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Coyote with Bow - Not How I Pictured the Start of My Deer Season

by John Mueller 25. September 2011 05:58
John Mueller

My first bow kill of 2011 wasn’t that monster buck like I had envisioned, but I’m still plenty proud of it. This season started off with a coyote down.

I had a trail camera set up alongside of a soy bean field getting tons of deer pictures and the occasional coyote would stroll by. But every coyote picture was in the middle of the night so I never figured I’d get a shot at one from this stand.

This is the exact coyote that I later shot. I can tell by the scar on his left front leg.

I was all settled in my stand located in a large walnut tree on the edge of the bean field during the second Saturday evening of the Missouri 2011 bow season. It was still early, maybe 5:00 PM, so I was busy watching a group of Cardinals scavenging for seeds out in front of me. All of a sudden the Cardinals scattered in all directions, some of them whizzing by my stand. I looked to see what had alarmed them and I caught movement to my left alongside the bean field. Before I could turn on my video camera the long legged coyote was in my shooting lane. I squeaked like a mouse and he came to a halt barely 10 yards in front of me. I ever so slowly reached for my bow as he tried to locate the source of the noise. In one fluid motion I grabbed my bow in one hand and the release in the other and drew back the 65 pounds of my Mathews ez7. As I came to full draw I settled my top pin right behind his shoulder, because I knew he wouldn’t stand there very long. Without even consciously thinking about it, everything lined up and I touched off the shot. This is a perfect example of how all of those backyard practice sessions can pay off. I never had time to think about this shot, the whole episode happened in a matter of seconds from the time I saw him until the time the arrow was on its way.

Is there a more beautifull sight?

Thankfully my aim was true and my Quickfletch disappeared precisely where my green sight pin had been a millisecond earlier. The yote spun in a couple of tight circles in the field and then made a mad dash for the woods. The way he was crashing and running into brush I knew he wasn’t going very far. In a few short seconds I could hear him thrashing and then there was silence. The NAP Spitfire Broadhead had done its job well. After looking back where the yote was standing at the shot, I could see my white fletching covered in bright red blood. It was a short tracking job to my trophy; he hadn’t gone 40 yards before piling up against a clump of bush honeysuckle.

Not what I envisioned my first trophy shot of 2011 would look like.

While this may not have been the start I had dreamed of for the 2011 archery season, I still consider any animal killed with archery equipment a true trophy. This hunt also goes to show that all of those practice sessions spent when there was something else I could have been doing or it was just too hot to practice definitely paid off. I never had time to think about this shot, it just happened and my form and instincts took over. I actually don’t even remember any details of the shot except seeing my sight pin where it needed to be; I was on autopilot and just executed this shot like the thousands of other shots in my backyard practicing during the summer months.

2011 Nebraska Archery Season Sees Big Changes

by Keith Southworth 3. August 2011 12:54
Keith Southworth

When the 2011Nebraska Archery season opens on September 15th there will be some significant new rules in effect.  The two most notable rule changes don’t come without controversy.

The most significant and controversial change will adopt the crossbow as a legal weapon for all sportsmen.  Before last season, crossbows were limited to handicap and disabled sportsmen that first had to obtain a letter from a doctor that documented the sportsmen’s need to use a crossbow. 

Crossbows are now legal for all archery seasons for all sportsmen in Nebraska

The Nebraska Traditional Archers (NTA) has taken a firm stance against crossbows. The following statement was taken from their website.  “The NTA does not consider the conventional crossbow nor the compound crossbow to be legitimate hunting bows and will not permit their use, or possession at any NTA event or gathering.  The NTA considers the use of any type of crossbow during any bowhunting season to be the most serious threat that the future of bowhunting has ever faced.  The NTA strongly encourages all sportsmen to boycott the products of companies engaged in the manufacture, distribution, sales or promotion of crossbows, and to express their dissatisfaction directly to these companies at every available opportunity.”

An effort last year by the Nebraska Bowhunters Association (NBA), Nebraska’s largest and most politically engaged bowhunting organization asked the Nebraska Wildlife Commissioners to table the vote but it fell on deaf ears.  The commission allowed the use of crossbows during rifle and muzzleloader seasons last year and now they have opened up the use of crossbows in 2011 by making it a legal weapon during the archery seasons for all big game in the state.

I asked long time NBA member and Vice Chairman Bryce Lambley what the NBA’s official stance on the inclusion of crossbows to the Nebraska archery season and he said, "The NBA has, since its inception, opposed the inclusion of crossbows in the regular archery season, and has urged stricter compliance with handicapped provisions.  Most of our members do not oppose crossbows as a hunting tool, they just don't feel they belong in the same general season as compound and traditional bows and arrows because the skills needed to shoot them are vastly different."

Bow hunters in Nebraska will now share the woods with crossbow hunters but rifle hunters will have to do the same with bowhunters now

The other big change will allow bowhunters to hunt along side of rifle hunters during the 2011 rifle season which opens on the second Saturday of November.  Hunter Orange will be required to be worn by bowhunters just as it is for the rifle hunters during the nine day season.  Many Nebraska bowhunters have been clamoring for this change for a long time.  The timing of Nebraska’s rifle season tends to coincides with the rut so sitting on the sidelines for nine straight days has often been a bone of contention for many a Nebraska bowhunter.

Nebraska has expanded their elk seasons due to rising populations

The state of Nebraska offers diverse opportunities for bowhunters with plentiful populations of turkey, whitetail deer, mule deer, and antelope.  There are even elk and bighorn sheep seasons but those seasons are limited to resident lottery draws except for one big horn sheep opportunity that is auctioned off.  Lottery and auction fees have helped Nebraska raised over $800,000 dollars for the bighorn sheep program.  This year’s auction set a record by going for $117,500 to a German business owner.  The previous record bid for a Nebraska sheep hunt was $87,500 in 1998.

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