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NAP Broadheads: Designed to Kill

by Cody Altizer 10. February 2011 03:59
Cody Altizer

  This past weekend I put myself in a painful, near life changing predicament while cleaning my room.  Yes, I know.  Cleaning one’s room sounds far from dangerous or problematic, but I managed to disprove that notion.  However the situation, which I will describe in detail momentarily, did provoke some blog worthy thoughts that I believe could benefit many hunters, and perhaps reduce the risk of you losing a wounded deer this fall.

While I was cleaning out some old desk drawers, I found an old, out-of-date Epipen that caught my eye.  As a seasonal allergy sufferer, I’ve always carried an Epipen in case of allergic reaction, but it 6 years of doing so, I’ve never needed one.  For some reason, however, my curiosity peaked when I found this one and I felt the need to see how it worked.  After unscrewing the cap and giving the device a thorough inspection, I inadvertently applied some pressure to the “wrong end” of the pen and into my thumb pierced a two inch long needle and a 6 year old dose of Epinephrine.  I immediately jumped up, screamed a few explicit words and found that the needle was stuck in my finger.  After a deep breath, I tried to pull it out, because after all, the needle of an Epipen is supposed to automatically retract after injection.  After another deep breath, I tugged a little harder, and even gave the pen a little jerk to free my thumb.  Nothing.  Numbing with pain I went to show my mom who, like all mothers do, screamed with horror and decided that we had to rush to the Emergency Room as quickly as possible.

Now, I’ve had enough broken bones and stitches in my life that I have developed a rather admirable tolerance for pain, if I do say so myself.  My primary concern was to just get the needle out of my thumb as quickly and painlessly as possible, and I figured all would be fine.  I didn’t particularly enjoy looking down at my thumb and having a needle stuck out of it.  However, on the way to the ER my hand and thumb in particular, had turned a sickly pale white.  So I casually and half-jokingly asked my mom, “Are they going to have to cut off my thumb?”  She shook her head no and that thought never crossed my mind again, until aboutan hour later.

My broadhead of choice, the Thunderhead Edge by NAP!

The Emergency Room doctor managed to pull the needle out of my thumb without much problem and I was relieved and ready to go home.  It turns out that the needle went in my thumb, hit the bone and bent to a 90 degree angle, which is why I couldn’t pull it out myself.  But a larger problem ensued.  It turns out Epinephrine is safe to inject anywhere in the body except fingers, toes and the tip of the nose.  Well, last I checked my thumb was a finger.  Epinephrine cuts out the flow of oxygenated blood and prevents healthy circulation, which is why my hand went white almost immediately.  After the doctor told me there was a legitimate chance I could lose my thumb, I realized this was more serious than I thought.  He then reassured me that as long as I got a shot of anecdote within 12 hours, I would be fine, but that too was extremely painful.

The decision was an easy one and as I laid in the Emergency Room bed waiting for the shot, by bowhunter brain kicked into gear.  I began to wonder how a deer must feel when they get shot by an arrow that doesn’t penetrate well requiring them to run through the timber with an arrow stuck in their side.  I can now attest that it must be extremely painful and uncomfortable.  But bad shots happen to everyone, right?  Once the arrow is released there isn’t a whole lot we can do is there?  Yes, of course there is.

Bad shots, just like my accident (although my accident was the result of sheer stupidity and curiosity), do and will happen to every bowhunter at some point in their career.  There are two variables that we can control before the shot.  

 

Is this an ethical shot?  I vote no!  Even though this buck was just 15 yards away when I snapped the photo, he is quartering too much for an ethical shot.

First, it is critical to know the importance of good shot placement.  This means a thorough understanding of a whitetail’s anatomy and thus which shots will result in quick, clean kills.  Broadside or slightly quartering away shots are ideal on whitetails.  They reveal the entire chest cavity which will allow a well-placed arrow to pass through the lungs and/ or heart.  Quartering to shots are ill-advised simply because the window in which an arrow can pierce the vitals is much smaller.  Too often a hunter takes a shot on an animal that is quartering to them too strongly and the arrow hits the shoulder blade, penetration is minimal and the animal is never recovered.  While it may seem like a weak analogy, let’s compare the shot on a whitetail to my thumb injury.  Obviously, the needle wasn’t well placed.  Epipens are actually to be injected in the thigh, where the Epinephrine is safe to do its job and where pain will be the least.  An Epipen injection in the thigh is synonymous with a double lung or heart shot deer.   A broadhead that passes through a whitetail’s lungs almost always results in the animal expiring in less than 15-20 seconds and the animal is almost always recovered.  An Epipen injection in the thumb is synonymous to shooting a whitetail in the paunch, brisket or shoulder blade.  Penetration will be minimal and the animal is likely to suffer a painful death, or never be recovered by the hunter.

The second variable we can control is what broadhead we shoot and how sharp they are.  A strong, sharp broadhead that cuts through the air like a dart increases shooting confidence and also results in bigger blood trails and thus quicker recoveries.   I started using New Archery Products (NAP) broadheads during the 2010 season and they really opened my eyes to what a quality broadhead is capable of.  I harvested two whitetails this past season with the Thunderhead Edge, a hard hitting broadhead with serrated blades for maximum sharpness and devastation to blood vessels and arteries.  Both shots were pass throughs and the deer expired in less than 10 seconds in both instances.  I also filmed Todd Graf harvesting an adult doe with the Spitfire Maxx, an expandable broadhead that buried itself nearly 6 inches in the ground after the shot.  In mid-October I filmed Jeremy Enders’ harvest a doe with the NAP Nitron that quickly passed through his first ever whitetail and buried itself 6 inches in the ground.  That doe made it less than 40 yards before tipping over.  Finally, I didn’t film Justin Zarr’s Halloween morning buck, but accompanied him on the massive blood trail his Nitron tipped arrow left that lead to an easy recovery.

 

While this yearling buck was certainly no shooter at the time, he did present an opportunity for a perfect quartering away shot.  By aiming at the opposite side front leg, an arrow would easily pass through both lungs and result in a quick recovery,

Granted the above examples were the result of well-placed shots, the damage done by NAP broadheads was undeniable.  Unlike cheap, dull poorly made broadheads, NAP broadheads strike quickly and cleanly and blast through hide, flesh and bone.  The needle of the Epipen that nearly cost me my thumb was not the most durable made product.  Then again, it’s not designed to tear through flesh and bone, but I think a parallel can be drawn here.  When you shoot a whitetail, do you want your broadhead to bend, brake or deflect when striking bone or rib cage, or do you want it to blast through like an NAP broadhead?  Like the decision to keep or lose a thumb, I think the answer is an easy one.

 

Bowhunt or Die! Episode 5 Recap

by Cody Altizer 8. November 2010 08:43
Cody Altizer

 The fifth episode of Bowhunt or Die was our best episode so far this season, hands down.  Halloween Weekend was good to the Bowhunting.com team as 4 bucks hit the ground totaling over 540 inches of bone.  Episode 5 is full of big buck action from Central Illinois and Wisconsin so read on and let’s recap Halloween Weekend on Bowhunt or Die!

Click this link to watch the footage from Episode 5 of Bowhunt or Die!


 Josh Fletcher got things started off for us with an exciting hunt in Wisconsin.  Josh was in the tree October 28th for the first day of what was a planned two week vacation to bowhunt the rut.  Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending how you look at it) Josh filled his buck tag on his first trip out.  Josh had a nice buck chasing a doe right underneath his stand and, just as he was recapping what he saw with an interview, he hears the crunching of leaves, spots a shooter buck, quickly turns the camera around and prepares for the shot.  With the buck in frame, Josh releases an arrow tipped with the NAP Bloodrunner towards the giant Wisconsin buck.  All in a matter of seconds, Josh had successfully filmed himself shooting the biggest buck of his life!  To top it off, the big bodied whitetail died within just 40 yards of his truck making for an easy drag.  Well done, Josh!

Josh Fletcher posing happily with the biggest buck of his life, a monster Wisconsin 12 pointer.


 We then climb up the tree with Richie Music on a suburban hunt in Northern Illinois.  Despite the annoyances of hunting suburbia, Richie was determined and optimistic about seeing deer and shooting a good buck.  Richie didn’t have to wait long, because around 4 o’clock a monster Illinois 11 pointer walked right into Richie’s shooting lane.  Richie quietly drew his bow, released and let his NAP Bloodunner do its job.  A perfect double lung shot resulted in a dead deer, a happy bowhunter and the biggest buck of Richie’s life on the ground.  Richie’s reaction after he shot the buck is what deer hunting is all about.  Just watching Richie’s excitement and enthusiasm is enough to make me get back in the woods right now!  Kudos to Richie for self-filming the biggest buck harvest of his life with bow and arrow, good job Richie!

The monster 11 pointer just before Richie's arrow strikes true.  The bright red streak you see above and to the right of the buck's rack is Richie's arrow.

 

Richie with the biggest buck of his life.  A mainframe 10 with a split left G2, long main beams and a super wide spread make Richie's buck a buck of a lifetime.


 Bowhunt or Die then makes the trip south to Central Illinois and Pike County as I continue my quest for not only my first Illinois buck, but my first buck with a bow period.  After filming Justin Zarr for three days, I set out on my own and my first afternoon out I had some action.  About 5:45 I catch movement out of my left eye and see a shooter buck making his towards me.  I immediately take a deep breath, grab my bow, situate the camera and stand up to get ready for the shot.  The buck cooperates beautifully and walks right in an opening just 20 yards from my stand and when he stops, I shoot.  My arrow hit its mark as I watched my Thunderhead Edge pass quickly through the buck’s heart.  I was pumped!  I was able to film myself shooting my first Illinois buck as well as my first buck with a bow.  There is no better feeling!

My first buck with a bow, my first Illinois buck and my biggest buck to date.  I was able to self-film myself harvesting this buck and am extremely proud of him!


 The big buck action continues as we follow Justin Zarr on the same piece of property as he looks for a big buck.  If you have watched the previous episodes of Bowhunt or Die, you’ve watched Justin pass on several nice bucks looking for a mature, Illinois whitetail.  Justin hunted hard for two straight days and despite numerous encounters with younger bucks and a couple close calls with two shooters, Justin headed into Halloween morning without a deer.  Justin is living proof, however, that persistence pays because Halloween morning Justin’s patience was rewarded.  An old, battle tested buck made the mistake of stopping in Justin’s shooting lane and Justin made a perfect shot on him.  Justin’s NAP Nitron made a quick, clean kill on a bruiser Illinois buck.  Justin’s buck actually had three tines broken off which adds character to his rack and proves this old buck was a warrior!  Congrats Justin!

Justin's reaction right after he shot his buck.  This is what bowhunting is all about!

Justin proudly poses with his Halloween buck.  The buck had three broken tines, but he was still a great trophy nonetheless.


 Episode 5 was packed full of exciting buck action, and the hunts shared were similar and unique in several ways.  Josh, Richie, and I all shot the biggest bucks of our lives.  We were all able to successfully self-film the buck harvests featured in Episode 5 and we all relied on NAP broadheads to harvest our bucks.  Combine this with the fact that Josh shot his buck on October 28th, Richie on the 29th, mine on the 30th and Justin’s on the 31st and it all adds up to make for a pretty cool show!  While it may seem as if Episode 5 will be impossible to top, I would put nothing past the Bowhunting.com Pro Staff with the rut now in full swing.  Tune in this Friday for a new episode of Bowhunt or Die to find out!

Illinois Buck Down! Living the Bowhunter's Dream

by Cody Altizer 1. November 2010 16:21
Cody Altizer

    I’ve always said, “Everyone should get to live a dream come true.”  It’s a simple saying, but I truly believe that at some point, everyone in life should get to live out the dreams they had has a kid, regardless of how wild or seemingly unattainable they might be.  Fortunately for me, I have been living a literal dream come true for the past month and a half and that dream got even sweeter this past weekend.  So, when I received official word that I would be heading South with Justin Zarr to his lease in Pike County, IL to hunt and film for three days, I had an undeniable feeling that something good was going to happen.

 

The view from my stand Saturday October 30th.  Central Illinois is some of the prettiest country I have ever seen and just being there was a blessing in itself.

    One of the perks of being a Bowhunting.com Pro Staff member is I get to hunt with some genuinely cool guys on some awesome whitetail hunting grounds.  The current downside of this opportunity is that I am the “low man on the totem pole” and have to work my way to obtain hunting privileges.  This means I am cameraman first, hunter second.  So, the deal was I was to film Justin for three hunts, and then I had three hunts to myself.  I was cool with this as wildlife cinematography is a growing passion of mine and I was anxious to hunt alongside Justin for three days.  Nevertheless, I would be lying if I told I wasn’t out-of-my-mind excited to have the opportunity to hunt Pike County for three consecutive hunts Halloween Weekend. 

This doe got a pass from me at 20 yards.  A text from my dad kept me optimistic that a buck was going to make his way by my stand.

    While filming Justin I tried to learn as much as I could about the property and the deer’s patterns as I could so I could really get the most out of my three hunts.  When Saturday afternoon rolled around and my duties as cameraman were complete, I was prepared to harvest not only my first Illinois buck, but my first bow buck period.  Justin’s lease is a real unique piece of property as it is essentially one huge bedding area with approximately 65% of it being a huge CRP field.  However, when filming Justin we saw the majority of the 3+ year old bucks in the remaining timber and I knew that’s where I wanted to concentrate the most of my efforts.  Being late October, the mature bucks were on their feet more than usual, but weren’t really willing to venture out in the wide open CRP just yet.  So I opted to hunt the fringe of the CRP field Saturday night and was prepared to sit in a tree all day Sunday in the timber if need be.
    Now, I know I dedicated nearly an entire paragraph to trying to pin down a mature buck, but I must make a confession.  I was just looking for my first bow buck period!  I have passed on several bucks with my bow back home in Virginia as I wanted my first bow buck to be in the 120” range and figured the same rule should apply in Illinois. 

A shot of my buck just seconds before I released the arrow.  Be sure to watch Bowhunt or Die this Friday to see the footage of my hunt.

    As I got settled in my stand Saturday afternoon I was a little bummed about the weather.  Temperatures were in the middle 60s and the wind was blowing just enough to irritate me so I didn’t start the hunt off on a very positive note.  However, I reread a text my dad sent me Friday morning when Justin and I were seeing great buck activity from the same stand.  He told me, “I’ve got a feeling Mr. Big is going to come by you this weekend! Relax, steady, release!  Mr. Big is yours!”  Without even knowing it, my Dad had lifted my spirits some 700+ miles away.  I was ready for the hunt. 

My 2010 Pike County, IL bowhunt.  You would be hard pressed to find a happier hunter than the one sitting behind that buck October 30th. 

Is he the biggest buck roaming the timber and fields of Central Illinois?  Absolutely not.  Am I uncontrollably proud of this buck?  You bet!

    The evening slowly passed with pleasant activity.  I saw a small raccoon meander his way by the stand around 4 and around 5:30 a doe and her two fawns crossed in front of me at 20 yards.  Then, at 5:40, I heard a snort-wheeze to my North and stood up to further investigate the noise.  Mere seconds later I see a buck making his way between the two fingers in which I was hunting and immediately peg him as a shooter.  With both eyes locked onto the buck I stood up, grabbed my bow, got my camera situated and prepared myself for the shot.  It was all coming together perfectly.  He slowly made his way down the opening and I drew my bow as soon as he was behind a big branch that was sticking off the tree my stand was in.  I took a deep breath and thought to myself, “This is actually going to happen!”  He stopped on his own at 20 yards exactly and I placed my 20 yard pin directly behind his shoulder and touched the release.  I have never watched an arrow fly so perfectly.  I watched my Thunderhead Edge tipped arrow quickly strike the deer right behind the shoulder; a perfect heart shot!  He took off in a hurry but I knew he wasn’t going to make it far.  I wasn’t able to see where he fell but knew he was laying 70 yards from the point of impact in the CRP grass.  I had done it, buck down in Illinois!

I'm extremely thankful that Justin let me come down and hunt his property with him and taking such beautiful harvest pictures of me and my buck.

    This buck is by no means a monster but he’s the most proud I have ever been of a deer and will look great hanging on my wall.  He’s my first Illinois buck, my first bow buck and my biggest buck to date!  I hate to sound like a broken record, but harvesting this buck was a dream come true.  Most guys my age back home would kill to have the opportunity to hunt Pike County Illinois and I am extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity to do so.  A BIG thanks goes out to Justin Zarr for letting me come down and hunt with him, I’m really grateful.  
    Unfortunately, this means I am nearly tagged out in Illinois.  As a non-resident I was only issued one buck when I bought my permit and gladly used it this past weekend.  Factor in the doe I shot opening weekend and I am done.  I did, however, buy an extra doe for the late season, but it looks like my November hunting time will be spend behind the camera.  But who I am to complain?  It’s not everday you get to live a dream come true.

Bowhunt or Die! Episode 1 Recap

by Cody Altizer 25. October 2010 04:54
Cody Altizer

 The premiere episode of our new web show “Bowhunt or Die!” could not have gone any better.  Our Pro Staffers were anxious to get in the woods with bow in one hand and camera in the other, eager to test out the best gear while sharing our hunting experiences with you.  Our first episode followed the Illinois opener as we had 5 Pro Staffers hitting the woods looking to arrow an Illinois giant.

In case you missed Episode 1, click here to watch all the action!

Bowhunting.com President Todd Graf introducing Bowhunt or Die!


 After a slow start to the season in Wisconsin, Illinois native Mike Willand was excited to hunt his resident state of Illinois and chase those familiar whitetails.  Mike had hunted hard in Wisconsin the previous two weeks and, without seeing a deer, was keyed up for the Illinois opener.   Sunday October 3rd found Mike sitting in a tree on his new lease in Northwestern Illinois watching a nice buck and a few does feed just out of bow range for the majority of the evening.  The potential shooter never got closer than 36 yards and opening weekend in Illinois left Mike with no deer down, but a good encounter with a nice buck nonetheless.

Mike Willand played cat and mouse with this low 130s buck the afternoon of October 3, but was never presented with a shot. 


 Justin Zarr experienced the exact opposite on his first outing of the 2010 deer season, as he hunted hard opening weekend and never saw a deer.  The particular area Justin was hunting doesn’t have a high concentration of deer; however, Justin worked hard and put in the time and effort.  It can be discouraging to wait all year for opening weekend and then not see a deer, but Justin knew that the season was young and that better hunting days would certainly come along soon.
  The Illinois opener was literally a dream come for me, as I was fortunate enough to hunt Illinois for the first time ever.  Growing up as a kid I dreamed of bowhunting Illinois whitetails, and on the afternoon of October 1st, I was doing just that.  After slow afternoon hunts on Friday and Saturday, I went to my best stand site Sunday afternoon hoping for better luck.  Around 6 o’clock, I was surprised by a mature doe just 30 yards away and closing.  With little time to get nervous, I turned on my camera, grabbed my bow and prepared myself for my first chance at an Illinois whitetail.  I came to full draw on the doe when she was at 8 yards, released an arrow tipped with the NAP Thunderhead Edge and watched her tear out of sight all in less than 10 seconds.  After a short tracking job, I recovered my first Illinois whitetail, a big mature doe captured all on film!

I was fortunate enough to harvest a mature doe on film during the Illinois opener.  It was a dream come true!


 Bowhunting.com President Todd Graf experienced what he described as the best Illinois opener of his life.  While he didn’t harvest a deer, Todd had great deer activity all weekend and had close encounters with two shooter bucks. Despite not being able to close the deal on either of those bucks, Todd learned a great deal of information about their patterns and habits which will help him put the pieces of the puzzle together and help harvest a mature buck later on.  As most bowhunters know, hunting mature bucks is a chess match with each move requiring careful calculation.  I trust in Todd’s ability to hunt big bucks with a bow, so I know he can get the job done.

This shooter buck slipped past Todd Graf just out of bow range opening weekend.  Nevertheless, seeing a buck on his feet during daylight hours this early in the season is definitely a good sign.


 Richie Music concluded our series premiere by making a great shot on a mature doe as well.  Richie and his camera man had just gotten in the stand and had deer all around them, literally within minutes!  Richie remained calm and collected and waited for the best shot opportunity to present itself and when it did, he made it count.  His Diamond bow tipped with the NAP Bloodrunner made a quick, clean kill and the doe ran less than 100 yards before expiring.   Richie’s opening weekend went beautifully; harvesting a beautiful doe and capturing awesome footage of the entire hunt is what bowhunters dream about.  Congrats again Richie!

Richie Music pumped after making a lethal shot on a doe just minutes after getting settled in his treestand.


 The 2010 deer season started off with a bang (or should I say THWACK?) for the Bowhunting.com team.  Two whitetails fell victim to the hard work and dedication of our Pro Staffers and with the best hunting yet to come, we’ll be sure to lay down some more great footage for you to see on Bowhunt or Die!

 

Illinois Doe Down! Bowhunting Dream Come True

by Cody Altizer 4. October 2010 09:40
Cody Altizer

When Todd Graf offered me the opportunity to move to Northern Illinois and work at the bowhunting.com office, I jumped at the chance to live and breathe bowhunting in the Mecca of the whitetail world.  Growing up as a young boy in Virginia I dreamed of hunting giant Midwestern whitetails.  I watched with envy as the “pros” flocked to Illinois to chase trophy deer.  I even joked with my friends back home, “I’m going to move to Illinois one day just to bow hunt monster whitetails.”  This past weekend, I found myself living a dream come true.

Click here to watch the footage of my doe harvest!


    Friday afternoon, October 1st, I climbed a tree for the first time bowhunting the state of Illinois.  With temperatures in the upper 60s and gusty winds, I honestly didn’t expect to see much deer movement.  I didn’t care.  I was just thrilled to be in the stand with a bow!  I was positioned in a narrow strip of timber that connects a bedding area and a standing corn field.  It was an ideal setup on paper, unfortunately, the afternoon passed without a single deer sighting.  Again, I could not have cared less.  I had a blast in the tree with my video camera recording the unfamiliar yet beautiful scenery and snapped several photos with my still camera as well.  I was going to capture every aspect of my first Illinois deer hunt.  As the evening passed and the sun began to set, I realized just how blessed I was to be living a dream.

 This shot gives you an idea of just how much fun I was having in the tree!

    I chose to sit out the Saturday morning hunt as I had several chores around my apartment that took top priority.  I elected to go to a different piece of property for the afternoon hunt, a piece that holds tremendous potential for big bucks as the fall progresses.  I quietly snuck into my stand downwind, strapped down my camera arm and got settled in for a promising afternoon hunt.  The weather was perfect for an early season bow hunt, albeit a little breezy.  With temperatures in the mid 50s and steadily dropping into the 40s as the evening progressed, I was certain I would see some activity.  Again, I was beat by the way of the whitetail; another hunt in Illinois without seeing a deer.  While in the stand Saturday afternoon I was texting back and forth with my brother and dad who were hunting the archery opener back home in Virginia.  After telling my brother, Damin, I had been skunked for the second straight hunt, he proceeds to tell me of the 15+ deer sightings he had throughout the day and the numerous encounters he had with young bucks.  To make matters worse, he tells me of the active scrape line he finds leading to one of our turnip food plots and the bountiful acorn crop on our hunting property.  I jokingly told him, “Forget Illinois, I am coming home!” 

My first Illinois bowhunt as a member of the bowhunting.com team was a memorable one, one that concluded with a gorgeous sunset.

     With opening weekend in Illinois almost over and without a single deer sighting, it was tempting to double my chances by hunting both the morning and evening on Sunday.  Still, chores around the apartment and responsibilities outside of hunting took top priority, so I slept in and opted for another afternoon hunt.  I headed back to the same piece of property I hunted Saturday, but hunted a different stand.  Justin Zarr and I hung this stand a little more than a week prior to Sunday feeling good about our chances from this location, so I was optimistic.  While aimlessly crossing an open cattle pasture, I spotted my first Illinois animal, a coyote feeding underneath a crab apple tree.  My initial reaction is, “Awesome, my first deer sighting!”  Further inspection reveals the problem animal that is the coyote.  Back home, coyotes, while present, lack the numbers of the packs in the Midwest.  In fact, I had only seen a handful of coyotes in my life prior to Sunday, so I took the opportunity and captured some quality footage.  At just 45 yards, it surprised me that he was completely unaware of my presence.  Sure, I was downwind, but I was in the middle of an open field.  As I began to film the pesky predator, he starts walking directly toward me, closing in at 30 yards.  I then realize that I might actually be able to shoot this thing.  With my camera in my right hand and bow in my left, I desperately try to get my bow prepared for a shot while simultaneously putting down my camera.  Just as I was about to set my camera down, the coyote spots me, not 20 yards from where I am standing and takes off in the opposite direction.  Excited to have finally seen an animal, let alone a close encounter with a coyote, I contently make my way to my stand.

 

A shot of my special edition bowhunting.com Quikfletch.  Little did I know that just hours after this photo was taken, my Quikfletch would turn a bright, solid red!

    Once in my stand, I prepare to strap my camera arm to the tree to get settled in for the evening hunt.  As I secure my camera arm and begin to get my video camera situated, I spot movement to my left; the coyote is back!  This time he makes his way by my stand at no more than 15 yards.  Unfortunately this time, my bow was still tied to the rope at the bottom of the tree.  Adding insult to injury, he sits down quite happily and scans the cow pasture he just came from.  Furthermore, he decides now might be a good time to relax and lies down on his belly.  So, for the second time in less than 10 minutes, I have a coyote at 20 yards or less and am unable to take a shot.  Realizing I have little to lose, I slowly try to raise my bow up the tree.  Of course, being just 15 yards from the base of the tree he spots my movement and boogers off, this time for good.  After finally getting settled into the stand I determine that the afternoon hunt will be a success regardless if I see a deer or not, based solely on the two encounters with the coyote.  Still, I remained hopeful for my first Illinois deer.  
   As the hours passed without seeing a single deer, I remained entertained by the numerous squirrels that scurried about searching for acorns and hickory nuts and decided to do a quick interview.  Just as I got my camera turned around I see a big doe right over top of my camera lens at just 25 yards and making her way towards my stand.  Before I know it she is at 10 yards from my tree and all I have managed to do is get her in frame on my camcorder.  She wastes little time and is now 3 yards from the base of my tree before I take a chance at turning around and grabbing my bow.  Fortunately, she breaks left and with her back to me I am able to stand, grab my bow and position the camcorder ready for the shot.  Now, I just need her to take a couple steps down the trail for a perfect 10 yard quartering away shot.  As she makes her way down the trail, I draw.  She flips the script, turns back broadside and is looking directly at me.  I quickly settle the pin behind the shoulder and release the arrow.  THWACK!  The sound all bowhunters love to hear indicating a true hit.  I watch her tear through the underbrush out of sight.  My NAP Thunderhead Edge struck true and proved devastating as I could see blood spilling from both sides.   Feeling confident in my shot I make a couple phone calls letting my family and Todd know of my luck.  After waiting 30 minutes I get down from my stand, quickly find my arrow, pick up the blood trail and wait for Todd to arrive to film the recovery footage.  Just like that, in less than 30 seconds, I see, film, shoot at, and harvest my first Illinois whitetail, an old, heavy, mature doe!  I was pumped to say the least and amazed at how big she was compared to the deer back home.  Regrettably, we didn’t weigh her, but I would estimate the doe to field dress 130 pounds, maybe bigger.  She was huge!

 One happy hunter!  My first Illinois whitetail was a big, mature doe, a deer that I am extremely proud of.

My first bow harvest on film.  Self-filming can be difficult, but I had a blast in the tree with my camera and now I can relive this memorable hunt forever.

Opening weekend in Illinois resulted in a big doe down for this Virginia boy.  Despite my opening weekend fortune, the weekend would have been would have been a success had I not seen a single deer.  Realizing that I was living a dream come true made every minute in the tree enjoyable.  Being blessed with a beautiful mature doe was just icing on the cake.  With the entire season ahead of me, I can now focus all of my attention on harvesting a mature buck and filming other members of the bowhunting.com team.  Regardless of my luck the rest of the fall, I can look back at opening weekend to remind myself just how fortunate I am!

Gear Relied on During the Harvest:  Click on the red link to purchase the item right here on bowhunting.com


NAP Thunderhead EdgeI was excited to use the new Thunderhead Edge this year and I wasn't disappointed.  This broadhead flies true and leaves gaping entrance and exit wounds.

NAP Apache Arrow RestI love my Apache rest.  The minute I installed it on my bow and began shooting I noticed a quieter shot and tighter groups.  I'll be using the Apache for a long, long time.

NAP Bowhunting.com Quikfletch:  The entire Quikfletch line makes fletching arrows a breeze. 

The special edition bowhunting.com series simply look cool, I prefer all white.

Blacks Creek Bone Collector 1.5 Backpack:  The Bone Collector 1.5 is the ideal pack for hunters who carry a lot of gear but do not want to be slowed down in the woods.  I carry all of my cameras and equipment in my pack and don't miss a beat sneaking through the woods.

G5 Optix LE .019A great hunting sight.  It's rock solid and adjustments come easily.  Like the Apache, this will be in my arsenal of gear for a very long time.

NAP Thunderhead Edge: One Mean Broadhead

by Bow Staff 21. September 2010 07:58
Bow Staff

Looking for the biggest, meanest broadhead on the market today?  Look no further than the Thunderhead Edge from NAP.  The Thunderhead Edge has all of the features that have made Thunderhead the standard in fixed blade broadheads and more! Exclusive straight/serrated blade technology is devastating on hide & flesh and saws through bone like a hot knife through butter. Offset blades produce gaping exit holes and massive blood trails. Proven design and precision manufacturing deliver tack-driving accuracy. Fully assembled ready to shoot.  Best of all, they are available right here on bowhunting.com.

Twenty-Five Plus Years.  Dozens Of Species Claimed.  The Number One Selling Broadhead Of All Time.  The Thunderhead Is Performance Driven.  For 2010, There's A New Breed.  Featuring Bonesaw Blade Technology For Maximum Cut Through Tissue & Bone. The New Thunderhead Edge.  A Whole New Kind Of Mean.

 

Follow this link to watch the NAP Thunderhead Edge in action!

 

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