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Published by admin on 29 Jan 2014

Stick to the Plan – By Jason Herbert

 

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Stick to the Plan
By Jason Herbert

Driving to the new farm refreshed my hunting patience. I had been out in the woods since 5:30 am. It was now 11:00 am and I was birdless. Most hunters would have given up long ago. Not me, I had a plan and I was sticking to it. At about 11:25 my plan had worked, with three longbeards coming into my sweet calls like they had read the script. At 11:30 I had one giant tom slung over my shoulder on the way back to the truck.

I love to turkey hunt, but I can’t sit still, so at times it’s a real challenge. When I first started turkey hunting, I’d hunt in the same spot, nice and still till about nine o’clock and then head home. On the way home, I’d see toms strutting everywhere and I soon realized I was doing something wrong. Since then I have developed a solid plan that works for me. I hunt in phases. Each phase is a time of the day that corresponds to certain turkey behaviors. I hate wearing a watch, but when I am hunting with my plan, I use one to keep me on track and keep me disciplined. When I am bored stiff hunting, time seems to move really slowly, the watch keeps me honest.  I also bring plenty of food and water, in case the plan takes a while to work. When I leave on a turkey hunt, I don’t plan to come home till I got a bird or it’s dark.

The first phase of the plan is the hunt at first light. I get up really early, to arrive in my spot well before the song birds start chirping. When the birds start to chirp, the turkeys get woken up. If possible, sneaking in before they are awake decreases my chances of getting busted. At this point on the day, I like to get in nice and tight to roosting areas. The idea is to be there or nearby when the toms fly down and start to gather their hens. Hopefully my decoy will catch their attention to being them into gun range. The first few hours after the birds fly down, this are will be a good one to hunt. The birds will mill around, eat a bit, get organized and eventually head off somewhere else. If I have not killed a bird in phase one, I switch to phase two at about nine o’clock.

Phase two is moving to a strutting zone. A strutting zone is an open area where a tom can strut and bee seen showing off from far away. I prefer to hunt field edges during this portion of my hunt. If you do not have access to fields, try open ridge tops or flat river bottoms. When I move to a new spot, I get to stretch, re-charge my batteries for a quick minute or two, and re-focus. I quickly get set up and start calling. Sometimes I use a decoy, sometimes I don’t. At about mid morning the hens will leave the toms and return to their nests to tend their eggs. Now the lonely toms will get trying to find more hens. Usually they will head to a strut zone to show off a bit, hoping to find a new girl. I like to beat them there. These lonely strutting toms are usually pretty cooperative to calling efforts. I hunt the strut zones till about noon or shortly after.

At this point, I make a crucial decision to stay or go. I am blessed with many small chunks of turkey hunting property. More often than not, I am ready for a change so I drive to another property. I keep food in my car, so I maximize my time out of the woods by eating along the way. When I get to a new property, I head straight to a strut zone. This is a difficult task. Quite often I am arriving at the new property mid day, and the toms have already beaten me to the fields. That is ok, just set up close and start working them. If there are no birds in the strut zone, quickly and quietly get set up, the birds will not be far off. The scenario I described previously occurred on a high point in a hayfield, a perfect strut zone. The toms came in on a string because at that point in the day, their hens were on the nests, and this new “girl” in town caught their attention. I guarantee if I had been in that spot all morning, calling the entire time, they would not have been so eager to respond. Variety is the spice of life, and that rings true in the turkey world as well.

If the second strut zone doesn’t pay off after a few hours, hop back in the truck and drive to the third, and fourth, and fifth, etc… Like I said, I have a lot of different farms where I can turkey hunt. I have called in several nice birds in the late afternoon and early evening hours. I have noticed at that time of day, they don’t gobble as much, so keep your eyes peeled. If you are not as fortunate as I am, and you need to focus on one piece of property, there is still hope.

 

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If you can’t go to a new property, pretend like you left. By now, every turkey in the county has heard your calls, so it is time to take a break. This is hard to do for a lot of turkey hunters, but it is important that the calling stops for a while. At about one PM, I’ll head to a dust bowl. Turkeys need to dust frequently, and dust bowls are great mid day social gathering spots. If an active dust bowl is accessible, sit by it and be patient, eventually something will show up. I’ll sit a dustbowl for a few hours in the early afternoon.

At about three pm I’ll start “running and gunning”. What this means to me is that I wander around the property ever so slowly, calling the whole time. Try to use new calls now and mix up the cadence as well. Calls tend to lose their effectiveness each time they are used, so a fresh set of calls and a new style could really change your luck. Walk to all the old spots, calling and listening. As I said earlier, the turkeys don’t gobble as much later in the day so you’ll really need to practice expert woodsmanship here. Keep it up till you find a bird to work, or until it gets to be evening, whichever comes first.

Late afternoon/early evening finds me back where I started, the hunt has come full circle, and I’m at the roosting area. The turkeys will need to come back to roost eventually, so sit and be patient. Make sure to check your state regulations on legal turkey hunting hours, some don’t allow evening hunts. When I am in a roost area, I do not call or use a decoy at all. This is very similar to deer hunting. Just sit, wait patently, and keep your fingers crossed. If you do not kill a bird this way, listen for roost gobbling. The toms will gobble quite a bit again before dark, trying to gather and inventory hens in the area. Make sure you pay attention to where the gobbles are coming from, and start back near them in the morning.

By having a plan, a watch, and a bit of self discipline, I have become a much better turkey hunter. Many of the toms that I have shot have happened after ten o’clock, and on the second or third farm I tried that day. A lot of good turkey hunting time is wasted at the local diner when guys sit only their first light spot, see a “henned up” tom, and drive away complaining about him. To me when I see a henned up tom, I see a bird that can be hunted at a later time, and I also see a chance to hop in the truck grab a bit t eat, and start fresh at a new spot. Have fun, be safe, and remember to stick to the plan.

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Published by admin on 23 Jan 2014

GUIDED OR NOT – LOCAL OR ABROAD Part 2 By D. I. Hay

GUIDED OR NOT  –  LOCAL OR ABROAD Part 2
D. I. Hay

            Well, I guess I had better start this segment off by first apologizing to you for not making the “before Christmas” deadline.  I certainly wish I could have accomplished that, but unfortunately I was down and out with a horrible flu bug which ‘grounded’ me not only for the complete Festive Season, but also into 2014.

Well, hopefully the first part of this series did, in fact “sow the seed” and some serious thought went into what we could reasonably accomplish with the circumstances surrounding our daily lives. Please remember we are all individuals and each of us has our own personal set of circumstances. Before we get underway let’s recap the main points from the last article:

1.        The problematical one was concerning the financial obligation with regards to taking on the total cost of entering into an agreement with a potential Outfitter.  What other costs were associated with a fully guided hunt?

2.        Which animal(s) are we going to hunt and where?

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Cape Buffalo taken in Zimbabwe in 2013

             So, let’s get started with the third one:

3.        Make a definitive plan based on the real factors in our lives.

If we have had a hard and real look at what we can afford without inconveniencing our family (best to discuss what you are planning with the whole family present, hence avoiding a ‘sticky’ situation later on – sometimes it is accepted if we give up smoking and dedicate those dollars toward our hunt??), we will be able to determine how long we will have to save before we will have enough funds to cover the hunt and the animals we would like to harvest on this adventure. It is not an uncommon occurrence to have to save for two or more years before there is enough funds set aside to cover the costs. We will have a chance to discuss some of the associated costs with an outfitted\guided hunt a bit later. One deciding factor will be the distance you will have to travel to your hunt destination?  It may be within your State\Province, your Country, North America or somewhere far away. You should be able to figure out the cost of travel at the current rates and then you will have to guess at what the cost of fuel will be when your time arrives to travel – now there is a brain-teaser??.

There is a lot of assistance out there these days to make your job a lot easier than it was, say 20 – 30 years ago, when we depended upon the mail to receive the Outfitter’s Brochure, although we could contact them via phone and that is still a good idea. It must be remembered  Outfitters are usually busy most of the year either getting ready for the upcoming hunting season, looking after clients during the hunting season and cleaning up and replacing any equipment, which may need replacement due to normal wear & tear.  Also lots attend Outdoor Shows in the off-season, as that is where most clients are secured.

Today, most Outfitters host websites, which provide you with the various animals they offer, cost(s) of the guided hunt, seasons, cost of licenses and any other costs associated with that Outfitter’s particular hunt. Also, and most importantly they list References and it would be a very solid investment to make contact with a couple of these to ensure this Outfitter is going to supply exactly what you are looking for, as well as how the hospitality was.  This might be a bit biased, as no one is going to look bad on a website constructed for their business – I certainly know I wouldn’t.

There are numerous “Hunting Consultants\Booking Agents” who have many Outfitters from every conceivable part of the world listed with them.  Their services should cost you absolutely nothing, as they usually receive a commission from the Outfitter upon completion of the hunt. In my case, I love talking to hunters and am happy when they have had a successful hunt, in all aspects of it. Many of them also can look after your travel arrangements and there is usually a slight cost for this effort. Usually, these people should be familiar with hunting the animal(s) you are interested in or at least have hunted that part of the world.  If not, they will still have knowledge of those animals and the geography. If they do not handle travel arrangements, there are several very good Travel Agencies out there who cater to hunters and know everything connected to ensuring you arrive at your destination.

So, we should have now determined where we are going to hunt (area), what animals we are going to pursue and the time required in order to put away the required funds to make this dream become a reality.

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Alberta Mule Deer taken in 2013

 

4.        Assessing all the costs associated with the hunt.

Now here is an extremely important factor, which you may or may not want to consider – do you want to hunt alone or with a friend or two? 1 X 1 (one hunter for one guide) is the most expensive way to hunt.  It is usually cheaper for a 2 X 1 (two hunters for one guide). Some Outfitters will give a discount price if the group numbers 3 or more.  It is a great way to cut down on costs and enjoy the adventure with friends or your wife\husband\son\daughter. I know some African Outfitters offer special Father\Son hunts at a really affordable price.

The first cost to consider is travel.  If you are able to drive and there are more than just you traveling, then the fuel costs can be drastically reduced.  The same cannot be said for flying, that is unless there are ten or more people – smile. I have always found that Wednesdays are the cheapest day to fly and if hunting in North America the hunting season is either in the Spring (Bears) or Fall (rest of the Big Game animals) and that is a good thing.  If you are planning on hunting out of North America or in the northern reaches of North America, please take into consideration airlines charge more per person during the ‘holiday’ season or as they would name it “peak time”.

Do we ‘need’ any additional equipment\clothing?  Outfitters do not supply personal gear like sleeping bags\air mattresses and required clothing for their area.  It is a good idea to check with the Outfitters who you think may be the one you are going to finally book with, as to what is required for personal gear – most provide this and some even have it posted on their website.  It is not a great way to start off a hunt by not having the necessary personal equipment.  I have hunted all over North America and have been to Africa several times and I always check to ensure I have the not only proper, but necessary personal gear.  I cannot stress this enough, as if you have not travelled much, this can be a real bad experience.  Spring & Fall are very finicky, as far as weather changes go and one must always be prepared. Not meaning to “cry wolf” here, but some hunts are conducted a long way from what we normally associate with as civilization and sometimes one flies from the airport where the commercial plane landed straight into the Outfitter’s main camp and then may fly out to a “Spike” camp. So, it is imperative you have everything you need to keep you comfortable, warm, dry and safe against the elements. But this can be discussed in more detail with either the Hunting Consultant\Booking Agent or the Outfitter and please pay heed to what they suggest.

A little thought of expenses is with reference to the meat from the trophy (I use the word trophy here meaning any animal you take is your trophy, regardless of size).  This matter depends on the animal you are hunting.  If you are required to fly into the Outfitter’s main camp, there will definitely be a weight restriction on you and your gear.  Usually, in the case of moose especially, it may take an extra flight to get the meat out and you will be responsible for this extra cost.  Along with this comes getting it home.  The Outfitter will usually have the facility to freeze the meat and that way you can put it in a plastic garbage bag(s) and then in a duffle bag (the extra one you remembered to take with you).  If your flight from camp to your home is less than 24 hours, it should be good when you arrive.  Extra baggage is cheaper than shipping via a reefer (cold storage truck). In a lot of cases the meat or a part of it can be left with the Outfitter, as it will be used in the camp kitchen or he may distribute it to needy families. While we are on the topic of the animal, in our initial planning process, we should have decided whether or not we are going to get the trophy mounted or not.  Some will, if it is of a certain size, others will just take pictures and have that as the reminder of their hunt of a lifetime. I always carry two cameras with me – one a small one and then a larger one.  Remember, we cannot turn back the clock and one should take as many pictures as possible – better too many than too few.

The last major expense to be completely clear about is any additional costs associated with the physical hunt itself, such as travel from the airport to the hunting area.  Usually the hunter is responsible for any meals and accommodations before and after the hunt and travel from their residence to the point of contact, as stated by the Outfitter.

A minor expense, but an extremely important one is health insurance.  Check to see what your current health insurance covers and what it does not.  The cost of extra health insurance is usually minimal.  One has to check this one out in detail, as health costs are extremely expensive and one certainly doesn’t go on these hunts with the intention of either getting sick or injured, but things do happen.

It is hoped this covers some of the areas one should be aware of when planning a hunt. If there are any questions\queries, please do not hesitate in emailing me at  [email protected]

There are a couple of personal areas of preparation, which I will cover in the next article.

Take care and stay safe.

 

 

Yours in the Field

D. I. (Ian) Hay

Owner

Blue Collar Adventures

www.bluecollaradventures.ca

[email protected]

 

 

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Published by Frank Biggs on 13 Dec 2013

Bwana Bubba’s 2013 Willamette Valley Archery Blacktail Hunt

The opportunity arose, take the shot or pass?

The opening weekend of the general bow (archery) season in Oregon had past by two weeks.  After the opening the bucks had become scarce.  Two of the other hunters Mark S. an Oregon State Trooper Game Division and my son Frankie had taken bucks on the opening morning with great one shot kills.  The bucks for both young men were their first bow kills for bucks and also the privilege of taking Blacktail Bucks, that are very difficult to harvest in the best conditions.

This was taken on 09-07-13 on the cam in the draw.    He only came around 3 times in 6 months!
This was taken on 09-07-13 on the cam in the draw. He only came around 3 times in 6 months!

I had gone out to the vineyard a 90 acre of un-fence land in rural Oregon City – Canby, Oregon area in Clackamas County, Oregon and had sat in the tree stand numerous times in vane.   The year prior it was common to see at least 2-4 bucks during the archery season any given morning or evening.  Even the crop of spikes and does were not coming anywhere near the draw, bewildering mind set.

Frankie my son came out to the vineyard a couple of times. On Monday the 9th of September he came out with me to hunt again.  He had also been lucky to draw the Oregon Willamette Valley 615 Deer Tag, which allows you to hunt from September 1st, through to February 28th, the following year.  On this Monday night I would work from the tree stand with Martin Onza 3 that has proven itself well the year before, but this year the bow sight would be the H H A Sports Optimizer with the single pin on the pendulum system.  A sight that forces one to focus on the pin and the target. With the speed of the bow, I usually leave it set for 40 yards when I am going to stalk and 30 yards when I am in three stand.  If I have time for a rangefinder, I can easy move the pin up or down on yardage with my thumb quickly.

Frankie would be packing his recently bought rifle in a 308 caliber.  He would work through the timber and see if he could drive a buck my way. If a buck were bust in a different journey then he might get a chance to get his 615 tag filled.
Both us seemed to get bored without the sighting of any deer during the evening hunt.  With about 15 minutes of light left Frankie came out of the blackberries on the northern sector of the vineyard and I would be working the tree line just west of the tree stand in the draw.

One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!
One should have a camera that will take a picture in low light!

Frankie’s new rifle came with combo setup scope that would prove to be a problem! Should have taken out his Weatherby MK V with good optics!  You can have a rifle that is over the counter and inexpensive, but one should always have good optics for the conditions which includes the scope mounts!

He texts me that there is branch buck cutting through the grapes (12″ plants) and he just can’t get on him.  At that time I spot the buck, but he is 80 yards from me and just walking along.  I work in to get closer to him and when the buck was at 60 yards broadside, I decide it is to late to get a bow good shot.  Even with the greatness of the Optimizer and the Onza 3, I would have not gotten it done.
Both Frankie and I could not get on him and get a clean shot!

The positive of this, we did see a branched shooter buck, though the buck was not a resident buck to the area.  Thus ended the night of the 9th of September with the sighting of one shooter Blacktail Buck only!

On the Tuesday the 10th, I got off early from work and headed out to the vineyard. Again vineyard is a un-fenced 90 arce parcel of land that is just outside of Canby and Oregon City, Oregon. The deer come and go from many parcels of urual lands in Clackamas County.  I have seen the same bucks when scouting on lands that are about 1-2 miles line of sight feeding in the fields.
I decided to give the tree stand another go and within an hour I decided I need to do another spot and stalk. The deer just weren’t working the draw like they were the year before.

A different perspective of the this buck!
A different perspective of the this buck!

The taking of a buck in the draw during the opener and gutting the buck near the draw might have caused a problem?  I can’t see why as the coyotes and buzzards had cleaned the bones and any other evidence of the kill within days.
There was not much shooting light left so I decided to place myself next to the treeline that lead out into the grapes plants (young 1st year plants).  As I sat there, glassing, range finding spots that I though figured a buck might emerge from, I got this feeling that I had company and not of the human form.   Everyone has had the feeling that there is something close and in many instances we don’t take advantage of the sense!   In this case I moved my head and noticed a branched buck working almost in the same area that the buck the evening before.  In this case I had a bit more light and knew if I did blow the movement I could get a shot off.

In one fluid motion I move from my sitting position and swung around into the kneeling position.   The buck had his head down the whole time he was moving through the plants.   He never made notice to my movement and with ease I pull back my Martin Onza 3 at 72#, the  HHA Optimizer single pin sight was set at 40 yards and the pin focused just below the spine.   The buck did not jump at release as the Onza 3 very quiet!  His reaction when the arrow hit was that of a rock.  He just went down instantly and quivered for just a few moments.   The arrow had gone through his heart!   In my lifespan of hunting I have had this only happen twice before on bucks and both of them had been Blacktails also!  The Blacktail buck most likely didn’t even know he was dead at impact!  It doesn’t happen like this very often, but I will take it anytime I can.   One never likes to have to track game in the dense cover of Western Oregon during the evening into darkness.   A deer can go a little ways and disappear in the Blackberries, which make for difficult recovery on evening hunts.  I have to say when there is a spark of adrenalin, old bones can move without pain!He is a descendant of Stickers a big Blacktail that was harvest last year!

He is a descendant of Stickers a big Blacktail that was harvest last year!

Archery Buck 2013  Int

Though the buck was only a 3 x 4 with the single eyeguard and most likely three (3) year, I would do it again.   After opening day it had been tough and one should never have two legal tags.  It makes it tough when your trying for the local stud buck.   The rack is a very tight rack with the main beams almost touching.    His brother the other 4 X 3 with two (2) eyeguards still roams the property.   It appears that he will take up residency on this parcel and surrounding properties.  He is a bit bigger and will make a good buck in 2014!

Since this writing I was a fortunate to harvest the Even 3 X 3 in November of this year!

Even 3 X 3 Blacktail - November 2013
Even 3 X 3 Blacktail – November 2013

Bwana Bubba aka Cobra

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Published by Frank Biggs on 10 Dec 2013

Bwana Bubba’s Old Friend Mark D’s Oregon Blacktail Hunt

First off I have known Mark for about 30 years, in the days of Burns Bros., Sportsmen’s Center and Burns Bros., Travel Stops.  Mark and I hunt a number of times in the coast range for elk in those days!   Mark use to make sure that during the days of the Travel Stops we would always have the day old Hostess Pastries for a hunting trip!

Mark now lives out in the country on a dandy piece of Blacktail and Roosevelt habitat land.   It is bordered by a number of timber companies, so there is little pressure from the public!

OK! BUBBA – HERE GOES!

I JUST COULDN’T PASS UP THIS STUD BUCK!

Not the best picture, but his neighbor shot one of the 7 bulls that came in and it scored 320 Net.  Roosevelt Elk1
Not the best picture, but his neighbor shot one of the 7 bulls that came in and it scored 320 Net. Roosevelt Elk!

                       

This has been Mark D's target buck for 2013!  He decided not to show!
This has been Mark D’s target buck for 2013! He decided not to show!
It was the most unbelievable sight ever for us!   After spending many many hours in the blind in hopes of the monster 4 x 4 Blacktail coming in (before dark) or after light in AM, the second biggest one that I’ve gotten on Trail Cam showed up with enough daylight to get a pin on him.  The waiting in tree stand has been a tough one with extreme global warming that we have here in Oregon in the temperature in the Teens!
Frontal Shot!
Frontal Shot!
My son in law was with me to watch and witness the unfolding of a one in a lifetime shot!
The buck went broadside at 30 yards and mentally I knew my next plan was going to be in milliseconds.
As I was already at full draw, I let my new Mathews Creed go, the arrow hit high and sounded like I hit a rock.  It seemed to pick that deer up off his feet and throw him down like someone body slammed him. Then he roared like a red stag!  Wow! I have killed many animals with a bow over the years but never have spine one until now.
I shifted into panic mode as he was roaring and trying to get up so, I as quick as I could loaded another arrow and with him thrashing, shot again.

Dandy 3 X 3 Columbia Blacktail buck from west Clackamas County.
Dandy 3 X 3 Columbia Blacktail buck from west Clackamas County.
Well he twisted as I released the arrow and got another spine shot, this time in top…  Crap!   Double panic! I run out of the blind and as I approach him to put one in at close range, he lunges at me!   Wow!  Do they have power!  I got as close as I could and got one through both lungs and he soon expired…  Who would ever think that I could have gotten gored by a deer?
Mark D's old time friend and his buck from Mark's Place.
Mark D’s old time friend and his buck from Mark’s Place.
I hope to never spine one again, I much prefer a double lung on the first arrow…………………….
 
Mark’s 125 grain Thunderhead Broadhead went completely through the buck and severed part of the spine.
The Thunderhead was completely intact!
Mark D
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Published by admin on 04 Dec 2013

My Life With Archery So Far By Caleb Michael Odom

My Life With Archery So Far

By Caleb Michael Odom

When I was six years old I received my first bow for Christmas. It was a weak little thing with a 10 lb pull but that’s where it all started. It wasn’t necessarily safe but running around shooting my brother and getting shot back at but at that time it was the best thing ever. I’d shoot at the targets and feel so accomplished when the arrow would stick into the target and not just bounce back but hey I was hooked. A few years later I wanted to shoot more so my dad bought me a Darton Rookie T compound bow 22-23 inch draw 40-50 lbs. Unfortunately I couldn’t pull it back to my shooting got put on hold for about a year. My dad then bought me a Mathews Genesis. I shot it for a couple months then decided one day to pull out the Darton and give it a shot at pulling it back and I did. The Genesis got put on the back burner and I got serious. I started pounding the target with the Darton. I’ll never forget when I split the nock off that Easton 2413 aluminum arrow. It may have only been 10 yards but I was proud. Once I lost those arrows my dad gave me some of his broken Beman ICS Hunters 400 spine that had enough good on them we could cut to fit me seeing I only had a 22 inch draw.

 

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That started my hunting, I shot at squirrels and dove and stuff but never anything big so I will never forget the day my dad came home from hunting and seeing how he shot a deer that morning told me that his buddy would take me that after noon if I wanted to. I jumped at the chance. I had never really been deer hunting before so I was pumped up more than ever. I got to the tree and while climbing up in the climber I knocked an arrow out of my 4 arrow quiver leaving me with 3. It turns out I ended up sitting in the same stand my dad shot his deer out of that morning and at about 6:30 I look to my left and see a spike walking toward me. He stopped at 30 yards and I shot right over him. He took a few steps I ranged him again at 30 and shot behind him. This must be the stupidest deer ever because I just shot 2 times at him and he decided to walk toward me. He stopped I ranged him at 22 yards and shot my last arrow and it hit him right where the lungs should have been. Unfortunately due to the timing of the trip my dad just gave me his grim reapers to shoot doubting I’d really have to use them and the bow just didn’t have enough power to open it up and get far enough into the deer to kill it. We looked and looked and found no blood and concluded it just broke the skin and didn’t go far enough in to really hurt it. That was a very rough hunt for me but also very eye opening. I used to think that deer were weak and anything could kill them but when I saw that deer run off and we never found it, it proved to me that no matter what you confidence level is there is always that time that’ll make you doubt it.
That was the end for that bow. I didn’t hunt with it anymore because that year for Christmas I got a diamond razor edge. Started out at 48lbs and I started turning up the poundage about every week without permission until I got to about 57. I got that bow in 2009 and in March of 2010 I shot my first animal with a bow which was a hog at guess how far? 22 yards. Total pass-through with a 100 grain muzzy 4 blade.
I had shot 2 deer with a gun prior to shooting the hog with a bow and 1 deer with a gun after but I never had shot another deer with a bow until Thursday August 11th 2011. I was sitting in a stand at the end of my road that I had set up prior to season since I had been seeing and feeding deer there. Well at about 7:15 in the morning I look to my right and see a little doe come out and get on the trail that literally went three foot from the bottom of my ladder stand. She stopped at 13 yards and I let the muzzy eat. That diamond put the smack down on her. She only ran 20 yards and pilled up along side of a four-wheeler trail which made for easy pick up. I called my dad who was at a meeting and told him the news. He told me to wait 30 minutes then have my brother come pick me and her up on the four-wheeler so I did just that. We drove home with her on the front and kept soaking her with water to keep her cool until my dad got there. The look on my dads face when he pulled up is something that’ll stay in my mind forever. I put in the time, money, and sweat to get a deer and there is no greater feeling than that first one with a bow.

I hunted a ton in 2012 with no success at all bow or gun and I sold the diamond in December and bought the bow I have now which is a Hoyt Alphaburner. I’ve hunted this season so far with it and haven’t had any luck yet so my time is coming! You just have to thank the good lord for every chance in the woods you get because you never know if one day you’ll wake up and not ever be able to go again.

By Caleb Odom

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Published by admin on 04 Dec 2013

Bad Habits and Getting Help By Ken Otis

Bad Habits and Getting Help

By Ken Otis

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I started shooting archery when I was in the 6th grade, a Fred Bear recurve and cedar arrows.  It was my pride and joy for many years and during the late summer and fall I would mow yards, rake leaves, pick-up apples or whatever was available to make a little $ for a couple straw-bales for a target.  I never seemed to get much better as the years went by but I moved into the compound bow phase with the Bear White-tail hunter!  As the years past and as I look back, I never got any real instruction or any real guideline as to “how to shoot archery”.  I developed many ‘bad-habits’ starting with stance, shoulder and arm position, anchor position too far back, too much draw weight (as a youngster) and the one that almost ended my enjoyment of archery, TARGET-PANIC.  My brothers were out deer hunting and having success and the stories were incredible.  Time and time again I would miss, and miss, and miss but they couldn’t identify what I was doing wrong.

It was on my first buck kill that I realized I had a serious problem.  The 8-pt buck came in at first light chasing does, at 14yds I was at full draw, complete broadside shot and he was looking away from me!  This is it, the perfect setup.  I released my arrow and struck him a little towards the back so I thought.  He bolted forward and bedded sown 60yds out.  I waited as I was silently celebrating, but then he got up and walked away out of sight.  My heart sunk.  After 30 minutes I got down from my tree stand and followed the minimal blood trail to where he bedded down and then the trickle for another 25yds.  I went home with a plan to return that afternoon and I found him 150yds away in the creek bottom.  My shot placement was horrible!  He was standing at complete broadside and I hit him just forward of the rear leg, cut a main artery/vein and he bled-out internally.  Following this incredible fail I needed help.  I was about to give up totally on archery hunting/shooting as I was not able to make any real progress or find any local instruction.

My good friend Shawn Padgett convinced me to try again and he got me setup with a used bow and quality components (Bowtech General, Scott Release, Carbontech arrows, PDP field points, Trophy Ridge sight, G5 peep, and Bernie Pellerite). I read Bernie’s book, followed the instructions for dispelling all of the myths about archery (I had about every one of them in my head), and I had ‘Target-Panic’!  With my 2 new coaches (Shawn and Bernie) I followed their plan for bow setup, shooting sequence, and blind bail practice.  Within 4 weeks I was on my way to recovery from ‘target panic’ and was able to hit a 6” circle out to 40yds!  In ‘hind-sight’, the answer was simple; get good instruction before you get 20+ years of bad habits!  It is much easier to correct minor flaws in good form than to replace years of bad habits and misguided form – so teach your children and your friends to find a good teacher/coach.  Today I enjoy archery hunting, 3D tournaments, and indoor spot shooting all due to the help of a good friend/coach.

Get Out and Shoot the way Your Coach Told You To!

Ken Otis

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Published by admin on 03 Dec 2013

Technology And Deer Hunting: Top Apps And Equipment For Attracting Techie Millennials To The Outdoors

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No longer doomed to the boredom of perching in uncomfortable stands for hours on ends, today’s deer hunters enjoy a thoroughly technological approach to their craft. Some critics complain of new gadgets taking all the challenge out of hunting; however, when approached correctly, these tools can remove the usual discomfort while retaining the excitement of the hunt. More importantly, they make hunting accessible to a demographic once left out of the loop: young, techie professionals.

ActInNature Hunting App

A new social vibe now resides among young hunters, many of whom refuse to visit the woods on their own. This situation necessitates a joining of forces with small groups of outdoorsy types, carpooling to and hanging out at the designated hunting spot. But eventually, one or more members of your the may break off from the group, at which point, a tracking app could come in handy. Let the ActInNature iPhone app keep track of group members’ whereabouts via GPS. And at the low, low cast of nada, it’s quite the bargain — preventing the loss of a friend for free!

iHunt Journal App

In hunter education courses, students learn the importance of carefully assessing their surroundings. In the past, prospective hunters might’ve applied this recommendation through the use of a small notebook. Now, pen and paper are making way for iPhones, which makes note-taking easier, more accessible and far quieter than its outdated counterpart. Additionally, the $8.99 app is able to retrieve valuable information related to weather patterns, plus plenty of other factors capable of making or breaking the big hunt.

Digital Trail Cameras

A few deer hunting implements have yet to transition to the iPhone, in part, because such a move would be highly impractical. Such is the case for digital trail cameras, rare holdouts in a mobile age. Responsible for cluing hunters in on the current whereabouts of local bucks, these cameras offer supreme protection from the elements — and unlike iPhone cameras, can be left behind for extended periods of time. The Moultrie Panoramic can capture three distinctive images and combine them all into one crisp panoramic shot. Yes, it costs $255, but tech-junkie hunters would argue that this is a small price to pay for the vast photographic improvements, as compared to other trail camera models.

Gorilla Eye Trail Spy

The typical millennial hunter arrives in the woods with a group of friends and a generous supply of beer in tow, or, at minimum, a nice lineup of entertaining smartphone apps. Problem is, with all these distractions, it can be tough to keep focused on the task at hand: spotting, targeting and taking down deer. Fortunately, the distracted hunter now has a friend in the form of the Gorilla Eye Trail Spy. This gadget combines a pivoting tree bracket with a wireless remote in order to locate game and, of course, alert hopelessly distracted hunters.

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Published by admin on 26 Nov 2013

BOWHUNT AMERICA Best of Bill Krenz

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BOWHUNT AMERICA Best of Bill Krenz

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This column celebrates the writing of Bowhunt America Founder Bill Krenz. This piece was originally printed in the June/July 2005 issue of Bowhunt America.

Work on Your Weaknesses
The best way I’ve found to become a more accurate shooter is to work on your weaknesses.

If you’re an NBA basketball fan, you know
who Karl Malone is. Malone, who retired after playing eighteen seasons for the Utah Jazz and one for the Los Angeles Lakers, was one of the greatest power forwards ever. Malone was the league’s MVP in 1997 and 1999, was a 14-time All-Star selection, and finished second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Malone could do it all. He could rebound, play defense, and score.
But there was a time when Karl Malone was just average. He was picked by the Utah Jazz in the thirteenth round of the 1985 NBA draft. Twelve other teams passed on Malone before Utah called his name, and his rookie season was lackluster. His first coach, Frank Layton, called Malone in after that first year and explained, “Karl, you have a unique combination of size and speed, but your shooting is just so-so. You will be just a journeyman, an average big man in the league unless you work on your shooting. Your shooting is your weakness.”
“I’ll go home and work on that during the off-season,” Malone told Layton. Layton had heard the same line from a thousand other players. Most never did anything about it.
But Karl Malone wasn’t most players. He recognized the truth in Layton’s words, worked his tail off during that—and every other—off-season, and became one of the best shooting forwards in NBA history. By the time he had retired, Malone had scored 36,928 points, second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time NBA scoring list.
The biggest difference between Karl Malone and so many other players was his willingness to work on his weakness.
Most bowhunters recognize the fact that they must practice their shooting to become more accurate in the field. They set aside the time, ready their equipment, and pound arrow after arrow into their backyard target, hoping for the best.
I’ll tell you a secret. That’s not the way to do it. The best way I’ve found to become a more accurate shooter is to work on your weaknesses.
To do that, you must first identify your weaknesses. Check your ego at the door and objectively evaluate your own shooting. I like to do that periodically in two ways.

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Try setting up a video camera and filming your shooting from all angles. A video doesn’t lie—you’ll identify your bad habits right away.

First, I’ll mentally take stock of my recent shooting performance by asking myself a series of frank questions beginning with, “How have I performed during my regular practice sessions?” The idea is to identify specific problem areas. Last summer I did that and had to admit to myself that I was missing to the right and left much more than I would like. Horizontally, most of my shots at all distances were quite good, but my weakness seemed to be stray rights and lefts. I next looked at my recent performance in the field, evaluating every shot I’d taken at big game in the last few years. I don’t mind telling you that I was a bit taken aback to note the same right-left problem.
Having identified a likely weakness in my shooting, I next set up a video camera and filmed my shooting from all angles. That’s the second step. A video doesn’t lie. It showed me exactly the shooting patterns I’d gotten into. I hadn’t taped my shooting in a long time and was amazed at how my form had changed. I was leaning back, my anchor point didn’t seem as consistent as I imagined, and my bow hand
was jumping around far too much at the shot.
The next step in serious shooting improvement, beyond identifying weaknesses, is to develop and implement a plan to work hard on those specific weaknesses.
In my case, I zeroed in on cleaning up my right and left misses. To do that, I created a four-step shooting checklist for myself. On my checklist was to stand up straighter during the shot, concentrate on a consistent anchor point, do a better job of centering my sight’s circular pin guard in my peep sight, and maintain ideal bow-hand position through the shot. That ideal position was established by consciously trying different bow-hand positions on my bow’s grip (moving my hand right and left) until I found the position in which my shooting was most consistent right and left.
I also decided to shorten the draw length of my bow slightly, as a too-long draw length often contributes to right and left misses, and to spend at least 20 minutes each practice session shooting at a target with a black, 1-inch-wide vertical line drawn down its center. The object was to hit that vertical line every time, somewhat disregarding where on the line the arrow hit.
After a month of such focused effort, my right-left problem diminished considerably.
Honest introspection may reveal different shooting weaknesses at different times. At different times, I’ve struggled with a failure to follow through properly, shooting too fast or too slow, handling the pressure of important shots, judging shot distance, shooting in dim-light situations, being able to draw my bow smoothly and easily without jerky movements, and picking a specific aiming spot on big game. Those are all common weaknesses that can be worked on and significantly improved, although each requires a different plan of action.
NBA great Karl Malone recognized his weakness and worked hard to correct it. You can do the same. Working specifically on your weaknesses is an important key to
improving your shooting.

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If you’re not satisfied with your shooting, identify and work on your weaknesses, rather than just pounding more arrows into the target.

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Published by admin on 18 Nov 2013

The New Bow Hunter By Kyle Roush

The New Bow Hunter
By Kyle Roush
AT member MN.Moose

I have been a life time hunter, born and raises around the sport of hunting in the great state of Minnesota. The passion of hunting has been passed down from generation to generation in the Roush house so it came to no surprise that I followed in these footsteps. By the age of 6 I began shooting firearms and by 8 I was going on small game hunts with my father and uncles. Then at the age of 12 I was legally allowed to enter the woods armed ready to take down a monster whitetail deer. As we all know that didn’t happen but none the less I was hooked on hunting. Just after my grandfather’s death, just after my 15th birthday, I finally put my first buck down, a simple eight pointer. I was sad that I couldn’t share the experience and the excitement with him but being in the woods I could still feel his presents.

It is funny the way life directs you and how you adjust to the opportunities that it presets, because in 2006 I ended up moving to Ohio with my new wife. From there I had to adjust from gun hunting 40 acres to 2.5 acres. Well with only 2.5 acres I didn’t have enough space from housing to continue to use the shotgun, so I was left with two choices: 1- give up hunting or 2- pick up a bow for the first time in my life at 22 years old. So that is what I did, I went out and purchased a cheap Bear bow and started to practice. Let me start by saying that hunting with a bow is way different then gun hunting. It is not so much the fact that I have to get the deer closer to me (even though that isn’t easy) as I have always taken deer within 50 yards, but the muscle control and accuracy that you have to have is amazing. It can be easy to say I hit the deer a little forward and blow through a shoulder with a shotgun but that just will not due with a bow.

Well that brings me to my first year of hunting with my bow. It was early October and after spending an afternoon at the local pumpkin patch with the family I still had 2 hours before dark so I thought I would go out and see if I can catch one walking by. By my luck I did, however like I said above you cannot expect to kill a deer unless your aim is dead on. Well the plan that I had laid out with the wind direction, projected walking path of the deer, cut shooting lanes, and sent control all paid off. The buck came in just before dark walking the edge of a corn field and walked right into my shooting lane. I waited until I could have full view of the body, picked my spot put my 20 yard pin on the deer and let loose my arrow. Unfortunately the arrow didn’t go where I wanted it to, I ended up hitting him high and to the front. He ran like the dickens, never got a single drop of blood and later that year we got sight of him again still alive. But I don’t have to tell other bow hunters that I wasn’t upset that I didn’t get the animal, I was upset that I had allowed myself to make such a bad shot. It was hard as a new bow hunter to talk myself into going back into the woods after hitting a deer and not killing it, this was my first time ever wounding but not killing and I didn’t like the way it felt. I vowed to never go back into the wood without knowing that I would make a better shot. So during the off season I shot and shot my bow over and over again, this time I feel extremely prepared. Sadly so far this year the winds and weather have not been in my favor. So far I have only had two good encounters, on a Friday that I had off from work I had 11 deer sighting with 2 being bucks. Both bucks stayed out about 90 years in the hunt for the does but wouldn’t respond. The other encounter was last Friday I used the last vacation day I had for the year and had my mind set on sitting all day. Just before daylight I had 3 does out in front of me and I thought what a good start. I was hoping that a buck would be trialing them about 30 minutes out so I could have a shot on him, and I was right the only problem he was on the other side of the field heading right to their final destination, he cut the corner and didn’t walk by. I called to him but there was no response. Then I sat ALL day and didn’t see anything. So I started to pray to my god and the deer gods just say, I have sat in this stand all day PLEASE PLEASE just let me see another deer. I don’t even care if I don’t get a shot on it I just want to see one. Then out of nowhere in front of me 30 yards I have a deer, one of those deer that sneak up on you in the wide open. I was amazed, it had worked! So I stand up, notice that it is a buck but a real young smaller buck, but when you hunt in my conditions you take what you can get. So I decide I am going to take a shot at him. He is down wind which didn’t make me feel too comfortable, so I decide the first chance I get I am going to take my shot. He is working his way close and close towards my lane and doe pee. I got him at 21 yards and as soon as he clears this last tree I will have my shot, so I draw back and he takes one more step right behind the tree and stops….. He is just standing there; I am holding and holding and holding. Now he has me worried, I am going to have to let down soon if he doesn’t take those last two steps out into the open. Then I see it, the tail wag and again the tail wags he proceeds to turn and walked away. What a hunt, lesions for any new bow hunter out there if you pray to your god and to the deer gods make sure that you don’t add that little line “I just want to see one” make sure you let them know that you want to “kill one”. Well if you need to find me I can be located here:

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Published by admin on 14 Nov 2013

The Pope & Young Club is much more than bowhuntings record keepers…

The Pope & Young Club is much more than bowhuntings record keepers…

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We are Fair Chase. Supporting the ethical pursuit of free ranging, wild game animals without unfair advantage. We are Conservation. We protect the future of bowhunting and promote the conservation of habitat and wildlife. We are Heritage. We strive to increase the awareness and appreciation of bowhuntings foundations, principles and values.We are Membership. We are a fraternity of bowhunters networked to protect the future of bowhunting. If you are an ethical, fair chase bowhunter, then YOU are the Pope & Young! Join Us Today! Dr. Saxton Pope, 1923

BASIC HISTORY

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Dr. Saxton Pope & (r) Arthur Young.

The Pope and Young Club is one of North America’s leading bowhunting and wildlife conservation organizations. Founded in 1961 as a non-profit, scientific organization whose objectives included bettering the image of bowhunting, the Club has grown to be the standard-bearer for the principles of fair chase, ethics and sportsmanship in bowhunting. Named in honor of pioneer bowhunters Dr. Saxton Pope and Arthur Young, whose exploits during the early part of the 20th Century drew national attention to this “forgotten” and challenging form of hunting, the Club encourages responsible bowhunting by promoting quality hunting, sound conservation practices, high standards of conduct and fostering dedication to the protection of bowhunting’s future.
In the early days, the Club’s objectives of proving the effectiveness of the bow and arrow and bettering the image of bowhunting proved to be keys to the acceptance of bowhunting and the establishment of bowhunting seasons around the country. Nowadays, the stalwart Pope and Young Club champions the cause of protecting our bowhunting heritage, promoting its rich values and the adherence to a strong fair chase ethic, while continuing to prove the effectiveness of conventional bowhunting equipment. For over 50 years we’ve been leading the way and setting the standard.
“In the joy of hunting is intimately woven the love of the great outdoors. The beauty of the woods, valleys, mountains, and skies feeds the soul of the sportsman where the quest of game whets only his appetite. After all, it is not the killing that brings satisfaction; it is the contest of skill and cunning. The true hunter counts his achievement in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport.”

HERITAGE

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Ishi: The last of his tribe.

In 2004, the doors to the Pope & Young Club / St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting, at the Club’s national offices in Chatfield, Minnesota, were opened, free to the public. The foundation of the museum is the largest collection of bowhunting related artifacts and memorabilia anywhere in the world. Artifacts in glassed cases, descriptive storyboards and dramatic dioramas – featuring Ishi, Dr. Saxton Pope, Arthur Young, Fred Bear and Glenn St. Charles – chart the events that shaped bowhunting’s rediscovery and evolution.
Special exhibits include, among other things, the largest and most complete publicly-displayed broadhead collection, “Journey to Africa – 1925,” the evolution of the compound bow, and representative examples of all 29 species of native North American big game animals.

CONSERVATION
Bowhunters are some of the most active and dedicated conservationists anywhere. We are committed to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and the scientific-based management of our natural resources – including the key role that hunters play. Our program is about leading by example. We support, with financial assistance and moral support, a wide array of projects and programs around North America in efforts to enhance and protect wildlife conservation and our bowhunting heritage. We do this by providing monetary grants annually to projects and programs in areas of wildlife research, education, pro-hunting and wildlife management. The Club is also active in a number of valuable partnership and collaborative efforts representing bowhunting and promoting bowhunting. In recent years, annual conservation budgets have exceeded $110,000 per year.

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Chief Compton

MEMBERSHIP
If you are an ethical, fair chase bowhunter, then YOU are the Pope & Young! We are men, women and youth, from all walks of life and from all corners of North America. We are well-rounded, dedicated and concerned bowhunter/conservationists who care deeply about the fair chase principles and high standards of ethics and for protecting bowhunting so that future generations can experience and appreciate all that true bowhunting has to offer. Associate Membership is open to any bowhunter who has pursued the challenge of bowhunting long enough to have taken at least one adult big game species (not necessarily a record book animal).
Membership is separate from the Records Program (i.e., entering an animal into the record book does not mean that you’re a member…each is separate). The mystique of the Pope and Young Club is often credited to our unique membership structure. The founders established a membership structure to reward longevity as both a bowhunter and as a Club supporter. Every bowhunter joins as an Associate Member. Over time, a member may advance to Regular Membership, and then on to Senior Membership, by meeting different sets of criteria, including well-rounded bowhunting experience and active involvement. Members receive quarterly news magazines, membership card, decal, Club updates and fundraising activities, access to the Members Area of the website, and more. More importantly, members gain a sense of pride belonging to a special fraternity of dedicated bowhunters, giving something back to a sport…no, a lifestyle…that means so much to them. Join Us Today! https://www.pope-young.org/secure/associate_application.asp

RECORDS
The Pope & Young Club is recognized as the official repository for records on bow-harvested North American big game. Together with the Boone & Crockett Club, we maintain the long-standing, universally-accepted scoring system and set the standards for measuring big game animals. Through the Records Program, the Club records for posterity scientific data on North American big game taken with bow and arrow. The Records Program has many purposes and objectives.

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The great Fred Bear
First and foremost, it is THE venue to honor a bow-harvested animal, throughout all time—an historical record. The Records Program is the scientific measure to compare an individual animal to others and to the ideal for that species. Each listing is a document of bowhunting history, a testament to bowhunting’s heritage and traditions. The Record Book is the principal means by which the Club can promote the ideals of fair chase and ethical standards, and protect the integrity of bowhunting.
Continuing to prove the effectiveness of conventional bowhunting equipment remains important. The Club’s ever-growing archives provide great insight into the past and present management, health and trends of North America’s wildlife populations. The Records are a testimonial to traditional wildlife management and the important role of hunting in that management.
Through the Records Program, the Club encourages quality bowhunting experiences by awakening interest in selective hunting and the outstanding examples of this continent’s big game animals. We conduct ongoing recording periods and every two years present appropriate recognition to the finest big game specimen accepted into the Records.

Join Us Today! https://www.pope-young.org

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