4 votes, average: 2.75 out of 54 votes, average: 2.75 out of 54 votes, average: 2.75 out of 54 votes, average: 2.75 out of 54 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 2.75 out of 5)
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Published by Hyunchback on 01 Apr 2008

Reflections

I look back on what I did during my last archery binge. It’s hard to ignore since some of the evidence is still with me. I have over half a dozen archery releases representing hundreds of dollars I spent on just one aspect of the shot. I have 4 different sets of arrows. I had 4 bows, pared down to 1 and now up to 2.

I realize that a lot of what I did the last time was to try and buy my way into skill. I learned some lessons, especially about back tension but what is more I learned to stop trying to spend my way to success.

I put 3 of the sets of arrows and one of the bows into my storage unit. I’m concentrating on one bow, one set of arrows, one sight, one stabilizer, one release. The decision is to stick with the bow I purchased for hunting, using it for 3D as a way to practice for hunting.

Working with my bow today felt good. I wasn’t thinking “if I buy X then I’ll be on target”. I was thinking “basics. form. consistency. sight picture. shot sequence.”

I’m not a champion archer but I’m not yet as good an archer as I could become. My eyes are not very useful at any distance but I can still learn to estimate distances and practice shooting at different distances.

And the most basic part is to have fun. To want to go to the range not to try out some new doohickey. It’s so that I can feel like I had a good time.

Yes, I still have to spend. On basics like inserts and nocks and points. Shafts and fletching. Not new ones. Just ones lost through normal use. Just replacements for the same tackle, not something new.

I think I’m going to have more fun this time around.

2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 52 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Published by mark kennedy on 01 Apr 2008

Chew On This

I took some time to fiddle around with some new foods, and ingredients over the last few days and I gotta tell ya, some of these recipes are great.  I’m a huge fan of jerky myself, so i figured i’d post the rest of the recipes up here for everybody to try.  Some of them can be a little on the spicy side so be careful.

Chinese Beef Jerky,
3 Lbs. Flank Steak or London Broil

MARINADE
1/2 Cup Light Soy Sauce
4 1/2 Tbs Honey
4 1/2 Tbs Dry Sherry
6 Large Cloves Garlic Minced
1 1/2 Tbs Ginger Fresh Minced
1 1/2 Tbs Red Pepper crushed
1 1/2 Tbs Sesame Oil
Dash White Pepper

Cut meat in half, lengthwise and slice diagonally crosswise into paper thin strips 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Transfer to shallow pan. Combine marinade ingredients and rub thoroughly into meat. Arrange meat on racks and let dry at cool room temperature overnight (do not refrigerate).

Preheat oven to 250 F. Line two large baking sheets with foil and set wire racks on top of each baking sheet. Arrange meat on racks in single layer. Bake 30 minutes.

Reduce heat to 175 F and continue drying meat another 40 minutes. Meat should be lightly brown but not burnt. Let meat  continue to dry on racks at cool room temperature overnight before packing into jars.

Dried meat can be brushed lightly with sesame oil for additional flavor and shine. Makes about 36 pieces.

cook these next few in the same manner, be careful there pretty wild

Hot & Tangy Jerky
1 tsp salt 2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 tsp cracked pepper 2 tbs A-1 sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 3 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp paprika

Hot and Spicy
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c Cayenne pepper sauce
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1-2 t black pepper
1 t chile powder
1 c water

Hot and smokey
1 part liquid smoke
2 parts Worchestershire suuce
4 parts soy sauce
lots of (freshly) ground black pepper

Now many of you have read the antelope recipe posted yesterday, well heres an antelope recipe for jerky, though i haven’t personally tried this one because i have never shot an antelope!

CAJUN ANTELOPE JERKY

Ingredients:
• 10 lb antelope meat
• 1/2 of a small bottle hot sauce
• 1/8 cup lemon juice
• 10 oz Worchestershire sauce
• 6 oz Soy sauce
• 1/8 cup Caynne pepper
• 1/2 small Bottle onion salt
• 1/2 small Bottle liquid smoke

Directions:
1. Mix ingredients.
2. Marinate 24-30 hrs.
3. Dehydrate in dehydrator or a 150-degree oven.

I hear that this one has a very sweet taste, i’ll have to order some antelope so i can try it myself

8 votes, average: 3.75 out of 58 votes, average: 3.75 out of 58 votes, average: 3.75 out of 58 votes, average: 3.75 out of 58 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5)
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Published by djohns13 on 01 Apr 2008

Photo of a Lifetime

Each January, I always finding myself having bittersweet feelings about the end of archery deer season. On the negative side, I never seem to have hunted enough, taken the biggest buck in the woods or harvested as many does as I had planned on. On the positive side, however, I always find the season to have been very satisfying with lots of memories and some great meat in the freezer. As I put my bowhunting equipment away, I smile as I reach for my camera bag and equipment. As satisfying as an archery harvest is, I love to “harvest” wildlife with the camera as well. I actually find that the skills necessary to be successful in one of the endeavours applies to the other and the two hobbies complement each other quite nicely. As I head out with the camera in hand, I realize that it isn’t so bad that archery season is ten months away.

Recent winters in Indiana have been virtually non-existent with warm temperatures and minimal snow cover so food and warmth have been found in abundance. With the great conditions and minimal hunting pressure in my particular area, the deer population is exploding. In May, I was able to capture a photo from about twenty five feet away of a doe that appeared to be in the initial stages of labor. While she tolerated my presence for a while, eventually she waddled away toward more private surroundings and I left feeling very fulfilled for having had the experience. Of all of the young deer that I have seen later in the year, I have often wondered if any of them were her fawns.

June 12 turned out to be one of the best days I have ever spent in the woods. For many years it has been one of my goals to take a picture of a newborn whitetail fawn. I felt it had to be a close-up and the fawn had to be as close to newborn as possible. I almost didn’t see the woods on this particular day due to it being a very stressful, heavy workload day, a typical Monday in every aspect. By lunchtime I felt the stress of the job beginning to bury me so I decided to grab the camera and take a quick hike. Once in the woods, I decided that if I wanted to get that photo, I needed to get off the beaten deer trails and get to the thicker areas where the fawns might be laying. What a great decision that turned out to be. I slowly wandered through the cover trying to spot any brown spots on the forest floor that might be the elusive photo I had been waiting on. The May Apple plants were dying back and drying out so there were plenty of brown spotted false alarms. After walking for about 500 yards, I noticed yet another brown spot and looked closer to try to see the accompanying white spots but to no avail. As I started to move on, I had a feeling that I should look again, this time closer. Again I studied the spot but try as I might I couldn’t will the brown spot into a fawn. Once more I turned to leave but that nagging feeling returned. So for a third time I studied the brown patch and just as I was ready to turn away I noticed a brown ear flick. Talk about an adrenaline rush! I could hardly believe that I was so close to completing my quest. Very slowly, I eased over to the newborn, always watchful for a very mad protective mamma. Finally I was within three feet of the fawn and could hold my camera right over top of her to get some nice pictures. The whole time she was totally still except for her nose that was wriggling constantly trying to figure out if I was friend or foe. After getting a few photos I decided to head out before mamma came back with harmful intentions for me. I can still vividly remember my heart pounding and the amazement of finally getting the photo. I went back to work with all of the Monday work stress having evaporated into the forest air.

Two weeks later I was in the same patch of woods again scouting for fall when I suddenly felt that I was being watched. Having learned repeatedly over time that the feeling is usually correct, I stopped and surveyed the scene in front of me. Not seeing anything, I gave a quick look back over my shoulder and saw a very curious and healthy looking fawn that had come out of a thicket and trailed me for a while. I will never know if the two are the same, but it somehow seems too coincidental to not be. Thankfully, the fawn seemed to pose for a few good photos before retreating to the safety of the thicket.

As happy and thankful as I am for each and every archery harvest, the pictures on my wall of a newborn whitetail fawn will always be considered my favorite trophy. Not that I have checked off this accomplishment off my list, maybe I can get lucky and add a 180″ Indiana whitetail to my list of accomplishments!

3 votes, average: 2.67 out of 53 votes, average: 2.67 out of 53 votes, average: 2.67 out of 53 votes, average: 2.67 out of 53 votes, average: 2.67 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 2.67 out of 5)
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Published by mark kennedy on 01 Apr 2008

An Old Archers Challenge

back when i was first younger and i wanted to get my first bow, I wanted to get a really nice compound i had seen in the local archery shop.  Man i went in there every other day and looked at that bow, waiting for the day grandpa was gonna bring it home for me. Now when the time came and my grandfather came package in hand i can honestly say i was more than a little disappointed to see not the fast compound bow i wanted, but his old bear recurve bow.

Now i loved my grandpa to death, and I’m sure he must have noticed my disappointment because he said to me, I know you wanted that bow, hanging at toms but when you can show me you are gonna stay with it and shoot, we’ll see.  You need to learn to shoot the right way he told me, back when he was shooting there were no sights or cams or compound bows, just recurves and longbows.  So everyday i went out and shot my recurve, no sight, just a couple of mismatch carbon arrows and a shooting glove.

Christmas rolled around and i remember being more than a little anxious at whether grandpa thought i was ready to shoot the compound bow yet.  All the presents came thru, but no bow.  What i did get was a dozen new carbon arrows all my own.  I was so excited I went downstairs and shot all thru christmas vacation.  By the time I finally got the bow, i had become so attached to the recurve I was unsure what i was really going to do. 

Then i saw it brand new, shining, with a pin sight and an actual arrow rest, and a release!  Grandpa gave me the bow and let me shoot but the very first thing i noticed was how easy it was to aim!  Now that i was older grandpa explained to me how shooting instinctively had made it easier for me to hold steady because i was hitting x’s looking at nothing, and now i had something to look at, things just came easy.

I still have my old recurve even though i haven’t shot it since but I have never shot as good with any bow as i did with that bow. Maybe one of these days I’ll get into the instinctive shooting like my grandpa started me in, I just don’t know if i could hack it anymore. I just know the challenge my grandpa gave me when i first started is what gave me the push i needed, to get where i am today.

2 votes, average: 2.50 out of 52 votes, average: 2.50 out of 52 votes, average: 2.50 out of 52 votes, average: 2.50 out of 52 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5)
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Published by twisted1600 on 01 Apr 2008

Tolerance for all hunters

tetons1.jpg    

  It seems lately I’ve noticed a widening divide over the choices we make as hunters. Debates over such choices as: On stand or not,to bait or not,private property vs. public lands,guided vs. unguided,all quickly sour. One that causes a big stink is private game management(high fence) vs.free range. “Hot topic” is definitely an understatement! Another is bow vs. gun or crossbow. And how about this one? Brand A bow is better then brand B. Just a few examples that send many into a rabid tirade. The debates gone bad are almost endless,at times the Forum is flooded with our peevish,sandlot bickering,much the same as “my dad is tougher than yours”!

 There was a time we respected each other and honored others’ dedication to their weapon and manner of hunt. A time when a person was held with the utmost respect for providing for the family regardless the tools used or type of harvest the table was set.

 Have we lost so much pride and respect in ourselves as to lose all respect for others choices?

 Those same choices that forged this country? A country where all are free,within the Law and reason to choose those things that fill our hearts and lift our spirits in the pursuit of happiness.

 With more tolerance towards our fellow hunters choices….we can learn volumes.

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

Field Photos – Preserve the Moment Forever

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

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

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

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

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

Five Days Hunting The Ghost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 votes, average: 2.50 out of 54 votes, average: 2.50 out of 54 votes, average: 2.50 out of 54 votes, average: 2.50 out of 54 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5)
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Published by mark kennedy on 31 Mar 2008

IS SPEED A SUBSTITUTE FOR TALENT?-YEAH RIGHT!

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

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

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

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

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

5 votes, average: 3.80 out of 55 votes, average: 3.80 out of 55 votes, average: 3.80 out of 55 votes, average: 3.80 out of 55 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5)
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Published by CLB on 31 Mar 2008

Photography – The Other Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Published by wyojon137 on 31 Mar 2008

Don’t Like Antelonpe, Then Cook It Like This

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

Sweet and Sour Antelope

1 pound anntelope round steak, cut into thin strips

1 3/4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 clove garlic, whole

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup pineapple juice

3/4 cup pineapple chunks

1 green pepper cut into chunks

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

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

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

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