Archive for November, 2009

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Published by hishuntinchic84 on 29 Nov 2009

Anyone in need of a pse compound bow for their lady or child for christmas?

Hey i am from Tennessee and am trying to sell my brand new pse chaos bow …i would love to keep it but i just cant find the time between work and school to go hunting …an associate at Gander mtn. told me to check out this site and post it on here …if your interested post something back …it would make an awesome christmas gift and its brand new barely used never been shot at any animal ..only target shot a few dozen times.

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Published by HoytFan221 on 29 Nov 2009

“Just a Kid” By Matt Eden

The 2009 archery season started in Colorado with my great anticipation. I had practiced for the past 3 years to be prepared and capable of responsibly hunting and taking my first Colorado Mule deer buck. I had practiced with a Diamond Edge bow set at 50# draw weight until early this summer. Then, I acquired my Hoyt Viper Tec with draw set at 60#, equipped with custom strings [courtesy of Mark Hershey], Cobra 5 pin sight, Ripcord fall away arrow rest, Carbon Express Maxima Hunter arrows tipped with Rage 100 g. Broadheads. I worked on a ranch all this summer to pay it off. It was expertly set-up and fine tuned at the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

On the afternoon of September 8, 2009 I left my father and eased to my stand. I had observed deer from this area many times over the past 2 years of hunting with my older brother and Dad. I saw a buck on the hillside across from my spot of concealment. The stalk would require all of my patience and skills learned from years accompanying my family as they hunted. After 2 hours it was really getting late in the day when I finally worked within range. I had left my range finder at home. I was there. I felt it would be a 40 yard shot. I came to full draw and an easy release. This was a 150 class buck in full velvet. I would be really proud to take this animal as my first. I watched in disbelief as my arrow missed!

That was it! After 3 weeks of walking 4 to 5 miles each day that I hunted, a 2 hour impossible stalk, an easy draw and release. A complete miss! Was this how my season was to end?  Well, maybe I could connect again.

On Friday, September 18, about 4:30 PM, with good clear sky and warm, I again left my Dad and eased into where I would watch for THAT buck. I start my still hunt and at 5:00 I see a deer with horns out on the ridge. When he turns his head I realize this is NOT the buck I had missed 10 days ago! I begin my stalk and watch him settle down near the top of the ridge. I have to make a complete redirection to keep the wind to my advantage. I drop half way off of the ridge and circle. He is up on the top of the ridge, lying down and has not seen or scented me.

I am army crawling, using every caution to not be heard in the dry leaves as I approach the place that I last saw him lie down. I see the antlers! He is looking away. I get to one knee as he stands up and looks my way.

Am I busted?        Not yet!

He is watching in my direction! I set him up on my 20 yard pin just behind the shoulder and release. I smoked him at 25 yards! I mark the spot. I watch him move down the ridge in that “hunched up sway”. My heart is still pounding, even after 15 minutes. I have to go get my Dad! With his help I know we will track him down.

We pick up his blood trail and see him now 45 minutes after my shot. Dad encourages me to stalk closer and finish him. It is really getting late. I close to what I thought to be about 30 yards. I let my arrow fly. It hits a little high and away he goes! After waiting 30 minutes we try to track but it is just too dark. We will come back tomorrow and pick up his trail.

The next morning we search for his trail. We have to circle and circle and circle. We finally pick up a light trail and then THERE HE WAS!!

2009 Archery Deer

Our family’s taxidermist, Derik Rich, now in Texas will register it in P & Y at 183”


Matt Eden

Woodland Park, Colorado

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Published by HoytFan221 on 29 Nov 2009

Buying New Arrows

I am in great need of new arrows, and am quite aware that it is an often difficult, yet important decision.  Each bow likes to shoot a certain kind/brand/weight/etc., and I need to know what kind I should get for my bow.  I have a 2005 Hoyt ViperTec XT 2000.  (I only want to hear comments from the people that have this bow or one very similar to it.)  Appriciate all input!

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Published by sarah on 27 Nov 2009

Sarahs Second Bow Kill

me and my four pointer

me and my four pointer

my alarm goes off at 6:00am to wake up and head off into the woods behind my house in Bedford/Roanoke county Virginia. My dad still isn’t awake but i go ahead and start getting ready. once I’m ready to go dad still isn’t up so i tell him I’m heading out.
once i get to my stand the first sliver of orange over the mountains is starting to show. Three hours pass of miserable, freezing winds and i see nothing but woodpeckers. Finally i look over at the ridge to my right and see a deer running down the side. by the time i can stand up and raise my bow he is walking in from forty yards. thirty. twenty. i draw my bow with shaky hands. the buck fever was getting to me. deep breath. my glasses fog! i wait a few seconds for that to fade, and then i aim, and release. i see my arrow pierce into the four-pointers lungs. He rears back and runs about thirty to forty yards and falls. My second kill. i call my dad and tell him the good news. thank goodness for four-wheelers!

my name is sarah and im fourteen years old. when i get older i want to have a hunting show. i really am trying to get noticed. any tips or advice is appreciated!

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Published by admin on 24 Nov 2009

Hunting Survival By W.A. Hughes

Hunting Survival
Spend More Than A Few Weekends A Year Outdoors?
Chances Are Someday You’ll Either Be The Victim Of A Survival Incident
Or Placed In A Rescue Posture.  Here’s What You Need To Know In Either Case.
By W.A. Hughes

 It was nine-thirty in the morning on a raw blustery day in the high country mantle of grey-black clouds hung at tree-top level.  The blue-green branches of the conifers were covered with powdery white snow that sifted down on the three inches of powder covering the ground.

 My bowhunting partner, Doug Smith, and I followed a herd of elk we spotted from the road.  Tracking was easy – the prints of seven elk, one a spike bull, showed up less than ten minutes old in the snow.

 “There they are, Hughes!  In that thicket of fir.”  Smith pointed to a patch of young trees in the bottom of the canyon.  “There – bedded down in those trees.  Some tracks going in, but nothing coming out.”  A dark shape moved swiftly from one patch of trees to the next.

 “There’s one now,”  Smith whispered.  “Hold it, hold it, that isn’t an elk.”  Smith waved his arms.  “That guy will spook those elk for sure.”

 And was he right.  Elk exploded out of the patch of timber.  “Get down,”  I ordered.  We knelt in the snow hoping at least one of the elk would run by within bow-shot range.  A big cow came charging up the hill.  We drew and shot at the same time.  My arrow stuck in the snow two feet behind the racing elk, Smith’s shot sailed over her back.  No time for a second shot.

 The bull never ran but we spotted him sneaking along the bottom of the canyon, then nothing moved, only the guy in the canyon who suddenly staggered out of the trees then fell.  “That guy’s hurt,”  I shouted.  “Come on.”

 We found the most miserable, cold and wet human I’ve ever seen.  He lay sprawled in the snow, semiconscious, shivering and incoherent.  This guy was only a few hours from being dead.

 Three years ago, I took a college course in mountain and cold weather survival and I honestly thought I’d never have an opportunity to use what I’d read about – I had obviously been wrong.  Here was a fellow man in bad shape.


 Smith and I stripped this man’s clothes off and helped him climbed into a garbage sack tube tent.  Smith went back to the pickup and got a sleeping bag and we put the victim – tube tent and all – into the sleeping bag.  I built a fire, made tea liberally laced with honey and stayed with the victim while Smith went for help.  Less than an hour later a chopper picked the victim up and transported him to Tacoma, Washington, where he spent a night in the hospital and was released in good condition, but a lot wiser.

 Tim Kneeland, director of Seattle’s Institute For Survival, makes mention several times in his lectures that if you spend more than a few weekends a year outdoors, you will either be the victim of a survival incident or you will be placed in a rescue posture.  At the time I thought it was a lot of scare talk, but now I know it’s true.

 Here in the state of Washington there are over three hundred survival accidents a year that necessitate the intervention of search and rescue teams.  Many people are needlessly injured each year and many die.  National statistics show that every minute of every day someone is involved in a survival crisis.  The real tragedy is that most of these deaths and injuries could be avoided if the outdoorsmen involved had a survival kit and knew how to use it.


 The best insurance you can get is to purchase or make a survival kit, practice with it until you know how to use every item in it, and never take one step into the woods without it.  Keep one in your car, boat, camper, airplane or any off-road vehicle.

 An excellent survival kit can be purchased from the Tacoma Unit, Mountain Rescue Council, Post Office Box 696, Tacoma, Washington, but for just a few dollars you can make yours.

 Your survival kit should contain an instant shelter, fire-starting materials, signal devices, tools and rations.  All of this equipment should be compact enough to be stored and carried in a small waterproof packet on your belt.


 If you wish to make your own kit, follow these simple directions and you will have all the necessary gear to survive a short-term crisis even in hostile environments.

 Instant Shelter – A tube tent can be manufactured from two of the plastic garbage or leaf sacks available in any grocery or hardware store.  All that is necessary to make an eight foot tent is to slit the bottom of one sack open and, utilizing a good grade of tape, join the two pieces together to form one large sack.  Carefully fold the sack up into as tight a package as possible for storage in your kit.


 It is amazing how warm the tube tent is.  On a recent camping trip to Mt.Ranier, Washington, we utilized one of these tents as a sleeping bag, and found that we stayed dry and fairly warm inside the tubes.  If you get wet, it is wise to strip off all the wet clothes, get inside the tent and stay there until you can dry your clothing.  If possible, two people can get inside the tent and the resulting body heat will aid in warming the survival victim.

 Tools – Tools carried in a survival kit must be small, light and highly functional.  Always have a small but razor-sharp knife in the kit.  This is indispensable for many chores found around camp, primarily camp construction, such as cutting boughs for a bed and obtaining fuel.  A small coil of wire and string are helpful tools as is a foot or two of tape to repair tears in your tube tent.  A small piece of aluminum foil doubles as a heat reflector from your fire; it also makes an excellent cooking pot, and an even better signal mirror.


Fire-Starting Material – The main fire-making material in many homemade kits is a small butane lighter.  They are excellent, reliable and well worth the few pennies spent on them, however one should have a back-up.  My kit has two back-up fire makers – I have a plastic case filled with waterproof matches, and a home-made flint and steel set.  The commercial sets of flint and steel set.  The commercial sets of flint and steel just don’t have the material for reliable use.  I found a piece of flint in the hills and carry a small packet of tinder and use y knife blade for the steel.  With the charred cloth tinder, flint and steel blade of my knife, I can start a fire as fast as most folks can with a match.

 With your fire-making material, always carry two five-inch candles.  These candles are excellent as a fire starter.  If you have trouble getting your kindling going, cut off a one-inch stub of candle, light it, and place it under your kindling.  As a steady source of fire, it will get all but the most stubborn kindling going.  I use a small piece of wire on the candle and, when the fire is blazing, pull the candle out and save it for future use.

 You will occasionally find yourself in a position where there is no fuel, or the wood is just too wet to burn.  Here the candle will have to suffice as your only source of light and heat.  If you are lost, hurt and cold, a candle will give off an amazing amount of heat, over which you can cook soup or coffee, and the light from a simple candle gives one a tremendous psychological boost.

 Rations – Even with today’s dried food, one obviously cannot pack a three-course meal in a belt survival kit.  He can, however, carry bouillon cubes, dried soup mix, packaged tea, coffee of hot chocolate and, as an energy source, either packaged honey or sugar.  Any of these foods can be prepared over a small fire utilizing your aluminum pot and the candle for heat.


 I store all of my survival gear inside a zip-lock waterproof bag and carry it on my belt in a small canvas bag I purchased at the surplus store.  Carl Bergman, one of my bowhunting pals, carries his kit in a leather “Possibles” bag along with his extra bowstring, file and knife.

 Signals – Last of all, but far from being least important, is your signal gear.  As previously mentioned, your aluminum foil makes an excellent signal mirror and on bright days the reflection of the mirror can be seen for miles and lead a party right to your location.  In my kit I also carry a spent rifle case.  With this cartridge you can blow a loud shrill whistle which you will also assist rescuers in finding your location.

 If you do become involved in a survival crisis your brain is your most important tool.  If you have the confidence and knowledge that you will survive, you will.  Just follow these general directions.

 When you are hunting, fishing or camping out, always keep an eye out for a good survival shelter.  Remember that your shelter should be small and dry.  Whenever you get the chance, use your survival kit for practice.  Build fire, cook yourself some hot soup or chocolate.  Let your friends, wife and parents know that when you are out in the woods you may not be back on time, and leave word that if you are not home by a certain day and hour to notify search and rescue.  Assure them that you have a survival kit, that you know how to use it, and that if anything happens you will stay put.

 Okay, you’re out in the woods and you get lost or caught in a storm.  What do you do?  It’s easy! First, get under shelter fast.  Do not allow yourself to get miserably cold and wet.  Find a shelter or use your tube tent and stay where you are unless your location is dangerous.  Find the most protected area, build a fire, fix yourself some hot coffee and wait.  As soon as possible make signals to rescuers.


Survival emergencies in the United States are short term,.  All you have to do is stay alive for a couple of days and rescue teams probably will find you .  Think about it, practice, and if the time comes when you are a survival victim, you will be able to handle it.

 In a survival emergency, medical aid may be hours, perhaps days away.  You could be called upon to give medical assistance to others and perhaps be required to take care of our own injuries.  You may also have to care for emotional stresses such as fear and anxiety, keep morale high and , by example, create a will to live in others.  Until a rescue team and trained medical help arrives you may be called upon to provide food, water, shelter and first aid to others.

 First aid should be given according to the following plan.  First, rescue the victim from any area that is dangerous and could cause further injury or harm.  Second, make sure that the injured person is breathing without difficulty.  It may be necessary to give mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration.  Third, severe bleeding must be stopped.  Fourth, protect the injured person from cold, dampness or excessive heat.  Fifth, determine the extent of the injury and give appropriate first aid to include treatment for shock.

 If you spend much time outdoors, it is quite likely that you may find a victim suffering from hypothermia and will be required to give first aid.  First and most important, avoid further heat loss in the victim and then re-warm him slowly.

 It will undoubtedly be necessary to rig an emergency shelter.  To further expose the victim to the elements may be fatal.  If possible, replace his wet clothing with dry.  This means you may have to share some of your own clothing.  Place as much insulation as possible between the victim and the ground.

 Have another person, if possible, strip down and warm a sleeping bag, then place the victim in the bag with one or two other persons.  They should  huddle with the victim.  If a sleeping bag is not available, use your tube tent.  If the victim’s clothing is damp, remove it.

 If the victim is awake, give him warm fluids – tea, coffee, soup, hot chocolate or bouillon.  Tea and Coffee as well as hot chocolate should be heavily sweetened.  If, however, the victim is unconscious, he should be kept prone, with his head tilted back to insure breathing.  Do not leave the victim.  Build a shelter, a fire and make appropriate signals for rescuers.  If you have a partner, send him out for help.

 Research presently underway at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, shows that quite possibly the best method of reviving a victim of exposure is to immerse him in a warm whirlpool bath.  Of course, this procedure is available only in a hospital; however, if a cabin or home is nearby, you could place the victim in a warm bathtub until help arrives.

 Here are a few suggestions forwarded by Dr. Hayward of the University of Victoria:  Get the victim into the warmest area possible; Do not attempt to stop the victim from shivering as this is the normal emergency heat-producing method of the body; Remove all clothing and pat dry.  Do not attempt to rub the body; Do not wrap in blankets or place in a sleeping bag unless the bag or blanket is preheated.

 Rewarming Procedures – For a person into advanced stages of hypothermia, it is essential to stop further cooling and rewarm the victim if you are to save his life.  Semiconscious or unconscious persons are in severe stages of hypothermia and could die unless immediate rewarming takes place.

 The best form of rewarming is to immerse the victim in a warm-water bath or wrap him in electric blankets; however, in-the-field treatment may be necessary to prolong life long enough to get the victim to a house or hospital.

 If no other method is available body contact may be the only method available to rewarm the victim.  Huddle with him and give as much body contact as possible to the areas of greatest heat loss – neck, sides of chest, and the groin.

 If the person is unconscious, exhale warm breath in close proximity to the mouth and nose while the victim is inhaling.

 Build a fire and heat water, soak towels, clothes, etc., and apply to neck, chest and groin.

 If a sleeping bag is available, strip the victim down, remove our own clothes and huddle in the bag with the victim.  If a third person is available, get him into the bag also.  As soon as the victim regains consciousness, give him hot drinks, but do not give liquor under any circumstances.

 Continue the treatment until normal movements, behavior, and mobility returns.  In some cases this may take only an hour.  In severe cases it will take longer and you will want to get the person to a hospital as soon as possible.

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Published by admin on 18 Nov 2009

How To Plan A Successful Big-Game Bowhunt By Fred Bear

How To Plan A Successful Big-Game Bowhunt
Step-By-Step Guidelines And Advice
From A Bowhunting Master
By Fred Bear

 The object of any big-game hunting trip is a thrilling and rewarding adventure in the great outdoors.  Every hunter hopes to come back from a trip with meat and trophies, and certainly these add fulfillment.  But even without these end results a hunting expedition can be the highlight of your year.

 It is impossible to guarantee results on such an outing, regardless of how plentiful the game.  The vagaries of weather and the innumerable small adventures that can plague the bowhunter are completely beyond prediction.  Yet some of the best hunts I’ve ever had were nonproductive in terms of trophies, but made enjoyable by good companions, a comfortable camp and interesting encounters with wildlife in pristine surroundings.


Careful preparation is the best guarantee for a successful hunt.  The factors I consider most important are: a wise choice of companion(s); a productive hunting area; careful selection of a guide, if needed; proper preparations for food and shelter; plans made well ahead of time; and physical conditioning.


Your hunting companions may be of entirely different social and financial status than yourself, but their likes and interests should be the same.  You should know them well enough to be assured they are dependable as sportsman, not easily discouraged, willing to do their share and capable of accepting mishaps without complaint.  Nothing can ruin a hunt more completely than a hunter who is lazy argumentative or complains with little provocation.


 For short hunts not involving wilderness country or pack trips, a party of two is ideal.  Each can hunt alone (the most productive method), yet share the companionship of the evening campfire and the chores of cooking and keeping the camp in order.  In addition, if one suffers an accident or onset of sickness, help is there.


 On wilderness hunts, four hunters make a good group.  Each has a partner, and partners can alternate as desired.  The hunting territory can be covered more effectively and camp labors involved in an extended trip are lightened.

 Your planned hunt may be into a neighboring state, one of the Canadian Provinces, or Alaska.  The basic consideration is the game sought.  Never plan a hunt around the hope of getting a great variety of trophies.  Determine what species you want most and pick a region where it is prevalent.  Any other species should be considered as a lucky bonus.  Often, of course, one region will offer excellent chances for more than one species, examples being a combined elk and mule deer hunt in the Rockies, a moos and caribou hunt in Alaska, or a mountain sheep and mountain goat hunt in British Columbia or Alberta.

 If such exotic game as Dall or Stone sheep, grizzly, or mountain caribou is the object, a fairly costly trip into a wilderness area may be less expensive in the long run than several trips into more heavily hunted regions where the chances are slimmer.

 How do you pick the right area for the species sought?  One of the best sources for such information is the United States Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, D.C.  It publishes state-by-state game census figures, a brief study of which can give the nonresident hunter a good idea of where the species is most abundant.  Other good sources are the various state fish and game departments, or in the case of Canada, the Provincial Lands and Forests Departments.  The major hunting and fishing magazines often have special sections devoted to regional reporting on game abundance and the annuals published by both firearms and archery magazines, such as this one, contain useful information.  A state-by-state list of bowhunting seasons, for example, can be found elsewhere in this publication.

 If it is meat on the table and the enjoyment of a successful hunt you have in mind, then concentrate on states with high game population and hunter-success ratios.  If a trophy specimen is your aim, however, be selective as to the area you choose.  Excellent sources for this information are the books, Bowhunting Big Game Records of North America, from the Pope and Young Club, Route 1, Box 147, Salmon Idaho 83467 ($17.50), and North American Big Game (seventh edition), from the Boone and Crockett Club, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 ($25).
 When writing state of provincial departments for general information, be sure to request data on licenses, hunting regulations and a listing of approved, licensed guides.  An excellent additional aid is the Denali Directory, issued by the National Rifleman’s Association, 1600 Rhode Island Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20036 ($2.50).  It contains hunting information and guide listings for each state along with season dates and license fees.


Many Western states, Alaska and Canadian provinces require nonresident hunters to have a guide.  Such a service is considered necessary to prevent game-law violations and to keep those hunters unfamiliar with the country from becoming lost.

 Even when not required by law, it often is a good idea to use the services of a guide in country new to you.  He knows the region, where the game is and the best way to get it .  Just as important, he does much of the routine camp work such as tending horses, cutting wood and cooking, thus leaving the hunters more time to concentrate on hunting.

 Write the guides you select, requesting types of hunts, services available, and rates.  Be sure to start this program well before your tentative hunting date.  Many of the best guides and outfitters are booked well in advance, often over a year.  In addition, many nonresident hunting licenses and game tags are sold out early in the year on a first-come, first-served basis.

 Printed or photocopied form letters sent out “blanket”-style to all the outfitters you can find is not a wise policy.  Such coverage may do more harm than good, leaving a bad impression with the more reliable sources.  Be somewhat selective and write individual, personalized letters.  This will convince the recipients that you are serious in your interest.  In these contacts, be sure to state our hunting preferences and ask for a list of references.  Any reputable outfitter or guide will be entirely cooperative in supplying names of previous clients.  Contact these hunters by phone or letter for first-hand evaluation.

 After narrowing the choice down to two or three outfitters, contact each one again, by telephone whenever possible.  Find out how much time will be devoted to the actual hunt, how many hunters per guide, what equipment you are required to bring.  If your party is small, will you be thrown in with other hunters?  Is the area accessible to the public?  And what weather conditions may be expected?

 Be sure to spell out your bowhunting requirements.  The majority of outfitters have had no experience in guiding bowhunters and thus may not realize how you wish to operate once the game is found.  Some may not even wish to guide you when they find that you hunt with the bow, possibly in the belief that the lower trophy-success ratio that is accepted by bowhunters will not help their promotional records.

 No matter how small your question may be, it is best to ask it in advance.  If the outfitter is slow to answer, or can’t answer, mark him off your list.

 Having accomplished this, you are prepared to hunt the game of your choice in the best area available with a person or persons thoroughly familiar with the region.  This alone will give you a great feeling of confidence.  But give and take between an outfitter and client is a two-way street, with trust and teamwork being absolutely necessary for a good hunt.  When all’s said and done, there is still some trial and error to be undergone in picking an outfitter.  If you book a guide and have a good hunt then you think he is great.  But another hunter may not be successful in getting the trophy he wants despite the best efforts of a competent guide, and may be bitter about the whole trip and about the guide as a result.

 An example of what can occur, even to highly experienced wilderness travelers, happened to be a friend, Raoy Torrey of Salmon, Idaho.  Torrey is a director of the Pope and Young Club, born and bred to the woods, and is himself a qualified big-game outfitter and guide.


 A few years ago, Torrey and a companion, also an experienced guide, were contemplating a trip into the far north for a Dall sheep hunt.  They happened to run into a fellow in a taxidermy shop who was a registered guide in the Mackenzie District of the Northwest Territories.  He impressed them with his accounts of the country and after extended conversation they decided to book a hunt with him.

 When the time came, they flew from Idaho to the settlement of Norman Wells, a jumping-off place for access to the northern Mackenzie Mountains.  After they had waited there 2 ½ days for their outfitter to get organized, he finally rented the services of a local bush pilot to fly the two hunters some one hundred miles north to an unnamed wilderness lake, where he said he had a camp.  He stated that he would come in himself on a second flight.
 To shorten a trying tale, the hunters were dropped off on the lake shore but found no signs of a camp.  Furthermore, scouting revealed the entire area to be completely devoid of game and the lake without fish.  They spent 2 ½ weeks waiting for their guide, who never showed up.

 Two things kept them going.  Torrey had packed a mountain tent and small Primus-type stove in his duffle, and when rations got low they hiked many miles to another area where they succeeded in killing a small sheep.  Finally, a passing plane spotted the HELP sign spelled out in plastic letters alongside their orange tent and got them out.


 This incident could easily have been tragic if the hunters involved had been less experienced and cool-headed.  As it was, they were out a substantial deposit apiece and fortunate to get out while still in good physical condition.

 And what happened to the outfitter?  Nothing.  Torrey and his friend would have had to stay in Canada for an extended period in order to locate and bring the miscreant to justice, which just wasn’t practical for them as they both had jobs to get back to.  They learned later that although the guide involved had been reliable at one time, they happened to tie up with him just as he was going out of business.  He shunted them off just to get rid of them, then disappeared, neglecting to tell anyone else of their whereabouts.

 So you see, bad experiences with guides can happen to anyone.  And it has happened to me, although under circumstances much less critical than in Torrey’s case.

 These good friends, a well-known outdoor writer and two other experienced woodsmen, invited me to accompany them on a spring bear hunt in Ontario.  One purpose of the week’s trip was to obtain promotional material for a motor company’s all-terrain vehicles.

 The outdoor writer had an outfitter lined up for us.  As it turned out, he had made several inquiries of guides for the proposed hunting region, from advertisements in outdoor magazines.  One of the answers he received was written with pencil on an of piece of butcher’s paper.  Aha, he thought, this fellow must be a real old backwoods type who seldom gets out of the bush, and proceeded to make final arrangements with him.

 Upon arriving in the village of Temagami, we found the “outfitter” to be a town dweller who knew little about the territory beyond it’s limits.  He had hired a couple of local Indians to do the guiding for us.  Well, there are woods Indians and there are town tavern Indians.  Our guides soon proved to be of the latter strain.

 One of them took us many miles up lake Temagami to a recently vacated lumber camp where black bear were supposed to be numerous.  There must have been a large celebration of some type the night before.  Our guide was in such bad shape that we had to run the boat for him.  After two fruitless days at that location, the guide said he’d take us to another lumber camp where he’d seen “plenty bear” just a week previously.  To get there we drove miles over a rough bush road, only to be stopped a few miles short of our goal by a heavy chain across the road.  Our guide couldn’t understand this sudden blockage, although a brief inspection of the lock and chain plainly revealed that it had been firmly in place for more than a season.

 One member of the party was dropped off in the afternoon on an isolated island in the lake – another great bear haunt and a good spot for an evening’s watch, according to guide.

 The evening turned into a black night, the atmosphere turned into pouring rain, and the island turned into an R&R area for mosquitoes.  The guide became involved in another celebration and forgot to pick up the hunter until the next morning.

 We finally called a halt to such proceedings and fired the outfitter, losing, of course, the one-third down payment in the process.  His final magnanimous offer was to sell us a couple of long-defunct bear from the town cooler – purchased no doubt from local hunters for that purpose.

 We were fortunate enough to make other arrangements that turned our trip into a successful one, but that’s another story.  Suffice it to say that we had really been taken in.  It can happen despite precautions.  I believe the most workable preventative is to plan a hunt early enough to obtain and thoroughly check out the outfitter’s references.

 If the plan is to hunt with an outfitter in a wilderness area, all of the major equipment such as horses, packs, tents, stoves, cooking gear and food, as well as a horse wrangler and cook, is gernerally furnished.  Sometimes the outfitter also furnishes sleeping bags, but it is best to take your own if you have one.  Your list will also include proper clothing, hunting tackle, binoculars and spotting scope, camera and film, toilet articles and a ditty bag with first-aid items, extra compass, waterproof match case, small notebook and pencil, and mending material for both clothing and tackle.

 Fundamental equipment for off-the-track big-game hunting, where the services of an outfitter or guide are not required, includes clothing, personal items, camp gear and food, a compass and map of the area, hunting tackle and a method of transporting it all.

 The tendency of beginning hunter is to take along many unnecessary items.  The veteran hunter goes light but right.  It is axiomatic that if a hunter can keep warm, dry and well-fed, the chances of his hunt being successful are increased.


The modern hunter camping on his own or with companions uses one of the several excellent brands of rigid pack frames for carrying his equipment.  The old scale of thirty-five pounds for the average man is a good one, with then pounds less for a woman or youth.  The backpacking bowhunter who is actually living in the bush will carry roughly two-thirds of his load in equipment and one third in food.

 Just a few years ago, food supplies either had to be fresh or canned, with three to four pounds of food and cooking gear needed per man per meal. The new processed foods shrink this to one pound per man per day.  One man in a party of four can carry all the food necessary for the entire group for a week without strain.  One man can carry dehydrated or freeze-dried foods that would be equivalent to packhorse load of canned and fresh foods, and with absolutely no danger of spoilage.  And, if the approximate balance of meat, fruit and vegetables eaten at home is maintained, the diet won’t be lopsided in any direction.

 In addition, of course, would be the hand-carried bow and arrows, a sturdy belt knife and small hatchet.  Late in the season when bad weather is likely, a small tent should be substituted for the plastic sheet.  And in some circumstances, depending upon season and terrain, a canteen and halazone tablets would be necessary.

 By all means take along a camera and notebook.  They may seem superfluous at first thought, but there is absolutely nothing like having a few photographs and field notes to later help recall the details of a hunt.

 The related subjects of making up menus, preparing foods, choosing campsites, proper clothing and footgear balance, map reading and emergency procedures are all important, but obviously cannot be covered in an article of this length.  Suffice it to say that all are important in planning for a hunt.  There are many excellent books that can be purchased or borrowed from a library covering all such details.  A few volumes I can recommend are Camping & Woodcraft, by Denise Van Lear (a Sierra Club book); Skills for Taming the Wild, by Bradford Angier; Complete Book of Hunting, by Clyde Ormond; Outdoor Encyclopedia, edited by Vin T. Sparano (an Outdoor Life book); Lure of the Open, edited by Joe Godfrey, Jr. and Frank Dufresne (a Sportsman’s Club of America book); and Backpacker’s Digest, by C.R. Learn and Mike O’Neal.  Additional sources of backpacking information are, “The Art& Science of Backpacking” from Himalayan Industries, 807Ocen View Avenue, Monterey, California, and “Enjoyable Backpacking” from Gerry Mountain Sports, Incorporated, Box 910, Boulder, Colorado.  Both are free for the asking.

 There remains one important aspect: physical conditioning.  If you re planning to hunt at higher altitudes than you are used to, or in particularly rugged terrain, this could well be the most important factor in the success or failure of your hunt.  Being in the best shape possible can be more important than skill with your bow, because if you can’t get to where the trophy animals live then you certainly can’t hit them.  Doing lots of climbing up hills or stairs, jogging in your hunting boots, working with wights, calisthenics and just plain running are all good conditioners.

 These are the basics.  There are few wilderness hunts that in retrospect can be said to be absolutely perfect in all details, even when the desired trophies are secured.  However, proper great experience afield and of smoothing off at least some of the otherwise rough edges in the process.

 Good huning.

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Published by admin on 17 Nov 2009

How To: Make A Small-Game Stopper By C.R. Learn

How To: Make A Small-Game Stopper
Step-By-Step Directions For A Simple, Inexpensive
Call That’ll Stop ‘Em Cold In Their Tracks
By C.R. Learn


Rabbits Run, quail fly and squirrels dodge into holes or flip around trees when they feel they’re being threatened, right?  These are their protective systems, and you can capitalize on these systems by making what I call a small-game stopper.  It’s easy to make quickly if you have some broken cedar shafts laying around.

 The small-game stopper actually is the idea of Charlie Farmer, who came by one day to show me his quail stopper, which is a section of cedar shafting, slotted and fitted with a piece of plastic that results in a reed-type instrument.  When you blow hard into it it makes a screech like a hunting hawk and Farmer said that quails will sit and rabbis stop when they hear that screech.  This gives you a chance to get within range before they take off again – a small but important edge when you’re out to bag them.


Materials needed for the small-game stopper are a section of cedar shafting (you can use a piece you cut off from the last arrow you made or a broken shaft or even a new one, if need be) a rivet or setter system of some type to clinch the end together, a rivet or an eyelet or even a small bolt to seal and hold the end of the section, a hacksaw, medium to fine-grit sandpaper, a piece of hard billfold plastic, scissors and a drill or hole punch.


Cut the shaft section to a 3 ½-inch length (you can make it three inches, but the 3 ½-inch length gives deeper tones with the plastic insert).  Drill a hole through the cut section of the cedar to fit the size of the eyelet (or rivet or small bolt) you’ll be using.  After the hole has been drilled take a hacksaw and cut the section down to within an inch of the end – this will give you a slot.  Sand between the cut to remove the hair edges left by the saw blade.  This is important because the hair grain would make a difference in the sound of your call and the tone will change as the unit wears.

 At this point you will have a 31/2-inch cedar shaft section slotted and drilled on the open end.  With scissors cut the plastic the width of the cedar section and a little bit longer.  Insert this to within one-sixteenth of an inch from the end of the slotted cut.  Don’t go all the way to the end – the plastic must vibrate and won’t be able to if you have it jammed to the end.  Mark this point and take a drill or hole punch and punch a hole in the plastic for the rivet, eyelet or bolt to fit.  Place the plastic and then crimp into position with the setter.

 You must cut or shave the ends to fit the length of the rivet or eyelet you use.  If you have a rivet that will fit without any shaving on the section, fine.  If not you’ll have to cut a curved section to allow for the length of the rivet.  It’s a simple task, but it must be done or the rivet can’t set.

 If you’ve used an eyelet for the project, you’ll have a hole in the call that you can use for attaching a carrying cord.  This will keep the unit in place when you are moving and it can hand from a belt or pin on your jacket.


 As for vibrations on this project, you can vary the type of plastic used.  Just remember that the thicket the plastic, the deeper the tone.  Thinner plastic makes a higher screech.  And, as previously mentioned, the length of the cedar section can make a difference too.
 To use the small-game stopper, you blow on it, varying the intensity of your breath for the different sounds you wish to imitate – the screech of a hawk, the chatter of a squirrel, the call of a quail and so on.  After you’ve made a hawk call the small game will hunker down and freeze, waiting for the deadly enemy to move on.  You can take a shot then or  wait until they bolt and take a running shot.

 One last advantage of this inexpensive, easy-to-make unit is that you can use it to call your hunting buddies when you are in the field.  That’s a far better idea than shouting while hunting.

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Published by admin on 17 Nov 2009

Nearing the Zone By Thomas Hicks

Nearing the Zone
Get within a big buck’s bedding area for the perfect ambush.
By Thomas Hicks

 How often have you walked through your hunting area and become instantly pumped with anticipation as your eyes feasted on sign left by what has to be a huge buck?  But what follows is usually a long sit in your stand for days or even an entire season wondering where this illusive monster is.  But how could this be?  Why aren’t you seeing the deer making these enormous rubs and leaving behind such gigantic tracks?


 Big whitetail bucks are elusive creatures, but they don’t possess special powers that enable them to vanish when the need arises and reappear only when danger has past.  And they surely don’t live in caves or climb trees.  So how do big bucks avoid us?  They simply spend daylight hours glued to cover.  In a place that has proven to be a safe harbor and has kept them alive through many hunting seasons.

 Safe Zones
 Armed with the knowledge that big, mature whitetails continuously bed in predetermined safety zones each hunting season.  I concentrate scouting and planning strategies accordingly.  Throughout the year and even while hunting I search for clues that may indicate where a trophy buck is bedding.  I try to relate any big-buck sign I find to where the buck is seeking shelter during hunting hours.


 Of course, immediately after hunting season is a great time to locate the secure bedding areas of surviving bucks.  Snow can greatly enhance your scouting effort by producing the map effect.  Freshly fallen snow allows you to follow large bucks’ nighttime movements, hopefully leading you straight to his day-time security zone.  Without snow I still look for large tracks that may be entering and exiting thick cover.


 During springtime when bucks may not be so dependent on these primary bedding areas, I enter and investigate them, gathering even more information.  When examining bedding sites, I look for clues that a large animal is actually using the area for daytime hiding.  I gape for large single beds with many droppings compressed into one solid mass.  This large solid fecal material coupled with large-diameter bedding sign is sure evidence that a big buck is spending countless daytime hours in that area.  I spend a great deal of time scouting the area looking for these giant beds.  I stick to thick cover and walk on less conspicuous routes that are located downwind from main deer trails.

 With the amount of time bucks spend in these areas, chances are high for finding some good sheds.  Once found, these sheds provide valuable information and can help predict a buck’s trophy potential for the upcoming season.


 Food Holds Answers
 I first look at the relationship between the secure bedding zones and any early-season feeding sites.  Knowing that mature bucks will seek out high-calorie foods in early fall, I key in on what high-calorie food sources will be available and located near bedding sites.  Mature bucks will feed during legal hunting hours as they gorge themselves for optimal weight gain.  Body mass will be their number one ally when they begin fighting for breeding rights.  Oak and beech trees located near a newly discovered bedding area will be like candy and offer great places to plan ambush sites.

 I also like to speak with area farmers to gain information on what agricultural crops will be growing in adjacent fields in the coming fall.  Cornfields in the right locations can act like magnets as deer move to them during the early-season feeding frenzy.  A stand set between a bedding site and corn or acorns can be well worth a hunter’s effort when it comes time to hunt.


Rutting Sign
 The second objective I home in on is scrapes and rutting sign located close to known big-buck bedding areas.  When rutting and breeding become the priority over feeding, the same rule applies when looking for ambush sites.  Mature whitetails will engage in rutting activity throughout their territory, but the majority of it will be done close to their safe zone during daylight hours.

 I look for primary breeding scrapes, which usually show up on the upwind edge of the buck’s bedroom.  These scrapes can be easily spotted in the early spring before spring foliage starts to grow.  Primary scrapes have plenty of trails leading both toward and away from them, resembling the hub of a wheel.  These scrapes are larger in diameter and have an overhead-licking branch.  The location is upwind from the bedding site for the following reason.  Resident does are familiar with dominant buck bedding areas and preferred daytime breeding crapes.  The bucks, on the other hand, strategically bed downwind from these scrapes for one obvious reason:  A hot doe visiting one of these scrapes can be easily detected.  A mature buck will respond quickly and without hesitation to breeding opportunities that present within the confines of their safety zone.


Where to Set Up
 Once you’ve found a buck’s “bedroom” and nearby feeding and rutting sites, there’s one thing left to do.  The final step is choosing optimal sites to ambush your prey.  For each setup, consider where the buck is when bedding, feeding or rutting in relation to your stand.  Try to imagine the buck in any of these three locations and pick trees for different wind directions, where he cannot wind you as he travels back and forth.  Remember that these older bucks have zero tolerance for even a whiff of their main predator, so be careful to pick and hunt stand locations only when the wind direction favors them.  I like to hand prune shooting lanes and approach routes in late spring and early summer.  I then vacate the area and don’t return until hunting time.


A couple of years ago, I located a large buck bedding in a small previously logged woodlot,  The new growth was heavy with thick berry bushes.  The woodlot had adequate feed on one end and rutting sign from the fall before on the other.  The only difficulty was that the woodlot was so thick it was hard to penetrate and find good stand locations.  I divided the woodlot in two and made plans to hunt each end during the upcoming season.  During the month of April, my son Stephen and I spent a couple of Saturdays braving the berry bushes looking for stand sites and then cut trails upwind that the bucks would use as they traveled between feeding and rutting zones.  The trails were also placed so the bucks would walk well within bow range.  This strategy took a little extra time and effort, but the result was well worth it.

 When we were done preparing, Steve and I had placed a total of six stands in and on each end of the woodlot.  Each stand was strategically placed for different wind directions.  We carefully plotted approach routes to each stand and agreed not to hunt any stand unless the wind was favorable.  That fall we both had our archery bucks by Halloween.  As I reflect back, the time my son and I spent together scouting and centering our hunting plans around the bedding area was almost as rewarding as the success we later enjoyed.  It certainly made our success much more meaningful.

 Bedroom Music
 A final tactic when hunting mature whitetails close to their safety zone is luring them in.  With the right setup and enough practice, older bucks will investigate realistic auditory and olfactory enticement (deer calling).  The main thing we must remember is to position ourselves in areas bucks will feel safe enough to move in during legal hunting hours.  Your number one objective should be to stay close enough to their bedroom but still remain undetected as you start your ruse.  A critical aspect you must realize is that dominant bucks are very territorial and they will not tolerate intruding bucks that may try to penetrate their safe haven.  These bucks will also be very vulnerable to any olfactory and auditory stimulation you deliver which suggests an intruding buck or estrus doe is in the area.

 Hunting mature whitetails in their bedrooms is very tricky business.  It’s critical that you remain undetected and keep the buck from knowing you’ve positioned yourself within the confines of his domain.  As you scout, remember the behavior of older bucks and stay close to their bedrooms when planning ambush sites.  Use the wind in your favor, and don’t hunt a setup unless the wind direction is right.  Start planning now and the results could certainly exceed your expectations.

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Published by davidjones022 on 17 Nov 2009


I have a Jennings Quasar and loved this bow. Unfortunately, I went to draw it one day and the limb cracked. Jennings bows has a “Limited Lifetime” warranty on the limbs. These two words do not even belong together. Limited and Lifetime. How stupid do they think we are? Jennings will do nothing to repair or replace. I guess I am done bow hunting. A properly cared for weapon should last forever, and an American company should stand behind its product. Anyone have any ideas how I can get this problem resolved?

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Published by Myra Hollingsworth on 17 Nov 2009

leasing outfitters vs adjacent landowners

How would you feel about an outfitter that leases ground next to you,sneaks on to your ground and everyone else adjacent to you,then turns around and threatens you and your neighbors?

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