9 votes, average: 2.56 out of 59 votes, average: 2.56 out of 59 votes, average: 2.56 out of 59 votes, average: 2.56 out of 59 votes, average: 2.56 out of 5 (9 votes, average: 2.56 out of 5)
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Published by ruin2it on 07 Sep 2008

Down to the wire…


I just got back from a bow hunting trip for antelope in Eastern Colorado, where I spent four days belly-crawling in 90 degree heat through sagebrush, grass, gravel, and cactus after some of the sharpest-eyed, fleetest-footed animals I’ve ever hunted. 

I had the pleasure (and good fortune) of hunting with two extremely knowledgeable and experienced bowhunters, Jerry Viera and the legendary Russell Hull.  From the beginning it was obvious that they knew what they were doing.  We had the standard antelope decoys with us, but we also had a cow decoy that Jerry and Russell had fabricated, and used successfully on other occasions to sneak within shooting distance of an unsuspecting buck.  They schooled me right away on the proper techniques for stalking our keen-eyed quarry. 

We chased several nice bucks around the huge cattle ranch all weekend.  On one occasion, after helping me find an arrow after my first of many missed shots, Jerry spotted a huge buck and decided to stalk him, crouching with bow in hand as he crept in his direction, then stopping and hunching over every so often when the buck looked his way.  To everyone’s amazement, the buck decided to take a closer look, and came right in!  Jerry scrambled to get an arrow nocked, and took a quick shot just as the buck decided that things didn’t look quite right, narrowly missing him.  What an awesome experience!  Watching from a distance, we thought the buck was going to walk right up to him!

One buck in particular seemed to be pretty attached to his home range, no matter how hard we pressed him, never running too far ahead, and always returning to roughly the same area after a chase.  One evening, we decided to try to see how close we could get if we just kept up with him no matter where he went.  Jerry shadowed him for five miles that evening before he finally gave up, but got a couple more shot opportunities while he was at it.

By the end of the trip, most of the bucks were pretty familiar with us and our truck, and would get up and run off when we drove within a mile.  We’d all seen some nice animals, even had shot opportunities, but just couldn’t make it happen.  It was getting to be pretty discouraging.  On the last morning, while Russell was hunting from his blind, Jerry and I decided to go after the “home range buck”, the one he’d chased for five miles the night before.  Things were different this morning, though, because this time, he had a doe…We took up the chase and tried to split him away from her.  Eventually we did, and it looked like we might have a chance at him.  He would stop every 100 yards or so and make a scrape, so he was definitely frustrated.  But the closest I could get was 92 yards, and he finally tired of the game and ran off at full speed.  It looked like our last chance was gone.

It was getting close to time to leave.  We had agreed to quit at 9am so we’d have time to pack up and drive back to Kansas.  On the way to pick up Russell, we spotted a buck along a distant fenceline.  I bailed out of the truck and hurried toward him, knowing this was our last chance.  Using the fence as cover, I was able to close the distance to nearly 75 yards without alerting him.   I crept closer, still apparently unnoticed.  I was inside 60 yards, still creeping.  He turned and looked at me.  I drew and released.  After a number of missed opportunities, and with just six minutes remaining on the last day of the hunt, I finally connected with a nice buck.  Talk about down to the wire!

I want to thank Jerry and Russell, and the folks at B² Outdoors who helped get my equipment ready for the trip, for providing me with such an awesome experience!  It’s one I definitely won’t ever forget…


10 votes, average: 4.40 out of 510 votes, average: 4.40 out of 510 votes, average: 4.40 out of 510 votes, average: 4.40 out of 510 votes, average: 4.40 out of 5 (10 votes, average: 4.40 out of 5)
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Published by Checkmate on 07 Sep 2008

Buying a bow for the first time: A noobie’s insight to selecting the right bow for yourself



My name is Kyle and I recently became an archery fanatic.  I bought my first bow in December 2007 with full intentions of becoming a fairly skilled archer/bowhunter.  I have not bowhunted in the past and only owned a very old model compound bow when I was around nine years old.  No one in my family or close friends bowhunts or participates in any form of archery.  So I feel that I am fairly qualified to write an article from the perspective of a brand new archer with almost zero knowledge about the sport of archery and no help from trusted family and friends on getting into the sport.  The goals of this post are to help inform new aspiring archers to select the right starting equipment that has the best chance of keeping them interested in the sport with a desire to learn more and become the best archer they can be.  Perhaps this post can help the already seasoned archers by taking a view from a different perspective than one they already hold.


Getting Started


The first place to start is always with a budget.  There is a WIDE range of archery equipment out there for all different price ranges.  Knowing what you can realistically spend on your gear is going to help you make decisions easier and keep the hurt on your pocketbook to something that is manageable.  One thing that I have learned quite quickly is that archery can get very expensive very quickly.  With proper planning you should be able to minimize the amount of surprises in equipment costs.

My recommendation is that you set a budget for total cost of a ready to shoot package.  Keeping in mind the things that are absolutely necessary versus the nice trinkets and gadgets that fall in the want category.  Things like arrows, an arrow rest, a sight, some form of release either a finger tab or mechanical release, broadheads if you plan on hunting and other accessories that are essential add up to a lot of extra expense.  I would try to find average prices for these pieces of gear and try to match with a bow that will fit the price range you have limited yourself to.  Many pro-shops and outfitter stores will have a good idea of price ranges of entire packages for out the door prices when you talk with them.  These tools are all vital components of the total package, but the remainder of this article will remain focused on selecting the right bow, (keep in mind this article is geared toward compound hunting bows, as that is the only area of archery I have entered so far) perhaps in the future I can spend time on other necessary pieces of equipment.


Removing Bias

If you are lucky enough to have friends or family members that already have archery equipment and are willing to help you get started that is great.  I would caution you to be careful of bias in the archery world though.  Many people are very opinionated on archery gear and not very open minded about things.  I think this is one of the biggest downfalls in the archery world.  My recommendation is that you try to keep everything that you have heard in commercials, from friends and family, and from pro-shop techs in perspective.  Although they have very valuable information, be skeptical of hard pressed opinions.  Websites like Archerytalk have a huge wealth of information available at your fingertips; all you have to do is seek it out.  What hasn’t worked for someone in the past that they “will never try again in their life” has more than likely worked flawlessly for countless other people.  Have an open mind when exploring the sport of archery.



Archery is a science, and many people have done a lot of work to improve on the equipment that is available.   There are great resources that allow you to get their reviews on gear for free.  I will caution you here however, try to keep in mind that references might not always be playing fair when it comes to reviews.  If a bow manufacturer is a huge sponsor of theirs, you might find biased results.  Archerytalk is a great source of case study and personal experience material.  Archeryevolution.com is a really good source of objective material on hunting compounds.  I would recommend reading up on some of the issues dealt with in their studies and use that information to help guide what you want to look for in a bow.


Fling some arrows

The only way to truly decide what bow is best for you is to shoot different kinds of bows.  Head to your local shop and ask for some help on finding a bow in your price range.  Hopefully they will have multiple bows that fall in your price range and you should shoot all of them.  They will be able to give you a release, some arrows and a few instructions on what to do when you start shooting. 

Before you shoot

Have the pro-shop staff determine your draw length.  On many bows today draw length is a set feature and you need different cams to change the draw length of the bow.  Having the right draw length for you is essential, and once you know it you will be able to try out bows that match that length.  Shooting a bow that is either to short or to long is going to be a serious disadvantage for you because it produces bad form while shooting.

Find a comfortable draw weight.  Not everyone is capable of drawing back 70 pounds.  Some people might not even be able to handle 40.  Have the shop staff help you in finding a draw weight that you can comfortably and safely draw back.  Select a bow that is comfortable for you to draw and does not require you to over exert yourself to reach full draw.  Archery is a sport of repetition, if you have trouble drawing a bow five times in a row practice sessions are going to be painful experiences.  On that note, keep in mind that archery muscles are not something used in everyday work.  You will need to build these muscles and potentially have to shoot a lower poundage at first until you have strengthened those muscles enough to pull heavier weight.

Now lets get to testing the bow.  The things to evaluate from bow to bow are:


Draw Cycle:

This is how the bow pulls for you and how much effort is required to reach full draw.  Each person can be different and a harsh draw cycle to one person might feel like very smooth to another.  It is important to keep things equal between the bows you are testing.  Make sure they are all set at the same draw weight.  Pulling 70 pounds on one bow and then 50 on another is obviously not a fair comparison.  If they do not have the appropriate limbs to match draw weights on the bows make sure to keep that in mind when you evaluate each. 


Hand Shock

This is essentially how much recoil is in the bow after the shot is taken.  If you have ever took a swing at a solid object with a metal baseball bat and the resulting vibration made you drop the bat in pain you have an idea what hand shock feels like.  Of course it is not that extreme in any bow on the market today (at least to my knowledge).  However, like a harsh draw cycle, an abundance of hand shock can make practice sessions with a bow displeasureable.  Try to look for a bow that does not vibrate much when you shoot.  Note that it is probably impossible to eliminate all hand shock from any bow, but you should be able to find something that does not feel like a baseball bat hitting concrete in your hand.



Some people might disagree with me here, but I think it is important to have a bow that you like the looks of.  Many people are generally proud of their bow and like to show it off.  It is similar to having a car or home you are proud of.  Remember to keep this in perspective though as well.  Looks are not nearly as important as functionality.  However, all things being equal between two different bows go with the one you like the looks of better.


End Results

If you are consistently shooting great groups with one bow and they fall apart with another, go for consistency.  It might be your form, or torque on the bow that is making you shoot worse, but it could be something that just doesn’t work for you.  Perhaps the grip is different and you can’t hold one bow without torquing at the shot, whereas you can hold the other steady and straight.  Just remember that one bow needs to be consistently different from the other.  Don’t just shoot one group with each and choose the one that has the better group.  Also, don’t think that because one group is closer to the bullseye than the other it is automatically better.  Once again, sighting the bow for yourself will produce better accuracy than when you are just testing the bow.



Inspect the bow for manufacturing defects and flaws.  You are paying for a piece of equipment that should be free of them.  Look at the machining on the different parts of the bow.  Check for defects that could affect a bows performance and also affect the look of the bow.  You wouldn’t buy a new car with a big scratch in the paint, you shouldn’t buy a bow with one either.  Also make sure the replaceable parts on the bow are in good shape.  Check to make sure the string is not frayed and looks like it is in good condition.  Some of the bows in shops get used quite a bit before they are sold.  Make sure you have a good string on the bow that is going to last instead of needing to replace it not long after you have bought it.  If you are unsure about the quality of the string you are getting ask the shop to replace it before you buy the bow.


Things NOT to worry about

Don’t worry if you can’t hit the bullseye with a bow the shop is letting you try out.  To get accurate you will need to have the bow set up for you and sighted in to your anchor point.  Most shops are going to let you shoot the bow to get a feel for it, I think it would be a rare occasion to have them sight the bow in before you have even bought it.

Brand names.  Just because a bow shop is a Hoyt, Mathews, PSE, Bowtech or other dealer, does not mean that those are the right bow for you.  Most people could be happy shooting a bow from just about any company out there.  Try to remember the points I made about bias.  It comes from all angles in the archery world, so remember to be cautious.

Equipment that is already on the bow is something you shouldn’t put to much stock in either.  If you don’t like a piece that you are trying out such as the rest or the release, remember you don’t have to buy those pieces.  You can dress your bow with whatever you want on it later.


Final Thought


Ultimately you are looking for a bow that you are going to enjoy shooting.  Try to recognize what makes shooting one bow better than shooting another bow FOR YOU, whatever that characteristic(s) is(are).  Be informed and take your time making this decision, it can be a difficult task to find the right bow, especially the first time.  As with anything else, experience will guide and direct you on what qualities you like in a bow, but hopefully this article will help you make a more informed decision on your first.  If this isn’t your first time buying a bow, hopefully this article will help you refine your decision making process or perhaps encourage you to try something new and compare results.  Either way, I wish you the best of luck and take care.

10 votes, average: 3.60 out of 510 votes, average: 3.60 out of 510 votes, average: 3.60 out of 510 votes, average: 3.60 out of 510 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5 (10 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5)
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Published by Acts 10.13 on 06 Sep 2008

Homemade String Stop

I made this string stop for my 2007 Bowtech Patriot II last summer and my buddy still makes comments on my bow’s quietness nearly each time we shoot together.  I spent under $10.00 and think that it turned out pretty well. My only initial worry was how much extra weight this would add versus a carbon based rod but I couldn’t even tell the weight difference once I first added this to my bow. I’m doing this from memory.  So, bear with me.

From the hardware store you’ll need:
– 5/16 inch fine-threaded rod (Fits nearly all bows that I know of)
– One 5/16 inch fine-threaded nut
– Two rubber stoppers of the same size (3/4″ to 1″ in diameter at the large end)
– Black Heat shrink wrap slightly bigger than the threaded rod (My local hardware store had white and red too)
– Black O-rings and Washers that fit snuggly over the threaded rod (For extra vibration deadening and appeal)

Step By Step:
1. Thread the rod as far as it will go into your bow’s rear threaded hole beside your string. Be careful not to let the threading rub against your strings. Make a sharpe mark on the rod about 1/4″ (or exactly half the length of your rubber stoppers) away from your string towards your bow’s riser. Use bolt cutters or have the hardware store use their chain cutters to cut ONLY the mark near your string for you. Be sure to take the rod out of your bow first!
2. Drill a hole slightly smaller than the rod about halfway into one of the rubber stoppers and all the way through the other stopper. And then take the stopper with the hole all the way through it and drill a hole slightly larger than your 5/16 nut halfway through it, starting on the larger end of the stopper.
3. Put some fletching glue of your choice (I’m a Goat Tuff guy) in the stopper with the hole halfway through it and glue it onto the self-cut end of the rod, not the factory cut that was threaded into your bow. Be sure to try and glue it as squarely as possible so that the flat surface of the stopper and the rod make a perfect 90 degree angle.
4. While that’s drying, apply serving to your bow string where the stopper is going to make contact with it.
5. Once the stopper dries, insert it into your bow’s threaded hole and screw it all the way in. Now back it out to the point to where it’s just about to completely touch your string serving but you can still see the slightest amount of daylight between the two. Make a sharpe mark about 1/2″ away from your bow’s threaded hole.
6. Now cut a peice of shrinkwrap, or two peices in my case, that will cover from your new sharpee mark all the way up to your newly glued on rubber stopper. Follow your shrink wraps directions.  I just used a lighter. Be sure to remove the rod from your bow before you start putting a flame to it!
7. Apply the rubber washers and o-rings of your choice to your threaded rod – I did this to add vibration absorption and to cover up the joint between my two peices of shrink wrap. Then slide the other rubber stopper as far as you can onto the rubber rod, small end towards the string end. And last, screw the nut onto the rod as far as it will go.
8. Now insert the rod all the way back into your bow’s threaded hole. Back it out to the desired point and countersink the nut against your bow’s insert with a wrench (Countersinking is like trying to unscrew the nut from the rod and purposefully letting the bow get in the way). Set the nut pretty tightly because it will get a lot of vibration and abuse but be careful not to mess up your bow’s threaded insert.
9. Slip the unglued rubber stopper over the remaining bare rod and nut and adjust your o-rings and rubber washers so that they don’t make contact with your cables or other equipment.
10. Get ready to receive lots of comments on your bow’s quietness and get ready to laugh at your friends who dropped $40 or more on an STS!

Don’t forget to wax the stopper and your string serving regularly!

12 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 512 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5 (12 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)
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Published by Klyph on 05 Sep 2008

The Wolf Pack, by Lone Wolf – Review

As an archery hunter who hunts many locations that require me to take my stand both into and out of the woods each hunt, I have been searching for the best way to minimize and consolidate my hunting gear. For the last few years I have altered many packs so that they can be attached to my climber tree stand while entering and leaving the woods. Until now, I have found many different variations in packs and other companies that make variations of straps that are used to make carrying my stand a little more comfortable than using the “free” or manufactures straps, but until know I have not found a combination of the two.


My first impression of The Wolf Pack wasn’t all that great. There are straps everywhere and it initially looked way more complicated than I would think that it should. But, once I got my hands on it, my opinion changed.

After taking The Wolf Pack out of the packaging I found that there are six (6) detachable straps that attach directly to the tree-stand (Lone Wolf calls them: “receiving straps”). Lone Wolf hits a home-run by lining the buckles with a neoprene cover to help quiet the “click” as the buckles are attached. I attached two (2) straps at the top, middle, and bottom of my stand. I found that the top and bottom straps worked best about 8 inches apart, while the middle straps are best spread as wide as possible. 

Receiver Strap Placement

Receiver Strap Placement

Once the receiving straps are attached to the stand it is now ready to connect it to the pack. Connect all six (6) recieving straps to the six (6) male buckles located on the pack. I initially thought that I would want the bottom straps as tight as possible so that the stand would be as high on my back as possible… Boy was i WRONG. I found that by keeping the stand as low as possible on my back, the weight of the stand is taken off of my shoulders and is much more comfortable to carry. So in other words, keep all the straps loose as possible until you get the unit on your back… it’s much easier to tighten up the straps once the unit is on your back than to loosen them. After taking the pack on and off a few times, making adjustments here and there, I found that the pack does hold my stand comfortably.

At the Tree:

The Wolf Pack, with all it pockets, straps and elastic, makes it easy to stay quiet. For me, there is plenty of space for all the essentials (range-finder, scents, bow rope,  toilet paper, grunt tubes, other calls, gloves, and other misc. items) while making them truly all accessible without routing through a big pack.

Pack loaded with gear

Pack loaded with gear

There is a built in carry handle at the top of the pack that makes it easy to attach to your bow rope and pull it up to the stand once you are at your desired height. There are two (2) straps that are used to attach the pack to the tree and all the “inside” pockets (while wearing the pack) are now right in arms reach now that it is attached to the tree. The back of the pack also acts as a padded back rest for your stand and removes all noise from any bark that would have other wise been right against your clothing.

Over all thoughts:

I found that overall this pack meets almost all my expectations. It was easy to use (once setup) and it kept all my gear quiet while keeping it easy to get to when needed. I really like the padded back rest, which is a bonus to me since I hadn’t thought it was all that necessary.

I do have some concerns (as I haven’t hunted with the pack yet, maybe they will all work them selves out) but, once you get all your gear in the pockets and strap it to your body, there is not much air movement. So, it might not be the best option in the early hunting season when temps around here can be in the 80’s. I use a HSS and when putting both on, it gets hot fast… So when using the pack, you may want to carry the HSS into the woods, rather than wear it. To bad they didn’t make the pack a safety system also… I better patent that right away.

Overall, I am glad I spent the 99.00 for this product and would recommend it to friends.

13 votes, average: 2.85 out of 513 votes, average: 2.85 out of 513 votes, average: 2.85 out of 513 votes, average: 2.85 out of 513 votes, average: 2.85 out of 5 (13 votes, average: 2.85 out of 5)
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Published by tuckr1205 on 05 Sep 2008

Fat Man’s First Archery Hunt!!!

     Well ladies and gentlemen, I am about to embark you on a hilarious adventure into my first bow Hunting experience!!  I had been hunting whitetails with a shotgun for about 10 years prior to meeting my best friend Pat.  Once pat and i started discussing whitetail hunting, he encouraged me to get a bow and he would teach me.  After being a little reluctant I purchased a used bow and began shooting the Summer of 2002.  Pat took his time and patience and taught me the ins and outs of bow hunting.  By Fall of 2002 I was ready to get into a tree stand, or so I thought.  Opening Day of archery season in 2002 Pat takes me to his hunting property.  280 acres of timber right in the heart of Whitetail Country in illinois.  mind you that Pat and his 4 other friends that hunt this property are all in between 5’10 tol 6’4 all around 175 to 225 pounds, and most of them can climb a tree like a Monkey!!!  Well at that time I was a phelt 6’1 340lbs, without any gear on. So the entire 2 hour truck ride to the Farm and I kept asking Pat, “you sure you have a tree stand that I can easily get into?”  He assured me that he had the perfect stand picked out for me and he guaranteed me a shot at a whitetail. 

     Well October 1st, 2002 we arrive at the property and get all our gear on and our bows and head to the woods!!!  after about a 1/2 mile walk Pat and I are standing in front of a huge Maple tree and Pat looks at me and points 30 feet up in the air, and stated “there it is the best stand on the property, I look at him and then back at the stand and there was no ladder or even screw in steps.  I asked him how in the world was I suppose to get in the stand, ” I don’t have wings!!” He stated” oh it is so easy, just take the branches all the way up, well mind you it is October in Illinois, it is 85 degrees, and the wind is blowing a brisk 25 miles per hour.  So he leaves me so I can make my journey into the stand.  He walks to his stand which is only about 150 yards from me and I begin my journey to the stand.  I hook my bow and backpack to the tow up rope and start out on the bottom branch, and thinking to myself that people at my funeral will at leaset know I died doing what I loved!!!!!  So I climb very cautiously and carefully, taking my time sweating and cursing the enire way.  25 minutes later I am on the branch right beside the tree stand, which looks about as big as a shoe box!!!!  I tip toe into the stand praying the lock on rusted 12 inch by 12 inch platform would hold my girth, as i bear hug the tree, like that was going to save me I finally make it onto the platform and into the 6 inch wide cloth seat, mind you I have now sweated off around 3lbs so I am a hefty 337lbs in a tree stand rated for 250lbs, not a good situation.  Once situated inthe stand and get my bearings, the wind started to pick up and with every gust the tree top swayed and so did me and my toddler chair i was sitting in!!!, so at this point I go to pull u my gear, which has my safety belt in the backpack, and I start slowly pulling my pack up to me, when about halfway up, you guessed it, caught up and wrapped around three branches!!!!!!!!!  There was no way in He!! I was clmbing back down this tree, so I did what any hot, sweaty, fat man would do and screamed as loud as i could for my bussy PAT!!!!!!!!  Who got me into this situation!!  Pat made the 150 yards through a cut cornfield in less than 10 secs and standing at the base of my treee, scowling at me, he stated”I thought you fell or was hurt!’  I told him I was not hur but I needed a little assisstance in getting my gear untangled before I just gave up on bow hunting and went back to the house for a chair and a beer!!!!    So I get my bow and safety harness and he gets back to his stand.  The enitre hunt I don’t care about deer, but I am focused and praying not to fall with each and every gust of wind!!!  SO finally around a half hour before sunset a yearling made her way to 20 yards a stopped.  I got to my shakey feet, drew back and had so much adrenaline goign that I shoot a foot over back, but what an awesome experience even after goign through all that misery, I was hooked!!!!

    At dark my buddy and mentor came back to get me and I was still in the tree, telling him all about the yearling and how awesome bow hunting was and trying to climb down the branches in the dark was more of a challenge then climbing up!!!  I get to about 10 foot off the ground and I am hanging by one branch and trying to find the other branch with my foot, my buddy Pat is trying the best he can to help me but is crying from laughing.  I finally get to tired to hold on anymore, mind you I am 340 pounds, and I tell him I am going to jump to get out of my way, by this time Pat is vapor locked and can’t peak and I look like the Biggest Man ever to be on a pommel Horse going for the Gold in the Fat Man Olympics, so after about three good swings to clear from the tree, I land on the ground with a thunderous roar and all my weight going forward and I ran smack dab in between to saplings on my knees and come to a halt as the two trees fall completely over!!!!  What a ride.  Well I hope I have visualized for everyone my first boe hunt as a fat man and hopefully some of you Plus Size fellas can relate to the tradegy of being a big man in the Hunting Woods!!!


Thanks for Reading



5 votes, average: 2.40 out of 55 votes, average: 2.40 out of 55 votes, average: 2.40 out of 55 votes, average: 2.40 out of 55 votes, average: 2.40 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 2.40 out of 5)
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Published by BOWdacious on 01 Sep 2008

It Was Perfect….

     I remember it as though it were yesterday…..bowhunting at the edge of the yard of an old abandoned house on a beautiful September day. I had watched a set of twins for three days. They were adorable little fawns. It took all I had not to laugh out loud at them.They were so curious and not very bright. The little doe would get about 7 or 8 yards away, look at me and stomp,throw her head in the air and sniff the air like my Beagle does and then go back to grazing. The button buck would put his head down and try to find me, give up and start eating again. I would let them forget about me for a bit and then I would wiggle  and the stomping and sniffing would start again. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. I didn’t even consider shooting them because I was enjoying them too much and they were babies, after all. 

On Saturday morning I sat and waited and waited and waited. No deer. I waited some more.Still,no deer. I decided to see if my babies were in the field across the road while I got up and stretched my legs a bit. They were. As I watched  them play, I caught something out of the corner of my eye….a big doe across the field from my spot. .I decided to try and stalk her. Each time her view was blocked I did my best Fred Flintstone “twinkletoes” walk.She busted me once and I froze (except for shaking like I had hypothermia). She stomped and blew and decided I wasn’t a problem. In my head I am asking her how in the world she doesn’t see me.I am shaking so bad you would think I was having a seizure and my breathing was ragged and loud.On top of that my heart was pounding loud enough to be  heard a mile away. 

This is the first deer I have ever had in my sights and the circumstances are ideal. As she went behind a tree, I drew my bow, still trying to breathe normally. She steps out 25 yards away. I aim….. hold on my spot…..release the arrow. It was perfect ………..

until I missed.

11 votes, average: 4.09 out of 511 votes, average: 4.09 out of 511 votes, average: 4.09 out of 511 votes, average: 4.09 out of 511 votes, average: 4.09 out of 5 (11 votes, average: 4.09 out of 5)
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Published by swerve duo on 01 Sep 2008


I had waited 7 long years to draw a coveted bull elk tag for the sought after Anthro Unit and here I was; settled into a patch of sage brush next to a pond, slow breeze at my face, at full draw with the bull of a lifetime at full broadside less than 40 yards away and I am under pressure. But, no hunt starts out like this. 

Putting in on limited entry hunts in Utah can be a frustrating experience. Not expecting anything in the first couple of years, because you know it’s almost impossible with the number of applicants in most limited areas, the pressure is not that great. Then as years 3, 4 and 5 roll around, the pressure begins to mount. You wait in eager anticipation for the inevitable “unsuccessful letter” to end the pressure for the year. In 2008, the “unsuccessful letter” didn’t arrive. Instead another one did and the pressure went up a notch. The game was on! 

Pressure is not a new thing for me. I have been shooting archery for about 4 years. My husband and I participate competitively both indoors and outdoors year around. We compete in 3-D events, field archery and basically any venue that involves a bow and arrow. I have hunted the last 3 years, but had been unsuccessful in harvesting a trophy class animal. With all the shooting that my husband and I do, practicing wasn’t going to be a problem. That at least dropped the pressure down a little bit.

Once we found out I drew a tag in the Anthro unit, Rod (my husband) and I began visiting with a few friends that we shoot with at our local archery club. We learned that two of the guys had Anthro tags in the past and had taken extremely nice bulls during their hunts. They were very helpful with information and advice. Then as luck would have it, another friend, Jared, who had been with both of the other guys during their hunts, offered his help during my upcoming hunt. Great news… the pressure turns down a bit more.

About a month and a half before opening days of the archery hunt, Rod, Jared and I head out to this monster unit to do some pre-season scouting. Learning water holes, guzzlers and pond locations is a must because the best hunting in this area isn’t as you would imagine. It’s not in the quakies and pines but rather down in the cedars, juniper and sage. One good rainstorm can ruin an entire hunt where every low spot becomes a puddle and the elk scatter everywhere. Getting caught back up can be a nightmare you don’t even want to face.

The time finally comes, the many hours of shooting, shopping and loading the camper were past. It’s now or never. Rod gets off work and we head out to camp. Running late as usual, we are hookin it up the road. At least Jared was able to go up earlier in the day to look around and determine the best place to start in the morning. We are about an hour out of town with the sun headed down in the west. Rods phone rings, it’s Jared. I overhear parts of the conversation “BIG BULL HEADED TO WATER, HURRY!!!”  “WHAT??” “YOU’RE WHERE?” All of a sudden we are screeching to a halt at the side of the road, Rod jumps out and starts unhooking the camper while saying “HONEY, get your bow and stuff out of the camper, we have to make it to this pond up there before the elk do!”  That thumping in my chest as I race to the camper door is just a little more of the pressure to come.

A half hour up the worst road in the world brings us to our rendezvous with Jared, as we lay out the plan of “you go this way, I’ll go this way and then…. well just shoot the bull if he comes in!” I hurry and get into my scent loc base layers and pull on my ghillie suit, I’m ready to go. We are barely a ¼ mile from the pickup where we spot some cows down the draw, around 300 yards below the pond that we are headed to. Rod says “see the raghorn bedded there in the grass?” my heart pounds harder, the pressure is building again.

When Rod and I finally make it to the pond after skirting around the base of a ridge, being careful not to skyline ourselves, I have ½ hour left of legal shooting light. The wind is light and in my favor at least. As the light wanes and the sunset rapidly approaches, nothing advances toward the pond. Pressure wanes as a little disappointment creeps in. Rod and I leave the pond while there is a minuscule amount of light remaining to avoid busting any incoming elk in the dark. There is no moonlight. As we get back to the pickup, Jared is waiting there for us.  We quietly discuss tomorrows plan, Rod feels that if the bull didn’t come to water tonight, then there is a pretty good chance that he will in the morning since it appears to be a new moon. Jared and I agree. Cool, we have a plan, pressure eases.

We head back down the worst road in the world to retrieve the camper so we can beat it to death getting it to the location we plan to spend the next few weeks. A few hours and 15 miles later we arrive at the pre-determined camping location from our pre-season scouting ventures. As we are setting up, we notice a couple of new water leaks in the camper’s water system. A direct result of the road no doubt.  We put the parts back together that had rattled off from the road, fix the water system and cook up a couple of brats for supper. I finally put my head on a pillow sometime after 1:00 a.m. That 4:45 a.m. alarm is going to come awful early. I can hardly sleep.

4:45 a.m. BEEP BEEP. We are all half awake and trying to get moving. Finally, we are all in our scent control and camo heading down the road. Jared is going to drop us off at a knoll near the pond while he scouts a few other watering areas. We’ll walk in from there.

Rod and I begin moving quickly and as quietly as possible through the rye grass and sage around the base of a ridge to the pond on the other side. I notice the trail we are walking on is fairly beaten down. First potential error but no pressure, it’s too dark to really tell, maybe the bushes just grew apart here, great quiet trail though. As we come around the ridge to the pond I notice a really nice clump of sage brush right on this trail with a great shooting lane directly to the pond below. Potential error #2. I plop down near this bush and start getting into position, what a beautiful night. There is not enough cover for both of us so Rod moves laterally from me about 7 yards to another sage brush patch. We settle in. I’m ready for a nap.

Darkness fades, with barely enough light I range a few spots around the pond, 30-40 yards, the pressure wanes, I set my range finders down next to me just in case I need them again. 40 yards to the upside, things look good. I get an arrow out of my quiver and nock it… rattle rattle, broadhead is loose. Probably from the road beating, I wonder to myself if my sight is loose too, or maybe even my rest. That road was pretty rough. I reach out and tighten up my broadhead, do a quick check on my sight and everything else, it’s all good.  Wind is perfect, blowing very lightly down the draw. I am high enough above the pond that anything coming above or below would probably not catch any scent. I glance over at Rod, he looks to be settled in as well. We had agreed that he would be the “judge” and give me the “shoot” or “don’t shoot” signal. I have done this sitting and waiting before. No problem, no pressure now. We wait.  

The path the bull and first calf take to the pond

This photo shows the pond from just over 100 yards away

Shooting light is upon us and things are starting to happen. I am watching up the draw when suddenly here comes a calf elk headed directly at the pond. The calf trots right out into the water bucking and playing like a little kid. I am thinking “this is too cool”. The elk calf then comes around to my side of the pond and starts to drink. I decide I better pick up my bow just in case a lot of “eyes” close in soon. I realize my bow is laying right in the middle of this monster trail we came in on. I get a little tenser and as I scoot a little deeper into the sage bush beside me on the edge of the trail, the pressure builds.

As I sit with my bow ready and still watching the calf playing in the pond, I hear the sounds of rocks rolling and footsteps closing in behind me. I don’t dare turn my head or make any undo movement because of the calf in the pond or whatever is behind me seeing any movement. Potential errors #1 and #2 are about to come into play. I can hear the footsteps getting louder and louder. “OMG, I want to look, there is something coming down the trail that I am practically blocking. No sooner had that thought flashed through my mind when these two calves burst down the hill headed for the pond.  As I squeeze in tight next to the bush thinking “be the bush, beee the bush” the first calf’s foot barely glances the edge of my range finder that I left sitting by my side as he heads past me toward the pond. The noise of my range finder sliding brings the second calf to a screeching halt at a distance of less than two yards behind me. The first calf stops and turns to look back up at about the same time. The only thought going through my mind now is “BUSTED, I am BUSTED!”

I am frozen, being the bush and praying silently that when the calves blow, they won’t head toward anything else that might be coming to the pond. Time stands still. Right now I am sitting frozen trying to be a bush with an elk calf less than two yards from me staring at me. I know it is staring at me because I can feel it’s eyes boring right through me. If that’s not enough, I hear a bugle that is almost on top of me and a huge bull comes screaming around the hillside. He is coming into the pond from the same direction as the calf that is playing out in the water. I am about to blow up, my heart is the loudest thing I hear, the pressure is at a crescendo now and I can’t even turn to look at him, let alone blink an eye.

The first calf that came down the trail finally turns and heads to the pond, thank God, two less eyes on me. I really want to focus on the bull that is getting closer to the pond but the other calf is less than 3 feet away from me now. Everything seems to be moving in slow motion. I catch a glimpse of Rod out of the corner of my eye with his jaw to the ground and then the truly incredible happens. This calf which obviously can’t smell to identify what I am or see what I am does the unthinkable. I feel its muzzle touching and rubbing on my shoulder. My only thought now is “this situation is going south in a hurry, you have got to be kidding me.” It was like the calf needed to try to verify what I was or was not. Pressure, you have no idea!

The touch of my shoulder makes the calf move, not explode, but he moves back up the trail the way he had come. At least now I have a little breathing room although I can still hear him behind me. Maybe it is only my heart thumping out of my chest that I can hear. The bull by this time is at the bank of the pond that sloped into the water. He lets loose another bugle, glunking at the end as he slides into the water. He looks huge, I hook up my Sensation release and make ready to draw my bow calculating in my mind how far I think he is. I look over at Rod expecting to see the “yes” signal but instead I am getting a “NO”. I wonder, “maybe he’s not that big, ok, no problem, I’ll just watch him instead” I unhook my release and reach for my binos. I start to slowly raise my binos to get a better look because I hadn’t had a chance during all the “touchy feely” stuff with the calf. As I raise my binos I must have grabbed a piece of my ghillie suit and was lifting the suit at the same time. As I come loose of the suit, my binos come up too fast and I whack the end of my nock which sends my arrow down into the bush in front of me. “well, at least I’m not supposed to be shooting this bull” I think since I now don’t even have an arrow nocked and I know the calf is still about 10 yards behind me. At least that didn’t scare anything. I take another glance at Rod and my heart sinks, his head is bobbing up and down like it’s on a string. Oh my gosh I think, I don’t even have an arrow nocked and my friend is still hanging out staring at me from behind. Shoot the bull, yeah right. The pressure completely and utterly explodes.

Somehow, I decide to just go for it, the bull somehow is still in the water, his head is down. I pull another arrow from my quiver and nock it. Out of habit I hook up my release again without a thought and slowly lean out away from the bush into my beautiful shooting lane (elk highway) and get this gorgeous bull in my sights. I slowly draw my bow and start counting pins, 20, 30, 40. He is standing at roughly 35 yards broadside. All I can think is “don’t hit the shoulder.” I have no memory of triggering the release. I hear the thump of the arrow hitting but not sure where it hits as the bull whirls and explodes out of the pond, headed back the way he came from. I am trying to stand up to watch him and I can hear Rod behind me saying “get down, get down, don’t let him see you.” I quickly reach in my fanny pack and grab my call and let out a couple of cow calls, the bull stops running and slowly moves away.  As I sit back down, I see the bull for the first time in my binos and watch as he lays down in the tall grass just over a 100 yards away with only the top of his antlers visible.

where he lays down in the grass

This photo shows the bull where he lays down in the grass

The last 20 minutes had been the most surreal experience in my entire life. To top it off, the first words out of Rods mouth weren’t words of congratulations but instead what I heard was, “my God if I would’ve had the video camera we could have made a fortune whether you killed the bull or not.” Rods first “NO” he gave me was because he was afraid to raise his binos for fear of spooking the calves that were hanging around me. Once he got the opportunity while I was entertaining our new friends, he took one look at the fronts of the bull and knew he was definitely a shooter. 

Pressure, what pressure? My first archery kill and the monster is mine.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

Fixed Blade Broadheads

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

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

Mechanical Broadheads

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

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

An Individual Choice

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

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

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

Whats Happening

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

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

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

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


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

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

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