Archive for August, 2008

9 votes, average: 3.00 out of 59 votes, average: 3.00 out of 59 votes, average: 3.00 out of 59 votes, average: 3.00 out of 59 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5 (9 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Published by mark mead on 31 Aug 2008


My life has been a long one, a good one. I have had my ups and I have had my downs just like every one else here on this world, fortunately for myself and my grandson who tagged along, I was well off in the financial region of my life. My grandson and I have been on many hunts together, in Canada, in the Rockies and in Michigan’s upper peninsula. To me though none could compare to my dream hunt, AFRICA. Since i was a little boy growing up i had always wanted to travel the world, it wasn’t until i got older that i decided I wanted to hunt across the globe as well. It was in my late 40’s i presented the idea to my daughter for at this time my grandson was only 16. As any mother probably would she jawed my ears right off with the traditional he is just a boy and who do you think you are his father?

His mother managed to keep him at bay all the way until the day after his eighteenth birthday when we got on that plane together. I had been saving for some time now, and well so had he. You see my grandson grew up around animals, at the same time his mother coddled his mind around the idea of photography, well when everything played out he got a scholarship to some fancy art school to learn to be a wildlife photographer. So when I decided to go to Africa he didn’t take his bow at all, he saved every penny he made and bought himself a 2,000 dollar camera with a bunch of other equipment. We arrived in the evening near Namibia, and checked into a hotel for the night. our guide called that same evening to say he would be at the hotel at 3 in the morning! Even for hunting I thought that was a little extreme, but he assured me time was of the utmost importance. I had purchased tags for 2 animals only a rhinoceros and a male lion. Our guide explained that as we only had 3 days to hunt it would take time to go between the zones where the different animals lived. It took only 4 hours to reach the first zone where i hoped to find my rhinoceros. Our guide brought us to a watering hole in the middle of nowhere, the mosquitoes were swarming like i have never seen before, like a swirling black cloud of death they seemed to hang just above the beast I now sought as he drank at the water hole. The sun had lit the sky, it was into the morning as my grandson and i sat behind the tall grass him with his camera, and I with my bow. Right as I loaded my bow my grandson was snapping away furiously at this beautiful rhino. you can see to the right, this is one of his photos from our hunt.

I drew back took a longer breath than I normally do and released praying all the while my arrow flew straight. With a deafening roar i would have expected from a lion the rhinoceros bolted 10 yards crashing through the shallow mud hole only to trip and somersault head over heels. It was here he lay, it was here that I ended my first day. on the safari, my great bow hunting trip in Africa.

Now more than ever i wish i could elate the next two days and end with a nice “and i came home with my two dream trophies.” but that isn’t what happened, i came home with a rhino for a trophy, unfortunately my big cat hunt came up empty two days of nothing but sweat and mosquitoes, and everybody has already had enough of those little buggers already.

All in all i don’t think I would have given that hunt up for anything, nothing seems to really make memories like spending time with a loved one. I will never forget the time i spent in Africa even though it was only three days, being with my grandson made it worth a lifetime.

8 votes, average: 3.50 out of 58 votes, average: 3.50 out of 58 votes, average: 3.50 out of 58 votes, average: 3.50 out of 58 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
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Published by mark kennedy on 31 Aug 2008




In the past there has only been one choice when selecting a broadhead and that is the fixed blade type, until recently. In the last few years technology has advanced allowing the bow hunter to attain a large selection of mechanical broadheads to choose from. What type of broadhead each person chooses has more to do with the individuals skill level and bow specs than most hunters realize.

Fixed Blade Broadheads

Fixed blade broadheads have always been the broadhead of choice. A fixed blade broadhead is a broadhead with blades that are fixed in the open position. This type of broadhead cuts on impact which is a more efficient way of starting the wound channel, the blades cut into the animal and prevent the wound from closing, allowing the hunter a more detectable blood trail. Fixed blade broadheads also tend to be more durable than their mechanical counterparts. Since the blades are fixed within the head itself and are unable to move they are lasting and reliable.

Fixed blade broadheads also have higher penetration than mechanical broadheads, due to the fact that they cut on impact and do not waste energy opening their blades. Neither choice is perfect yet the only negatives with fixed blade broadheads is they have a tendency to plane when shot out of high speed bows and can be thrown by the wind. Arrows with fixed blades are also difficult to tune. These negatives can be reduced drastically by aligning the blades with the fletching of the arrows.

Mechanical Broadheads

Mechanical broadheads are relatively new, and are fast becoming popular in today‘s hunting world. The up side to this hip new design is that mechanical broadheads have a greater tendency to fly straight and shoot similar to field points, this is because the blades of a mechanical broadhead are unexposed in flight and therefore are not affected by wind in the way fixed blades are. Mechanical broadheads also offer larger cutting diameters which aid in faster more humane kills.

Mechanical broadheads do have some negatives, they tend to require a faster arrow speed to ensure penetration, this is due to the fact that they loose energy when they open. This type of broadhead can malfunction when opening and has been known to be deflected off bone.

An Individual Choice

From our reading above we now have more of a realization that choosing the right broadhead depends more on you and your bow than on the broadheads look or packaging. An individual shooting a slower bow, generally 250 fps or less the fixed blade variety is the best choice for your bow. An individual shooting a very fast bow who limits their range, may want to try using these new mechanicals for they can offer many advantages.

No matter what broadhead an individual chooses, equipment does not improve a faulty shot, practice often to ensure a happy hunt.

8 votes, average: 2.75 out of 58 votes, average: 2.75 out of 58 votes, average: 2.75 out of 58 votes, average: 2.75 out of 58 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5)
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Published by 350 fps on 29 Aug 2008

Whats Happening

  We are at a crossroads in our country. I want to discuss 2 issues here. The first issue I want to write about is gun ownership rights. We recently had a court case in the supreme court that threatened the 2nd amenddment. I watched this case closely. I also watched idiot america sit back apatheticly and do nothing. These people care more about whats happening on american idol than the 2nd amendment be threatened by the gun grabbers. Its sad. Apathy leads to dependance which leads to bondage. This is history but idiot america doesnt care.

     The case went in favor of the true constitutional defenders but we were one vote away from losing it. The court is now split with 4 liberal socialists and 4 freedom loving conservatives with one middle of the road justice. 

   Justice kennedy is the deciding vote in most case and he is aging fast. This next election will decide the direction of the court if Kennedy retires. Obama will throw another Ginsberg in the mix. Can we afford to lose the 2nd amendment to gun grabbers? I say no!!!!

  No other amendment has regulations defining it like the 2nd. We have 20000 or more gun laws and no one seems to care. What if we had 20000 laws governing the press or churches? Wake up before its too late. We are one judge away from losing the freedoms of the 2nd amendment.


   My next issue is the hunting land issue. We are losing hunting land at an alarming rate. Farms are being sold off and turned into subdivisions daily. Public lands are being bought by developers and bulldozed over in the name of progress. Many family owned farms are now owned by corporations which do not allow hunting. Timber companies are raping the forests at an alarming rate also. How much longer will hunting be available to the working man? 

    If youre wealthy and can afford your own piece of land then this post isnt for you. Enjoy what you have to the fullest. You work hard for it and I dont begrudge ya. My point is that as the population grows here how do we hang on to traditions? How much longer will hunting be ok? WIll we ever get to the point that ONLY rich people can hunt? Will we see the gun grabbers win? Think about this before you punch that button in november.

9 votes, average: 4.00 out of 59 votes, average: 4.00 out of 59 votes, average: 4.00 out of 59 votes, average: 4.00 out of 59 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5 (9 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Published by wingerwingbones on 28 Aug 2008

Wingbones Made Easy….

For most people placing the tail and beard of there wild turkey on a plaque is enough of a remembrance for there trophy. For me and many other people thats not enough, one of the best parts of the wild turkey is in there wings which is often overlooked but can be just as beautiful, if not more beautiful then the tail itself. I am not talking about just the wings of course but the bones that lie inside. These bones are very unique and have been used to make turkey calls for hundreds of years, in fact these bones where used by Native Americans to produce the first tool ever to imitate a wild turkey. I am going to show you a step by step guide on how to turn your birds wings into beautiful turkey calling machines.

Step 1: Wingbone Removal

There are three separate bones that are used in a wingbone call. The largest bone of the call is the Humerus it is the bone that connects the wing to the bird so be careful removing the wings as this bone cannot be cut so you need to cut the wings out around this bone. The next bone needed is the Ulna it is the second largest bone and the center of the wingbone call, this bone and the Radius bone are connected at the ends. The Radius is the smallest bone of the call but its length is important in making proper pitch of wild turkeys.

Step 2: Wingbone Prep.

Once you have all three bones needed for your call you can start cleaning them up. After you have the bones out of the wing and uncut, boil them in a pan for 10-15mins. Once the bones are boiled cut any excess meat off the bones using a knife, the meat should pull right off since the bones have been boiled. Now that all meat is off the bones cut each joint end off the bones using a hand saw or cut off wheel, cut about one inch off both ends on the Humerus and Ulna, cut only the joint ends off on the Radius, this will leave your mouth piece small enough to fit comfortably on your lips. Once the bones have been cut you will notice right away that each bone does of course have bone marrow. The Humerus bone is the only that the marrow is webbed into the bone and will need a little elbow grease, I use a knife to break the majority of it out and then a rat tail to file the inside walls smooth. The other two bones have mostly liquid and the majority will come out with a pipe cleaner. Now that you have the bones clean, soak the bones in 50/50 water/bleach (to much concentrate of bleach will eat bones away) for about three-five hours. Once the bones have dried from the bleach use fine sandpaper and file the outside of the bones smooth, the ends of the Ulna may need some excessive sanding to fit properly into the Radius and Humerus.

Step 3: Bonding Bones Together

Now that you have your three bones clean, sanitized, and smooth you can get them ready for the epoxy. Each joint will need to be stuffed with cotton for support and strength, make sure the cotton does not go to deep into the joint, blocking the inside of the bone. When the bones have been supported with cotton you can turn the bones so they are lined up how you want them. To bond the joints together you will need 2 ton epoxy, mix the epoxy with a Popsicle stick and apply the epoxy so it lays smooth around the joint. You can stick the bone on an arrow or a pencil so the epoxy can set with the bone propped upward. After the epoxy has set about 10-12 hours you can now sand any excess epoxy off so the joint transition is smooth, this will make it easier to wrap any kind of thread over the bone.

Step 4: Decorate Your New Call!

Well your wingbone is assembled, now you can make it yours by decorating and perfecting it. I like to use Gudebrod rod wrapping thread to wrap the joints, this will really “make” the call since the transition will be smooth it makes the three bones look like they are one. The options are endless for your call, you can get very creative, I like to use a fine point sharpie and draw art on the bones, sign and date them, you could also write the specs of the bird. Many people add a camo lanyard for easier field use.To give the call a finishing look, add several coats of clear coat enamel, be careful on the first few coats, the ink you wrote on it will “run” if the enamel gets to thick to quickly. The best way to coat your call is just lite coats to thick coats as the call gets covered with the enamel.

Talking Turkey

Your call is complete and your probably wondering “how the heck does this thing talk turkey?” Well your wingbone will talk turkey very well with a little practice. First you need to grip the biggest bone of the call between your index and base of your thumb, leave the rest of your hand open and let the call just sit in the base of your thumb and index. Pucker your lips together firmly and make small sucks, bring the tip of the Radius bone to your lips so the tip just presses against your puckered lips. Make small sucks with the call pressed on your lips, these sucks should sound somewhat like a yelp, perfect that yelp until it sounds exactly like a yelp. From there you can make yelps, clucks, putts, purrs, and even gobbles (so I am told).




8 votes, average: 3.13 out of 58 votes, average: 3.13 out of 58 votes, average: 3.13 out of 58 votes, average: 3.13 out of 58 votes, average: 3.13 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 3.13 out of 5)
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Published by mark kennedy on 27 Aug 2008


Just this year I found the biggest hunt of my life being dropped into my lap like a ball of string to a cat. On my way to a local 3D shoot a long time friend and fellow archer decided to relive one of his canadian bear hunting tales to myself and another gentleman nearby. As he revealed his hunting story I tuned my bow a little more and tried to concentrate on winning the shoot. Noticing my blatant disregard for what had become group story time, my friend looks to me and says “you know mark i have to tell ya, I could talk on and on about that bear hunt but it would be a little better if you tagged along this year and seen it for yourself.” he continued on to tell how another archer in his party had dropped out last minute and if I gave him half the original cost of the trip, he’d give me the last seat on the trip.

At first i was skeptical but by the time the last arrow was shot that day I was heading to the bank to get the trip money and before i knew it I was headlong into the biggest hunting trip of my life. Now being from Michigan some might say that I should be used to the weather, being so close after all. First off, I’m not all that close it was a 20 hour drive straight through to the guides cabin. Secondly I was definitely not well acclimated to the rough weather. The first morning of our excursion it was a scorching negative12 degrees, and as we slipped into our hunting gear i wondered if a bear was really worth the long cold hours that awaited me. Unfortunatley it was already too late as our guide shuffled our small hunting party to the first zone on our bear hunt.

As we entered the first zone the sun was just peaking the tree tops and the departing night sky was a crisp red against the oncoming pale blue morning sky as the start of our hunt began. Our guide was a little old fashioned, said he didn’t believe in the use of calls. So we stuck to t

he tried and sometimes true method of “spot and stalk”. After 3 and a half hours rumbling amongst the bushes hour guide motioned us into a clearing it was hear about one hour later we saw our first bear. in the clearing stood a large male bear n

ot more that 350 yards out and heading towards us. The wind was in our favor as jason the group photographer decided to snap a few shots.

first kill by kirk 30 yardsAs the bear moved in I was personally in shock as to how quickly our first kill was going to come to us.

Never count your trophies before they are tagged right? Well in this case it is true for at thirty-five yards the bear looked directly at us and took off in the nearby thicket. the group decided right then that it was the camera and no more pictures were allowed. the next two hours were pointless as we tried to find our runaway bear, eventually we decided to head back and put an end to our first day on our great Canadian bear hunt.

On our second day we decided to move into the second zone our guide had provided for us, and as a surprise to all involved our runaway bear showed up early off, and he had brought some friends, two more males had pulled into the clearing one larger than our runaway one roughly the same size. All three males were focused on a female padding through the thicket putting us at 40 yards out and closing we all had good shots and being as how this was our second of a small 3 day trip we were ready to take a shot. I drew my bow first followed by the old veteran kirk. both of us let loose one after another mine striking in the shoulder while kirk shooting the larger bear dropped his 15 yards from impact. The third bear never took a hit because our photographer decided shooting pictures was more important than getting his bear, his loss. It took us the next 45 minutes too find my bear dead beneath a large pine tree, the arrow barely piercing his heart.

All in all we had a successful trip and with both our tags filled kirk and I called in our kills to be mounted, and started packing for the return trip as soon as we reached the cabin. Jason too was satisfied with his abundance of bear pictures, he stated he probably would have missed anyways. What I look forward to the most is next years 3d season because this time I am telling the hunting story.

7 votes, average: 3.00 out of 57 votes, average: 3.00 out of 57 votes, average: 3.00 out of 57 votes, average: 3.00 out of 57 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5 (7 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Published by mark kennedy on 27 Aug 2008

The Mud Upon My Boots

I was a fox, gliding swiftly through the underbrush, my footsteps falling upon deaf ears as I searched for my prey. The wind whistled through the branches of the trees I clung to, chilling the already crisp air. Nature seemed to fight against the wind as if it were trying to steal the very life of the trees around which it whirled.tree in the rocks

I had seen nothing in the last hour and a half; the sun was now clearly visible through the widening holes in the murky fog. The crisp early air had begun to warm, and the winds had stilled. All was quiet in the forest near my home, as I shuffled across a fallen tree I give the view a once over.

I am at the highest point of the grounds now and can see most of the layout. In the distance I see what i think is a field of brush, excellent hunting territory. I slowly descend towards the supposed field, careful not to scare any wandering game. As I near my destination i realize it is not a field of brush as i had supposed but a stream of rocks and brush.

As I make a steadfast climb to a rocky outcrop in far corner of the grounds, as I near the top I spy the thing I have been searching for. Unfortunately my game has spied me as well. As I clamber down the opposite side of the rocky slab, the beast is making a dash for the underbrush. Chance must favor me today; the rocks are solid and extend for a good mile, this whole area is a silhouette against the rest of the hunting arena, a rocky scar upon the beauty of the forest. Rocky Outcrop Beneath Brush Pile

There is a kind of silent triumph as I weave my way down towards the brush; at ten yards I stop to load my bow. Slowly I jounce the limbs of the brushpile under which my prey now waits, My hands are slick with sweat and mud from the morning’s travels. Patience is unneeded; this is the most exciting, exhilarating and distressing part of the hunt. The snap of a twig brings me back to the situation a hand, just in time to see a patch of fur. The string creaks as I break back my meager 55 LB bow, and settle in. Then it happens, in a split second of action that lasted a lifetime, action you only expect from the movies, my game takes his first steps from his hiding place, the first step is cautious but crucial, and as I take aim he steps out. In 2 seconds he is running from the brush.

The climax of my day’s adventures has arrived, this is the breaking point, and as I release the bow the beast looks at me. Looking at me as a man condemned would look upon himself. Then the lights leave his eyes, and my catch is still. Not a bad day all in all, the beast is the largest rabbit I have seen all week and well worth the wait.

The sun is now high in the sky as I sling my catch over one shoulder and lean my bow over the other. As I start home I can’t help but think about how I am going to explain to the misses, all the mud upon my boots.

5 votes, average: 4.20 out of 55 votes, average: 4.20 out of 55 votes, average: 4.20 out of 55 votes, average: 4.20 out of 55 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5)
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Published by kbrando on 27 Aug 2008


Still lots of time to get your Blog submissions in! Archery Talk is giving away awsome prizes for the winners!

So get blogging people! all the rules and regs are posted. I look forward to reading all of your blogs!


13 votes, average: 3.38 out of 513 votes, average: 3.38 out of 513 votes, average: 3.38 out of 513 votes, average: 3.38 out of 513 votes, average: 3.38 out of 5 (13 votes, average: 3.38 out of 5)
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Published by tim9910 on 21 Aug 2008

Preparations for Fall


Tim Hicks

It’s almost upon us, the time of year that brings little tingling feelings on the back of our necks. The excitement of finding a heavily used trail and seeing the beginnings of a great mast in the canopy above your favorite stands can be almost overwhelming.

That is of course, if you go out and do some scouting and put your efforts into being prepared for opening day. For many, they poke around a week before season, half-heartily throw up a stand, blow the dust off their bows and hope for the best. But for successful hunters, it began right about the end of last season. Unfortunately for us in northeastern Oklahoma, a blizzard hit the last weekend of archery season. And now, heavy downpours and heavier clouds of mosquitoes are keeping us out of the field. But it’s always a good time to stay on top of your game, shooting the many 3D tournaments of the summer, and just practicing out in the back yard help keep your abilities tuned. Passing the time by thumbing through the catalogs and magazines to see the newest gear and read about the great far off hunts of the past season can also thwart the onset of preseason blues. It’s a great time to drag out your hunting garb and make sure the off season didn’t make your clothes “shrink”. You should also check your hunting arrows and broadheads, refletching and replacing blades as needed. I usually start shooting broadheads a month before season so there are no surprises when that opportune moment presents itself come October. I like to scout and hang a trail camera to get an idea of the deer using the area I plan to hunt. Plus this gives you something to get excited about, even though the patterns will change before opening day. Talking with locals in the area you hunt is also a great benefit, they can tell you about the “big one” that comes to pasture each evening right before dark. Anything you can do to get the mindset and the blood pumping for the days ahead.

A great thing about September is the fact that here in Oklahoma, dove season opens. That gives us a chance to rekindle our hunting spirit, and form friendships with other hunters. It’s also a good time to meet new land owners, most are not objected to dove hunting on their property, provided you remember to pick up your spent shells and take care of their land. This can lead to a possible archery hunt in the future as some will see you are a good steward, and grant permission on their land. This is also a great time to scout, usually the action of dove hunting dies off, and you can walk the crop edges looking for good trails. Following these trails back and finding staging areas and hopefully some good stand locations along the route. Then you can hang a trail camera or two, and check out the quality of the local population. Walking in the fields also helps to condition you for the hunts ahead, but jogging or a regular exercise program is recommended. I don’t know how many times I have had everything ready, take a deer in the first couple days, and then nearly have a heart attack dragging him out. I always seem to find reasons not to prepare myself, and usually regret it soon enough.

The great thing about early scouting, as opposed to right before season, is the fact that you can march right in and turn over every blade of grass. I even check bedding areas that I would normally avoid like the plague closer to season. This gives the chance to find any new trails or feeding areas you may have overlooked last season. You can hang stands early and get shooting lanes cut, and maybe block a trail or two and hopefully funnel the movement in your direction. One of my favorite things is walking the fence lines on our property, noting the heaviest crossing route. I also tighten up the fence and then tie down the top strand to the next lower near that area of travel. This insures deer will continue crossing here, as using the easiest route is in their nature. Then I will place a stand 20 to 30 yards back in the woods from this site to avoid detection before they cross the fence. Once they have crossed a fence, it has been my experience that if they feel something awkward they typically won’t go back over the fence but run towards me. That is if they haven’t seen me or caught wind of a two-legged predator. I also like planting a fall clover or the like, giving the deer and turkey a different menu than the normal summer browse. Hanging a feeder or two in the area also works great, I don’t hunt within sight of them but it keeps the deer moving on a predictable route prior to the pre-rut. I have seen more bucks this way early on in the season than I ever have during the rut. I always want to be in the field as much as possible during the rut, but the buck sightings seem more like a chance encounter if they are truly chasing does. It’s just the excitement of knowing that huge deer can walk out at any given moment that gives me the drive to stay on stand as long as possible. But the early days are a great time to stock the freezer and get a good idea on the herd you are hunting. I had so many pictures and regular sightings last season, I named most of the deer in the area. Passing up several different four and six pointers, and a couple of does that still had twins with them. There are enough deer in the area I hunt that I try not to orphan little ones prematurely, and let the young bucks grow a couple more years.

As I sit here right now, I am ready to go stomping about in search of that perfect spot not remembering the chiggers and seed ticks until I am already covered with them. My pulse is quickening just thinking about that first morning on stand, watching the world wake up beneath my feet. It’s one of the best feelings in the world, a time when one can relax and be at peace, if only for awhile. But then I awake from the daydream, and realize there is three months left before season, and about a million things left on the “honey-do” list. But at least I have run through a beginning stage of mental preparation for the season ahead.

11 votes, average: 3.36 out of 511 votes, average: 3.36 out of 511 votes, average: 3.36 out of 511 votes, average: 3.36 out of 511 votes, average: 3.36 out of 5 (11 votes, average: 3.36 out of 5)
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Published by tim9910 on 21 Aug 2008

A god friend of mine Dean Cote with a nice mulie taken with a bow.

A good friend of mine Dean Cote with a nice mulie taken with a bow.

Christmas in November


Tim Hicks

“The bucks are chasing!”. This statement brings excitement to the hearts of hunters. Towards the last week of October, the doe’s begin showing signs of the forthcoming mating season, more commonly known as the rut. The bucks have rubbing, and sparsely scraping for awhile now, but more territorially and “practicing up” if you will. But now you start finding the sign post rubs, highly visible rub lines, and what may have been a twelve by six inch scrape a week ago is now the size of a four wheel drive tire, sometimes with several under the same tree.

This time, for me, is my favorite time to be in the woods. The chances of trophy buck encounters are better, albeit early or late in the day typically, and they can be coaxed in since the doe’s aren’t completely receptive to the bucks displays of “alpha male syndrome”. Setups are simpler, because the deer are still predictable and the odds are still in your favor. When it gets into this stage, I usually target food sources just as earlier on in the season, making a point to locate heavy mast white oaks if possible. This will congregate doe’s, and therefore also lure in bucks. The difference as compared to early October, is try and find out of the way food sources, because even though the bucks are starting to chase they still have their wits about them. They are just a little more curious and likely to investigate potential mates or threats to their territory. I use a different approach for stand placement also, by finding likely routes for deer to move from bedding areas to food sources. But now I look for cross routes running perpendicular to these main routes. I have found that more mature whitetails in search of receptive doe’s cross main trails in this way to pick up on the pheromones left behind and are able to cover several travel routes quicker with less risk of exposing themselves to danger. To find a likely candidate, I look for things like a ridge with either a bluff or extremely thick cover on one end. If one side of the ridge is extremely steep, and their backs are protected by the bluff or cover, the bucks can bed with their backs to the cover and can see or smell any danger approaching from the front or the other, less cumbersome side of the ridge. When you can find a sanctuary like this, you will also find an escape route. Somewhere along this route is the place to ambush them. The trick is getting in and setting up undetected, and not having your scent carried by the thermals all over the ridge. You can almost bet there is another escape route you missed. Scent control is paramount, and staying on stand for the long haul is the best way to succeed.

There are many other ways to attack “grand daddy tall tines” at this time also though. A lot of hunters have good success lightly rattling and using grunt calls. Decoying with a smaller buck decoy also proves highly productive. Just don’t go setup a decoy that looks like Michael Waddell just arrowed it in Pike county, and go banging horns together like there’s an all out war.

You will scare the acorns out of every buck in the region around the places I hunt. Don’t laugh, I have seen it done before. Be reasonable with your approach, even subtle, and use scents sparingly. I have no doubts that quality pheromone scents produce good results, but at the same time I don’t want to be targeted as a doe-in-heat while I am walking the woods. I have also attracted other things besides deer, I once had a bobcat trying to climb my tree near Copan, OK. That will wake you up real quick!

As this session passes by, then the real thing begins. For about ten days, it’s full on rut time. Bigger deer are breeding as many doe’s as possible, and chasing away younger bucks from potential mates. Getting their attention now can be tough, once they catch scent of a ready doe, it seems like it takes a Mack truck to pull them off the trail. If you hunt in an area with an abnormally high buck to doe ratio, they may be more willing to respond to scents or more aggressive calling, if they are having a hard time finding a mate. Bucks are known to move very long distances at this time, so you may encounter deer that have never been seen earlier in the year. One of the biggest deer I have seen in my life came through right before dark on the last couple days of black powder season. I had never seen him before, or any sign that he had been around. Later that year I heard a farmer talking about a huge buck that lived on his property, about five miles away. His description of the buck he saw in velvet sounded exactly like the one I saw chasing does. I did get a shot off at that deer, but missed clean. After he heard the shot he turned his head towards me raised it high, he was about eighty yards out and the size of his rack got me so rattled that I opened the wrong end of my speed loader and all the powder fell from my treestand. Luckily I always carry two, and the second made it all the way out of my pocket before it bounced of the stand and landed some twenty feet below me. By now he was onto me, and I had my worst case of buck fever ever. Anyway, back to the point, big buck sightings are a lot more common during this heavy rut period. This is why in my opinion, everyone gets so excited about it. I like the opportunity to chance a sighting at trophy deer as much as the next guy, but have found that harvesting one can be pretty much summed up by being extremely lucky. They are cruising around, their caution is pretty much thrown to the wind, and if you happen to have a stand by a place a doe leads him, then you just won the lottery. I typically find myself driving by check stations grumbling at all the nice deer hanging on the scales, while I drive to the house empty handed and still shivering from hours on stand.

Then, as this period grinds to a halt, it’s like someone hit a light switch. The bucks are exhausted from chasing and fighting, and not getting proper nutrition, that they lay up and can be hard to come by. There is always a few immature bucks still looking for action, but the ones we dream about are usually bedded down and staying close to their lair. Going back to the locations like you hunted in the first phases of the pre-rut, near his home on an escape route, is a profitable option at this time. If you hunt public lands, gun season has usually passed, and the deer are much more alert and harder to hunt. Throw in all the quail hunters, and you have a real mess on your hands. But that shouldn’t slow you down, late season bow hunting can be a very good time to be in the woods. There are less deer hunters in the woods, and if it is a hard winter, food sources are in high demand. There is also the so-called second rut, where some of the does that were not bred before come in heat late. It’s usually not very eventful, but has been proven to occur by wildlife biologists. I try not to hyped up about that, and just get back to basics. Find bedding areas, water sources and feeding grounds, then find the yellow brick road in between. This is a great time to stock up on venison and manage the herd a little. Unseasonably warm temperatures which we seem to experience a lot in recent years, followed by a strong oncoming cold front, can really amp up the action. As soon as the barometer starts falling, it seems like the deer are running around like people preparing for a hurricane. Then after it moves through and you get those “blue bird” clear sky days, with a high and steady barometer, someone flips that light switch again. I wish I could find that switch myself, I would rewire it so it’s on in both positions.

In closing, I just wanted to give you a run down on some of my theories and experiences with this time of year. I dream of it like every other red-blooded American with a bow in hand, and hopefully this will be the year. I killed my biggest buck to date during the peak of the rut, yes I was one of the lucky ones who happened to be crossing the same opening as a buck at the same time. And that time I had a rifle that luckily held its own bullets, so I couldn’t drop them!

The next buck to see my living room though, will be harvested by arrow. I take more pleasure and remember smaller deer harvested with a bow at ten steps, than one I dropped with a rifle at a hundred yards. So as the rut approaches your area, have your spots ready and pack a lunch. I’ll be on stand from daylight to dark, and I don’t want to be the only one freezing and cramping up out there! Good luck on your hunts this winter, and remember to harvest a doe or two if you have the tags. It will help ensure a balanced herd for years to come, and more chances at a trophy for yourself or your kids. Hope to see you out there!

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Published by ike_osu on 21 Aug 2008


I don’t have a reputation as a world class hunter that kills giant deer every year. I do have a reputation for being an honest ethical sportsman. People who know me are always willing to let me hunt their land. They know I won’t blaze a trail with a three wheeler or send a bullet through their home. They know I won’t destroy fences or litter the land. Actually most of the time they don’t even know I am there.

These are lessons that all hunters must learn and they are the most important lessons we can teach our children. How to hunt and how to take a deer are important but how to do it the right way ethically and legally are far more important. We teach by example what we do and what we say influence our children. Even the things our friends do can teach a child the wrong lesson. If a family friend, relative, or complete stranger do things that are illegal or unethical, we should tell our children that this is not right. We do not have to confront the wrong doer but we have to make sure that the hunters of tomorrow do not follow their examples.

When I was a young hunter I was forunate to be surrounded by men who were hunters in the truest sense of the word. They taught me to respect the land and the landowner. To respect the animal, and to protect my quarry from those who would harass or harm these animal for misguided fun or for a piece of bone on top of a skull. My father was chief among these men. He used hunting to keep me from trouble, jail, or a young death. He never scored on a world class animal but all of his kills were treated as such. He taught me how to make the most of the animal and how to be a true hunter. He may not have killed a Pope & Young buck, but he did something most hunters never do. He left behind a legacy that I carry in my heart. He left his mark in not only my life, but the lives of many. I like to think that mark looks an awful lot like a big ol’ buck. He has been gone for ten years, and I still miss him everyday and I thank the Lord he helped me become a good man and more importantly a good hunter.

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