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A Closer Look at Mossy Oak Treestand.

by Bow Staff 2. December 2009 06:22
Bow Staff

By Bowhunting.Com Contributor, Cody Altizer 

With the industry constantly coming out with the latest and greatest gear, it can be hard to choose the best equipment for your hunt. Around every campfire, discussions can quickly turn to healthy debates, as several aspects of bowhunting often do. Fixed blade versus mechanical broad heads, the effectiveness of scent-eliminating clothing, which bow manufacturer offers the smoothest drawing, most forgiving bow, and even the camouflage we all use.

Our camouflage debates are what I want to take a closer look at. I believe in Mossy Oak Treestand and I believe it could possibly make a difference in your hunt this fall.  I want to make a believer out of you.

                                                                                                                                              When hunting from an elevated position, the Mossy Oak Treestand pattern beautifully blends the hunter into his or her surroundings.

Mossy Oak first introduced this pattern more than 20 years ago being the first company to develop a camo pattern using tree limbs. Now, Mossy Oak has used digital images from real tree limbs and branches infused within the pattern to completely camouflage the hunter and his or her movements while hunting from an elevated position. So, what separates Treestand from the other camo patterns on the market?

First, a little deer biology; a deer’s eyes are positioned on the side of its head which enable deer to view a lot of open space quickly and allows them to easily pick off the slightest movement. The downside of this evolutionary feature is that they lack the ability to really focus in on a single object. How many hunters have been spotted by a deer on stand, only to have the deer stare directly at you for a long period of time, do the bobbing head fake in an attempt to fool us, only to resume feeding? This is because of their poor visual acuity. Whitetails visually lack the ability to hone in on an object and easily identify it as a threat or predator. Thus, any camo pattern that breaks up your silhouette while realistically blending you into your surroundings, in essence, will get the job done.

                                                                                                                                              When bowhunting for whitetails, the majority of hunters hunt from a treestand in order to beat a deer’s wary eyes. The Treestand pattern from Mossy Oak offers the best of concealment in such situations.

Now, why I believe Mossy Oak Treestand is the most effective camo pattern available. Without a doubt, the most obvious reason is the pattern's versatility. The pattern is designed to break up the silhouette of a hunter in a treestand with less than ideal foreground or background cover. However, I have found that the pattern not only works well in barren trees or exposed stands during the late season, but also during the early season when the trees are loaded with foliage. I initially questioned its early season effectiveness thinking the pattern was too light and the slightest movement would give away my position. I found this to be quite the opposite. The dark understory created by the heavy foliage seemed to darken the pattern, making it effective all season long. Having a pattern that can adapt to seasonal changes may not always put a buck on the ground, but it will undoubtedly increase your ability to get within bow range of whitetails.

                                                                                                                                              Mossy Oak’s Treestand pattern works beautifully during the late season to break up the hunter’s silhouette when the absence of foliage on the trees presents an extreme disadvantage.

Perhaps the accompanying photos will help convince you if you are not a believer yet. They are real world pictures taken in purposely exposed treestands from ground level to best exemplify how truly versatile the Mossy Oak Treestand pattern is. If you’re in the market for a new camo pattern and love the feeling of outwitting one of the most instinctive animals on earth, then I urge you to give Mossy Oak Treestand a closer look.

                                                                                                                                               I first thought that the early season would make the pattern appear too light, this picture proves otherwise showing Mossy Oaks versatility.

Cody Altizer is a native of the southeastern United States who has an unrelenting passion for all things bowhunting. The article above and its pictures are courtesy of this up and coming young man's talents. This is Cody's first written piece for the Bowhunting.Com website.

Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

Destroyer 350 and Destroyer 340 Lead BowTech's 10th Model Year

by Scott Abbott 2. December 2009 04:27
Scott Abbott

Eugene, OR (November 2, 2009)-For their 10th Model Year anniversary, BowTech is pleased to introduce their most advanced bow ever produced. It's called the Destroyer for a reason.
"From concept, this bow was designed to be easy to draw, quiet, accurate and forgiving. As it turns out, the bow happens to be fast," Craig Yehle, Principle Designer explains, "We believe it is important for our flagship offering not be construed as a speed bow, but as a truly exceptional all around offering. We believe we have achieved this."
The Destroyer is offered in two models; Destroyer 350 and Destroyer 340. Both are accurate, shock-free, easy to draw and fast...very fast. While most archers have to trade shootability for speed, the Destroyer delivers both. This balance is accomplished using three new technologies; OverDrive Binary™, HardCore Limbs™ and FLX-Guard™. 

OverDrive Binary™ synchronized dual cam system gives the perfect synchronization of a Binary while allowing split buss attachment to both cams for best-in-class cam stability and tune-ability. Premium alloy composition allows for a strong, lightweight design which diminishes noise and vibration.

The high modulus carbon core of the HardCore Limbs™ puts the core to work, storing energy not only near the surfaces, but inside the limb. Distributing stress through the limbs increases overall limb response, efficiency and durability.   

The new FLX-Guard™ cable containment system addresses the tuning affects of extreme cable tension and inflexible cable guards found on today's bows. As the bow is drawn, it flexes inward, isolating the riser from unwanted cable guard torque.
The Destroyer 350 and Destroyer 340 come standard in Realtree Hardwoods HD®. Alternate riser finishes include BlackOps, APG HD, Mossy Oak® Infinity™, OPTIFADE™ Open Country or Forest and Next FLX™. Any alternate finish will have black limbs. All BowTech bows are protected with an InVelvet™ top coat.
BowTech manufactures and distributes the world's finest compound bows and archery equipment. Founded in 1999, BowTech's corporate offices and manufacturing facilities are located in Eugene, Oregon. With a worldwide distribution network, BowTech's family of brands include: BowTech, Diamond, Octane, Stryker and WaterDog Surface Technologies. BowTech is a subsidiary of Savage Sports Corporation, located in Westfield. MA. Brand names include Savage Arms, Stevens, Fox, Savage (Canada), Savage Range Systems and PortaTarget.
©2009 BowTech


GIANT Illinois Buck Down! This Bow Buck may be the Coolest Whitetail You'll Ever See.

by Bow Staff 30. November 2009 09:03
Bow Staff

As far as "dream bucks" are considered, the buck storied below may have the monopoly on it all. This fantastic whitetail has everything! Mass, you bet! Width, in spades! Inches, points, stickers, drops, and laying beside a bow! You betcha! Wow!

On November 1st, 2009, Illinois hunter and native, Chris Kiernan, culminated an epic 2-year quest for this absolutely AMAZING whitetail buck. As usual, details of this hunt are sketchy, yet it was reportedly taken near Kiernan's hometown of Morris, Illinois.

Rough scored by Kiernan and a few of his buddies at a whopping 266" and change, the GIANT whitetail boasts more than 25 scorable points! And if you're like the staff here at Bowhunting.Com then you're dying to know it's width measurement! Sadly, we cannot find this measurement currently available. Ugh!

The staff at Bowhunting.Com wishes to extend a huge congratulations to Chris Kiernen on his accomplishment. It's safe to say this may have been the coolest whitetail taken throughout the 2009 season. Congrats Chris!

Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

214" Whitetail Bowkill in Illinois

by John Mueller 30. November 2009 08:26
John Mueller

            My taxidermist friend just finished mounting the largest whitetail brought in to his shop so far this season. A 214” gross, 209” net non-typical that looks very typical. This beast is a main frame 10 point with split G-2’s and a small sticker off of one brow tine. The G-2’s are 14” long and the mass measurements contribute a lot of inches to the total score on this buck. What really helps this bucks score is the fact that his typical rack is very symmetrical, there are very few deductions from side to side.


            The monster was killed by a bowhunter to remain nameless in West Central Illinois in early archery season. Congrats on a fine trophy.

Trail camera photos can lead to one night stands.

by Scott Abbott 27. November 2009 05:20
Scott Abbott

Trail camera setups can be as complicated or simplistic as you choose to make them.  I personally stay on the simplistic side of things as I am not trying to "pattern" bucks with their use, but rather get a better look at them after I locate a buck I am interested in from summer glassing. For me it all starts in the summer.... I will spend countless hours and evenings glassing the areas I hunt looking for big whitetail bucks.  Once I locate some bucks of interest I move in and set up cameras and leave them up anywhere from two weeks to a month on the property. 

Leaving cameras up and checking them over and over again all summer is pointless to me.  Once I get a better look at the buck(s) in question, I know right away if he is an animal I am interested in or not.  Once my curiosity is satisfied I pull the cameras not to return with them again, unless a new buck is found on that land I need a better look at.  I err to the side of caution by only placing them on field edges or just into the timber. Deer are used to activity in these areas so you can get away with a little bit of human scent around these setups from your trips in and out.  If you are trying to setup trail cameras on their travel routes or bedding areas I feel you are setting your self up for early season failure.  With my personal focus on early season success, I do not want to tip anymore of the odds in the whitetails favor. 

I used summer glassing to locate this buck this past July.  I then moved in and set my DLC Covert II Assassin trail camera up for 2 weeks and got the photos I was looking for. He turned out to be the largest buck I located on land I can hunt.

October 17th found me in a particular stand for the first time this year with a strong, and very rare for my area NE wind.  I was setup just outside of his bedding area (beds located during shed season) and was able to capitalize on my preseason efforts in a big way!  Chances are I may not have been setup in that area had I not known this guy was in there. 

If you do your summertime homework by locating the bucks, move in and setup the trail cameras on their food source, pull the cameras out after you get the info you need and save those bedding area stand locations for the perfect wind and conditions I bet you will have a better shot at success this fall.


Monster Mulie Killed in Montana

by John Mueller 25. November 2009 21:28
John Mueller
Montana 2009
Remi Warren MT Typical Mule deer
September 25, 2009

Remi Warren of Conner MT drew one of the premier deer tags in his home state this year and took this great buck on Sept 12th. With an unofficial green score being roughly 214, the early archery kill will rank very high in the overall state rankings. While this buck appears to have great mass and symmetry, preliminary reports have indicated significant deductions, Whether the current state record is in jeopardy of dropping down a spot will be left up to speculation until the 60 day drying period has passed. Remi has indicated he will have the buck measured for B&C in addition to P&Y when the 60 day requirement is met.

Buck Fights Elk Statue and Loses Life!

by Bow Staff 25. November 2009 00:59
Bow Staff

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. On a frosty November morning in rural Viroqua, Wisconsin, it became a certainty.

Local business owner, Mark Brye, likes to rise early. He begins his morning ritual with a quick peak at a life-like elk statue, located about 40 yards from his home. His kids got it for him a few Christmas's ago because of Mark's love of elk country and it's hunting.

What Brye never expected to find was his 640 pound cement statue lying on it's side!

Brye didn't even realize that the whitetail buck who had caused the heavy statue to collapse lied just 20 yards further, dead!

"I could tell the buck poked the statue a couple of times by the chipped paint on it," Brye said, adding that the buck eventually must have rammed it like a mountain goat!

Upon a closer investigation by both Brye and a Vernon county conservation officer, it appeared the buck shattered his skull a short time after the collision. Which was likely a case of territorial right, in which the deer thought the elk was an intruder. Or was unhappy he couldn't attract the attention of a doe.

"The statue is OK, but the antlers broke off when it tipped over," Brye said. "One side of the antlers is in one piece, but the other side is in five pieces."

Currently, Brye is awaiting some help from friends before he can tip the elk statue back onto it's standing position. At 640 pounds, we imagine it's going to be a pain!

The now famous 7 point buck who lost his life is in Brye's freezer. The noted words on the Wisconsin officials carcass tag simply stated  "lawn ornament fight - lost."

If you, the reader, have any stories or pictures that may be interesting to our readers here on Bowhunting.Com, please send them to us over Email along with a short description. Our staff can be reached anytime at Thanks.

Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

New York State's "4-Beam Buck" could set NEW Bowhunting Record.

by Bow Staff 23. November 2009 07:15
Bow Staff

If you think 200 class whitetail are exclusive to only our country's Midwestern cornfields, this next entry into the world of GIANT bucks might just shock your senses.

Taken in the afternoon of October 26th, 2009, this 4 beam whitetail buck fell to New Englander, Bjorn Holubar. While scouting for a place to hunt, Bjorn came across a thicket filled with several BIG rubs and knew this is where he'd like to try his luck. Just a few hours later and Bjorn walked out with the 20 point buck!

The current New York State archery record non-typical is 205 1/8", taken by Mark Surdi in 1996. Bjorn Holubar's buck is said to easily break the 200" mark. If so, this incredible 4 beam GIANT could pass into the empire state's bowhunting folklore, and the state's record books.

Bowhunting.Com would like to congratulate hunter, Bjorn Holubar on this amazing whitetail buck. We know how you feel Bjorn, we LOVE to hunt those big rubs too! Congrats again.

Early Season Success

by Bow Staff 19. November 2009 04:05
Bow Staff

Ask yourself one question, “am I maximizing my preseason efforts?” Though you may think so, your back may feel so, and your wife may say so; there still may be a few rocks left unturned. My Father, Uncle, Grandfather and I have prepared for each bow season similar to the last and the recipe had yielded success. We had our routines and were following the “If it aint broke don’t fix it” methodology. At the close of the 2008 Illinois archery season however, we decided to add two new tactics to our arsenal and boy am I glad we did.

Tactic 1: Trail Cameras
This is the first year we’ve set trail cameras around our property, and it only took one check of the SD cards to get us hooked. There is no better way to get the pre-season buzz going than to catch a buck in velvet on camera and watch him grow into a shooter. For the first time, we were able to establish a “hit list” from the shooters that were making multiple appearances on our cameras. The list then focused our attention on a few mature bucks that we took interest in. One in particular, which we named Guthook, began to show patterns.

We have several trail cam pics of Guthook on one side of our farm and with his numerous appearances; his early season pattern was exposed.

Without the trail cameras, we would not have identified Guthooks home range and may not have even known this deer existed prior to the season. We also would not have realized how effective our second pre-season tactic is.

Tactic 2: Food Plots
I’ve read about food plots all throughout various hunting magazines and websites, but it seemed out of reach for the “average Joe” bowhunter like myself. I was dead wrong. My Father and Uncle planted two plots this year without any major farming equipment. Though both plots were under an acre, they attracted bucks like Guthook and kept them coming back.

Guthook makes an appearance at the “secret spot” food plot which my Father and Uncle planted in July.

This plot is 30 yards long 15 yards wide and sits only 70 yards off of the farms bean fields. If you find that mature bucks won’t enter the open fields till after legal shooting time, try planting a small pot tucked away in the woods. The secret spot gives mature deer a (false) sense of security making it the perfect ambush spot to harvest a buck before sundown.

The “Secret Spot” setup.

The treestand location where I harvested Guthook, a 140 class buck the first weekend of Archery Season.

This is the other food plot planted which is just off the main bean field. This is where I was able to harvest Guthook on October 4th, 2009. The buck entered the field from the spot the picture was located and traveled along the winter pea’s path. He was munching on the Brassica and Clover blend when he didn’t know what hit him.

If you have become comfortable with your routine, try challenging yourself next season by adding some new tactics to your arsenal. Ask yourself whether you are “maximizing your pre-season efforts”? My family and I did this year and it led me to early season success.

Bucks Locked Up

by Bow Staff 19. November 2009 03:05
Bow StaffThis was just sent into us and this is all the information that we have...

Mike Herrin a man I have been training lives in northern Calhoun county. That county is deer heaven, I have never seen so many in herds. Anyway he called last night and said that in the little creek in front of his house, 2 deer had been fighting up the hillside and became locked together and ended up going down the hill and into the creek. Mike said that over the years, this is the third pair of deer he has found locked up, although the other 2 were dead when he found them. He and a neighbor were attempting to save one of the deer, both of which were nice trophy deer. They shot one with an arrow (they both have bow permits) and then they tried to separate them and release the other one. In the process Mike got injured when the live deer was bucking around. Mike had bone chips in his wrist and elbow, and got gored twice. They then had no choice but to shoot the second deer. They tried to separate the horns and couldn't. They then skinned out the deer and took the heads to a local taxidermist and they still could not get them apart. Amazing that they could become that entwined. They are having the heads mounted, that should make a very interesting mount. Below is a series of pictures that they took of the ordeal.

Possible NEW World Record Buck taken with Bow in Wisconsin!

by Bow Staff 18. November 2009 02:23
Bow Staff

Very few can argue with the results from Wisconsin over the past 2 whitetail seasons. It seems nearly every week another possible GIANT buck is taken by gun or bow in this, the famed, dairy state. Below you will find what could honestly become the world's largest typical buck ever! No joke.

Could it be? A new world record whitetail buck!?


The above 240 pound, 12 point typical, is being called the new world record whitetail, replacing Milo Hanson's 1993 taking. Shot on November 5th, 2009, hunter, Michael Gregoire took this incredible buck while hunting his brothers farm near Sheboygan. The 4 1/2 year old buck is said to gross 217 5/8 by an official Boone and Crockett scorer. It is currently waiting the mandatory 60 day drying period before it's final score is tallied. 

After the 60 day drying period is up, the Boone and Crockett club will randomly select a panel of judges for this buck's official scoring. All Michael can do now is await their verdict.

This whitetail buck needs to net the already famed Hanson trophy of 213 5/8, taken with rifle in the Saskatchewan province. The Wisconsin typical record is 206 1/8 inches.

Keep your eye on Bowhunting.Com. We will officially make the announcement as soon as we catch word on this possible new world record typical. Our congratulations to hunter, Michael Gregoire on this amazing buck.

Small Buck Mounts 3D Target! Great Trail Camera Video!

by Todd Graf 17. November 2009 19:49
Todd Graf

I recently checked one of the trail cams I have over my mock scrape and found these great clips that I wanted to share with you.  First you'll see me coming in and freshening up my Mock Scrape with some Mrs. Doe Pee's doe urine, then you'll see a small love struck buck who is looking for love in all the wrong places.  He's not the biggest buck in the woods, but he sure does put on an impressive show for the camera.  You have to love the rut!

I knew when I found the head had been knocked off my target that I would have some cool trail camera videos, but I never expected this!

60 Minutes - The Karma Buck

by Justin Zarr 16. November 2009 20:16
Justin Zarr

It seems as though every year the first two weeks of November take forever to get here and then they're gone in the blink of an eye, and this year was no different.  Mike and I had planned a 5 day trip to our lease in West Central, Illinois and with the rut just hitting it's stride we anticipated some great hunts.

Proving once again that Mother Nature has it out for us the day we showed up to hunt a warm front moved through, pushing those lovely 30 degree nights out and bringing 75 degree days in.  Why does this always seem to happen to us?  Last year it was 80 degrees on November 1st, this year it was 75 degrees on November 7th!  Sometimes I really think that someone has it out for us!

Our first two days we hunted together with the camera in tow, hoping to put down a nice buck on film.  Mike had a really cool encounter with a buck we named "Schafer" on our first morning but elected to pass.  Schafer is a solid 3 1/2 year old buck, but with an inside spread of only 8 inches or so he just wasn't what Mike was after.

"Schafer" in all of his 8 inches of glory.

Our first evening after hanging a new set, getting all sweated up, then roasting in the sun for a few hours we did have an encounter with the buck I missed last year on film - Dope Ear.  However by the time the brute showed himself it was not only too dark for the camera, but too dark to shoot as well.  Dope Ear passed our stand location at 26 yards and all we could do was squint through our binoculars and admire him.

Day 2 I was in the tree with a bow and we had a great encounter with a really nice 10 pointer.  Probably the biggest buck we saw during our 5 days, and definitely the biggest buck we had within range.  Although once again as fate would have it, the big buck walked in the one place that I couldn't shoot, and before passing into the wide open decided to angle away from us presenting no shot opportunities.  No amount of grunting, bleating, or snort-wheezing was going to bring this guy to us, he was on a mission to find some does!

This trail cam photo was taken just 3 days before our encounter with this great buck.  Too bad I couldn't get a clean shot at him!

By the third day with the weather still not cooperating Mike and I decided to split up and maximize our chances at killing some deer.  I took the camera gear with me and attempted some self-filming but let me tell you, it's no easy task!  I admire Todd for this dedication to filming himself this year.  The man is on a mission!  I did have one other encounter with Dope Ear on Day 3 but once again it was too dark to film.  But let me tell you - this buck is a true Illinois giant.

Anyways, by Day 5 we both had several encounters with shooter bucks and were seeing deer every sit but no shot opportunities presented themselves.  It was do or die time.  With our coldest morning yet Mike and I decided an all-day sit was going to be necessary so we packed our bologna sandwiches, granola bars, and Gatorade and headed into our stands.

At 9:56 that morning I hadn't seen a buck yet and was in the middle of texting a photo to my buddy Dan when I heard the ravine opposite me explode with running deer.  I put my phone back in my pocket, picked up my bow, and got ready.  Three does that I spotted earlier bolted down off the ravine and stopped 30 yards behind me.  As I eyed them up a fourth deer came down off the hill, and this one had antlers!

The buck ran full-speed to the bottom of the hill and eyed up the does that were standing behind me.  Just as he started making his way up the hill toward me I could make out some very long, heavy tines on his right side and switched my brain into kill mode.

He came up the hill on a dead walk and just before entering my main shooting lane made a hard right turn and walked broadside to within 10 yards of my stand.  As the buck entered my lane I grunted to stop him, settled my pin on his side, and let my arrow fly.

It hit with a resounding SMACK, the buck let out a loud grunt, and exploded up the hill toward a cedar thicket.  Seconds later the woods were quiet and I couldn't believe what just happened!  I picked up my phone and it was 9:58 am.  Less than 2 minutes after spotting these does coming down the hill I had just put down my 2nd buck of the season.  It's amazing how quickly things can happen in the woods this time of year.  All the preparation and hours spent in stand and it's all over within just a few short minutes.

After waiting 1/2 hour I got down and found both my arrow, which had broken off about 1/2 way, and good blood just after the spot of impact.  An hour after that Mike and I took up the trail and found my buck without a problem just 70 yards away.

Thanks to Mike for helping with the world's longest drag, and for taking some great photos.  A little bit of extra time and effort will go a long way when it comes to getting a good photo that will last a lifetime.

My shot was a bit further forward than I wanted, but the NAP Spitfire MaXX broadhead punched clean through his shoulder, took out both lungs, and his heart.  When I pulled the rest of the arrow of the buck's chest cavity I was amazed that the broadhead looked like brand new.  No bent or broken blades whatsoever.  Needless to say, I was impressed!  This is my 2nd animal taken with a Spitfire MaXX this year and neither have gone more than 80 yards after the shot, even after less than perfect shot placement.

Now this is the ironic and somewhat humbling part of this particular tale.  Exactly 60 minutes before I shot this buck Mike sent me a text that he had just spotted a gorgeous 2 year old buck that was going to be a real stud if he made it another year.  And once again as fate would have it, that particular buck somehow made it all the way back around Mike's position, up a giant ravine, and down to my location in that 60 minute span and was now laying dead at our feet.  That's right - I did it again.  After setting out to shoot 3 1/2 or older deer this fall, I had somehow managed to kill not one, but two 2 1/2 year old bucks.  I really don't have any excuses other than my misjudgement of these deer in a hunting situation.  It's easy to judge on a TV or computer screen, but when you put the adrenaline rush of being in the tree into the equation things get a little blurry.  My biggest lesson learned when it comes to field judging whitetails is to really take a closer look at the body and not the rack.  In areas with good genetics and food sources it can be easy to misjudge a deer based on the size of his headgear.

My 2nd Illinois buck of 2009.  Not quite what I was hoping for, but he'll look good on my wall!

All in all, I had a really successful season.  Two bucks and a doe on the ground, two out of three on film, and a chance to sleep in for the rest of the fall.  Although I will admit that I am personally disappointed in myself for not taking the time to judge these deer better before I shot.  Chalk it up to a lesson learned I suppose.  I've already started my goals and planning for next fall, hopefully I can avoid making these same mistakes.

BIG Bucks Fall to the Bow at Camp Ripley Hunt in Minnesota!

by Bow Staff 16. November 2009 09:54
Bow Staff

The nations largest organized hunt at Camp Ripley, Minnesota is truly a spectacle to read, even better, we imagine, to witness first hand. The legendary archery hunt, which takes place for just a few days at Camp Ripley Military Training Center, has become one of our favorite places to dream of. And why not, it is perhaps one of the best places to hunt trophy whitetail in the country. In 2009, the Camp Ripley hunt continued it's trophy taking ways with these awesome whitetail bucks over just 4 days of hunting!


Cory Williams of Pierz, Minnesota, took the above 265-pound buck, which was the largest deer killed during both weekend hunts. Of which, there was said to have been more than 10 bucks taken, over the two seasons, to exceed 200 pounds!

Not much is known about this above Camp Ripley giant, except that it boasts some 17 scorable points!

And of course we cannot talk about Camp Ripley without the above whitetail mentioned. This Magnum buck could become Minnesota's new non-typical archery record as it's said to topple 228" of bone! The hunter, Scott Okonek, shot the buck during Camp Ripley's first season which ran October 15-16th, 2009. The 5 1/2 year old buck was said to tip the scales at 192 pounds, field dressed!

It's no wonder that there are more than 5,000 applications accepted for this annual hunt, as Camp Ripley boasts more than 53,000 acres of prime whitetail habitat! The whitetail bucks taken there every year are just incredible. For more information on this hunt contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The staff and readers of Bowhunting.Com would like to congratulate everyone of the above bowhunters for their incredible whitetail bucks taken from this little slice of north woods heaven in 2009. We look forward to next year's Camp Ripley hunt!

No Excuses

by John Mueller 16. November 2009 07:48
John Mueller

            I’m not going to make excuses as to why I have been hunting hard in Illinois for nearly a month and a half now and still don’t have a deer down. I’m just going to try and explain how it can happen.


            I guess I’ve entered into a different stage as a hunter. I used to be all about killing the animals. I have killed as many as 10 deer in a season and enjoyed the hell out of it. I doubt I will ever do that again, no reason to really. I have also killed some really nice bucks and hope to again soon. It seems a lot of the hunting was about the competition of killing a big deer.  Now it feels like more of a chess match. Waiting for a particular buck or one that meets my own personal standards. Like these guys.




            But right now I am having just as much fun managing my property for the deer and turkey that call it home. I have really gotten into food plots in a big way. Hopefully to help out the local deer heard in the harsh winter weather and also to make the hunting a little easier. But so far that hasn’t happened. You would think with a smorgasbord of food available whenever they want it there would be deer out in it any time of day. It just isn’t working that way this season. Some of that may be due to the fact that with all of the rain this fall the farmers haven’t been able to get their crops out of the fields. In normal years all crops should be out by Halloween, this year they may not be out by Christmas. Still my plots should be a good draw for the late season.




  These 2 seem to be enjoying my efforts.


            I have also planted my CRP field in Native Warm Season Grasses such as Big Blue Stem, Indian Grass and Sideoats Gramma. In a couple more year as these get established they will create a wonderful bedding area for the deer and a nesting area for the turkey and other ground nesting birds. This will help hold more deer on my property and keep the neighbors from killing too many of the ones I’m trying let grow older.


            I have also been sharing my treasure with friends that appreciate what I am trying to do with my piece of Whitetail Paradise. Last year Matt/Pa and Greg/MO were out and we hunted hard for a good buck, but that never happened. So on the last evening of our hunt we decided we needed a deer for our trophy shot. We ended up taking 3 does in the last hour of the hunt. This year Matt couldn’t make it with his new job and Greg ended up killing this buck on Halloween evening. Mobow is also hunting out there with me this year. He has killed a button buck (by mistake) and is still waiting on the wall hanger to offer a shot. My taxidermists’ son has also harvested a mature doe while hunting on my place.

A good evening of hunting


The Halloween buck.


            Now don’t get me wrong. I haven’t stopped trying to kill deer, but I have become more picky in the ones I do shoot.  I can afford to there are some really nice ones living around me. I may not kill a good buck every year but that will be ok with me. I don’t go out with the intent on shooting every doe that walks within range and I have a certain hit list of bucks that I’d like to put a tag on. But to just kill a deer, I think I am past that stage. I still get the same adrenaline rush every time I see a deer materialize from the woods. I just don’t have to kill every one to make it a successful hunt any more. I have also starting taking my video camera along, weather permitting, and am enjoying some of the things I am getting on camera. Still not a pro at the video thing, but maybe that will be the next stage in my hunting career.

I still like this side of hunting a lot.





But this side is gaining fast, maybe I'm getting soft in my old age.

Check Out this Trail Camera Photo! Illinois Buck on the Ground!

by Bow Staff 15. November 2009 22:01
Bow Staff

Congratulations to Dan Baldock from Lone Wolf Stands on a great buck he harvested this past weekend.  After a tough season Dan managed to connect on this Illinois giant.  And the best part, Dan captured a trail camera photo of the buck just moments before the shot! If you look closely you’ll see Dan in the upper right corner of the photo, with his bow still on the hanger.  Luckily he was able to react in time to put this bruiser on the ground.

Congrats again to bowhunter Dan Baldock on a great buck!  If you have an unique story or photos to share with the readers, send an email to

Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

Pine Ridge Archery Daughter, Kristin, Shoots Her First Bow Buck!

by Bow Staff 9. November 2009 03:58
Bow Staff

The makers of the Pine Ridge Archery AT-5 Trail Camera Mount, Pine Ridge Instant Arrow Glue, Pine Ridge Archery Reel-A-Strap,   Pine Ridge 2nd Shot Arrow Holder and the Pine Ridge Archery E/Z Up Treestand Pulley System daughter shot her first bow buck! Kristin Broberg has been hunting since she was 12 and has quite a few deer under her belt with a gun. Since she stepped up to bowhunting, she has found success as well. This week Kristin put a perfect shot on this nice IL buck. The buck was tailing a doe when he followed her under Kristin's stand early on Sunday morning. Unsure if she was going to shoot, Kristin hesitated until she was finally given a perfect broadside shot.

Kristin Broberg with Her First Bow Buck.

Like a pro, she put the arrow right behind the shoulder and the buck did not even make it 20 yards. Team Pine Ridge gets on the buck board for the first time this season! Good job Kristin, now the rest of the group need to step up there game.

Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

The Story of a Buck Named "Tuner"

by Bow Staff 9. November 2009 00:07
Bow Staff

The story of “Tuner” began back in mid-July when I filmed a buck behind my house that I quickly nicknamed “Tuner” because of the inside “forks” on it G-4’s. At the time, I figured he was a shooter, but it’s always difficult to tell when they are in velvet.

This is what “Tuner” looked like back in mid-July. The footage was a little on the dark side as he entered the bean field just before dark. This is just a picture taken of my TV set (quick and dirty) – but it shows what he looked like in-velvet.

I had yet another encounter with “Tuner” the following night, but again, he came out right at dark with two other bucks and I wasn’t able to get the footage I was looking for. This is a picture of Tuner and the other bucks that night (he’s the buck on the right).

The “Tuner” story continued the second week in August when I captured him once again, but this time hard-horned. He was one of the largest bodied whitetails I’d ever seen. I filmed him for about 30 minutes, as close as 40 yards from my location. He was beautiful, and the buck I was going to be setting my sights on come October!

Here are a couple pictures of “Tuner” from that evening. He literally posed for me, giving me the opportunity to film him from every angle in beautiful lighting conditions. The stuff I LIVE outside for in the summer! His belly was so big; it looked like it was going to burst!

After setting my stands in my “sanctuary” in late August, it was a long 2 month wait before I would be ready to make my move. Unfortunately, my stupidity landed me in a bit of a predicament. I had tried jumping a creek while putting trail cameras out; and well, I missed. I landed with all my weight on my right ankle, and well the picture says it all!

I thought I broke my ankle, just as the best cold front in Late October was landing in SE Iowa. My cameraman went out with Dallas that afternoon as I sat on my couch, literally crying because I was in so much pain and couldn’t believe my season was over. The worst feeling I’ve ever had to experience. The next morning, the pain felt different than any “rolled foot” I’d ever had. I was scared to death that I broke my ankle and they would put a cast on it. You see, in-order to get into my sanctuary, I have to get into waders to get across the waste-deep water!

Reluctantly, I went-in for an X-ray, and on the morning of October 27th, I was in the worst place a bowhunter could imagine - THE HOSPITAL! Thank the lord above; the X-Ray’s came back “not broken”. I asked the doctor if it was possible to do any further damage if I were to walk on it. The answer was “no”, so long as you can take the pain and keep the swelling down.

2 hours later, Kyle and I were crossing the creek, going in after a buck called “Tuner”. I could barely get the boot over my ankle, but with a few choice words and some heavy breathing - I was on the other side.

Kyle and I headed into a set that I’d literally been DYING to hunt. 30 minutes after getting set-up, I caught movement in-front of us - and as my binoculars focused onto the movement, at 3:30 in the afternoon - my dream just became a possibility!

Tuner straight-up read the script for us and came strolling on-past our stand at 40 yards where the arrow was released. At the end of the blood-trail lay the buck I’d been dreaming of for 4 months. I’d previously believed he was the biggest bodied whitetail I had ever seen. The scale proved this. Tuner tipped the scale at a field dressed weight of 270 pounds, and had an estimated live weight of 325 pounds. Score wise, his 13 points would probably gross score in the upper 160s, maybe push 170. Not sure, don’t care as I don’t measure any of my bucks. It’s just not important to me.

The following pictures are a few of my favorites. He is my biggest whitetail to date, and to have the opportunity at killing this buck my first time into my prime area - well, I’ll take luck over skill any day!

The man behind the scenes of “my world” is my cameraman Kyle Reenders. As I’m getting pretty used to by now, the footage of the encounter and killing of “Tuner” is flawless! Thanks again Kyle for capturing my dreams as they come-true for me to enjoy and share for the rest of my life!

There is a TON more awesome stuff and some unique twists in this story, but you will have to wait to see it on our next video that will be released in February of 2010. I’m pretty confident this will be the best story of a buck I’ve ever been able to share with y’all.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful season, I’ve got another tag here in Iowa, and I’ve only just begun my season! Be safe - wear a harness!

Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

The Crab Claw Buck From Wisconsin

by Josh Fletcher 8. November 2009 23:57
Josh Fletcher

The story starts on October 25th 2009. Camera man Bryce Kish and myself were hunting central Wisconsin. We were in our stands waiting by 2:30pm. By 6:00pm Bryce calls out, “shooter buck!” As I turn around I notice a beautiful buck heading our way. As many big bucks do, he quickly changed course and walked approximately fifty yards out, too far for my effective range with a stick and string.

While Bryce was filming the buck, I noticed movement about thirty yards behind the first buck. It was a second buck and he too was a shooter. Bryce zoomed in on the second buck with the camera, he stated that the second buck was not as high as the first buck but definitely had more mass.

As both bucks walked away from our set up, my heart was pounding. I knew that there was going to be no shots taken that night, however we knew that the rut was just around the corner and good mature bucks were starting to become more daylight active. After the evenings hunt we headed back to my house to review the video of the bucks. While watching the video, I noticed the back buck had matching set of crab claws off of his front part of his main beams. Now I’m not good at scoring deer, so I wouldn’t even try, but what I can tell you is that he was definitely a mature deer and one that made my heart pound. That night I went to bed dreaming about another opportunity at the Crab Claw Buck.

Fast forwarding five days later, October 30th. I woke up at five in the morning. As I lay in bed I could hear rain hitting the roof and water dripping off the eves. I wanted to lie in bed where it was warm and dry, but I knew that the bucks were on the move, because the pre rut is in full swing. I met cameraman Chad Holdorf at the hunting property where he was standing with his hood synched tight around his head. Chad looks at me and asks, “Tell me again why we are doing this?” as rain was just pouring down on us. By looking at the radar it appeared that shortly after daylight the rain would stop.

For the second time in my hunting career I was also going to be using a buck decoy, so I wanted to be able to slip into our stands using the rain to cover up our noise and scent. When we reached to our stands, Chad was busy setting up the camera equipment while I was setting up the buck decoy. I was using the EZ-Buck by Carry Light Decoy Company. I took one antler off from the buck to make it less intimidating to the challenger. I had the decoy placed ten yards from my stand just incase a buck hangs up; he will still be well within bow range.

An hour went by and the rain stopped. All of a sudden Chad called out, “There’s a deer.” As I turned around I watched a wide, dark racked buck get up from his bed in some thick black berry brush a mere sixty yards away. The buck stretched, and soon started walking in our cardinal direction. After several steps the heavy horned buck stopped and locked eyes on the EZ-Buck. His deep eyes peered at his archrival, he immediately started rubbing his chocolate stained horns on a wrist-sized tree. After working the tree over and showing his dominance, he turned and came right on a b-line to the decoy. His ears tipped back, legs went stiff, and his back fur stood strait up. Staring at the decoy with every step, the big buck made it closer to the decoy. Only ten yards from my stand the big buck did a stiff leg side step looking over the decoy.

With his attention off from me and on his opponent I drew my bow and came to full draw. The buck circled to the back of the decoy and stuck his nose right into the decoy’s synthetic tail, immediately the buck caught a whiff of my scent from setting up the decoy and jumped about five to ten yards before he stopped broad side, staring back at the decoy. I settled my twenty-yard pin and released the string. I herd a loud “Crack” and the big bruiser did the best reaction, the mule kick.

I observed my tracer nock flashing from the shoulder blade as the buck was trying to break the land speed record to the thickest cover. As he reached the farthest point of which I could keep visual on him, it appeared that his legs were fighting to keep him up. Within nano-seconds he disappeared down into a deep draw. I turned to Chad with my knees shaking, saying, “I think we got him!” I knew I needed to check my arrow, due to the fact that it broke off several steps after I hit the buck. I told Chad that the shot was not perfect because I hit the shoulder blade. I needed to know how much penetration I got with my NAP Blood Runner, to know if I hit vitals.

I got down from the stand and recovered my arrow. You would have thought I found gold by my reaction when I observed that over half of my arrow blew threw his shoulder blade producing a bubbly blood coating my arrow. I looked at the leaves around my arrow and immediately there was a tremendous blood trail pointing the direction to the pot of gold. I marked where I found my arrow and returned up to the stand to talk with Chad.

As I got into the stand Chad delivered the bad news. He informed me that he hit the record button but the camera is not allowing us to review the shot to confirm our hit location. We were crossing our fingers that it was just the camera not playing it back instead of it not recording. We switched tapes in the camera and decided to try a new tape. After filming our post roll explaining what happened, it began to mist.

As an hour went by, it felt like days. Soon we took up on the blood trail. As soon as we began following the blood trail it was clear that the NAP Blood Runners did their job. It looked like some one tripped while carrying a five-gallon bucket of red paint. Approximately seventy yards later, I noticed a white belly down at the bottom of a big draw. With both of my arms in the air and some shouts of joy, my feet never touched the ground as I walked up on the heavy horned brute!

For the first time in my life I was honestly speechless as I picked up the head of this beautiful creature. I am not a guy who judges his hunt by the size of horn rather the sound of my heart pounding, and I was in shock that both were happening at the same time! As I admired the heavy horned ten point, it struck me like a bolt of lightning. I just harvested the crab claw buck. His duel front crab claws appeared to me like diamonds in the sand. Not only did I just harvest a truly magnificent buck, but also it was the buck that I dreamed about every night since I laid eyes on him five days earlier. This was the perfect ending to my fairy tale hunting adventure, and for as long as I live I will always remember the day that I met the crab claw buck.

After we took photos, rehearsed the hunt, we brought him home. Chad and I were excited to watch the video. As we tried to play the video we realized that the camera did not agree with the high moisture, as the video did record the buck coming in but it was extremely distorted and almost unable to view. However the recovery with a new tape did record.

Our hearts sank, I felt so bad for Chad, because I got my dream buck, however all the hours and hard work that Chad had spent all season long to bring us great video documenting our hunts did not record at the moment of truth. However Chad did say it best, “Even if we didn’t get the shot on video, it will always be in my mind and that made it worth the work.” He couldn’t have been more accurate, and a special thanks to Bryce and Chad for all their hard work behind the camera to bring our hunting season to your TV and computer screens.

Second trip of the season to Illinois-Developing a hit list

by Dan Schafer 8. November 2009 08:06
Dan Schafer

On Sunday October 25th Johnny and I packed the truck again and headed back to Knox County Illinois to hunt with good frineds Carl and Polly.  Our intent was to stay until both of us filled our tags, but good old Mother Nature had different plans.  Just before leaving, we checked the forecast, which looked to only have a few showers in the week to come. 

 Our first and second nights were spent in the 5th wheel listening to the pouring rain pounding the roof.  Only a few showers for the week?  We should have known not to trust the weather man!  During one six hour stretch, Carl's gauge measured 2.5" of rain.  I hardly call that a shower. 


This creek was ankle deep when we first arrived and came up around 7' overnight.

 When the rains finally settled we hung a couple more stands, checked out some sign and put out two Moultrie I40s and two Moultrie D40 trail cameras.


 Over the couse of the next 8 days we spent many long hours on stand with little to show for it.  The combination of the full moon and fields of standing corn really put a damper on the deer movement.  This past Wednesday, November 4th, Johnny and I decided that we would throw in the towel for a few days and head back to WI to get a bit of work done and come back down closer to the new moon.  All was not lost though, as the trail cameras started to take an inventory of the bucks cruising the property at night. 

 Check out a few of the bucks below that have made it to the "hit list" and a couple others that look to be good up and comers for the next couple years. 



Jack (and the Beam Stalk)



These last two pics are hard to tell if this is the same buck or not.  What say you? 



Bill Brasky


Once again, the truck is packed and we're ready to head back south in the morning for our final trip of the year.  It'll be interesting to see if anyone new showed up on the cameras while we were gone!  With any luck, we'll let the air out of a couple of these boys!

 Good luck to all still out there and shoot straight!'s - 200 Point Club

by Dustin DeCroo 6. November 2009 01:05
Dustin DeCroo

The 2009 bowhunting season is entering that time of year every hunters awaits, the rut. has created a 200 point club for those members that do what it takes to put down a slammer buck and or a doe.  In the contest a doe is worth 50 points and a buck is worth it's score in inches.  The members that reach the 200 point mark, and enter their kills in the "200 Point Club Entry" thread, will receive a gift from  Not to mention bragging rights and something prestigious to add to your signature!

How it works:

Each hunter may enter either a buck and doe or just a buck that meets or exceeds 200 points.  The deer must be killed with a bow during the 2009 season, photo proof is required.  The top scorer will have his/her package sweetened as well.

Congratulations to a few members that have already accomplished this feat... shown below!


"Wiaxle" - 200 Points

"ILL BUCK" - 200 Points

"Bloodcrick" - 203 Points

"Buckeye" - 210 Points

An Illinois doe for Polly

by Dan Schafer 5. November 2009 22:47
Dan Schafer

Is it really November 6th?  Seriously?  Wow, time actually does fly!

Way back on October 9th Johnny and I loaded up the Rock Star trailer and made our way south to the Land of Lincoln to hunt with good friends and lease partners Justin Zarr and Mike Willand.  The drive was full of talk about all the bucks we had seen last year and daydreams of what they would look like this year.  Nine hours later, we pulled into Siloam Springs State Park, parked the 5th wheel and headed to bed.  Justin and Mike arrived in the middle of the night and laid down to catch a few hours of sleep themselves.

At 4 am the next morning Justin and Mike were up and chomping at the bit to get down to the lease.  Johnny and I decided to get a couple of hours more sleep and head out around mid morning to hang a couple stands.  Much to our surprise, the door opened back up at 6 am and there stood Justin and Mike with that "someone just kicked my dog" look.  With all the recent rains, the creek we had to cross to reach the lease was swollen and impossible to cross.  After a quick discussion, Justin and Mike decided to make the 5 hour trek back north and hunt another piece of property they have access to.  To read more about their adventure, click here

Now that Johnny and I had made the 9 hour trip south, what were we to do?  Just then, I recalled a conversation I had with a gentleman back in June and his invitation to us to hunt his property 2 hours north in Knox County.  After a quick call, to be sure the invitation was still open, we were on our way to check it out. 

 Upon arrival, good friends Carl and Polly met us in the driveway with big smiles and open arms.  After a short discussion, Carl put on his boots and took us for a tour around the property.  Needless to say, we were pretty jacked up with what we had seen.  (Unfortunately, in all the rushing, I had forgotten my camera in the 5th wheel and was unable to take pictures.)  We got back to the house, thanked Carl and headed back to get the 5th wheel and move it to our new home for the next couple days. 

 The next day (third of our trip already) we hooked up the 5th wheel, headed back north to Knox County.  After parking the big rig in their yard, Polly preceded to tell us that if we were able to, we were to shoot a couple does for them for the freezer.  Of course, this was music to our ears.  We quick loaded up a couple stands, and headed out for an evening sit.  Johnny's evening was pretty uneventful and just before dark I had 5 does stroll by, but no shots were presented.  The next two days were about the same, doe sightings, but no shots. 

When we woke up Wednesday morning we decided we would give it a try that day and then head back home for a week of work, before coming back down to hunt more.  That evening, Johnny was able to spot a couple good bucks in the tall CRP grass get the blood flowing a bit.  After they disappeared with no shots presented, a mature doe made her way to him and offered a great shot.  The NAP Thunderhead found its mark and made for an easy track job. 



When we delivered the news to Carl and Polly that Johnny had put down a doe for them, they were very excited.  Being the kind and generous people they are, they offered to let us hunt there when we come back down and to leave the 5th wheel parked in their yard.  Floored with the offer, Johnny and I graciously accepted and dreamed of our return trip in just over a week. 

In this day and age, people so generous and kind are getting harder to come by.  Thank you Carl and Polly for opening your home and provinding us with such a wonderful opportunity.  I hope I can return the favor in the future and put a Canadian black bear in front of you.  Once again, Thank You!

Ohio's Real 320" Buck could become the Largest Non-Typical ever Taken by Bowhunter!

by Bow Staff 3. November 2009 09:45
Bow Staff

When you think about it, I mean really think about it. It almost seems completely absurd that over the past 40 years of deer hunting some of the greatest whitetail bucks of all-time came not from today's "golden age", but rather from yesterday's first few seasons. You know.. before the compound was even a drawing and shotguns rarely fired over 40 yards.

The Jordan buck, which once stood at the top of the pile of giant typical bucks for nearly 80 years. Mel Johnson's incredible bow typical from Illinois taken in 1965. And of course the 1962 record non-typical Del Austin bow trophy, which is nearly unthinkable considering how few and far between deer encounters must have been way back when in Nebraska Mr. Austin. Not to mention the scarcity of food plots in the early to late 60's.

Could one of these bow records be at an end? Finally?

On October 19th, 2009, an Ohio hunter took this spectacular non-typical which is said to boast nearly 320" of bone on his head! While the staff here at Bowhunting.Com slightly disagrees with these early estimates, we have no doubt he topples the 280" mark. The hunter, who's name has yet to be identified, reportedly even has the match set from this buck after last years shed season, those antlers go 260"!


The hunting community as a whole is not yet sure on the weapon that was used, however early speculation is that the giant was taken with a crossbow.

Little more information is known at this time on this whitetails chances of becoming the new world record non-typical whitetail buck taken with a bow. The staff at Bowhunting.Com is dedicated to bringing this story to the surface and will hopefully be updating this story as it further develops. If you have any information on this possible record buck please don't hesitate to send it our way. You can email us at

Illinois Buck Harvest - A Buck Named Tank

by Todd Graf 1. November 2009 22:09
Todd Graf

Sweet, sweet November is finally upon us!  If you're a crazy bowhunting nut like myself this is the time you live for, so make sure you're ready to go because the heat of the rut is right around the corner!

October ended on a high note for me, as I was able to film myself harvesting a beautiful Illinois buck that some of my neighbors had nicknamed "Tank".  The ironic part about this particular hunt is that the buck did nearly the exact same thing my 192" buck did last fall.  When you see the footage you'll see what I'm talking about!

Just like last year I was able to catch this buck coming out of his bedding area during daylight, no doubt going to check out some of the local does.  That's been the key to my October success lately.  Find where they're bedding and get them while they're still predictable, because you never know where they are going to end up once the rut hits.

You can tell by the body size on this Illinois brute why he earned the nickname "Tank"!  Justin and I gross scored him at just over 144 inches.

Tank is a buck that we knew well, with multiple trail camera photos of him being taken all summer and fall.  Proof yet again that they can be valuable tools to get a good inventory of the bucks living on your hunting property.  Tank was one of the most visible bucks in the area as you can tell by the photos below.

My shot was a little further back than I had wanted, but with the massive 1 1/2" cutting diameter of the NAP BloodRunner Tank only made it 175 yards before expiring.  It was a tough blood trail at times, but thanks to the help of my good friends Don and Glen Spolum we recovered Tank with relative ease.  Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it!

The NAP BloodRunner really did a number on this buck, which is why we were able to recover him within 200 yards from the shot.

We'll have the video posted right here on very shortly.  We're a little behind right now, been spending too much time in the treestand and not enough behind our computers!  I'll be sure to let you all know when it's posted.

As always, if you're looking for any last-minute gear before the rut really kicks into high gear check out our online shopping cart.  We've got over 14,000 bowhunting products so chances are we have what you're looking for!

Check out the Video of it here!


The Old Moose Hunter Scores an Ontario Bull

by Justin Zarr 28. October 2009 23:17
Justin Zarr

NOTE: This article comes from my dear old Dad, a moose hunting maniac and the man responsible for my addiction to bowhunting.  Growing up around this guy it's not hard to see why I'm so passionate about bowhunting.  Although as you can see, I am a little bit more interested in the latest and greatest gear and gadgets.  Congrats Pops! - Justin 

Well, I guess I am no one's father anymore. At the ripe old age of 53 I am now known as "The Old Man".  I guess this is something that I can live with since I too referred to my Dad as the old man as well. I guess that's just karma.

Almost as old as me is the now prehistoric bow and arrows that I shoot as a bowhunter.  I shoot a very old Golden Eagle "Hunter Cam" bow.  And yes, it still has steel cables AND a string. To go with the antique setup I also shoot something not many people have heard of any more; aluminum arrows! All kidding aside, I am constantly being ribbed by's own Justin Zarr and Mike Willand and even my fellow moose hunter Mike about my old gear. In fact, on the very afternoon of our arrival for our annual moose hunt the camp owner, Jeremy Reynolds of Skyline Lodge  in Perrault Falls, Ontario, was checking out my bow and arrows and several comments were made as to the outdatedness of my equipment. I responded by reminding them of the conversation by Joe Pesci and Marissa Tomei in the movie "My Cousin Vinny".  Joe Pesci's character was going deer hunting with the prosecuting attorney and asked Marissa Tomei's character if she thought his pants were good enough for a deer hunt. Her response was that the deer don't care what type of pants the guy shooting them was wearing! I assured my critics  that the big bull I was going to shoot this week did not have a clue as to the age of my equipment, nor would it matter.   

We left the dock about 4:00 pm that afternoon to go on our first hunt of a week long trip. Just a quick trip across the bay and I dropped Mike off at his spot of choice and then proceeded  around the corner and down to the end of the next bay. I parked the boat and made the two hundred yard trip to where I would be spending my evening.

My view over the secluded bay on my first night of our hunt.

I quickly trimmed a few shooting lanes here and there to give myself more shot opportunities should a moose show up. After letting things quiet down for a bit from the sound of the boat I gave the first call of the season. A minute or two later I was relatively certain that a bull had answered from a great distance away.  I quickly gave another call and the answer was crystal clear this time. The bull was on his way.

It took about fifteen minutes before he broke out of the bush and onto the shoreline of the lake.  He looked very nice moose to me, even from 150 yards away. The bull was on a mission to find the cow that called for love. Then at roughly 60 yards away he hung up as many bulls have done to us in the past. But I was ready for that this time.

I dropped to the ground behind a big fallen tree and faced away from the bull, then let out a very soft call so as to sound like his true love was moving away from him, deeper into the bush. My plan worked perfectly. He immediatley resumed his mission and closed the gap to me in very short order. When the bull was about 20 yards away and nearly to the water's edge he stopped and tried to figure out where the love sick cow had gone. Not sure, he decided to walk the shoreline just a few more yards and that was a fatal mistake.

As the bull turned broadside he hesitated just long enough for me to draw my antique bow and let go my antique aluminum arrow tipped with a 125 grain Thunderhead. The arrow hit its mark and the big bull lunged several steps ahead and then stopped! I was happy with the arrow placement but when the bull stopped and offered me another shot I was not about to think twice.  However, before I could get another arrow out of my quiver I could see the big bull was close to going down.  He was already wobbling where he stood so instead of an arrow I decided to pick up my camera and photograph what was about to happen.

Things went too fast for that plan.  Before I could even get the lens cap off the bull reared up and fell over stone cold dead not more than 30 yards from me.  What an awesome sight to witness! Having plenty of daylight left and wanting to make as much use of it as possible I quickly made my way back to the boat and went to get my hunting partner Mike.

My 2009 Ontario bull moose laying in the bay, just yards where I shot him with my antique bow.

Fortunately the bull had headed for deeper water after being arrowed and fell in about 5 feet of water, making the job of getting him back to camp much easier. We tied a rope around his antlers and made the long slow trip back to camp.  Approximately a mile and a half to two miles by boat.  It was dark by the time we hit shore but the rest of the job was easier from there. By later that night my 55 1/4 inch bull was hanging on the hanging pole.

Mike helping with the recovery by tying a rope around the bull's antlers so we could drag him back to camp across the lake.

From the time we left the dock to go on this hunt I was dragging my new trophy back in less than one hour, and I was one happy camper! The very next evening we were able to get within 15 yards of another nice bull but the outcome was not what we had wanted.  We hunted hard for the remainder of our trip but at the end of the week the score was the old man with the old bow and the old arrows 1 (big one at that ), and the other guy with all of the bells and whistles, carbon arrows, scopes and drop down rests, self centering grip, super fancy this and super fancy that, scent blocking clothes and high tech fiberglass moose call ZIP. NADA. NOTHING. SKUNKED.

My old aluminum arrow and NAP Thunderhead were more than enough to get the job done on this nice Ontario bull.

I guess the moral of the story here is that more often than not there is nothing greater than just some "OLD " fashioned hunter know-how.....and you can't buy that.

The Old Man with his old bow and old arrows, next to his trophy bull moose.

Here I am with Ted Mitchell of Mitchell's Meats and Sausages in Vermillion Bay, Ontario.  Wrangling this big bull around and getting him caped out and processed was a real experience, but it's all a part of the adventure I suppose!

Ted hard at work on my moose.  Thanks for the help and the quick turnaround!

The Truth Behind the Hunt

by Josh Fletcher 28. October 2009 22:46
Josh Fletcher

On a recent hunting trip out west I was reminded as to why I love deer hunting. Myself along with four close friends found ourselves on a high mountaintop with two wall tents and a mouth-watering supper on the grill. As supper was heating up on the grill beneath the soft subtle light of a lantern, and a falling star shooting across the western sky was the official start of deer camp storytelling and reminiscing. I don’t care if you are a rifle hunter, a bow hunter or both. We all share the same passion; we are all hunters no matter what weapon we choose to carry.

For me the truth behind the hunt started at an early age. When I was twelve years old, my dad took me to deer camp located on the Upper Michigan boarder in northern Wisconsin. From that trip on I experienced the small things that the general public doesn’t understand about hunting. It’s the things that Hollywood doesn’t portray in the movies and even Bambi can’t deny. The truth behind the hunt is more than the kill; it’s about traditions, good friends and the stories of past hunts.

As each hunter would arrive in camp, the fellow hunters in camp would walk out on the porch and greet the new arrival with a big smile and a firm handshake. For most of us, deer season was the only time that our busy schedules would allow for us to sit down and reminisce about the past and plans for the future.

After everyone was unpacked and settled in our old rickety cabin, that was home for the hunters (as well as the mice), supper would soon be sizzling over the stove. What I find the most interesting about deer camp is that for most of our busy home lives it’s a challenge to have a good old fashion sit down supper, but at deer camp it’s a daily event.

After a gut busting supper that would make Paul Bunyan himself loosen up his belt, we would all gather around the old oil stove and talk over a torn and well weathered topo map like an army strategically planning our next move about the mornings hunt. These are the truths behind the hunt.

Fast forwarding to the present, I was introduced to two guys that I had never met before, to head out west on a mule deer hunt with. It didn’t take long and soon I had so much in common with these two guys that the eighteen-hour drive wouldn’t be long enough to share stories.

As we arrived at our camp location, five guys worked together like a well oiled machine and it wasn’t long an our two wall tents where set up and what would be our home for the next two weeks was ready to become a tradition. After supper we started a nice warm fire in the old barrel stove. Soon we rested our aching feet and backs on old tethered cots and closed our eyes. Even though our eyes were closed, our ears were open. Intensely listening to the music of the mountains, which was singing in harmony with the crackling fire. It’s the sights, sounds, and smells that provide the scripts to our songs. Soon with the sound of the wind against the mountainside was singing, then the crackling fire joined in and last the howls of distant coyotes joined into play the mountain music that we all drifted off to sleep dreaming about.

It wasn’t long and the silver morning light started to break the mountaintops. A warm cup of coffee that was brewed on a wood stove finished the picture that most artists dream to capture in the morning. Wall tents warmed by the suns beams that were projecting like a spot light from the mountain tops was a picture that was meant for hunting magazines. Its sights like these that aren’t in the travel brochures.

These are the truths behind the hunt. You have to hunt to be able to kill but you don’t have to kill to have hunted. Far too often we get captured up in the kill or how big of a buck we got, that it takes away from the enjoyment of why we got into the sport in the first place. It becomes a competition and not a moment to cherish. So the next time you’re out on a hunting trip with friends and family, don’t forget to take the time to breathe in the fresh air, relax and enjoy the small things that draw all hunters alike to the great outdoors. It’s not all about the kill or the biggest buck. It’s about friends, families, and the memories made as well as shared that is the real truth behind the hunt. 

Check this Out! What an Amazing Whitetail Buck Mount!

by Bow Staff 28. October 2009 08:28
Bow Staff

The staff here at live and die by bowhunting the whitetail. When we are not in a tree we are thinking about it. When we're with our wives, we are thinking about it. Even our emails are cluttered with the stories and pictures of big bucks and the hunters who got them.

And while nothing can compare to a starry-eyed gaze at real-life buck as he seemingly floats through the timber. We do LOVE to gaze upon the mounts of these monsters as well. Not only our own, but of others too. With the hundreds we've seen over the years, the mount below is surely one of a kind. We've never seen anything like it.

The above mount was sent to us via email from a member of the White Knuckle Productions team. This incredible whitetail buck is forever caught in a 'leaping' pose, as if this once King is actually hurdling over the owners banister and unto the living area below. Wow!!

Less we forget the amount of inches on this monarchs head. Amazing! Certainly the buck we all dream about as we prepare for the days hunt while the dark before us rolls into dawn. My, what a buck! My, what a mount!


If you have any interesting mounts you think deserve the attention this beautiful mount has gotten, please send us a brief story and picture. You can send it here to If we like it and think our readers will too, we'll put it here on our front page.


Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

A 320" Buck! Could it be true?!

by Bow Staff 27. October 2009 09:38
Bow Staff

Could it be? A possible World Record whitetail buck reportedly boasting nearly 40 points and a mind-boggling 320" of bone!

Or is it myth? A hoax of the cruelest kind, tugging away at our heartstrings and tearing away at any bowhunters dream.

Whatever the case may be, this picture has been screaming its way across the internet for several days now with reports of its record kill from about 15 different states. Illinois being its latest farce, if it is one.

                                                                                                                                              The infamous tail-gate shot, something to be proud of. You'd think the hunter might want to get in on this??

The most plausible story comes out of the great state of Wisconsin where it is said to have been harvested out of a high-fenced outfitter. Although one could only ask why there's no hunter posing with the now legendary '320' buck??

The staff and readers at Bowhunting.Com are interested in the details of this hunt. We are looking for any information anyone might have on this incredible buck. We want to know the who, the when, and the how? If you have any information about this internet buck please send it to

Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

Moultrie I45 Trail Camera Videos

by John Mueller 26. October 2009 23:54
John Mueller

Moultrie I45 Movie Mode


            Over the last week I had my Moultrie I45 set up on a mock scrape I made along the edge of my food plot. I chose this area because last year the bucks had scrapes under every branch that overhung the field edge.


            I got quite a few video clips over the week period, but not of any good bucks working the scrape. Most were at night too, so the IR mode got a good test. I had it set for a 15 second video clip. You can choose 5, 15 or 30 second clips I believe. If I had to do over again I would aim it a little higher. The IR bulbs illuminated the area right in front of the camera, but anything at a slight distance was out of the effective range of the camera.


            The doe in the first video was right at the scrape and the video of her turned out pretty good. You can make out good details of her in the clip. Pretty good quality for a trail camera.


            The next video is of a decent buck that was in the food plot behind the scrape. You can barely make him out in the background, and he is maybe 15 yards from the camera. I believe if I had the camera tilted up more it would have taken a much brighter clip of the buck.



            Over all the video quality was ok, I think some of it was my fault for not aiming the IR bulbs up a little higher on the night time shots. The daylight clips are really pretty high quality.


            One complaint I have on this camera is the battery life. I had the camera out for 3 weeks in the still picture mode and had gotten about 275 pictures. The battery was down to 59%. The one week of video, which I had 58 video clips, and it also adds a still for each clip completely drained the battery life. I’m not sure how much more battery life the video mode uses but this seemed too fast to me. I’m used to getting 5-6 months out of the batteries in my I40.


            Overall I’d give the I45 a 7 out of 10. It has some good points like taking color pictures much later than the I40 and the improved placement of the SD card  but there is room for improvement. Mainly the battery life and some grainy effects in the still picture mode.


If you’d like to try one for yourself, you can order one right here at


"Doctored" Scrape Really Got Results

by John Mueller 26. October 2009 06:22
John Mueller

            After seeing all of the threads on making mock scrapes recently, I decided to give it a try. I really haven’t been using any kind of commercial scents in recent years at all. I just never had any response to them or any success. After doctoring up a small scrape I found around the edge of my food plots last week and seeing the results on my trail camera, I may start using them again.


            I really started noticing the scrapes appearing around my food plot last week. While picking up some supplies I went into the hunting section and picked up a bottle of Wildlife Research Active Scrape and a bottle of Code Blue Dominant Buck Urine. I decided to give this mock scrape thing a try.


            I picked out a scrape in the narrow part of the field, figuring any buck crossing through there would see it or smell it and stop to work it over. There has been a scrape near this spot each year I have owned the property. I broke some of the small overhanging branches for good visual effect and sprinkled some of the contents of each bottle in the scrape and also on the branches above it. I then took my Moultrie I 40 Trail Camera and attached it to the tree the scrape was under.


         The only problem I have with the results, is all of the pictures were well after shooting light. The bucks are only visiting the scrapes at night. But hopefully once a few does come into estrous they will drag the big boys out during daylight.

         The following pictures are the results at my “Doctored” scrape. I can’t say for sure that the bucks wouldn’t have visited this scrape anyway, but I can say that the scents I put down sure didn’t scare them away. I now have my Moultrie I45 set on the video mode on another scrape. I’m hoping to get some video clips of these bucks working that one over this week. Stay tuned for the next blog! 

You can purchase the scents I used or any of your favorite brands here at



This buck found the scrape the night after I doctored it up.

 Working over the licking branch.

 Another buck a couple of nights later.

 A tall narrow 10 pointer a couple nights later.

Getting a nose full of scent.

 Working over the scrape itself.

This is the stud I really want. Hopefully one of the ladies gets him to do something stupid.

About the Authors

The staff is made up of "Average Joe" bowhunters from around the country who are serious about one thing - BOWHUNTING.  Keep up to date with them as they work year-round at persuing their passion and bring you the most up-to-date information on bowhunting gear and archery equipment.

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