thinking TURKEY JERKY? But i kid you not this recipe rivals some of the best jerky i have ever had, i like to add my own little twist though to give it a little sweet taste add some honey mustard just a smidge, gives it a nice sweet taste.

Heres another of my favorites and as you can see there are a dozen ways these can be prepared:

Venison Jerky

All of the following are for 5 lbs of venison, or work great with ground beef (90% lean or higher).

Mix all of the ingredients together that are listed in the recipes and then marinade for 12-24 hrs.
All the ingredients can be adjusted to taste.
I like black pepper, so the amounts listed below might be reduced to 2 -3 tsp.,
for those that don’t have the same palate for its’ flavor.

EZ Style:
5 tsp. salt 1 1/2 cup soy sauce 5 tsp. black pepper 1 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup brown sugar

Yankee Style:
5 tsp. salt 1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce 1 finely chopped onion 5 tsp. black pepper

Baja Style:
5 tsp. salt 5 tsp. black pepper 2 Tbs.. coriander 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Oriental Style:
5 tsp. salt 5 tsp. black pepper 1 large minced onion 5 cloves pressed garlic 1 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup soy sauce 1 1/4 cup red wine 1 1/2 cup pineapple juice

Taj Mahal:
5 tsp. salt 3 tsp. curry powder 5 tsp. black pepper 4 cloves pressed garlic 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. ground ginger 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 1 cup cream sherry 1/2 tsp. cumin

Colorado Pioneer:
6 tsp. salt 20 tsp. black pepper 2 cups beef bullion (4 cubes)

Valley Style:
1 1/2 cups soy sauce 1 tsp. nutmeg 5 Tbs.. Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp. ginger
5 tsp. black pepper 10 tsp. liquid smoke 4 cloves pressed garlic 5 tsp. crushed peppers, dried
1/4 tsp. powdered onion (hot or mild)

These recipes ought to give jerky fans all over plenty to chew on, i’ve got plenty more and will add them on just chew on these for a while.

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Published by mark kennedy on 30 Mar 2008

Back Tension And Target Panic

Hey everybody,

I know how frustrating it can be learning to use a true backtension release.  I know how much time and effort must be put into the practice and proper execution of a backtension release.  I am definatly not a perfect back tension shooter, heck just today I had a lot of problems getting my back tension to go off at a local tournament.  But I have been shooting with a back tension for 2.5 yrs and i think it i may be able to help some new guys get into it with a lot less frustration than i had, by informing people of the many ways not to start learning a back tension.

 I started 2.5 yrs ago with a tru-ball ultra 3 backtension release.  I had just started to get into spot shooting and was struggling with TARGET PANIC.  Everybody gets it at one time or another, and boy is it troublesome.  I was having such a problem i almost gave up shooting all together.  Finally i was in my archery shop one day and was discussing possible ways to get rid of target panic when one of the pros that frequent the shop told me about the back tension release. 

He explained to me the ideal shot,what he called a SURPRISE SHOT. The purpose of the surprise shot was to 1 reduce the urge to punch the release creating steady grouped shots 2. reducing the ability to predict when the shot was going off enabling the shooter to keep from grabbing or torquing the bow as it arrow leaves the rest.

 It sounded like a miracle to me, like the locked door to better scores that i sttod before had just swung open.  I bought a backtension and couldn’t wait to try it.  So I got my bow, loaded an arrow, and stepped to the twenty yard line. That was my first mistake, when shooting a backtension the first few times, even if you have read all about them and seen people shoot them if you have never shot one yourself than pull a bail to five yards.  I didn’t get my bow back 6 in, when that release tripped and that arrow went straight into the wood next to the twenty yard bail.

Always start at five yards, it is the most important thing, Also take your sight off, start by just trying to get the release back.  If available have somebody who shoots a backtension CORRECTLY watch you and comment on your form and technique.  Once you are able to get it fully drawn follow these steps to help get you started, a variation or simplification of these steps is fine whatever works for you because you are the one shooting the release.

1. set your rear shoulder so that your rear forearm is parallel to the ground and in a locked comfortable position.

2. set your front shoulder/arm in a broken arm fashion, you don’t want your arm locked out, this can cause yu to strap yourself and will make it hard to use a backtension.  You only want your arm to be slightly bent.

3. set your release hand to a TOUCH POINT on your face that is easily remembered and does not move your front or rear setup.

4. Aim

5.while you continue to aim push the bow into the target with your shoulder not with your elbow as this will cause inconsistent pressure, as you focus on the x on the target, the pin may move but just focus on the target, push the bow into the target.  At the same time pull with your release hand into the wall behind you as if you are going to drive your elbow into the wall.

6. keep focusing on the target, pushing and pulling, and before your ready more than likely that shot will be gone, if you anticipated the shot, you did wnot follow correct form, maybe you pulled with your outside fing er instead of pulling straight back, this is called TRIPPING THE RELEASE.

TRIPPING THE RELEASE is the process of turning a backtension release to the point that the hinge releases the bow.  This form is inconsistent and should not be used, Although i have seen some pros shoot this way very well it is not a SURPRISE SHOT.  the whole prupose of learning the back tension is to get this surprise and reduce target panic and get better form, turning the release accomplishes none of these things.

 Afetr 2.5 yrs I am still learning my backtension and I hope to have it perfect soon, but the best thing i can suggest is to blank bail, we all hate it and nobody does it enough but it is really the best way to learn the relaese.  When you are sitting on the couch get a shoestring and simulate yourself shooting a backtension using your release and a shoestring during commercials, my coach gave me this same advice and i’ll tell you it is a lot less boring than hours of misguided blank bailing and it i find it works well.

 I hope this information helps people to better understand the advantages of a backtension and its proper use, don’t give up no matter how long it takes because eventually you’ll get it, just keep working at it.

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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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