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Published by itchyfinger on 15 Aug 2008

Competitive Nature

Competitive Nature


Why is that voice in my head telling me to challenge myself? 
Why now, with everything I have going on? 
Why do I feel the need to push myself into something I “was” good at. 

I don’t know why I can’t answer my own questions but I can answer the questions of everyone else. 

Am I in a rut?  Am I in a mid life crisis at 29 years old? 
Does my life suck so hard that I need distractions? 

My brain is full of uncertainity.  I am almost consumed by the thought of doing something different. 

 Am  I that fickel or bored with everyday life? 
Why do I remember stupid movie lines but can’t remember what time the party is starting? 

Why am I off center?  Why am I off balance? 

I’m tired and hungry and distanced from myself. 

 I believe that I have nothing to do but what other people want me to do. 

I need something so far out the park that it is another sport. 

I want to compete.  I want to win.  I want a victory. 

Why do we surpress ourselves of this very basic human quality? 
Is it intentional?  Is it taken away?  Why does the lust for competition fade?

Why is it now surfacing in me in a time of uncertainity? 

I want to persue it…..but why?……it will give you self worth……what is self worth?……

I think it is not about self worth, it is about self.  A competitive person must be competitive to feel normal.  A competitive nature must be fed, or the person is not who they were meant to be.  Many people say that they are competitive when they are just jealous of the accomplishments of others. What is a true competitive spirit?  Right now, at this point in my life I think I am missing it.  I think it is time for me to persue a path that will allow me to be who I want to be.    I will not make a vow, I will not make an oath to myself, I will not hold anybody else accountable.  I will just start being myself.

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 kbrando on 15 Aug 2008


The Archery Talk Blog Contest is back!

The world leader in Archery discussions will be giving away lots of prizes for the submission of your personal blogs. Blogs will be judged on criteria set forth in the terms and conditions. Archery Talk will be sending free Martin bows, binoculars, scopes, duffel bags, and many other items for some of the better articles posted.

Start writing and be included in the new fun and informative section on Archery Talk.



Starts on August 15, 2008
Ends on September 28, 2008 at Midnight PST
Winners announced on 10/6/ 2008


Terms and Conditions


To enter contest, blog must be placed in this category:
“BLOG CONTEST, CONTEST 2.0″ Also, don’t forget to check all other categories that apply to your article (Hunting Stories, How To, Etc..)

Entrants must post in any of the following topics in order to be eligable to win.
Prizes will be awarded in these blog topics/categories ONLY!

1- Bow Hunting Stories with photos
2- How To / Guide Reviews
3- General Stories

One grand prize winner in each category.

1 Firecat, 2 Bengals, 3 Tigers. In addition to the Bows, prizes will include; spotting scopes, binoculars, utility knifes, duffel bags and much more!

Winners may pick draw weight and length of adult bows.
Tiger youth bows are at preset draws.


Disclaimers, Rules and Regulations:

AGREEMENT TO OFFICIAL RULES: Participation in the Contest constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of Archery Talk, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

By blogging, each contestant gives permission to Archery Talk to broadcast a contestant’s blog post. All entries become the property of Archery Talk.

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If specific prizes are not available, reasonable substitutions will be made at the sponsor’s discretion.

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Winners will be selected by a combination of the star rating system (appears above the post title) and judging by our staff. Winning entries may be judged by the ability of the piece to inspire, evoke emotion, inform, instruct and/or send a message to its reader. They will also be evaluated for clear thoughts, originality, and/or creativity. Our decision will not be based upon grammar, spelling, or structure though we encourage the use of spell check.

Members may rate any or all entries, but may rate each entry only once. Malicious rating will not be tolerated. Members found in violation of rating rules will forfeit entry into the blog contest and all ratings made by them will be void.

The decisions of the judges are entirely their own, and are final.

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Published by Scott M on 08 Aug 2008

Thank you Mr. Lincoln

This is my first time posting to Archery Talk Articles & Blogs, so I thought I’d put this story out there.  I’ve had a couple editors take a look at it but no takers at this point.  Enjoy!


I don’t normally consider myself a superstitious person, but when it comes to deer hunting, all bets are off.  I’ve got my favorite flannel, and a usual routine that I like to follow.  I pack up early and check my gear often.  Sometimes good karma is almost as important as the license.  So I try to have a positive attitude, and be as prepared as possible.  Prepared enough to have a good day, without looking like an Artic expedition.

Like most hunters I feel that proper preparation leads to good outcomes.  So when I’m packing up for a day a field, I make sure that I have all the necessary items.  Being prepared means having everything I’ll need from the beginning of my hunt to the end.  Including all of the items I’ll need, should I be successful.  Often if I get to the woods and realize I don’t have a pen, mentally, my day is shot.  All hunters are great at coming up with excuses; mine tend to revolve around poor preparation.  As if not having a pen, or a piece of string is some kind of jinx that keeps the animals away.

The 2007 deer season was no exception to this.  Like most hunters I packed my field bag, and vest a good two days prior to the season.  After checking and double-checking my gear, I finally placed all of it in the vehicle for safekeeping.  While running some last minute errands I came across a head’s up penny lying on the ground in front of a grocery store.  Being within 18 hours of the start of the deer season, I had to pick it up, hoping for any bit of good luck for tomorrow.  As I slipped the coin into my wallet, I laughed to myself, thinking that this was a little silly, but what’s the harm.

I went about the rest of my day, not giving it too much thought until I was bagging up some leaves at my house.  I completed my yard work trying to clear my mind, as well as my yard, so that I could relax and enjoy the season opener, tomorrow.  As a cleared the yard I came across another head’s up penny, lying on the front step of my house.  This was just too much, so I
laughed out loud as I placed my second “lucky” penny into my wallet.

I felt that my “lucky” pennies were just too foolish to tell any of my hunting partners.  Knowing them, if I did tell them about my pennies, I’d never hear the end of it.  So I decided to not tell them.  Everyone knows there is certainly enough pestering to go around in the deer woods, and my pennies would be just too easy of a target.

As with most other hunter’s, I barely slept the night before the season.  Finally giving up the struggle, I got out of bed around 4:15am.  I showered, dressed, and went downstairs to have some breakfast, and watch the weather forecast.  Saying that the weather here in Northwest PA was less than ideal would be an understatement.  We had fog and rain forecast for the entire day.  Undeterred we made the 35 minute drive to my cousin’s property where we always spend opening day.  The property is small, but we’ve had good success on the opening day.

We believe the success comes as a result of the property bordering French Creek. There are many natural funnels on the property and the deer use these routes to escape the hunting pressure on either side of the creek.  When opening day roles around we usually see a deer or two, but sometimes they are on the run and don’t give us much of a chance.

The day progressed just as usual, with some shooting on either side of the creek, but no deer through our spot.  By 9:15am my hunting partner Joe, left his tree to push through a brushy area that usually hides a deer or two.  I remained at my favorite tree hoping that Joe, and other hunters, would push the deer my way.  With the rain falling steadily I knew it would be hard to hear any deer approaching.  About 9:45am I glanced over my right shoulder in time to see a heavy antlered buck slipping past me at less than 20 yards.  The wet leaves had hidden his approach, and he has about to crest a small slope.  If he made it to the crest my shot would be unsafe, because his body would be sky-lined and I knew that multiple homes nearby could be in my line of fire.  Before reaching the top the buck looked away from me.  As he looked away I swung my gun and body into position to make the shot.

The Marlin 30-30 cracked and the deer bolted over the crest of the hill.  I worked the action and then made it up the slope to try and get a glimpse of where the deer ran.  Just outside of my wood lot are two fields separated by a road.  All together the two fields span about 250 yards. Even with such a great distance the deer was out of sight by the time I reached the spot he was standing when I shot.  Since I was pretty sure he was hit well, I began the search for blood.  The steady rain we had all morning made finding blood, a lost cause.  Knowing the deer had to cross a road, I searched up and down the road for tracks, which might give me a clue to the deer’s location.

Having no luck finding tracks or blood on my own, I then got my hunting partner Joe on the radio, and told him I needed his help in locating a downed deer.  From his location it took him about 20 minutes through wet golden rod, to meet up with me.  Of course this was the longest 20 minutes of my life.  While I waited I searched with binoculars the field edges, hoping for a glimpse of a white belly or antlers.  When Joe arrived, I went over the shot and the deer’s possible location.

The field across the road was bordered by thick brush and golden rod, so I knew we could have a long search ahead of us.  The most direct line would lead the deer into the woods at the south end of the field.  I entered those woods at the nearest point, while Joe walked the field edge searching
for sign.  After we covered the nearest portion and did not finding any sign, I began to lose heart that I had even wounded the deer.  I quietly hoped to myself that I missed clean, and we wouldn’t have a long messy recovery.  As I continued on the south end of the field, Joe crossed the field to begin checking the north side.  Shortly after reaching the field edge, Joe hollered across the field to get my attention.  I began crossing the field and from Joe’s body language, I could tell there was a deer down in the brush.  My spirit lifted as I made the quick walk across the field.

His antlers were larger than I remembered, with a standard eight-point rack and a two-inch kicker on the right G2, making him a nine pointer with a fourteen inch inside spread.  He field dressed out just north of 180 pounds.  He was a massive animal, but not unlike deer we had harvested here in the past.  The area is heavily agricultural, with plenty of woodlots for cover, so deer tend to be heavier, than average.  We made quick work of the field dressing, and let him hang for a short time, while we recounted the story.

I never fail to be amazed at how far and fast a wounded deer can run.  This deer had crossed almost 200 yards in the same time it took me to cover twenty.  It just goes to show, in bad weather conditions, you have to take every necessary step to recover the deer you may have wounded.

We loaded him into the van, and made the short drive to our favorite meat market.  After I filled out the order form, I placed the receipt into my wallet.  Upon opening my wallet, I realized, I still had my two “lucky” pennies that I had found the day before.  I laughed out loud, as I thought to myself, “Sometimes superstitions really do payoff.”



2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Published by NTYMADATER on 23 Jul 2008

Red Hawk Peep

After trying almost every peep sight on the market I finally found what I believe is the perfect peep sight.  It is made by Red Hawk archery http://www.redhawk-archery.com/peep.html .  I have tried every size and kind of peep you can think of including the “no peeps”.   If it is too big accuracy goes down and with the small ones low light hunting is almost impossible.  “No peeps” work well for low light situations but they are not very accurate.   The Red Hawk peep gives you the best of both worlds.  It has a 1/8 hole that is surrounded by an amber lens.  There is no magnification.   What this does is allow you to retain accuracy during daylight hours but still be able to shoot during those low light situations where you are more likely to see deer.    Make sure you keep track of the time because it is possible to shoot past legal shooting times with the Red Hawk peep.

I shoot 3-D tournaments every weekend and there are several situations this peep sight will give you an advantage.   If you have ever had a “halo” problem with your pins this peep will take care of that.  Your pins will look like a fine aiming point instead of blotting out the entire target.  Also when you are standing in the sunlight and the target is in the shadows finding the target is no problem.  This peep has increased my scores 15 to 20 points.  That alone is worth the price.  Archery tournaments are the testing grounds for what I use for hunting.  The Red Hawk peep is the best piece of hunting equipment I have found in years.

The only complaint that could be made about the Red Hawk peep is the weight.  Personally I have never been concerned with speed.  I would easily give up 10 or 15 fps to use the Red Hawk peep.  The Red Hawk peep will only cause you to lose 2 to 3 fps which most people will not even notice unless you shoot through a chronograph.  I replaced my G5 peep with the Red Hawk peep and never moved my pins. With today’s high quality strings there is no need to use a rubber tube for your peep.   I shoot out to 60 yards and my pin gap remained the same.  I suppose if you wanted to be real picky you could say the Red Hawk isn’t very pretty.  Of course you will change your mind after looking through this peep and see what a beautiful sight picture you have.

2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Published by NTYMADATER on 23 Jul 2008

Slick Trick Broadheads


Let’s talk about broadheads.   What should a good broadhead do?  First it should fly like a bullet and hit what we are aiming at. Field point accuracy is the key word.  It should also be razor sharp. The ability to leave a good blood trail is also a plus meaning it should make a complete pass through.  I like a tough broadhead.   It should be able to break bones if necessary. It needs to be reusable.  With the cost of broadheads today who can afford to buy a new one every time they shoot an animal.  Therefore, cost has to be on the list when considering a new broadhead purchase.   Any broadhead that is shot through both lungs of an animal will dispatch it very quickly.  Then why are there so many different kinds of broadheads on the market?  Because not every shot is perfect and manufacturers try to make broadheads that will compensate for poor shot placement.  I’m not saying we should buy broadheads that claim to make up for poor shot placement.  Everyone has an ethical responsibility to practice and make a good shot every time they release an arrow. However; if you hunt long enough sooner or later you will make a less than perfect shot.  

Let’s review our criteria for a good broadhead:

1.       Field point accuracy

2.       Razor sharp

3.       Pass through

4.       Tough

5.       Reusable

6.       Affordable

 Let’s discuss poor shot placement.  If you hit to far back you are either in the liver or guts depending on if it is high or low.  Either shot will be fatal if given enough time.  Notice I said if given enough time.  This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when going after an animal that has been hit “bad”.  “When in doubt back out” is a good saying to follow.  Most deer will not run more than 100 yards before lying down.   They must be given enough time to expire. I usually wait at least 16 hours.  Remember if that deer is dead he’s not going anywhere.  If you go after them to early they will jump up and run even farther which makes the odds of finding that animal very unlikely.    If you hit to far forward you will hit the shoulder.  For me fixed blades always penetrate enough to make a fatal shot.  Mechanicals aren’t as reliable in this area.   



Let’s talk about mechanical heads.  Recently mechanical broadheads have been all the “rage” because they fly just like field points and have big cutting diameters.  However most mechanicals have a hard time making a complete pass through and leave a very small entrance wound.  Quartering shots are problematic for mechanicals also.  Rage broadheads have done a pretty good job of addressing these issues with their new design.  However no mechanical is good at penetrating the shoulder of a mature buck.  Also most mechanicals are pretty expensive.  Especially when you consider replacement blades must be bought every time you shoot an animal. 

Let’s talk about fixed blade broadheads.  Fixed blade heads do not have any of the problems mechanical heads have.  Quartering shots, shoulder shots, pass through shots, are easy for fixed blade heads.  What they do have a problem with is field point accuracy.  Most fixed blades do not fly well especially out of today’s high speed bows. 

Let’s talk about SLICK TRICK


They have addressed the accuracy problems by making a “super short” broadhead.  You might think this would sacrifice cutting diameter but they have a 1 1/8” cut which is more than enough.  With 4 blades they have almost as much cutting surface as a 2 blade rage.  Be careful these blades can almost cut you just by looking at them.  Now that’s sharp.  These are without a doubt some of the toughest broadheads you will ever see.  I’ve always thought Thunderheads were the toughest until I tried SLICK TRICKS.  You can sharpen the blades which makes them very economical.   SLICK TRICK even has a head for those of you that prefer cut on contact.  Also new this year is a 1 ¼” cutting diameter head that is simply wicked looking.

Customer service is excellent. They go above and beyond to make sure their customers are satisfied.  Here is a direct quote from SLICK TRICK .  If you receive Tricks and are not pleased in any way, SLICK TRICK refuses to accept your money. Just return with a note and we will cheerfully replace or refund.   It doesn’t get any better than that.  SLICK TRICKS are the perfect broadhead in my opinion.


3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 53 votes, average: 4.67 out of 53 votes, average: 4.67 out of 53 votes, average: 4.67 out of 53 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)
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Published by MrArcherMan on 26 Jun 2008

Martin Firecat Review – Bow & Arrow Hunting Mag.


By: Joe Bell

From: Bow&Arrow Hunting Magazine

The Martin Firecat


Super-fast, lightweight and exceptionally quiet, this bow could be archery’s best value going.

While attending the annual archery trade show last January in Indianapolis, I came across a lot of folks who were talking about certain new products. One of the most raved-about items—based on value and quality— was the Martin Firecat Pro-X.

Given the case, I immediately felt the urgency to go hold and shoot some arrows through this bow. I did, and, just like the others, I came away pretty darn impressed. The bow felt very smooth to draw, and shot vibration and noise was minimal, if that. The overall performance was great. Here’s a quick rundown of this bow’s most impressive qualities.


Arrow speed is still an eye-catcher for many archery goers looking for a new bow. The Firecat puts out striking numbers. In fact, this bow is about as fast as they come in a 7-inch brace height. Advertised claims are around 340-fps IBO speed! Now that’s smokin’ fast.

From what I can tell, most of the speed is delivered by Martin’s new C.A.T. Hybrid Cam system, a fairly aggressive system. I must admit, I felt the “aggressiveness” while drawing the bow; most of the drawing force “loads up” toward the back end of the cycle just before dropping into the valley. However, after shooting the bow several times, this area of the cycle was less and less of a distraction, and the draw valley felt great—not too short and with a very solid wall.

I must add, there’s smoothness to this draw one must experience to appreciate. I would imagine this could be attributed to the quality of the cams’ bearings. Martin uses their own precision-made Speed Bearings, which are sealed, and allow the system to maintain peak performance, no matter the weather and conditions. The bearings effectively eliminate uneven drag and keep lubrication in and dirt out.

The cam system is totally adjustable by way of swiveling draw-length modules. Each screw position offers 1/2-inch draw-length change, and is simply done by removing and reattaching two small Allen screws on each cam. You can do this without the use of a bow press, allowing you to dial-in optimum fit with absolute ease.


Martin’s engineers placed high importance on this bow’s speed, but they also focused heavily on other desirable specs wanted by the masses. Bows with roughly 33-inch axle lengths seem most sought after, and the Firecat measures exactly that. Also, brace heights of around 7 inches are most favorable in terms of combining speed with shootability. Again, the lighter risers, so a fully outfitted bow with a bow quiver, a stabilizer, a sight, and other accessories, doesn’t become a ton of weight to lug around in the woods. Complete setups weighing more than 8 pounds or so are no longer desirable to many. Again, at just over 3 1/2 pounds, the Firecat is on par with the lightest 33-inch bows we know of. In terms of desirable specs, the Firecat has it all.


The Firecat is loaded with great features, from the best in sound-eliminating accessories, to options that make this bow more versatile and functional for each specific archer.

Let’s start with the bow’s grip. Only a few manufacturers offer various grip systems, recognizing that every archer may prefer something different, which I agree with 100 percent.

The Firecat’s grip choices include the basic Thermal Grip, which is comprised of rubber-like material for warmth and comfort. The Thermal V Grip is the “warmest and quietest grip” offered by Martin. It’s made up of Omega V vibration-dampening material (for the front and side areas of the grip) and a thin, leather palm cover. The Thermal Elite, the one I prefer, is made up of walnut sideplates and natural leather on the palm.

To attack shot noise and vibration, Martin decks out the Firecat with a myriad of accessories. The bow’s unique Vibration Escape Module (V.E.M.) arrow shelf eliminates the need of fleece while attacking vibration in one critical place—at the center of the riser and near the arrow rest. A “flare” is found along the outer made up of Omega V dampening material, is very sleek and functional.

Integrated into the Firecat’s riser you’ll find two grayish rubber buttons, which are additional V.E.M. dampers comprised of the same effective Omega V material. Again, this is one additional area to further suppress the Firecat’s shot noise.

You’ll also find Sims Ultra Limbsavers pre-mounted on each limb. Shooting the Firecat is some experience; ultra smooth and quiet, it is a testament to the bow’s complete vibration system at work.

Other great features include quality Coreflex bow limbs (made up of tension and compression laminates), which are mounted to the bow using a solid seven-alignment system. Martin touts how they don’t use plastic hardware in their limb systems, relying only on stainless steel pivots that align the limb perfectly to the limb cup. The cup is then aligned with the utmost precision to the riser using two precision polished stainless steel pins. According to Martin, the system is by far the most precision-based limb-attachment concept in the world.

To eliminate unwanted bow weight without jeopardizing precision, quality and durability, Martin added the new Roto Limb Cup for 2008.


Perhaps the best feature found in the Firecat is its price. It’s loaded with Martin’s highest-end features, yet it’s priced at only $600 retail, which is middle-of-the-road for a bow of its awesome caliber.

Like the most expensive bows out vibration-accessory package, and pre-stretched custom-quality Helix bowstrings (BCY fibers, which are pre-stretched before, during and after adding end servings).

Shoot the Firecat Pro-X and decide for yourself. I’m sure you’ll agree— with this bow, what’s not to like?


With your first few shots, you’ll get a sense ofthis bow’s prowess; it’s super quiet, fast, andemits great handling capability before and

during the shot.

Model: Firecat Pro-XManufacturer: Martin Archery, Dept. BAH, 3134W. Hwy. 12, Walla Walla, WA 99362; (509) 529-

2554; www.martinarchery.com.

Peak Draw weights: 50 to 70 pounds

Draw lengths: 26 to 30 inches

Axle-to-axle length: 33 inches

Limbs: solid, Coreflex

Riser: machined-aluminum

Grip: integrated, rubber sideplates/leather palm

Eccentrics: C.A.T. Hybrid Duo Cam

Brace Height: 7 inches

Mass Weight: 3.6 pounds

Advertised IBO speed: 340 fps

Suggested Retail: $600, approx.

Color: Realtree All-Purpose Green


True Speed: 287 fps, 27.5-inch draw, 70 pounds,brass nockset, Easton Super Slim 400 w/100-grainpoint, Blazer vanes—total arrow weight: 380 grains.


? Vibration-dampening accessories found

throughout the bow

? Three grip choices allow the bow to fit any

archer’s tastes

? Full 7-inch brace height and 33-inch axle length

offer great shootability

? C.A.T. Hybrid Duo Cam system is smoking-fast,

yet offers easy draw-length adjustability to optimize

fit and feel; great hard-wall feel


2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Published by djohns13 on 26 Jun 2008

Indiana 2008 Deer Forecast

Well, the days are getting hotter but shorter so it is about that time of year where most of us start to really get excited about the upcoming fall. We are starting to see some potential bruisers on the trail cameras and the fawn sightings are also fueling our obsession. The practice shooting is going well and our scouting is producing new ideas for that “can’t miss” stand site.  Maybe we have even gotten a glimpse of the giant that eluded us last fall.  Is this the year that we finally arrow that dream buck?
Well in Indiana, this just might be the year for us bowhunters to fulfill our dreams. The prospect for a record harvest is very good in 2008.  Whitetail harvests in Indiana hit a record level in 2005 with 125,526 animals being checked-in after harvest.  Epizootic hemorrhagicdisease (EHD) popped up in Indiana in 2006 heavily in Clay, Fountain, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan and Vermillion counties in the west central portion of the state, and in some areas the local deer populations were devastated.  Even with the EHD crisis in 2006, checked-in harvests totalled 125,381, just off from the previous record year.  In 2007, EHD reared its ugly head again but not nearly to the degree originally feared.  Checked-in harvests dropped to 124,427 but much of this drop was attributed to weather conditions during hunting season.  The antlered deer harvest was just about the same as in 2005, with the non-antlered harvest being reduced by approximately 1,000 deer.  During the three year period, the button buck harvest remained consistent at approximately 7% of the total harvest.


This brings us to the upcoming 2008 season.  The winter of 2007-2008 brought heavy snow to much of Indiana but very few conditions that would cause a heavy winter kill.  The summer drought of 2007 has been replaced with heavy rains and flooding over the central and southern portions of the state.  June rainfall over the southern two-thirds of the state have averaged 500% – 1,000% of the normal rainfall for the month.  In spite of this, very little wildlife loss is anticipated.   Agriculturally speaking, the loss is devastating and is anticipated to be the largest agricultural disaster in Indiana history.  In many areas of the southern portion of the state, the crop loss will be greater than 50% with corn suffering the largest losses but soybeans will also be affected. 


Because of the heavy rain, the wetland, woodland and meadow areas are experiencing strong growth and health.  Vegatation is lush and thick across the state with the berry production looking very good at this point.  It would appear at this point that browse will be in great supply this year notwithstanding any drought activity that comes along later in the summer.  For those who plant foodplots, the growth prospects look great.  Foodplots not hampered from the spring floods are looking very healthy.  The reduction in viable agricultural crops will no doubt push many more deer toward the foodplots.  I personally have seen an unprecedented number of mature deer utilizing foodplots this June.  So many, in fact, that I am mowing and spraying more areas to get even more foodplots planted in early July.


Since mid-May, the fawn sightings seem to be above normal compared to most years.  Throughout much of the state, the youngest mothers are producing healthy singles while the 2.5 years old and older does are producing twins and triplets in some cases.  By most accounts, it appears to be a bumper crop year for whitetails.


So far, all conditions point to a record harvest this year throughout most of the state.  The northeastern counties, which have led the harvest totals for several years are expected to again reign supreme as they have not been affected by weather or EHD.  Steuben and surrounding counties will continue to lead the deer harvest without a doubt and for the first time could see harvest figures reach 4,000 deer per county.  The central portions of the state continue to have an exploding deer population so harvests should be strong provided the hunter count remains consistent.  The southern counties will continue to produce large quantities of deer that are heavy in both weight and antler size.


As certain factors such as QDM and the Indiana one buck rule, among others, continue to play out the size of the average buck taken has improved.  Also improving is the number of record book bucks taken in both the Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young systems.  Many so-called experts are now listing Indiana as one of the top states to harvest a record book buck.  Most hoosiers have known this for several years now, but the word seems to be spreading.  While we are no Iowa yet, the odds of seeing a record book quality buck are decent to good across most parts of Indiana.  And we all know that big bucks produce baby big bucks so the trend should continue over the next few years.  Several bucks over 200 inches gross score were taken in Indiana in 2007, and many more 160 to 180 inch deer were harvested than ever before.


While we won’t know the actual harvest until after the fact, 2008 is setting up to be a record year in Indiana based upon both total deer taken and record book bucks.  Practice regularly, scout hard and maybe 2008 will be a hunting year that you remember forever.

2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Published by bigbearsarchery on 21 Jun 2008

What It Means To Be A Bowhunter

What It Means To Be A Bowhunter


Craig Gillock



Bowhunter.  That’s a word many of us use to describe ourselves.  We say it with pride and conviction.  It describes who we are and what we do.  We wear it as a badge of honor.  Why?  What is it about that word and what it implies that motivates so many of us to do all the things we do?  What does it mean to be a bowhunter?

The answer to that question is very complex and no one answer is enough to explain it all.  Add to that the fact that bowhunting means something different to everyone and it makes the question almost impossible to answer.  So with that in mind I’m going to explain what being a bowhunter means to me.

Bowhunting is more than sitting in a tree stand, waiting for an animal to come walking by.  Bowhunting is a 365 days a year commitment.  It’s scouting, planting food plots, putting out game cameras, making mineral licks, studying maps, acquiring hunting ground, setting stands, constant practice with your bow, and so many other things.  Bowhunting isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.


Post Season Scouting and Winter Leagues


My hunting season starts in late January and February as soon as the late archery and muzzleloader season close.  During this time I pay extra attention to the deer I see, trying to make a list of which bucks made it through and where I’m seeing them.  This list provides me with a good starting point when I’m picking locations for mineral licks, food plots, and setting my trail cameras.

Another important habit I’ve developed during this time of year is shooting in as many winter leagues as I can.  If you want to become a better shooter and improve your accuracy nothing will help you accomplish this faster than shooting in a league with other bowhunters.

One of the truly great things about bowhunters is the feeling of family and friendship that develops between the guys and gals who share the range and the woods.  When you shoot in a league you’re giving yourself the opportunity to watch and be around other shooters and to learn about and see new products.  I consider winter leagues to be one of the most important things I do all year.


Deer Health and Shed Hunting


Early spring rolls around and for most of March and April I find myself in the woods and the fields.  This is the time when I put out mineral licks and begin preparing the ground for food plots.  I refer to this point in my season as promoting deer health.  The mineral licks serve two purposes.  First, they act as an attractant, drawing the deer into my hunting areas, allowing me to again take stock of how many animals are around.  Second, and more importantly, they provide the deer with the vital minerals and nutrients they need to promote good health and antler growth.

Shed hunting is another activity that takes up a lot of my time early in the spring.  I shed hunt mainly because it’s fun and it gives me another opportunity to be in the woods.  But shed hunting is also an important scouting tool because it gives you yet another chance to see what bucks made it through the previous season.


Food Plots, Turkeys, and Foam


As spring gets into full swing and the first signs of summer start to show on the trees and in the fields it’s time that I put in my food plots. My favorite places to plant are tucked back into the corners of fields or next to a good watering source.  I tend to plant mainly clover with a little bit of chicory mixed in.  The added forage not only helps attract deer but will help hold them well into hunting season.

Late April and may also offer another opportunity for bowhunters, turkey season.  Taking a mature gobbler with your bow can be one of the most challenging endeavors a bowhunter can undertake.  A turkey’s eyesight makes drawing a bow on them next to impossible.  When I first started hunting turkeys with my bow I approached it in much the same way as I approached deer hunting.  I would set up along a field edge or in some timber, call and if I got one to come in range, draw my bow.  The problem was that’s as far as I’d get.  When I’d draw they would bust me and bug on out.  I once even tried stalking to within bow range on some birds while hunting in Oklahoma.  The result was a recreation of the scene in the movie Jurassic Park where all the velociraptors rush past the camera, only instead of dinosaurs it was two or three hundred turkeys running or flying away.

I have since started hunting turkeys from a ground blind and have met with much greater success.  Blinds conceal your movement and allow you to set up virtually anywhere.  Just this past April I set up my blind in the middle of a wide open 300 acre hay field and took a nice gobbler at only 7 yards.  My friend Aaron sat in the blind with me and videoed the hunt.  That’s another great thing about turkey hunting; it provides plenty of opportunities to hunt with your friends.

The onset of warmer temperatures in April and May also signals the beginning of the 3-D season.  In my opinion competing in 3-D tournaments is one of the best ways to prepare for hunting season.  It allows you to take realistic shots at realistic targets in realistic hunting conditions.  Competing in these tournaments is also a fantastic way to hone your skills at judging yardage.  Besides, they’re also a lot of fun.


Pushing Down the Stretch


We’ve now arrived at one of the most critical and challenging times of the year for bowhunters, the dog days of summer.  The months of June, July, and August often leave little time to think about hunting.  Most of our time is taken up with work, family vacations, picnics, or any number of other activities one can enjoy during these warm weather months.  In spite of all this you need to find the time to put out your scouting cameras and begin placing your stands.  The information gathered at this time can be the best indicators of where deer will be at the start of hunting season.  Photos gathered now will tell you what bucks are around and how big they are.  These final pieces of the puzzle will help you make the best plan possible for the fast approaching bow season.

All this time I’m also continuing to practice my shooting.  There are numerous 3-D tournaments all summer long, plus this is the best time to practice with your broadheads.  Taking the time now to properly tune your equipment will pay off big this fall.


I am a Bowhunter


Summer begins to fade and the cooler temperatures and vibrant colors of fall start to show.  This is the time of year you’ve spent the past eight months getting ready for.  It’s the time when all your hard work and information you’ve gathered is put to use.  It is the reason you are the way you are.

So what does it mean to be a bowhunter?  It means a lot of things to a lot of people.  For me it’s a year round adventure, for others it’s something to occupy the time for a while.  What it means to you is for you to decide.  It can be as much or as little as you make it.  Whatever you decide, have fun.  That’s what being a bowhunter is really all about.

1 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 2.00 out of 5)
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Published by RBDavis on 11 Jun 2008

Bill Stewart

I too had the pleasure of talking to Bill.  In 1991a good friend of mine showed me his compound recurve that Bill had built for him. I was so impressed the design and the ease of the bow that I had one built for me, which he signed. When my oldest son got interested in hunting I had one built for him before he got out of college. We both still used our bows for hunting until last year when we found out that Bill had passed. They are now hung in our trophy rooms for his sake.  

3 votes, average: 2.33 out of 53 votes, average: 2.33 out of 53 votes, average: 2.33 out of 53 votes, average: 2.33 out of 53 votes, average: 2.33 out of 5 (3 votes, average: 2.33 out of 5)
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Published by Hyunchback on 03 Jun 2008

You might be a redneck archer if…

You worked your 12 hour shift at the hospital, went home, changed clothes and then spent three and a half hours in the sun without sunscreen to participate in a 3D shoot. (Just a guess but I think that might turn Barack Obama into a redneck!)

Your arms have sunburn except for the tan line where your wrist release strap covered you.

You have mixed feelings about your performance. You are happy that you picked up 5 points more than last month’s shoot but wish you hadn’t gotten two misses.

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