0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
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Published by cmgo06 on 14 Oct 2008

memories everyday

 The following is a true story.

 As each day goes bye and I am  thinking about my hold, aimming , and various “littile” things I work on each time. Being hard on my self is something I do and get mad about. For no apparent reason. However shooting a bow has tough me how to slow down and relax.

 Get home see my great kids and very understanding wife. Grab a snack and get to shooting. pratice make prefect they say . So when is it gonna pay off. I know I am “actully” shooting good. Hitting on or with in the “10 ” ring it a great shot in the feild. Yet I still want to hit that x spot. Distance is a game that I have come to find takes time.

Recently I had been invited t ofreiends camp up north (adirondacks area) . What a wonderful place it was, state foot tails near and as many miles as you wanted to walk and see. After a little time to get the feel for were I was I look at a map and got it down. There was basically a large triangle of land I heard was loaded with deer. The problem I relized was at the middle of the triangle was a farily large mountian. Trails lead alaround but up this place. It was know’n area buy hunter but hard to reach from unposted areas. Were I was it wasn’t a hour hike. What a place. I studies the map a while longer and figured I could get around. The guys who tagged me along are looking to take a hike after getting camp opened up. We went a decent hike,  along the foot talis and then following a river and back out, maybe a couple of miles. As I took another look at the map I relized just how large the area was we were entering earlier. what we had ventered was but only the samiliest tip of the iceberg. What an increadile experience that area was.

 A few days later back in reality we talk of making another trip. This time for a two day stay. I was jumping for joy. Now only if the wife is good with it i am in great shape. And what do you know she was. She must be up to something, but I will worry about that later. Now it’s game time.

 I have to admit that I have never been on a true hunting trip. I know laugh now, its ok I understand now what the trill is about up to this point. Feeling a little weary that I may not have it in me, but hell I have done almost everything else but this.Shooting has always been of intrest to me, much to my father’s “sha-grine”. Latley he seems more opening to what I am doing , guess its just I am older and he hasn’t much say. I am excited and nervious I guess. But I know if I do as I know to do I should be fine. Another day  soon and that much closer to it.

1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Published by WayBeau on 07 Oct 2008

First Bow Kill

So opening day of Archery season in Virginia was this past weekend.  I was lucky in that I was able to get out for the opening day.  The last time I was able to get out for a season opener was probably 6 years ago, and it was for duck season in Mississippi.  So to actually be able to get out on opening day was great in its own right.

My bowhunting to this point has been nothing but foam in the back yard.  But let me tell you, that darn cube target from Walmart has been “killed” more times than it wants to admit, and will continue to meet my arrows until it simply can’t stop them anymore.  My father-in-law, who gave me just about every piece of archery equipment that I own and doesn’t even bowhunt, decided he wanted to scout some areas that morning and we headed to the woods.  Since I knew he wasn’t going up there to hunt, I decided to sacrifice getting into the stand before day light and took the chance of blowing the whole hunt by stomping my way to my tree.

I was in my stand, ready for action around 6:50 a.m.  Well, as my track record goes in this stand, all I saw for the first hour and a half were a bunch of squirrels (one of which almost joined me) and the occassional bird.  Around 8:15 I found myself dozing off and figured, “What the hell, I’m not missing anything anyway.”  So I decided I’d take a short nap.  Well, good ole Mr. Murphy decided to make an appearance.  I shut my eyes for what seemed like an hour (really it was only 5 minutes) and was awakened by the sound of crunching leaves.  Thanks to the squirrels, I didn’t really think too much of it until I saw something much larger than a squirrel moving out in front of my stand at around 50 yards.  I knew it was a deer, but I wasn’t sure if it was a buck or a doe.  Though it didn’t really matter, I was hoping that it was a buck since this would be my first bow kill and my very first deer, EVER.  On top of that, there is a doe that frequents this area of woods that has two fawns with her and I wasn’t going to shoot her.  So I wanted it to be a buck so that there wouldn’t be any chance for confusion and accidental shooting of the wrong deer.

To my pleasure I saw horns and started getting myself prepared to stand and draw.  I’m not sure, but I doubt if the sequence of events could have gone any better.  The buck took a few steps and stopped behind a small group of trees and bushes that shielded his view of my stand.  That’s when I stood up.  At this point he was at least 40-45 yards away.  I gave a quick grunt call and he started walking towards me again.  As he stepped behind another tree I drew my bow.  I was at full draw when he turned and started quartering very slightly toward me (he was almost perfectly broadside) at around 30-35 yards.  I settled my pins on him and as I was squeezing the trigger on my release the sun broke the clouds and brightened my pins so much that they blended with his shoulder.  At this point it was too late.  The hair trigger on my release had all ready let the arrow fly.

When I released the arrow, the buck flinched slightly.  Immediately after getting hit, he jumped in the air, spun 180 degrees and took off back through the thickets behind him.  My heart was pounding harder than it ever has.  I knew I had hit him by the way he took off, but I was a little nervous about the hit due to the last second sunshine on my pins.  So I waited an hour which would have felt like much longer had a group of does (including the momma and two fawns) not decided to stop by to snack on the red and white acorns that cover the ground around my stand.

After my hour wait, I got down and went to the last place I saw him.  While there was blood on the ground, I couldn’t find my arrow anywhere.  I was thinking the worst, muscle hit into the bone and he’s taken off with my arrow.  So I start following the blood trail.  I only make it about 40 yards into the thickets when it simply disappears.  At this point I’m starting to get nervous.  I don’t like the idea (I honestly don’t anyone that does) of shooting an animal and just letting it suffer needlessly.  Also, I had read a lot of posts by people that lost deer and I didn’t want to join that group.  So I walked in a zigzag pattern for about 20 yards and there on the ground was more blood.  My heart literally skipped a beat.  From that point on, it was like bread crumbs leading me home.  I found him piled up against a tree not 30 more yards past where I found the trail again.

I won’t bore you with the details of dragging him out of the thickets and down the mountain.  But I will tell you that he could have weighed 300 pounds, I was getting that deer out of the woods.  This was my very first bow kill and my very first deer EVER and I couldn’t be prouder.  While he’s not the biggest deer in the woods, he’ll always be a trophy to me.

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 DuckBuckGoose on 28 Sep 2008

Why Do We “Cling” To Guns & Religion? (and bows :-)

As I write this article we are in midst of the strangest part of an election season –  when all the political stops come out. It can be a time of frustration for many Americans, because we see our country being torn across “party-lines” as we attempt to align our beliefs with one candidate’s set of philosophies vs. the other. At times like these I often wonder if most people really stop to consider the fundamental beliefs they actually hold, or if they are largely persuaded into assuming a “politically correct” way of thinking by their peer groups, their co-workers, their trade unions or the various biases spewed into our culture by the mainstream media. My fear, as an American, is that it may be the latter. And I believe this “politically correct” way of thinking is a serious threat to America, the sport of hunting and our personal freedoms.

Second Amendment - U.S. Bill of Rights

Second Amendment - U.S. Bill of Rights

Some define “political correctness” more narrowly, as the avoidance of using language that insults people who are perceived as socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. That’s not what I’m talking about here. And as someone that wants to protect the freedoms of sportsmen, I feel we have a duty to fight for our rights and beliefs, but also to be kind and respectful of others as we do so. If do not, we will surely lose.

In the context of protecting hunters’ rights, “political correctness” could be defined as the avoidance of seeking, telling or exposing the truth, so as not to disagree with popular opinion or offend any person, party, or interest group. To take that thought a step further – if a person is concerned with being “politically correct” and fails to seek, tell or expose the truth, they are likely living a life not based on solid foundational principles; but one that one that blows about and changes course with the social and political winds.

One of the U.S. Presidential candidates during this particular election year made a comment on the campaign trail about how mid-westerners “cling to guns or religion”. As a mid-westerner myself, I was struck by this comment. And although I perceived it to be condescending in how it was stated, I also believe it to be true.  Unlike the candidate who said it, I believe this “clinging” to be a very good thing for America.

Let’s face it, guns and religion are not viewed as “politically correct” or popular in much of today’s society – and are certainly not portrayed in a positive light by the mainstream media. However, many of us do place great value on guns and religion, treat them with respect and reverence and protect them with vigor – even when it may be unpopular to do so. That’s because our freedom to bear arms and practice our faith are based upon core, unwavering principles and inalienable rights that we know to be true, and good, and American. In this particular case, they are based upon the foundational principles found in our faith and The U.S. Bill of Rights.

The religion discussion is a big one, and this is not the proper article or forum to discuss it in depth.  So, for now, let us focus on the “guns” part. Specifically, on the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights – the name by which the first 10 amendments of the U.S. constitution are known.

The Second Amendment says this:

“A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

Gun control advocates claim that the second amendment was written to protect the rights of various state governments to arm and preserve their militias – as opposed to protecting the rights of all citizens and protecting our right to possess arms for personal use and protection (which includes protection from the government itself). Upon further research into what the founding fathers were actually thinking, it becomes clear that they were in favor of protecting the rights of all citizens to bear arms. Let’s look at what the founders actually said.

In a first draft of the proposed constitution for Virginia Thomas Jefferson said

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

And in a letter to William Smith in November of 1787, Jefferson said:

“And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms…The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Patrick Henry, a man well known for his support of the protection of liberty said:

“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”

And George Mason, during the debates on the ratification of the Virginia constitution said the following on June 14, 1788:

“…to disarm the people, that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

Does this sound like our forefathers were concerned with the rights of state governments to arm their militias? I don’t think so. It seems quite clear that they were on the side of the people, protecting our rights to bear arms for our own use and protection.

If we don’t continue to speak out about the issues we care about. If we continue to let the media convince voters to buy into a “politically correct”, anti-gun, anti-religion, anti-hunting world-view; the very core values we hold and the outdoor lifestyle we love are at risk.

I know not what course others may take; but as for me, I will continue to be politically incorrect.  I will continue to speak out to protect our freedoms. And yes, I will continue “clinging” to my guns and religion. They are forever tied to my core values, and I hope they are to yours as well.

DuckBuckGoose – September 27, 2008

4 votes, average: 4.00 out of 54 votes, average: 4.00 out of 54 votes, average: 4.00 out of 54 votes, average: 4.00 out of 54 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Published by marcusjb on 28 Sep 2008

Garmin’s Rino Series Radio/GPS

          Garmin’s Rino Series Radio/GPS

If you’re in the market for a GPS and you regularly use radios to communicate with your hunting buddies, you should take a close look at the Rino series by Garmin. I have used several different models over the course of several years and have found them to be useful, reliable tools. In this post we’ll take just a quick look at these products.

There are many different Rino models to choose from with varying options and price ranges. Admittedly they are not cheap, but by combining a radio and a GPS into one unit they have created a number of unique features that you won’t find anywhere else. Obviously one benefit of having a two in one unit is less to carry. Another great benefit is being able to send your location and that of waypoints to other Rinos. They can then see your location on their GPS and navigate to you or you to them. With some of the models you can even send text messages. I am unaware of any other product that is able to do this.

The Rino comes in five different models. The 110, 120, and 130 models are very similar in appearance and only vary slightly in features from one another. The higher priced of these models have such additional features as weather radio, electronic compass, and increased internal memory (for topo map storage). They vary in price from about $150 to $340. The 520HCx and 530HCx are a step up from the aforementioned models and feature such things as color screen, rechargeable long-lasting battery, 12 channel high-sensitivity GPS receiver, and longer range radio. They retail for $400 to $450, although if you do some careful research on the internet you can often find lower prices on all these models.

I have had experience with several of these models and have owned a 120 for about five years now. Here are some of my observations. My 120 has been used a lot, dropped many times, and has given me very little trouble. The unit is user friendly and the screen is of good quality. Garmin has topo maps available on CD-ROM to install on all the Rino models and I have found it to be very handy to have them when hunting and hiking. The road and trail detail is quite good. The GPS has probably saved me from getting lost several times now. The location sending feature is also great when out hunting with friends; it makes it a cinch for them to find you and your downed elk! The Rino 120 runs on three AA batteries and battery life is about a day and a half. On the downside for the 120, I live and hunt in mountainous terrain with heavy forests and both of these limit the radio somewhat. The GPS can also cause some frustrations when in heavy timber as it loses satellite contact frequently.

The HCx models are a different story, however. Deep forests and even basement walls are no match for their GPS receivers. These also have increased radio range. The other day while elk hunting, we were on top of a ridge and were able to contact a friend on a mountaintop over 20 miles away. The batteries on the HCx will generally last for several days, and you can purchase an accessory battery pack to use AA batteries as well. The only downside to the HCx models is the price. They are also slightly larger than the 120 variety.

If you’ve been looking at the Rino series, I hope this helps you make an informed decision. Garmin also has free software updates for all these models on their website. Overall, I have been very pleased in my experience with the Garmin Rino.

 

 

5 votes, average: 3.60 out of 55 votes, average: 3.60 out of 55 votes, average: 3.60 out of 55 votes, average: 3.60 out of 55 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5)
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Published by Klyph on 28 Sep 2008

Planning the Perfect Hunting Season…

My wife and I have always wanted a large family. To date, we have a beautiful 4 year old daughter and a crazy “all boy” son… As many of you already know, kids take a lot of time and they deserve it! So needless to say, the amount of time in the woods, since having children has slowed some… but I am looking forward to the time when they are old enough that I can pass on the tradition and take them hunting. About a year ago, my wife had a miscarriage and as we continued to have a desire for a “big family” we decided that we would give it some time and try again as soon as the doctors felt it was ok. Once we got the ok, we began looking at our calendars and with us both working we tried to “plan” the best time to bring another little one into the world and our schedule…

With my wife being a teacher, she quickly thought, “wouldn’t it be nice to have my 6-8 week maternity leave line up with the holidays so I can get a few extra weeks off.” Without giving it much thought I agreed… what was I thinking? I wasn’t…

We have always had an easy time getting pregnant… usually we just start thinking about it and “ta-dah,” one is on the way…

Well, needless to say this time was no different. We were very excited and as we looked at the calendar to figure out the baby’s due date, it quickly hit me… the baby was due Sept 29th… and the archery season begins Oct 4th… panic quickly set it… as I shared this new found revelation with my wife, she didn’t seem to be nearly upset enough to me… She was more upset with me than the due date!

As my mind was racing, I blurted out, “Actually that will probably work out great! You’ll be on vacation throughout all archery season!” The look on her face told me, everything… but she didn’t just end it with a look… “What do you mean, Vacation?”

Now I was in trouble. I couldn’t see any way out. So I tried to laugh it off… she wasn’t as amused.

So for the last 9 months, every time someone asked about the due date, I just quickly thew in a quick, “Yep, my wife loves me so much she wanted to be home with the kids during archery season, so I could have the best season ever! Isn’t she great?!” 

It’s kinda funny how men always smiled and seemed excited for me, yet women just looked at me with such disgust…

As my hopes for a hunting season seemed doomed, especially since our last two children have all been more than 5 days late… I have started looking for more places closer to home, in hopes of some quick morning hunts before and after work… I just wish daylight savings came sooner…

Well, this week Collin Jonathon was born! And its funny how this hunting season may not turn out as far as time in the woods is concerned… but it still will always rank up there as the best fall of my life!

3 votes, average: 3.33 out of 53 votes, average: 3.33 out of 53 votes, average: 3.33 out of 53 votes, average: 3.33 out of 53 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
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Published by WayBeau on 27 Sep 2008

Taking Stock

Let’s face it, everyone has been effected by the current economic “crisis” in one way or another.  But how have hunters been effected?  In the past, I have been the kind of guy who would go out and “restock” before each and every season.  Now, when I say each and every season, I mean EACH and EVERY season.  Dove, waterfowl, deer, turkey, squirrel.  It didn’t matter if I could use the same shot shells for dove and squirrels, or if the camo that I wore duck hunting the timber would be just as effective hunting deer on the mountain.  For some reason I always needed different gear for every season and critter.  As a result I ended up with a lot of “stuff” that I probably didn’t really need.  When I got married, not too long ago, my wife asked me a question that would put a lot of things in perspective, “What do you need all of that stuff for?”  Well, I tried to answer but simply couldn’t find a response that made sense to me, let alone a woman who has most definitely never set foot deep in the woods (well maybe when she was younger and crazier, and definitely not for the reason of hunting or being close to nature).  As a result, I took stock of what I had in my hunting closet (yes, she actually lets me have a WHOLE closet for my hunting stuff).

From that day forward, a lot of my gear hasn’t seen the light of day.  I came to realize that the things that I “had to have” weren’t really making me a better hunter.  So I simply didn’t take anything out to the woods that wouldn’t really help me, or I thought wouldn’t help me, in my goal of bagging whatever animal I was after.  The recent economic troubles our country is facing have made me take even a further look at what I’ve got.  Actually, it’s a little more than just what I’ve got, it’s how can what I have make someone else’s hunt better.  I had to ask myself whether there was anything in my closet that I didn’t use, that someone else possibly could.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make myself look like some sort of saint here.  I love my “stuff” and the last thing that I ever thought I’d find myself doing would be giving it away.  But that’s exactly what happened.  If I didn’t use it, or it didn’t have any kind of sentimental value it was out the door to the local outdoor store where they would find someone that could use it.

When I started going through my closet and cleaning out the things that I no longer used or needed I found that my closet was truly just a drawer.  Everything I needed and used would all fit neatly into a drawer.  The other thing that I found was that making due with the bare essentials makes one come up with new ways of doing things.  So instead of spending money on a new ground blind, that blown down pine tree became my new best friend.  Within a matter of about a hour there was a freshly built ground blind that looked more natural than anything you can buy in the store.  The scent elimination products that everyone seems to crave, once again that pine tree and a bunch of fresh acorns did the trick. The thing that is truly the most amazing part of it all is the level of gratification that you can get out of doing things this way and saving your money (which I’m sure our spouses appreciate as well).

And if you’re having a hard time getting through the process of taking stock and cleaning out, ask yourself this one simple question, “What did our fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers all do without this stuff?”  They simply hunted. . . .and probably were a lot better at it.

6 votes, average: 3.17 out of 56 votes, average: 3.17 out of 56 votes, average: 3.17 out of 56 votes, average: 3.17 out of 56 votes, average: 3.17 out of 5 (6 votes, average: 3.17 out of 5)
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Published by Will P. on 26 Sep 2008

What Hunting is to Me.

What Is Hunting

It’s a spiritual interaction between man and nature

It’s where I feel closest to my maker

It’s the only peace in a chaotic world

It’s where me and the old man ever get time alone

It’s a two mile hike in single digit weather

It’s sitting in a chair twenty feet up for eight hours

It’s one part adrenaline and nine parts relaxation

To put it simple…

It’s Hunting

 

 

5 votes, average: 3.40 out of 55 votes, average: 3.40 out of 55 votes, average: 3.40 out of 55 votes, average: 3.40 out of 55 votes, average: 3.40 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 3.40 out of 5)
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Published by RightWing on 26 Sep 2008

The great life………..

 

 

 

 He’s back, he’s back, the boy yelled out, letting the screen door on the old farm house slam behind him.  Momma, daddy, he’s got one, cause he’s grinning. Is it in the truck?? I know you have something in the back of that truck, ‘cause you’re back and it’s not even dark yet, Marty proclaimed.  Daddy, he’s got an arrow missing too….!!! Raise me up so I can see in your truck, Mr. Wilborn, raise me up. Marty’s dad Eugene walked up and peered over in to the bed of my old pick-up truck; You did kill that big six-point, well I’ll be………. That’s a good deer… Congratulations. That buck and his girlfriends have been tearing up my beans all year, no wonder he is so fat. Let me see Dad…….!!! Squeaked little Marty. Whoa, look at its horns. Where did you hit it? How much does it weigh?? Where were you hunting at??? Hang on a little-bit Marty, Eugene scolded. Let him just tell the story.

 

  I was hunting in the woodlot behind your equipment barn; I went back there after I passed you while you were bailing hay this afternoon. I hung my stand about 10 yards inside the tree line, I could still see down into that kudzu gully over to the left. I was in a small oak tree and was able to go up about 17’. The oaks didn’t have any acorns, but there were two persimmon trees around me that were loaded down with fruit. I was there around an hour when my wind indicator string, tied to my stabilizer started to flicker, and I could tell the evening thermals were dropping.

 

  I looked toward the kudzu patch and could see this buck marching toward me. The deer was headed for the persimmon grove on a faint, little path that I had failed to notice earlier. When the buck came closer, I could see the dried ribbons of velvet hanging from his blood-stained antlers. The buck turned facing away from me as he mouthed his first morsel of this fragrant soft mast. The deer had downed 3 or 4 of the quarter-sized, orange colored globes when he changed positions, giving me a decent stance to attempt to an effective shot. The buck bolted at the sound of the shot, put the arrow hit home in a picture-perfect fashion. Running away at full speed the deer’s legs began to buckle under its weight, sending the deer crashing sideways into several saplings. There was a moment of chaotic thrashing then total silence. The next few minutes seemed to exist in a vacuum. It was as thought the earth was devoid of noise. I couldn’t hear the traffic up on the highway. The birds and squirrel seemed to fall silent. Even the wind lay still for a few moments in time as I stepped up to the fallen trophy and basked in all the brilliance of the woods and God’s glory.

 

 Marty said he wished he could go hunting some day, and something makes me think he will.

 

 

 

 

Written By:    Jason Wilborn    Monroe, Tennessee

4 votes, average: 3.00 out of 54 votes, average: 3.00 out of 54 votes, average: 3.00 out of 54 votes, average: 3.00 out of 54 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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Published by WayBeau on 26 Sep 2008

Why we do what we do

For many of us, myself included, the stories that are told in a hunting camp, living room, or at the dinner table could serve as the only form of entertainment that we need.  It’s not whether the story is entirely true or not, it’s how the story is told that matters.  So as many of us have done in the past, the story teller may embellish the truth.  The statement “no harm, no foul” most definitely applies in this situation.  Anyone who can say that they don’t embellish when they get deep into a good story is no friend of mine.  It’s the story teller that embellishes that tells the best story.  That, my friends, is why we do the things we do.  The more the story gets told, the bigger the size of the fish, animal, cliff, etc.  Seriously, who would be impressed if someone told you that they shot a spike buck that fell ten feet down a three degree slope?  It’s the need to impress and entertain that drives the story onward to its ultimate shape and destination.  That buck mysteriously grows fourteen more points and falls down a one hundred foot rock face only to get caught, by the antlers, in a 60 foot pine tree, with no lower limbs, thirty feet off the ground.  Now which story would you rather hear?  That’s why we do what we do.  It makes for more enjoyable times.  No one does it out of malice or ill will, they simply want to tell a good story.  But in order to be able to tell a good story, one must first put themself into a position to experience a jumping off point for a good story.  Which leads me to my story.

When I was twenty years old, I had the good idea to pack my Ford Exploder, yes I said Exploder not Explorer, and drive to Wyoming with the hopes of doing something exciting and adventurous.  I won’t bore you with the details of my drive west from Virginia, but along the way I did fly a plane, see a cathedral on a prairie, and almost pick up two hippies and their dog (I simply didn’t have room in my Exploder for the hippies).  For the first week that I was in Wyoming I did a lot of driving around the areas between Dubois and Jackson trying to find employment due to the unfortunate fact that I wasn’t independently wealthy.  Late summer in Wyoming may be one of my favorite things about my time there.  But I digress, eventually I found a job as a cook and a wrangler with a local hunting guide in Dubois (if you want to know which one you’ll have to contact me).  Two days later, the adventures began.

To start off, the only hunting I had ever done to that point was a whole lot of waterfowling on the eastern shore of Virginia.  There had never been an occassion for me to saddle a horse or lead a pack train, both things that I was required to do on a regular basis.  That first ride, ten miles into base camp, was like nothing I had ever experienced.  Being the avid horseman that I was how was I supposed to know that you shouldn’t hold onto the saddle horn?  We made it into base camp, my home for the next 23 days and started setting things up.

For the next two months, I would see things that most may never see in their entire lifetime.  I rode over the Continental Divide several times on horseback, and a few times in the Exploder.  I literally climbed straight down a rock face to help retrieve a sheep that a hunter had shot, only to climb straight back up the same face with about 40 pounds of sheep meat on my back, all in a blowing snow storm.  And there was the day that I incidentally got within 12 yards of a cow moose , but the most memorable experience I had during my time in Wyoming was sitting around the camp table listening to the stories that all of the guides and hunters had to tell.  Many of the stories seemed pretty far fetched, but every one of them was entertaining.  The sixteen point buck that fell down a rock face and got stuck actually isn’t far from the truth.  The actual story (I’ve seen the photos) was a six by six elk slid down a snow bank and went tail first over a cliff getting caught by the head in a crack.   The point is, the story was one that I will never forget.  Granted the man telling it could have simply said, “I shot a six by six that slid down a bank and got caught by the head in a crack.”  Instead he embellished a bit, and the story took on a whole life of its own.  It is the embellishment that makes the story what it is.  From my time in Wyoming I have many stories that could easily be told without embellishment.  The thing is though, if I add just a touch of embellishment the story gets a lot better.

And that is why we do what we do.

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Published by Big Shot on 26 Sep 2008

Tools of the Trade

Here I sit, having payed WAY too much to get 5 different bows tuned and ready to shoot. I ask myself, why in the world does it cost that much, and the answer, you pay for ignorance. Not theirs, but ours. Ignorance of how to do it. Ignorance of what all you would need to do it. And in the end, ignorance of the fact that you NEED to know how to do it. What would happen if one day I was on a hunt, and first thing in the day I snap a d-loop or drop my bow and knock my rest out of alignment? My day would be ruined, quite frankly my whole hunting trip could be ruined.

So I add up the money I spent on getting the work done for me and realize that I could have bought all the equipment it would take to just do it all myself. Of course, it wouldn’t be done by now (about a month after the fact), because there’s that ignorance thing I mentioned before. Can’t be that hard though, right?!? So, let the journey begin.

  • Bow press in the mail… check
  • Basic set of allen wrenches… check
  • A few bow specific tools (I’ll get into the details later)… check
  • Places to go to for information… check
  • Basic mechanical knowledge… check
  • Someone to go to when I inevitably mess it all up… not without giving away another arm!!

So, what does it take to set up shop? Not as much as you would think, but there are some must haves. First and foremost among them is a space to work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like you need a large dedicated shop, or even a dedicated corner for that matter. Your space can be as simple as your coffee table or kitchen table. A big word of advice though, get a small folding table to use instead. Nothing will hinder relations with your significant other faster than ruining said coffee or kitchen table!!! It doesn’t need to be big, just somewhere to lay out your bow and tools. If you do have to set up on the furniture, lay out an old towel for a work surface, it will keep your bow from getting scratched as well. Now that you have a work area, on to the tools.

Bow Press
There are lots of options here. You can go portable with something like the Bowmaster, or get a full blown shop style setup with the Apple Press and stand. There are tons of options in prices ranging from ~$40 all the way into the thousands. The most important thing is to make sure it will work for your bow. Some presses will not work for split limb bows without an adapter that you will have to buy. Some will not press parallel limb bows without being modified. The difference here is in the way the limbs flex on a parallel vs. non-parallel bow. Parallel limbs flex vertically when the bow is drawn due to the fact that they are essentially in a horizontal plane. Non-parallel limbs will flex somewhere between vertical and horizontal, roughly at an angle towards the nock of the string. Due to this difference, if you try and press a parallel limb on a press not designed for it, it will not press fully and could damage the bow. Same applies to the non-parallel limb on a parallel press.

Presses are used for many things. Anytime you need to modify anything attached to the string, you will need to press it so that you can separate the strands of the string to get the accessories in between them. You need it to adjust cam timing (the rotation of the cams) or change draw length mods. Also for when it comes time to change out aging strings and cables, or repair damaged ones. You shouldn’t need it that often, but when you do need it there is no substitute.
Examples….

Bow Vise
A simple device for holding your bow. It can be pretty hard to work on a bow unless you have a third arm!! That’s where the vise comes in. A simple one will hold your bow in one position allowing you to work on your bow. A better one will allow you to rotate the bow in many directions once it is mounted. This will allow you to get the bow in just the right position for the work you need to do.
Example….

Allen Wrenches
or hex keys, whatever you want to call them. You know what these things are. You will need multiple sizes. A decent standard set from any hardware store will do. I have never run across any metric, yet. It couldn’t hurt, though, to have a set of those just in case.

Screwdrivers
You won’t need them all that often, but you will need them. Have a simple set of common and philips on hand.

Levels
Not your daddy’s variety. A string level, and an arrow level.

These will help you in setting up your rest. Place the string level, where else…. on the string!!! Use it to make sure your bow is level vertically (up and down for those that always get them mixed up) when in the vise. Now you place the arrow level on the arrow and adjust your rest until your arrow is perfectly horizontal.

Nock Set Pliers and Brass Nocks
Brass nocks are useful for many things. You can use them to attach your drop away rest cord to your cable. Place them above and below a kisser button to secure it in place. And of course even use them to mark your nock point.

Nock set pliers, obviously, are for attaching those little brass guys. A good pair will also have a lever to pry them off with.

Draw Length Arrow

Basically a long, unfletched arrow with markings toward the end. These markings are distance measurements that allow for checking draw length. It can be used for Three functions. First, draw it back with a recurve bow, or compound with no draw stop, and you can find your draw length (someone needs to help you here to make sure your form is right, otherwise you won’t get the correct draw length). Second, Draw it in your set up compound bow to check the draw length it is set at. Lastly, draw it in the same bow and use it to determine the arrow length that will be safe to use with your setup.  Although not necessary, it can come in handy.

Draw Weight Scale
Many different varieties are available. Simple ones like this that are hand held…

All the way up to digital versions, or ones that are mounted to the ceiling. They are handy if you want to know the exact weight you have your bow set to. However, not all that necessary. Example… Lets say your bow maxes out at 60#, and the company says you can adjust the draw weight by 2# per full turn of the limb bolts. Then you know that if you back the bolts out 3 turns each, then you just roughly set your bow to 54#. I don’t think it is all that important to know that it might actually be 53.2#, or 55#. If you know within a pound I would say your are good. Just get those numbers from your bows manufacturer.

D-Loop Pliers
Last thing you want while our hunting, or anytime for that matter, is for your bow to fail. If you don’t tighten your d-loop tight enough it is a sure fire failure point waiting to happen. The easiest way to tighten it is with a pair of d-loop pliers. These are specially made pliers designed to fit around a d-loop. Then when you squeeze the handle, instead of the two pieces closing tightly together, they spread. The formed head holds the knot ends in place while stretching out the loop and tightening the knots.
Example….

Serving Tool
While I’m sure serving can and has been installed without one of these, I can’t imagine doing it. A simple tool of either metal of plastic designed to hold tension on your serving thread while you wrap your string. You place your spool of thread in the tool, and use a wing nut to get the tension you desire. Then, once you have started the serving, you simply spin the tool around the string until the serving is the length you want, and then wrap in the end of the thread.

Well, that pretty well covers the most common tools you will need and see when it comes to setting up and maintaining your bow. I tried to be as comprehensive as I could, but there are quite a few gadgets out there, and I aim to cover all I can. Those will have to wait for another day however, so stay tuned for more. I’m going high tech in the next installment.  Look for part two covering lasers and more.

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