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It Just Keeps Getting Better

by Daniel James Hendricks 28. January 2012 04:41
Daniel James Hendricks

It has become an United Foundation For Disabled Archers (UFFDA) tradition for the participants of each hunt to walk around at the end of the year’s event scratching their heads mumbling to themselves about how they didn’t think it could get any better than this year. But sure enough, the next year comes and that hunt miraculously turns out to be by far the best one yet! Well rest assured that after reading and hearing reports from the 2011 Camp Wilderness and Camp Tesomas events that fine tradition has once again been carried on. This year’s events were the best ever for both the Minnesota and Wisconsin crews. And to both  teams I tip my hat and offer a hearty congratulations for all of the hard work, excellent spirit and stellar results.

The Camp Wilderness hunt celebrated its 17th consecutive year by hosting 32 hunters over a beautiful weekend that culminated Saturday with the biggest and most successful banquet we have ever had. The facility was packed to the seams with hunters, UFFDA staff, landowners, kids and a lot of folks that just came to camp for the evening to see what all of the excitement was about. By night’s end, the great food, hearty laughter, the emotional highs and excellent deals garnered on the auctions brought the 2011 hunt to a jubilant close. The next morning as the tired, but very content UFFDA campers headed home, each bore a peaceful and satisfied smile upon their face. This hunt had definitely been the best yet!

Matt Klein with dad, Mark & local guide, Blake Johnson

The deer harvest was pretty much normal, but then again, the whitetail body count has never been what our annual conclave is about. On Thursday, the first night of the hunt, Matt Klein scored a double by taking two does. Terry Schwartz nailed a four point buck to put him out in front for the Delaney’s Sports Big Buck Award and our veteran beautiful Lady Huntress, Terrie Schrank took nice doe. Friday’s hunt produced three more does. Stan (The Killer) Koich took one, Board Member, Tim Sartwell took another and the third was taken by Karl Anderson. 

On Saturday, Leon Holmin shot a spike buck and our newest and rookie beautiful Lady Huntress, Dawn Peterson took a fine doe. Another first year hunter, Tom Voight took a seven point buck, which handily won him the Delaney’s Sports Big Buck Award. Besides the beautiful hunting knife donated by Delaney’s, Tom’s big buck won the number one slot in the 2012 Camp Wilderness hunt so we will be seeing more of him for sure. Tom’s buck brought our total reported harvest to ten for this year’s event.  A warm congratulation goes out to all of the UFFDA hunters and their guides for a job well done, whether you took a deer or not.

Terry Schwartz and local guide, George Darchuk

For the duration of the hunt, the weather was beautiful, there was only one minor injury (a finger smashed in a kitchen) and seemingly everyone had a wonderful time. The food this year, as with every year, was plentiful, delicious and nourishing. Were it not for the talented and dedicated kitchen staff, the hungry participants of the hunt would not be nearly as happy as they always are. Over the delightful UFFDA cuisine, companionship is always heightened to its apex making the hours spent in the homey Camp Wilderness mess hall a very special place where some of the fondest UFFDA memories are created. We sincerely thank all of the food preparers and handlers for their smiling faces and the hearty results of their labors that are seemingly designed to keep the entire crew fat and sassy. 

Tim Sartwell with local guide, Rick Knobloch

To everyone who was at this year’s hunt, it was also a very special occasion in that it allowed us all to share in Greg Waite’s last UFFDA hunt. It was obvious that Greg knew that his time with us all was near it end. He dove into the activity and lapped up every second of the action driving himself to complete exhaustion each day. We will all remember Greg’s presence there and will cherish the last time that he shared himself with his UFFDA Family. Two other long-time UFFDA members who are doing their best to fend off the viciousness and cruelty of cancer were also in attendance. Delmer Bentz and Karl Denly both showed up in spite of failing health and much pain to deal with. Having these three very special men at Camp Wilderness was both inspiring and at the same time, very sad. We all hate to see loved ones suffer so much, but how deeply we are moved by their courage and their overwhelming need to be with the people that they have grown to love as they shared a common joy of doing for others. Bless them all!

The “One-Shot” target shoot for all qualified UFFDA hunters was held again this year as the contestants vied for the Kalk Traveling Trophy. In 2010 possession of the prestigious award was won by Mike Schurch who was a first time attendee at this annual UFFDA gathering. Well guess what? This year the Kalk trophy was won by Ben Rouw of Becker, MN who was also a first time hunt attendee. Go figure! Congratulations, Ben and welcome to the family. Ben also won the number two slot in the 2012 Camp Wilderness Hunt so we will be seeing him again next year.

Tom Voight with local guides, Mike Hinton & Rick Knobloch

The participation in the Camp Wilderness Hunt by the local citizens continues to grow with new faces, new properties and new volunteers showing up at camp each year. We are so grateful for that hometown participation from the folks around the Park Rapids area as it enriches the event tremendously. We at UFFDA know that volunteerism is not at the top of everyone’s priority list of things to do, but when these special volunteers step forward from the surrounding community, you know that you are definitely partaking of the cream. The fine folks that have joined our mission from the Park Rapids area drive home that point with tremendous force every year. Thank you, one and all for blessing our efforts with your presence, sharing your land and just plain rolling up your sleeves and helping us make it all happen.

And to the benevolent donors both large and small that fund our undertaking, thank you for your continued support of the UFFDA Mission. Through your generosity, you give life to one of the most selfless efforts by a group of bowhunters who wish only to share the joys of hunting by recruiting and hosting bowhunting events for physically challenged people. Every year we accommodate new disabled members that enter the woods as bowhunters for the first time, learning the joys of pursuing wild things in a proud tradition that since the dawn of time has given the hunter his purpose. 

 

Terrie Schrank with local guide, Perry Melbo

Through your support, disabled hunters are provided with a cost-free outing that is as good as it gets. They are fed, tutored and catered to by dedicated volunteers who give up much of their personal time and resources, just for the radiance that can only be captured by unselfishly serving others. More specifically in the case of UFFDA, our entire family is so privileged to be able to watch new hunters experience for the very first time the thrill of taking a big game animal with a string and a stick; and then listening as the successful hunter shares the unforgettable excitement of an experience that is so unique that it can never be equaled again.

And that, dear friends, is the bottom line of what we do and why we do it. Once you have seen a hunter proudly roll into the Camp’s mess hall in a wheelchair prepared to share his or her tale of triumph about taking their first deer with a bow, you just know that this is the very heart of UFFDA, the organ that gives it its life. So to every supporter of the passion, whether you are on the front lines guiding the hunters, feeding them, providing the land for them to hunt, supporting the banquets or just donating from afar, you are an intricate part of a very noble endeavor to serve the disabled hunter, while nurturing our hunting heritage and the overall image of the modern hunter. Thank you for doing your part and doing it so well.

 

Stan (The Killer) Koich

As the United Foundation For Disabled Archers begins to prepare of its 18th season of service, we hope that you will continue to man your stations and also continue to support our worthy mission. Whatever your role, you are very important to the completion of the UFFDA Mission and its continued success. Thank you for the past year and now onward to the creation of new adventures that are destined to make us all winners for the right reasons.

Karl Anderson and local guide Tim Williams

 

Shooting lanes

by Matt Cheever 23. January 2012 10:11
Matt Cheever

There seems to be two distinct schools of thought when it comes to pruning shooting lanes, most gravitate to one end or the other with a few folks hovering in the middle.  On the one hand you have guys that don’t like to cut anything they don’t absolutely have to, in fact these extremist at times won’t cut a single limb and just rely on the deer to step through a tiny opening at the moment of truth. You can probably tell by my description this mindset doesn’t include me.
The other school of thought is to make sure you have a clear shot with reasonable shooting lanes in any possible area the deer could travel through. The obvious down side is you open yourself up more to be picked off and you disturb the deer’s living room at some point. I tend to lean more in this direction but am cautious as not to open things up too much and ruin a stand site.


The ramifications of too much or too little are huge.  If you film your hunts like I do, you need to consider camera angle and not having to focus through a lot of limbs to capture the image; if you take too many limbs it leaves a huge hole that lends itself nicely as a focal point for the deer’s line of sight.  You want at least three good shooting lanes, preferably one to each side at an angle to your stand and another one straight in front of you. I realize many like to have their stand on the back side of a tree for concealment but this makes it very difficult if not impossible to film your own hunts.


An extendable power chain saw is very effective when you have many limbs or larger limbs to do prune 


Where is the fine line between these two you may ask? I have an approach that may take advantage of the best of both words.  Take some time during the late Winter months while out hiking or shed hunting and do your heavy pruning; you know that one big limb 20 yards out 18 feet up that always seems to be between you and the deer, take out a pole chain saw, extendable hand saw or even a small hand saw that you can duck tape to a sapling and get that limb down.  Do your massive pruning directly after season if you have determined to keep that stand site. There are three benefits, one is having less of an impact on the deer you are hunting, two is you will open things up but allow new spring growth to come back in and camo up your area a bit; last but not least you are putting more tree buds on the ground for the deer to browse, why not do it when they need food the most?


Don’t be afraid to use a large saw for nuisance trees in the winter months as long as the land owner doesn’t mind.

 


Doing this late season pruning isn’t a catch all, you will still need to pop a few little twigs out of the way come late summer or fall, but it will be with minimal disturbance. Late summer is a great time to slide in there and take a hand saw and quietly snag a few nuisance limbs. The perfect tool for small touch up or public land pruning where chainsaws may not be allowed is the Hooyman extending saw. This model reaches around ten feet, or can be used as just a hand saw, and folds up small enough to take on each hunt if necessary



I don’t personally like climbing stands but if I did, this would be a must have tool


I find there is always that one little twig that seems to cause most of the problems, but I have eliminated that by toting this aluminum I beam framed saw along with me


Get out in the woods during late winter and don’t let that one little limb or big limb keep you from your trophy next fall. You will be amazed how your success rate goes up once you take out the limb factor excuse.  Remember to be safe when using saws in trees and always have a safety harness on.

Until next time, be safe and God bless
Matt Cheever 

 

Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

What The Heck Is Going On?

by Daniel James Hendricks 5. January 2012 12:06
Daniel James Hendricks

It has become an UFFDA tradition for the participants of each hunt to walk around at the end of the year’s event scratching their heads mumbling to themselves about how they didn’t think it could get any better than this year. But sure enough, the next year comes and that hunt miraculously turns out to be by far the best one yet! Well rest assured that after reading and hearing reports from the 2011 Camp Wilderness and Camp Tesomas events that fine tradition has once again been carried on. This year’s events were the best ever for both the Minnesota and Wisconsin crews. And to both  teams I tip my hat and offer a hearty congratulations for all of the hard work, excellent spirit and stellar results.

The Camp Wilderness hunt celebrated its 17th consecutive year by hosting 32 hunters over a beautiful weekend that culminated Saturday with the biggest and most successful banquet we have ever had. The facility was packed to the seams with hunters, UFFDA staff, landowners, kids and a lot of folks that just came to camp for the evening to see what all of the excitement was about. By night’s end, the great food, hearty laughter, the emotional highs and excellent deals garnered on the auctions brought the 2011 hunt to a jubilant close. The next morning as the tired, but very content UFFDA campers headed home, each bore a peaceful and satisfied smile upon their face. This hunt had definitely been the best yet!

 Karl Anderson and local guide Tim Williams

The deer harvest was pretty much normal, but then again, the whitetail body count has never been what our annual conclave is about. On Thursday, the first night of the hunt, Matt Klein scored a double by taking two does. Terry Schwartz nailed a four point buck to put him out in front for the Delaney’s Sports Big Buck Award and our veteran beautiful Lady Huntress, Terrie Schrank took nice doe. Friday’s hunt produced three more does. Stan (The Killer) Koich took one, Board Member, Tim Sartwell took another and the third was taken by Karl Anderson. 

On Saturday, Leon Holmin shot a spike buck and our newest and rookie beautiful Lady Huntress, Dawn Peterson took a fine doe. Another first year hunter, Tom Voight took a seven point buck, which handily won him the Delaney’s Sports Big Buck Award. Besides the beautiful hunting knife donated by Delaney’s, Tom’s big buck won the number one slot in the 2012 Camp Wilderness hunt so we will be seeing more of him for sure. Tom’s buck brought our total reported harvest to ten for this year’s event.  A warm congratulation goes out to all of the UFFDA hunters and their guides for a job well done, whether you took a deer or not.

Matt Klein with dad, Mark & local guide, Blake Johnson

For the duration of the hunt, the weather was beautiful, there was only one minor injury (a finger smashed in a kitchen) and seemingly everyone had a wonderful time. The food this year, as with every year, was plentiful, delicious and nourishing. Were it not for the talented and dedicated kitchen staff, the hungry participants of the hunt would not be nearly as happy as they always are. Over the delightful UFFDA cuisine, companionship is always heightened to its apex making the hours spent in the homey Camp Wilderness mess hall a very special place where some of the fondest UFFDA memories are created. We sincerely thank all of the food preparers and handlers for their smiling faces and the hearty results of their labors that are seemingly designed to keep the entire crew fat and sassy. 

 

Stan (The Killer) Koich

To everyone who was at this year’s hunt, it was also a very special occasion in that it allowed us all to share in Greg Waite’s last UFFDA hunt. It was obvious that Greg knew that his time with us all was near it end. He dove into the activity and lapped up every second of the action driving himself to complete exhaustion each day. We will all remember Greg’s presence there and will cherish the last time that he shared himself with his UFFDA Family. Two other long-time UFFDA members who are doing their best to fend off the viciousness and cruelty of cancer were also in attendance. Delmer Bentz and Karl Denly both showed up in spite of failing health and much pain to deal with. Having these three very special men at Camp Wilderness was both inspiring and at the same time, very sad. We all hate to see loved ones suffer so much, but how deeply we are moved by their courage and their overwhelming need to be with the people that they have grown to love as they shared a common joy of doing for others. Bless them all!

Terry Schwartz and local guide, George Darchuk

The “One-Shot” target shoot for all qualified UFFDA hunters was held again this year as the contestants vied for the Kalk Traveling Trophy. In 2010 possession of the prestigious award was won by Mike Schurch who was a first time attendee at this annual UFFDA gathering. Well guess what? This year the Kalk trophy was won by Ben Rouw of Becker, MN who was also a first time hunt attendee. Go figure! Congratulations, Ben and welcome to the family. Ben also won the number two slot in the 2012 Camp Wilderness Hunt so we will be seeing him again next year. The participation in the Camp Wilderness Hunt by the local citizens continues to grow with new faces, new properties and new volunteers showing up at camp each year. We are so grateful for that hometown participation from the folks around the Park Rapids area as it enriches the event tremendously. We at UFFDA know that volunteerism is not at the top of everyone’s priority list of things to do, but when these special volunteers step forward from the surrounding community, you know that you are definitely partaking of the cream. The fine folks that have joined our mission from the Park Rapids area drive home that point with tremendous force every year. Thank you, one and all for blessing our efforts with your presence, sharing your land and just plain rolling up your sleeves and helping us make it all happen.

 

And to the benevolent donors both large and small that fund our undertaking, thank you for your continued support of the UFFDA Mission. Through your generosity, you give life to one of the most selfless efforts by a group of bowhunters who wish only to share the joys of hunting by recruiting and hosting bowhunting events for physically challenged people. Every year we accommodate new disabled members that enter the woods as bowhunters for the first time, learning the joys of pursuing wild things in a proud tradition that since the dawn of time has given the hunter his purpose.   

Tim Sartwell with local guide, Rick Knobloch


Through your support, disabled hunters are provided with a cost-free outing that is as good as it gets. They are fed, tutored and catered to by dedicated volunteers who give up much of their personal time and resources, just for the radiance that can only be captured by unselfishly serving others. More specifically in the case of UFFDA, our entire family is so privileged to be able to watch new hunters experience for the very first time the thrill of taking a big game animal with a string and a stick; and then listening as the successful hunter shares the unforgettable excitement of an experience that is so unique that it can never be equaled again.

 

Terrie Schrank with local guide, Perry Melbo

 

And that, dear friends, is the bottom line of what we do and why we do it. Once you have seen a hunter proudly roll into the Camp’s mess hall in a wheelchair prepared to share his or her tale of triumph about taking their first deer with a bow, you just know that this is the very heart of UFFDA, the organ that gives it its life. So to every supporter of the passion, whether you are on the front lines guiding the hunters, feeding them, providing the land for them to hunt, supporting the banquets or just donating from afar, you are an intricate part of a very noble endeavor to serve the disabled hunter, while nurturing our hunting heritage and the overall image of the modern hunter. Thank you for doing your part and doing it so well. 

 

As the United Foundation For Disabled Archers begins to prepare of its 18th season of service, we hope that you will continue to man your stations and also continue to support our worthy mission. Whatever your role, you are very important to the completion of the UFFDA Mission and its continued success. Thank you for the past year and now onward to the creation of new adventures that are destined to make us all winners for the right reasons.

 

 

 Tom Voight with local guides, Mike Hinton & Rick Knobloch

 

"Idiot Proof Archery" book review

by Josh Fletcher 19. December 2011 16:45
Josh Fletcher

“Hi, I’m Josh Fletcher and I have target panic!” Yes that is right; I suffer from a major case of target panic. This year was the worst display of shooting I have ever done in my hunting career.  I owe it to the viewers who watch Bowhunting.com’s Bow Hunt or Die Series, and most importantly the animals, that every shot I make is the most accurate shot I am able to produce.

I’m no rookie at archery; I’ve been hunting and shooting a bow since the age of six. I remember running around the local woods with my brothers chasing small game with an old plastic recurve bow. The thing with archery is that it is a discipline, and even though I have been shooting bows my whole life I have picked up bad habits along the way.

For those of you that never had target panic, one of three things may have happened to you.  One you have not shot archery long enough to experience this problem. Two, you don’t know what the symptoms of target panic are. Three you are not honest with yourself and blame poor shots on anything other than yourself.

Being the type of person that I am, I’m not going to just sit back and live with the problem of target panic. I needed help. Now that I am in the off season I recently bought a barrage of different archery books. After reading numerous books and obtaining as much archery info my little brain could cram, I discovered a book that every archery hunter needs to read. Whether you suffer from an extreme case of target panic or just want to improve your shooting capabilities and range, this is a must read book.

"Idiot Proof Archery" is a must read book for anyone looking to improve thier accuracy

“Idiot Proof Archery” is written by Bernie Pellerite.  Bernie Pellerite has won over 75 tournaments and titles. Not only does the author shoot competitive archery, but is also an avid bow hunter.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have been shooting bows my whole life, and after reading “Idiot Proof Archery”, I analyzed my shooting form and habits and literally went, “yup I’m doing that wrong, that wrong, and that wrong.

Bernie Pellerite said it best in his book that most sports out there have coaches. Just look at golf. Virtually any golf course you go to has golf pro available to help you with your game. I grew up playing baseball, not once did I play a game without a coach. Now think about archery, when was the last time you shot your bow and had a true coach there to help you improve your game? And by true coach I don’t mean your buddy bubba that shows you his way of shooting and not so much the proper way.

“Idiot Proof Archery” is like having Bernie Pellerite as your personal coach. Idiot Proof Archery is a book designed in an easy to read, get you back to the fundamentals of correct archery, and building your accuracy.  What I like about Bernie Pellerite, is that he says it like it is and doesn’t care about being politically correct. His goal is to make you a better archer.

“Idiot Proof Archery”  is 338 page book that has lots of detailed pictures that show you exactly what Bernie is explaining.  Bernie also has “key points” throughout the book.  The key points re-emphasis of solid advice that is covered throughout the particular chapter.  What I enjoy about Idiot Proof Archery is that every chapter is like a building block, each chapter builds off the last and as you go through and read your way through the book you get a much better understanding of how to improve your shooting game.
 
The Chapters Covered in Idiot Proof Archery is listed below.

Introduction: Why You Don’t Shoot Like a Pro (Or Even As well As You Can)
Chapter 1: Equipment, Form, The Mental Game, And You!
Chapter 2: Your Personality… Can You Handel The Truth?
Chapter 3: The Importance Of Tuning, Shooting Form, And Draw Length.
Chapter 4: The Magic And Myths Of Bow & Arrow Setup and Tuning.
Chapter 5: How The Pros Do It… Part One- Aiming
Chapter 6: How The Pros Do It… Part Two- Holding Steady
Chapter 7: The Shot Sequence… Part One- The Defense
Chapter 8: The Shot Sequence… Part Two- The Offense
Chapter 9: Anticipation, Programming, Back Tension & Your Release
Chapter 10: “Hi, My Name is Bernie & I’ve Got Target Panic”
Chapter 11: 44 Form Flaws- When Things Go Wrong
Chapter 12: Shooting Inside Your Comfort Zone
Chapter 13: Perfect Practice, The Do’s & Don’ts Of An Accelerated Learning Curve
Chapter 14: Tournament Nerves, Choking Under Pressure, And Shooting In Adverse Conditions
Chapter 15: 3-D & Estimating Yardage… “Legal & Illegal”
Chapter 16: Hunting With a Bow

In "Idiot Proof Archery”, Bernie Pellerite explains methods recommended to produce the most consistent shooting form, because in archery you don’t have to do things right, you just have to do things consistently. “ Idiot Proof Archery” not only explains how to do things consistently but also gives you shooting drills to help you improve your accuracy and how to truly overcome target panic.

The issue that I have with shooting is target panic. With target panic I anticipate the release causing me to punch the trigger along with what is called a “drive by shooting” or “drive by sight picture”. Basically, once my pin is on the target, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to hold a steady sight picture like that you have while bench shooting a rifle. The thing is that with an archery sight picture, the pin will float over your target.

My issue is that once my pin gets close, I punch the trigger to make a quick shot before my pin moves off the target. “Idiot Proof Archery” explains that this is normal and your pin is supposed to float over your target. To correct this problem I need to anticipate the follow through not the release, I also need to produce a muscle memory of a perfect back tension release, causing the release to surprise me. Idiot Proof Archery teaches me several drills to perform this task. The last month I have been shooting at a blank bale at just three yards away working on muscle memory of the perfect back tension release.
 
In Bernie Pellerite’s book, he states that muscle memory needs to be engrained and it takes approximately 2,000 repetitions to engrain a particular grip, stance, anchor point, or release.

In archery you don’t have to do things right, you just have to do things consistently

This book taught me that in the off season to forget about shooting bulls eyes and work on having the proper grip, consistent anchor point, perfect back tension release, and follow through. Once that is ingrained into my shooting habit, then and only then will I began working on close range target shooting, and slowly extending my range. If I begin to pick up a bad habit, I need to immediately work on the fundamentals before going back to the target again.

Idiot Proof Archery gives you the knowledge every archer needs to build his own shooting regimen by using the tools presented in Bernie’s book.

There is one thing in this book that I dislike. The one and really the only thing, is in the beginning of the book, Bernie states that the archery industry keeps pushing more gear to make you shoot better and you need better equipment to shoot better and that he is sick of this.  He states to become a better archer you need to work on your fundamentals. I agree one hundred percent with this, that’s not the problem, the issue I have is that throughout the book Bernie mentions about his new release aids and bow shooting aids, basically doing the same thing he is blaming the archery industry for. This seems a little bit hypocritical to me, however the rest of the 99% of this book is great material that will help anybody to improve their accuracy and overcome target panic.

So if you’re already a great archery shooter or one that suffers from extreme target panic  like I do, this is definitely a book that needs to be added to your archery arsenal, so much so I keep mine with my archery tools and is just as important as a bow press to any archer.

On a scale of 1 to 10, “Idiot Proof Archery” by Bernie Pellerite gets a Solid 9. The only reason this book did not receive a 10 out of 10 is due to the sales pitches about his products when he knocks others in the industry for doing the same thing. But if you can get past or ignore that little portion this is one of the best books I have ever read and will definitely be referring to it and the advice Bernie Pellerite recommends to help improve my archery abilities this year.

 

 

Buffalo Point: Land of Enchantment

by Daniel James Hendricks 20. October 2011 13:58
Daniel James Hendricks

   Bears were plentiful with lots of opportunities for both bows and cameras.

If you’ve never experienced the taste of chocolate and someone tries to describe the sensation to you, it’s impossible to grasp the undeniable pleasure that you will experience when the sweet substance finally passes over your tongue.  Such is the case I experienced with an enchanting land called Buffalo Point.

  Wyman Sangster is the outfitter at Buffalo Point and was please I finally made the trip there.

Wyman Sangster and I first met at the Wisconsin Deer and Turkey Expo a few years back; my personal relationship with him has been one of those special affiliations that was rich right from the very start and like fine wine has only gotten better with the passing of time.  From the very onset of our association, he pleaded with me to come to Buffalo Point in the Northwest Angle on Lake of the Woods to see where he lives and the hunting and fishing Nirvana he had just discovered just a few years earlier, himself.  What he neglected to mention was what a wonderful getaway it was for those of us who are addicted to digitally immortalizing our trophies with photographic paraphernalia.

I dilly-dallied on Wyman’s invitation and finally this spring took him up on his offer to hunt bear there.  By the time the week ended, I had been exposed to enough of the natural wonders of Buffalo Point to be hooked on that outdoorsman’s paradise for the rest of my earthly existence.

 The Points 18-hole golf course was a beautiful with wildlife running all over it.

Upon arrival, I quickly tracked Wyman and his wife, Darlene down on the fifth hole of the beautiful Buffalo Point golf course.  It was the first time I had met Darlene so I took some time to get to know her as I followed along while they finished their first nine holes.  This bear hunt, which will be an HBM Hunt Club Annual event, is the only one that I have ever heard of that offers free golf during the week of the hunt.  From dawn to mid-afternoon, it is golfing or fishing and then the evenings are packed with the nail-biting excitement of bear hunting.

At the end of the first nine, Wyman instructed me on how to find my lodging at the Marina.  With that information securely locked in my head, I headed for what would be my home for the next week.  I stopped at the Marina, which serves as the main desk for the dozen or so lakeside cabins as well as being Buffalo Point’s grocery store, bait shop, camping & boat launching headquarters; and the local coffee shop for the seasonal residents that call Buffalo Point home from early spring to late fall.  I picked up my key, got directions and quickly found my luxury cabin.  It was beautiful!  Screened in porch, full kitchen, 2-bedrooms, whirlpool tub in the bath, a deck right on the lakeshore and satellite TV so I could watch Fox News.  It was military clean and exceedingly wonderful. 

Curt Thunder and his wife, Cheryl were gracious hosts and excellent company.

Within an hour, I met the gentleman who was to serve as my guide for the week.  Buffalo Point has its own Gamekeeper, a local by the name of Curt Thunder.  Curt grew up on Buffalo Point and knows its lake, land, swamps and rivers like the back of his hand from 40+ years of traipsing from one end of it to the other.  He has a gentle soul, a sharp wit and we quickly formed a bond that deepened during the many hours we spent together over the next seven days.  I was the only hunter on this trip so I was able to accompany Curt as he made his rounds replenishing the bait stations each day; I also spent a lot of time with him and his wife Cheryl who went out of her way to provide wonderful meals, great company and a heck of a lot of laughs.  The Thunders are a great family and I am pleased to have added them to my special-friends list.

Curt’s job is to oversee the wellbeing of the Buffalo Point wildlife and to serve as host to the bear, deer and duck hunters that come there to fulfill their hunting dreams.  His keen intelligence and seemingly endless wood lore provide a stimulating and entertaining atmosphere enriching the experience of all who come to harvest wild game at The Point. 

Signs warn hikers about the baits close to the settlement.

As the number of permanent homes increased at Buffalo Point, so did the number of nuisance-bear incidents.  Buildings were broken into, there was exterior damage, and garbage cans were destroyed and scattered creating a hazardous problem.  Over fifty bear complaints a year was a serious dilemma; but, when you build a burgeoning community in the middle of bear country, you should expect a certain amount of “incidents” with a sleuth of bears living in the neighborhood.

To remedy the problem, Curt has been put in charge of feeding the bears from the time they exit their dens in the early spring until the bountiful berry season begins on the Point.  Blueberries, wild strawberries, saskatoons, chokecherries, pin cherries and acorns are all prolific on the Point, easily keeping the bears fed, once the natural food comes into season; but for the first few months after thaw, Curt’s daily trips into the thick forests and swamps of the Point, keep the bears exactly where they belong – in the woods.  This system not only nearly eliminates bear complaints, but it also creates an arena of premium bear hunting.  My wildlife photo morgue is plump with bear photos thanks to the six nights on the stands at Buffalo Point and two of those nights I sat in the rain and saw no bears at all.

Cheryl Thunder has a natural way of putting the animals of Buffalo Point at ease. 

The second night of the hunt I blew a chance at one of the biggest spring bears I have ever seen in the bush.  It was in the very last moments of daylight and I had just put away my camera as was sitting there thinking when I should have been picking up my bow.  The big bruin suddenly appeared from out of the thick cover, causing my heart to momentarily stop.  It was truly an incredible specimen!  In the heat of the adrenaline overdose I was experiencing, I reached for my crossbow, which was hanging on the tree.  It was just enough movement to alert the bear and give me a good glimpse of its ample behind disappearing into the bright green undergrowth; proving once again that one is never too old to make stupid mistakes.  I passed on a lot of bears at the Point, but that humongous creature was the big-daddy of the week and I had blown it.

On that very same stand the last night of the hunt, amid desperate prayers for another opportunity at that burly beast, I took a smaller bear as the day was fading into darkness. This particular bear had been stuffing itself for an hour and had shown no signs of alarm or concern indicating to me that the big bear was not in the immediate area.  When the big boys are within spitting range of the bait, the little guys can sense their presence and head for cover so they are not brutally beaten for their lack of respect.

 The very last night of the hunt, this bear fell prey to my crossbow as the daylight fled.

It had been several years since I had taken a bear so decided that this one would be a perfect specimen to break the drought; it definitely would make for a good freezer stuffer.  A lot of good photos of the bear had been taken, so I definitely had my trophy to hang on the wall.  Watching the bear eat had done little to arouse my excitement, even when it started to climb my tree at one point; but once the decision to take it was made, I lost control as the adrenaline surged through my system in anticipation of the kill.

Sitting on the very point one morning I was joined by a pair of curious otters. 

Waiting until I had a perfect broadside, I placed the glowing red circle of the scope on its black rib cage and gently squeezed the trigger of the Kodabow.  The silence of the darkening forest was crushed by the discharge of the arrow as I watched it blaze a brilliant red streak to the target, compliments of the Lumenock tip.  The doomed bear spun on its hind legs, ran to the tree directly behind the middle barrel and climbed high off the ground.  The bruin, I believe, thought that it had been sneak-attacked by the bigger bear and was fleeing up the tree to safety.  Little did it realize that its fate had already been sealed by the Rage broadhead that had ventilated its goodie box.  Eventually the bear came crashing to the ground in a fall that would have killed it were it not already gone.

 There are more Canadian Geese that people on Buffalo Point with goslings galore.

I signaled Curt and his nephew who were sitting offshore doing a bit of fishing and they came to assist in the removal of the bear.  The process brought to a perfect end, what had been a wonderful week.  The next morning after skinning the bear, I packed and headed for home, already looking forward to coming back to play some more in the natural beauty of Buffalo Point.

Buffalo Point 2012
     

If you are interested in booking a spring bear hunt or a fall bear/whitetail or waterfowl hunt at Buffalo Point give the HBM Main Desk a closer look. The entire Buffalo Point experience is one that will definitely leave you wanting to come back for more.  Curt Thunder, the Buffalo Point Gamekeeper, is also willing to work with disabled hunters for both bear and whitetails in the fall.  If you are physically challenged and want a truly remarkable adventure in an enchanted land of the wild things, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Eagles were everywhere.  This shot was taken near one of two nest on the golf course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Bowhunting Preparations and Activities

by Todd Graf 2. June 2011 05:50
Todd Graf

As the month of May slowly burns away into June, I can’t help but think that the hunting season begins in just three and a half months.  Before I know it, I will be sitting in a tree in my swamp property of Wisconsin waiting for a mature buck to make the fatal mistake of wandering by my position.  That being said, there is still a lot of work to be done before I can convince myself I am ready for another season, and I am looking forward to an exciting and eventful summer. 

The cool, rainy weather we have had here in the Midwest has been great for my clover and chicory plots!

One of my favorite offseason activities is prepping food plots and other habitat management projects for the upcoming season.  My ultimate goal is to provide the whitetails that visit my property with enough food sources that they don’t need to leave my property.  It may sound like a losing battle, but I welcome the challenge!

These apple trees are only in their second year of growth, however, they are growing beautifully.  Once they begin to produce fruit they will provide another food source for the deer on my property.

The cool rainy weather has been perfect for my clover and chicory plots so far this spring; a few spots measured over 20 inches of growth!  I hate to have to mow it this week, with it looking so beautiful, but it is the best option for weed control.  This time of year also means corn planting time in the Midwest.  When it comes to late season food plot attraction, it’s tough to beat corn.  My corn plots got absolutely hammered last winter during the late season.  The deer are worn down for the rut and crave the carbohydrate rich kernels of corn that keep their bodies warm during the winter cold!  I have also been very pleased with the apple trees I had planted.  They are now in their second year of growth and have almost doubled their size.  

Here I am getting ready to plant my corn.  I can't wait for the late season when the deer will really hit my corn plots hard!

Despite the fact that I killed this field with Round Up and most of the grass was dead, the ground was still pretty hard and the corn was not getting into the ground.  I made a few adjustments and was back in business!  Persistence pays!

This time of year is also my favorite time to get out in the backyard and fling some arrows.  Just recently, I have taken the time to get my little man, Craig, involved in the sport of archery.  If you have little ones that are interested in bowhunting or archery, I strongly recommend you look into the Mathews line of kids bows.  From Mathews to Mission Archery to the Genesis line of bows, they have the flexibility and specifications to get your kids started bowhunting.  With the number of kids hunting decreasing every year, it is important that we get our youth involved in the sport we love so much so that one day they may experience the rush and thrill of deer hunting!

Here's my little man, Craig, getting set up with his new Mathews Craze!

Craig was having a little trouble pulling back the Craze, so I ordered the Mathews Menace.  The Craze was a great bow, but the specs on the Menace fit Craig better physically.  At this point, it is all about keeping Craig interested and having fun!

I first set up Craig with the Mathews Craze, but the draw length was about two inches too long and Craig was having to lean back to hold up the weight, so I decided to go ahead and order the Mathews Menace.  The Craze was a great bow, however, with adjustable draw lengths anywhere from 15-70 pounds and 80% let-off; it can be enjoyed by beginner archers or all skills and age levels.  The Menace weighs about .6 pounds lighter than the Craze and the draw length is two inches shorter than the Craze, so it fits Craig much better physically which will allow for a better overall experience.  But above all else, the goal is to make sure that he is having fun!

Bowhunting.com Staff members Richie Music and Tom Alford also came over for a friendly bow shooting competition.  We enjoyed a day of dialing in our Mathews and preparing for the upcoming Bowhunting.com Get Together and Bow Shoot at Coon Creek Hunt Club in Garden Prairie, Illinois.  This is going to be our biggest and best shoot yet, and I encourage everyone who is able to make it to come out and enjoy a fun day of shooting, prizes, food and beverages.  If you are looking for more information, visit this link which will direct you to our forum where you will find all the information you need.  Every one is welcome hope to see every one of you there!

A shot of my backyard practice range.  

Here I am prepping for the 3rd Annual Bowhunting.com Get Together and Bow Shoot.  I think that would kill a turkey, don't you?

Richie's last shot before he lost the competition to Tom and I.  Now he owes us a pizza!

Richie just couldn't pull it off after 4 shots.  Oh well, stick to hunting those giant sub-urban whitetails, Richie!

To makes things interesting we spiced up our shooting with a little competition, and my buddy Richie Music came out on the losing end.  He may be an expert when it comes to shooting giant bucks from the same tree stand, but he was no match for me and Tom!  He was unable to shoot the Rinehart target in the head above the red line at 30 yards, so he has to buy both Tom and I a pizza!  Better luck next time, Richie!  

Before we all know it we’ll bow hunting our favorite spots in the bitter cold of sweet November.  It’s an exciting thought, but be sure you enjoy yourself this summer.  Get a kid involved in archery or have your buddies over to the house for a night of shooting and friendly competition; it’s equally as rewarding as harvesting that mature buck you’ve been patterning!  Okay, maybe not, but it does make the summer go by more quickly! 

NuFletch Archery: Products Engineered For Bowhuntnig Success

by Bow Staff 18. November 2010 10:04
Bow Staff

  At some point, every archer will have to re-fletch their arrow.  Wouldn't it be awesome if there were a product that could meet their demands instantly?  That awesome product has been provided by the fine folks at NuFletch Archery.  Introducing the NuFletch Spectrum line-up and its proven performance in the field and on the range.  Giving archers the ability to replace brand name vanes instantly in the field or in the range. 

How the NuFletch Spectrum system Works


 The NuFletch system attaches to an insert just as your field tip attaches to your favorite arrow.  Once in place you simply slide the vane into the precision machined slots.  Each vane follows the exact path to deliver a perfect 120 degree fletched arrow.  Other brand vanes may be used in the system but may need slight trimming on base to assure best fit.  The vane base is trapped beneath the slot and when the end cap is tightened, the slots closes to securely capture the vanes.  If you damage a vane, no worries, just remove the end, remove the damaged vane and replace with a new one. 

Spectrum Standard

The Spectrum Standard is designed to fit most standard carbon hunting arrow shafts, this includes the 250, 300, 350, 400, 500, 600 series shafts (.280-.306

Spectrum X

The Spectrum X is designed exclusively for cross bolts.  The unique NuFletch Spectrum X system allows bolts fletched with Norway Industries 2.1" Fusion Vanes to be fired without interference from the rail.  The NuFletch Spectrum X when joined with the Fusion vane from Duravane proved to deliver excellent spped, precision, accuarcy and improved penetration.

Spectrum Light

The Spectrum Light is designed to the slim line of arrows such as the Full Metal Jacket and Epic Series shafts (.265-.275).

 

Interested in the NuFletch Spectrum, click on the red link above and or click here to view them in the bowhunting.com shopping cart!

 

Categories:

Darton 3800: A Muscle Bow With Manners

by Bow Staff 17. November 2010 08:57
Bow Staff

The DS-3800 is the best choice for the serious Bowhunter or 3D Shooter, a no compromise bow with speed to burn.  The speed this bow is capable of makes judging distance a less critical part of the equation.  Some shooters have found that when they switch to the DS-3800, they can drop down in bow weight and still shoot the same arrows faster and flatter.  One of the main features that sets the DS-3800 apart from the rest of the crowd is its shootability.  With its smooth draw cycle, forgiving valley, and dampened shooting characteristics, Darton has truly created “A Muscle Bow With Manners.” 

 

Specifications:

Draw Weights: 50,60,70, lbs.

Draw Lengths: 25-31"

Axle-to-Axle: 33 13/16"

Brace Height: 6"

Weight: 4lbs.

Let-Off: 80%

IBO Speeds: 350 fps

  • New 2010 DualSync Cam System with Quad Limbs for increased Dynamic Effeciency.
  • A Comfortable Draw Cycle With A Forgiving Valley And NO SHOCK.
  • Ergonomic Slim Throat Grip To Reduce Hand Torque.
  • Straight and Level Nock Travel at all Draw Lengths, even pulling against your draw stop.
  • Finally a 350 fps bow with a smooth draw cycle and a user friendly valley that's a pleasure to shoot.

 

Categories:

The Soft Loc Quiver; Bowhunting's Most Dynamic Quiver

by Bow Staff 11. November 2010 02:35
Bow Staff

Since the introduction of the Soft Loc Quiver System it has only gained in popularity. The Soft Loc quickly became known as the quietest, mid-priced quiver available. When mounted on a bow, this quiver actually reduces felt vibrations therefore acting as a great, and very practical vibration dampener. The many awards for quality and innovation have posted this system to be quoted as “The best quiver system on the market”! 

 

As with any good hunting dog, bloodline means everything. The patented Soft Loc Quiver is no different. The inception of the 5 Arrow Soft Loc made a big hit in 2001 and since has evolved into the introduction of a three arrow and seven arrow version. The beauty of the “system” is the extreme versatility of the quiver itself due to the unique rubber mount and dual guide rails. Attach or detach the quiver quickly and quietly. Vertical adjustment, vibration dampening, and hip holster adapter are all features that a great quiver must have. All are present in the Soft Loc family.

Alpine has re-designed the mounting assembly for the Soft Loc Quivers.  The new mount will hold the quiver more securely in place and is slightly longer to help stabilize the mounting platform.  If you are looking for a quiver that is unequalled in quality, innovation, dampening, and price, look no further. 

 Interested in purchasing a Soft Loc Quiver?  Follow this link to buy yours right here from bowhunting.com!

Categories:

Mission Archery by Mathews Introdcues the Maniac Bow

by Bow Staff 10. November 2010 06:27
Bow Staff

Without a doubt, it's safe to assume that Mathews knows the world of archery and bowhunting and it's members.  With years of leading innovation and design to back their reputation as the industry leader, Mathews and it's brother company Mission archery have conlcuded the following about bowhunters.  Bowhunters are the real McCoy- genuine woodsmen that don’t care if their belt doesn’t match their boots or if the paint job on their truck has a few scars.  But when it comes to the hunt, their attention to detail maniacal.  They obsess over which way the wind is blowing, where the best food sources are and the size of the racks roaming their territory.


The all new Maniac is a testament to bowhunting savvy, with parallel limbs, string suppressors and an adjustable dual cam system that reaches up to 310 fps all in one compact, light-weight package.  The Maniac by Mission Archery is simply the best bow in it's price range. 

 

Specifications

- IBO Rate- Up tp 310 fps

- Physical Weight- 4.12lbs

- Axle to Axle- 31"

- Brace Height- 7 1/8"

- Let-off- Up to 77%

- Riser- Fully Machined

- Draw Weight- 20-70lbs

- Draw Length- 22-30"

- Silencers- D-Amplifiers

- Suppressors- String Suppressors

- Cam (s)- Dual/ Adjustable

- Cable Guard- Carbon Rod 

- Bow Strings- Zebra Hybrid

- Grip- Composite

- String Length- 57 1/4"

- Cable Length- 34 1/8"

 

The Mission Maniac- a safe bet when hitting the woods in pursuit of trophy animals.

Categories:

Mathews Archery Introduces New Customizable Accessories

by Bow Staff 8. November 2010 10:01
Bow Staff

Bowhunters around the world differ on many archery topics.  Fixed blade vs. mechanical broadheads, scent control techniques, timing of the rut; the list goes on and on.  However, at the end of the day the general consensus among archers is this: Mathews has always led the way in archery technology.  Likewise, Mathews accessories are a perfect fit for your bow.  Outfit your bow with all of these great accessories including a great selection of quivers, rests, grips, bowstrings, and more!  Introducing new accessories that enhance performance and give a unique look to your bow, only from Mathews!

 

Custom Damping Accessories: Customize your bow the way you want.

Customizing and creating a unique look are a symbol of creativity and individualism.  Mathews believe archers have both!  So give your bow a makeover with a variety of colors that show spirit and attitude.  Mathews Custom damping Accessories are available in 7 colors for Harmonic Dampers, String Suppressors Dampers, Dead End dampers, and Mini Harmonic Dampers.  Whether you want to accent your Mathews bow, Arrow Rest, Quiver or String Stop, you’ll find a look that’s perfect for you.  Time to put your game face on your bow!

 

 Focus Grip: Optimize hand placement and minimize torque

The new Focus Grip helps minimize hand torque in the event of poor hand placement by keeping pressure concentrated in the center of the grip, unlike typical flat top grips that move pressure to the outside edge which increases hand torque.

 

Monkey Tails: String dampers you can install without the need of a bowpress.

New colors for 2011! Monkey Tails are now available in 8 different color options (including black)! This string accessory is a must have and comes standard on the Mathews Z7! Four Monkey Tails equates to a minimal speed loss of 1-2 fps total with virtually all string and cable sound and vibration eliminated.

Categories: Current News

Cobra Archery Sights New and Improved for 2010

by Bow Staff 5. October 2010 03:12
Bow Staff

Cobra Bow Hunting Products has taken three of their most popular hunting sights, and upgraded them for the 2010 seasons.  The Python, Smoke and E-Z Slide II all sport new features that can increase your bowhunting success.  The all-new Cobra is the most durable, accurate and precise sight ever manufactured by Cobra and comes available in standard, toolless and micro-adjust models.  The all-new Smoke is perhaps the ideal hunting sight as it is lightweight, tough and ready for the field.  The E-Z Slide II and its all-metal construction and super bright fiber optic pin are sure to increase your archery accuracy.  Be sure to click on the red links if you are interested in purchasing the product right here on bowhunting.com.  Cobra.  Strike Fast.  Strike True. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The All-New Python

 

 Unique reverseable mounting bracket with offset mounting holes provide a wide range of vertical adjustment
• Weighs on 6oz
• Five fully protected all-metal pins with .019" field replaceable fiber optics
• Rheostat light available (C-615)
• Universal design for right and left hand shooters

The All-New Smoke

• Lightweight design
• Easily adjust for windage and elevation
• Three fully protected .019" pins
• Weighs only 4.5oz
• Incredible fiber optic pin brightness
• 2" round lightweight composite sight guard with glo-orange ring for quick target acquisition
• Rheostat light available (C-615)
• Right or left hand model available

The E-Z Slide II

• NO TOOLS elevation adjustment
• All-metal .019" fiber optic pin with 24" of wrapped fiber
• 2" scope with extra bright, wrapped fiber optic pin
• Weighs only 4.8oz
• Glo-orange ring for quick target acquisition
• Weighs only 7.2oz
• Rheostat light available (C-615)
• All-metal construction
• Built-in bubble level
• Available in Black
• Right or left hand model available

Categories:

Giving Back to Archery

by John Mueller 29. March 2009 07:03
John Mueller

            This past weekend I had the opportunity to work in the Bowtech Archery Experience Trailer with Hans Saunders. This man is obsessed with introducing new people to Archery. The Trailer is a 3D range set up in the back of a tractor trailer that is pulled from one event to another by a Big Rig Diesel Truck equipped with living quarters. Hans spends roughly half of the year on the road manning this operation for Bowtech. I met up with him at The Truth and the Outdoors Expo in Union, MO Friday afternoon. This expo was a family oriented event set up at a Christian Retreat Center.

 

 

 

The trailer with the windows closed waiting for the show to start.

 

 

 

The big rig that pulls the trailer from one show to another. And home for the weekend.

 

 

The trailer open for business.

 

 

Targets at the end of the range.

 

 

            This was the first time had worked in the trailer introducing people especially kids to archery. I have worked hunting shows before, but that is mostly talking to hunters about the latest equipment and swapping hunting stories. This was a totally new experience for me. I know we had over 100 young kids and teens come thru the trailer that had never shot a bow in their lives or maybe shot an old recurve in someone’s back yard. To see the excitement on their faces just to be able to hold a real compound bow in their hands was a joy. And when they actually got to shoot the bows and hit the foam animals, sometimes with a little help on the aiming, their excitement made my whole weekend. And some of them left with a smile on their face that will last the whole day. Needles to say we had a long line of people outside of trailer all day long, waiting in the rain at times for their turn to shoot.

One of the teens that had never shot a bow before this weekend.

 

            After working with Hans this weekend, I have found a whole new enjoyment to this wonderful sport of ours. Introducing people to archery is a great way to give something back to the sport that I get so much enjoyment out of and to help promote it in a positive way. If some of the kids that came through the trailer this weekend end up becoming bowhunters, it can only benefit our sport with keeping the tradition alive and growing. Much appreciation goes out to Bowtech for providing the Truck and Trailer along with all of the equipment and to Hans for his passion to recruit new archers to the sport.

 

            Hans, if you are ever in the neighborhood and need someone to help you man the trailer, you have my phone number. Give me a call and I will do my best to make it there and help you out.

   

First snow day of 2008.

by Scott Abbott 20. November 2008 09:43
Scott Abbott

Monday November, 17th was my first sit with any snow accumlination.  I had sat thru hail, flurries and some all out snow, but this was the first day it stuck.  Since Monday we have had snow everyday as well as a good bit of it today.

With the snow was high aspirations as I hunt mostly thick areas and the ground has been wet almost all fall.  The snow was a welcome addition as it will help tip off a whitetails location coming through the thick stuff giving more time to prep for a possible shot, or an attempt to call in a shooter buck skirting your location.

 

 

It ended up being a slow morning with only one buck sighting, a yearling 1X3 and 3 antlerless deer. 

The evening did not fare much better with only a yearling 4X3 and one doe.

 

 

 All of the deer sighted on Monday were on the inside

breakline of some what open timber and an old clearcut.

Tags:

The four main beam buck: A story of Almost.

by Scott Abbott 20. November 2008 08:30
Scott Abbott

Sunday November, 16th started no differently than any other morning.  I got settled into my stand 15 minutes prior to legal shooting light, bundled up to fight off the below freezing temps.  Roughly a half hour later I hear it; the tell tale sign of deer chasing.  Although the ground was wet and quiet, it is a sound I have come to know all to well in the month of November.  This was the kind of chasing you just know will fly right past your stand with no shot opportunity, it was fast and aggressive.  Just as I suspected, right past me they went with a half rack three point leading the chase with a good buck lagging 30 yards behind.  The big buck couldn't keep the pace with the yearling buck and doe. 

After I "knew" I had no chance to stop them in my shooting lanes at their pace, 50 yards later they stopped chasing....  I could then hear more running behind me, I saw two more bucks flying into the area.  Then another buck comes in.  Again, I can hear deer running.... Another buck and finally the final buck to the party showed up.  In the mist of all the activity converging on my stand at once I lost track of the doe, I figured she kept going.  I then took my attention back to the big buck to get my first good look, HOLY CRAP! That's the four main beam buck!  As I attempt to formulate a plan to try to call him to me, he bedded down 60 yards from my stand.  It was a sigh of relief at the time having him bed as I knew better to attempt to call to him with now 6 other bucks, all yearlings and 2.5's all within 30 yards of my stand.

 

I only got one set of photos of him all summer, all in one night.  I never saw him

again until last Sunday morning.

For the next hour I was really unable to move as the bucks were still all around me.  The young ones were rubbing and sparring like they had nothing better to do.  Movement from the big buck caught my eye so I slowly raised my binos up on him.  He took a few steps to the south and bedded back down, THERE'S THE DOE!  It was all starting to make sense now, he was on lock down with this doe.  The doe stood up walked a few steps and browsed on some green brier then bedded back down next to the big buck.  This got the attention of the younger bucks and gave them the courage to attempt to approach her.  The dominate buck would not have this, he bluffed charged them when ever they would get with in 40 or so yards of he and his does location.  A couple times he would stand up and show his dominance to the younger bucks by thrashing some of the saplings and pawing at the ground as if to make a scrape, although he did not urinate in the fresh dirt.  While he was on his feet I attempted a couple doe calls, he snapped his head staring intently in my direction but would no commit.  I then tried a series of aggressive grunts followed by a couple snort wheezes.  He acted as he never heard them.  My best guess is he figured the grunting and snort wheezing was from one of his subordinates he had been fending off all morning.

Again the doe rose from her bed and started to walk from their bedding location, I needed them to come 20 yards East to my location for a possible opportunity for a shot but they traveled around 50 yards to the South and bedded again.  I could now feel the opportunity slipping away.  Once the doe and dominate buck cleared the old bedding site, each of the small bucks cautiously worked their way over there and spent a while sniffing and flemming the two areas she had bed down.

 

Rather than brow tines, he seemed to grow double main beams in their place.

 

The morning had flown by, I checked the time and it was already after 10.  The next hour and a half they were still bedding in the location around 100 yards from my set.  This is when I see it.  A trespasser from later to find out from Michigan who has permission on the neighboring property was trespassing.  Little does he know what he did from his trespassing escapade, all of the deer scattered to the North.  He never heard or saw them. 

I was furious.  I waited until he hit an area I knew I could catch up to him on as it is rather thick on this property and I have lost trespassers in the past getting down to soon losing them in the under brush. With him finally on an old skidder trail, I got down and made my approach.  I am not getting into the conversation we had, but I made it clear to him he was trespassing. At first he denied it only to admit a few minutes later he crossed the posted signs to "see where the buck he had saw that morning had come from". 

I did not tell him that he had ran those deer off me, when he asked had I saw anything I told him no. 

Looking at the encounter in hind sight, there is no telling where that doe would have went after she rose from her bed.  What were the odds that she would have brought the big buck back to my set?  What would have happened had another buck busting them from their beds? Which way would they have ran?  Would it have ended in a big buck for me? I really do not have the answers.   All I know is I would have liked to have the opportunity to play it out to see how it would have ended. 

He would have been a welcome addition had the opportunity arose.

Interesting doe encounter.

by Scott Abbott 15. November 2008 13:29
Scott Abbott

Saturday November 15th, I had a fairly interesting encounter with a lone mature doe....  The forecast for the day was for rain and wind, and boy was the weather man right on for a change.  The "mini storms" would come through one after another.  High winds and rain followed by a period of calmness.  Then again the wind would pick up and another storm cloud would unleash buckets on me.  It went on like this all evening.

This odd weather pattern didn't really slow the deer down though. I saw 4 does and 2 bucks for the evening, one being a good looking 2.5 year old 8 point and the other an average yearling. 

During a lull in the high winds and rain I noticed a doe paralleling me to my North.  She was making her way slowly but deliberately to the East browsing on some brush that was still holding it's golden autumn colored leaves.  I could feel the wind starting to pick up just as it had a few times already this evening.  Another rain cloud blew in with moderately heavy showers and wind gusts solidly into the mid 20's mph. 



As soon as the wind started to pick up the doe lifted her head from feeding and stood in the same spot statuesque for 20 solid minutes as the storm blew through.  From my vantage point 25 feet up and 20 yards away, it appeared she never moved what-so-ever.  I did not even notice her turn her head during the storm.  As fast as the storm came in - it ended.  She went back to feeding like nothing ever happened.

It was interesting seeing how she reacted to the change in weather patterns.  A lot of times during heavy showers we assume the deer are holed up in a thicket waiting out the storm, tonight showed me other wise.  I have saw a lot of deer over the years in rain showers but very few if any other than tonight in heavy showers.

 

Ohio Archery buck : Brother scores!

by Scott Abbott 15. November 2008 12:49
Scott Abbott

My brother Jason was at one time a die-hard hunter.  Don't get me wrong, he still hunts hard but over the years he has shifted his main focus from whitetails to tournament bass fishing.  Most seasons these days he doesn't find his way to his deer stand until the end of October, just in time for the best action of the year.  This year was no different.  His first day in stand was November 4th and he was covered up in great movement from day one.  Over his 4 day season he saw multiple good bucks as well as a host of yearling bucks and does.


On November 7th Jason connected on this nice 8 point buck.  This is my brothers second biggest buck, his best with archery tackle.  He took the animal with a 200 pound Horton Super Blackhawk crossbow.

 

Jason was sitting in a lock on stand that we had set 2 seasons prior, although this was his first ever sit in this stand setup.  The set is located on the Northeast corner of a green field, just South and West of two major doe bedding areas.  With 45 minutes of shooting light left Jason caught the blocky body out feeding in the hay field.  A short series of grunts from his True Talker later, the buck made a straight line for Jason's position.  A 30 yard shot and the buck fell in sight.  He made it 75 yards in those few short seconds and then all was again quiet.  This buck has come to be known as the "overbite" buck as you will see in a photo to follow.

Not bad for 4 days work!

 

Here you can see the large over bite the buck has.

Tried Out My Hooyman Saw

by John Mueller 14. October 2008 13:41
John Mueller

Tried Out My Hooyman Saw 

            I received my Hooyman Saw a few days ago, and put it through the paces last night. I gave it pretty good test in the backyard.

 

            I was really impressed with the way it cut through small limbs. The angle of the blade to the handle lets it cut easily without having to apply much downward force.  Just pulling the handle straight toward me made the teeth of the saw bite right into the limbs. And the teeth on this baby are scary sharp.

 

 

These teeth really cut.

 

 They slice through 2” limbs in just a few strokes.

 

            The neat thing about this saw is the way it folds down to only 13” long.

 

 

Folds down really compact.

 

 But can extend to 5’ in length.

Extends to a full 5'

 

 

Making it just the right tool to have when climbing a tree with my climber for the first time. I can clear out those limbs that would have been out of reach with only a hand pruner. And I don’t have to carry along my 10’ pole saw. I don’t use a back pack so I put mine in the little pouch I have on my API Climber.

 

 

A perfect fit in my carry pouch.

 

 A perfect fit and it only adds about a pound and a half in weight.

 

            The extendable handle is made of sturdy aluminum and seems to hold up very well to the sawing action. On the other hand the handle that holds the blade is made of plastic. Not sure why they didn’t go ahead and make it out of aluminum also. I’ll have to get back to you on how well that holds up. No problems so far.

 

             I’ll be carrying my Hooyman along with me on my climber the rest of the season. To get one for yourself, click here

Early Season Success in Illinois

by Justin Zarr 13. October 2008 14:57
Justin Zarr

The 2008 season has been a long time coming for me.  For those of you who don't know, I got married two weeks ago and up until then much of my free time that I normally spent doing hunting-related things was consumed with wedding things.  However, I am glad to say that after 13 long months of planning the wedding went off without a hitch, and now I'm hitched!  After my new bride and I spent a week in Cabo we finally returned home so I could get back to the business at hand - bowhunting!

Saturday October 11th was my first chance to get out in the field.  Unfortunately some unseasonably high temperatures rolled in and temps were in the high 70's/low 80's across Northern Illinois.  With a S/SE wind my stand options were rather limited so I elected to sit in a stand near a picked corn field where the deer like to feed at night.  When I arrived at the field, I sadly found out that it had been harvested for silage and not a kernel of corn remained in the field.  It may as well have been bare dirt!  So I settled in for a long night of swatting mosquitos, nursing my bottle of water, and watching squirrels run about.  Even though I didn't see a deer, it was certainly good to get out in the field!


This probably isn't the best food source for deer hunting......

Sunday morning came quick and to be honest with you, I probably would've slept in had my wife not hit me in the back as my alarm was going off at 4:15 in the morning while I was sound asleep.  So I got up, showered, took the dog out, and I was on my way.  In my stand by around 6:00 AM I strapped in and waited for first light.  It was a cool, calm morning and you could hear a pin drop.  However once again, no deer!  I did see one big coyote though, and would've had a shot at him had I not been preoccupied with taking photos for this blog!


Hello from a tree somewhere in Illinois!


Don't forget to use a safety harness at ALL times when hunting from a treestand.  It could save your life!!!


It's scenes like this that make us bowhunters live for the fall!

So two hunts into my '08 season I had yet to see a deer.  With temperatures even hotter, in the mid 80's by 3 pm, I decided to sit in our third and final location in hopes of catching a deer on it's way to get a drink in the local pond.  My good friend, hunting partner, cameraman, and fellow connoisseur of bad movies Mr. Mike Willand accompanied me on this hunt.  Mike offered to take up the new Canon XHA1 camera and the Muddy Outdoors camera arm so he could start getting some practice in before our trip to the Campbell Outdoor Challenge next month.  So we braved the sun and hot temps and sweated our way into our stands.

The wind had been calm on our way in, but once in our stands it switched to pretty much dead East which was one of the worst winds for this particular spot.  Our wind was blowing directly into a known doe bedding area.  By this point it was too late and too hot to move anywhere else, so we settled in for a few hours of relaxation on a nice fall day.  In fact, most of the night was spent in conversation about future hunts, the movie Major League, and some of our fellow Bowhunting.com members.  How we didn't spook every deer in the county is beyond me.


A dark view from our stand location shortly before the doe arrived, just a few minutes too early for her own good!

However, about 10 minutes before dark just as we were about to pack it in, a doe showed up out of thin air.  By the time Mike and I saw her she was 15 yards and moving quickly out of my lane and into the cover between us and the pond.  Mike brought the camera up into position but couldn't get a shot of the deer from his vantage point.  At this point I knew he wasn't going to be able to get anything on film, however I was anxious to get my first deer of the year and help thin the overabundance of deer on this particular farm.  So once the big doe took two more steps she stopped perfectly in my last shooting lane as I came to full draw, settled my pin on her vitals, and touched off an arrow.  With a telltale "thud" the doe pounced straight up in the air, came down, and tore off through the cover.  Within 30 seconds and only yards away we heard crashing and she was down for good!

A short track job later my dear ol' Dad located the doe and we proceeded to drag her out, snap some photos, clean her up, and be on our way home in time for a late dinner.  Even though we didn't get the hunt on film, I had a blast.  Having a good friend in the tree with you always makes your hunts more enjoyable, that's for sure.  Hopefully next time we'll be a little bit more on cue and get some footage for you all to watch.


A big mature Illinois doe.  The third taken from this same stand in the past two years.


Thanks to Mike for help with the pictures.  It's amazing to see how far we've come since the high school days of randomly walking around the woods looking for a deer to shoot!!

The weather is supposed to take a turn for the cooler this week and with the full moon on it's way out we should be seeing some increased deer movement soon.  I'm hoping to get out for 2-3 hunts here close to home and try to catch up with one of the bucks I have been getting trail camera photos of if I can.  I'm also planning on getting in an evening hunt with Todd at his new property in NW IL this weekend as well, which should be fun.  Todd's a buck magnet, so hopefully some of his luck will rub off on me!

Gear used on this hunt:

NAP HellRazor Broadhead: This is my first year hunting with these heads and so far, so good.  They flew virtually perfectly the first time I screwed them onto my arrows and within a few minutes I was grouping shots with my field points out to 30 yards.  Their pinpoint accuracy and devastatingly sharp cut-on-contact blades provided a complete pass-thru, good blood trail, and quick recovery on this doe.  I'm looking forward to shooting more deer with them.

Dead Down Wind Products: Mike and I both use the full line of Dead Down Wind products for scent control, and they work great.  I personally recommend the Hair & Body Soap, Shampoo, and Field Spray along with the Laundry Detergent and Carbon Reactivator.  Check them out in the Bowhunting.com store.

Gum-O-Flage:  I've been using this product for three years now, and I love it.  It helps eliminate the odors from your breath/mouth which is a must on days like this one where you're hunting a questionable wind.

Mossy Oak Bowhunter Gloves: This is my first season using these gloves, and so far I really like them.  They're great for early season/warm hunts and the cutout for the release makes them a sinch to get on/off without removing your release.  They also provide a great feel for your grip as well as your release.  My only complaint is I wish they came in right/left hand versions so you didn't have a big hole in the glove of the hand you don't shoot with.  Other than that, they're great.

Octane one-piece quiver:  Again, my first year with this product and so far I really like it.  The magnetic hood is super cool and a very nice feature that makes getting arrows in and out of your quiver super easy even in the dark.  I also like the quick detach feature as well.  It's silent, easy, and very secure.  All the makings of a good bowhunting product!  The only drawback is that it's pretty heavy with those magnets in the hood.  But I don't shoot with my quiver on, so it's really not too big of a deal.  I can handle it in lieu of the ease of use and quality of this product.

You can purchase all of these products and a variety of other high-quality bowhunting gear right here at Bowhunting.com by clicking on this link.

2008 season off to a slow start.

by Scott Abbott 6. October 2008 15:21
Scott Abbott

With a little more than a week of my 2008 Ohio archery season in the books, I don't have much to report.  The early season has been real slow for me with only 5 shot opportunities so far, two does, two yearling 8 points and a button buck is all that has come into shooting range.  After the first week last year I had 20 shot opportunities with a couple being decent looking two and a half year old bucks.  While shot opportunities isn't meat in the freezer or a slammer on my wall they can be a gage on how your season is panning out.

I have only hunted fresh setups with the wind blowing in my favor....  Sooner or later things will start to come together.  You cannot sit in good locations with proper conditions and keep striking out like this.  It is give and take, I have been giving my time and hopefully soon it will be my turn to take.  I decided to only sit where I feel I will have a chance at seeing a mature buck on the hoof during daylight hours and not necessarily where I will just see deer and my sightings are really lacking from it.  I believe once we get a little deeper into October this strategy will pay off.

 

Some fall colors.

Hunter Safety System Vest Review

by John Mueller 6. October 2008 13:51
John Mueller

My take on the Hunter Safety System Vest

  

            I have been using the Hunter Safety System Vest this season mostly for safety reasons. I live by myself now and mostly hunt that way too. So if I did have an accident and fall from my tree stand, there might not be anyone coming to look for me for a while. I thought this system provided the best opportunity to survive a fall.

 

            The vest is very well put together from a safety standpoint. Lots of stitching at stress points and a heavy duty strap material was used in the actual harness straps. The vest part makes the system easy to put on in the dark. Not having to figure out what strap goes over which arm and so on. You just slip it on like any other vest and everything falls into place, a neat idea. The vest has 2 pockets on each side that are nice for storing my cell phone, range finder and wind checkers.  The mesh on the vest is great for the early season hunts. It lets the air circulate thru the vest.

 

 

 

The mesh keeps you cool in the early season.

            I am very happy with the level of safety the vest provides. However there are a few things I would like to see improved or changed. The first is the weight. This thing weighs in at 5 pounds!! That is a lot of weight to add, especially since I usually carry my climber and bow with me too. The 4 pockets are nice, but the top 2 have Velcro closures.

 

I hate velcro on bowhunting clothes.

I would much rather see snaps or buttons. Velcro has been known to scrape at just the wrong time. And more pockets would be nice too, since access to most pockets under the vest is blocked by straps or the vest itself. The buckles are another area that needs addressing.

 

 

Here you can see the buckles.

 

 

 

Binos sitting right on the buckles.

The front plastic buckles are located right where my binos lay on my chest. I have the armor coated Nikon Monarchs so it isn’t as bad. But it still makes a bit of a clunk when they hit the buckles.  The buckles for the leg straps are of the car seat belt variety. Push button metal closures. I keep hitting mine with my release. Once it cools off I can put a jacket over the vest and solve the noise issue, but right now I am wearing it on the outside.  I also had a problem with the tether length to the tree. It was too short to my liking. So I lengthened it by cutting loose some of the folded up material that is supposed act like a shock absorber in case of a fall. That solved that problem.

 

What I like about the Vest:

1:  Safest system out there.

2:  No tangled straps to mess with.

3:  Mess is cool in the heat.

4:  The vest is very quiet to wear.

5:  The pockets are nice. (More would be better.)

6:  Comes with a deer drag strap.

 

What I don’t like about the Vest:

1:  It weighs in at 5 pounds (Too Heavy)

2:  Exposed hard plastic and metal buckles.

3:  Velcro pocket closures.

4:  The vest blocks access to pocket underneath it.

5:  The price. A bit much, but then again if I ever need it, it’s nice to know I have the    best.

 

            So if your looking for the best safety system on the market and don’t mind a little extra weight. You can get your Hunter Safety System vest right here at Bowhunting.com. Just click on the link below.

  

           

 
Categories: Pro Staff

The Rage Broadhead - 2 Blade Hype

by Scott Abbott 29. September 2008 16:29
Scott Abbott

I finally gave in and got a pack of the Rage 2 blade broadheads....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You just cannot ignore the overwhelmingly positive reports on their performance... Hearing one person tout a product is one thing, but these heads have been the talk of the town for two years now.  I do not recall any negative press about these heads that was confirmed to anything more than brand bashing.

Huge entry and exit holes.... Massive blood trails..... Thirty yard track jobs.... 

What more could you ask for?  Nothing, that's why I picked up a pack and they shot beautifully!

You can pick up a pack here

What do you think?

Nikon Binoculars: As tough as They Come

by John Mueller 25. September 2008 14:06
John Mueller

I have had my pair of 10x42 Nikon Monarch Binoculars since 2005. I first bought them to take on my Elk Hunt to New Mexico. Now I use them every time I am in the woods whether hunting or not. They are a great tool for long range scouting. They were definately a couple of steps above my old Tasco model.


One of my favorite features of this model is the rubber coating on the housing. It serves a dual purpose. It protects the unit form severe shocks and dings. And believe me mine has seen their share of dings. No worse for the wear tho.  And it makes them very quiet when they come into contact with metal or plastic objects on your jackets, safety harnesses and tree stands. That was really annoying on my last pair. Those metal buttons and zippers really made a racket when the binos rub against them. Always at the wrong time too.

The view through the lenses of these binos are crystal clear. Makes it easy to tell if that movement you saw was a big old buck or a trophy squirrel. The light gathering ability is great when those last minutes of daylight are slipping away too. Lets you know if it's safe to slip out of your stand or if you are being watched.

The 10 power is great choice for the average hunter. Any more magnafication and you loose to much field of view.

All in all I have been extremely happy with my Nikon Monarchs. If I lost them tomorrow I would have to get another pair just like them. Mine really take a beating during bow season. Between bouncing around in my truck cab and clanking off of everything as they swing from my neck, they have been put through the torture test.

 If you need a new pair of binos or just want to upgrade, you can purchase these from the Bowhunting.com shopping page by clicking here

 

Building Your Own Arrows

by Bowhunting.com Staff 29. August 2008 05:03
Bowhunting.com Staff

STEP-BY-STEP ARROW BUILDING

Building your own arrows allows you to save about 5 to 10 dollars per dozen, but there's an even better reason for building your own.  You can experiment with all the components, with the various fletching styles and shaft sizes until you find the perfect arrow for your bowhunting requirements.

Making your own arrows is easy and fun, not to mention the satisfaction you'll gain from taking game with arrows you've built yourself.  Anyone can do it - and do it well.  Armed with only a few basic tools and the information offered here, you'll have no problem turning raw shafts into top-quality hunting arrows.

Read the full article to learn how to build your own arrows.

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About the Authors

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