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Bowfishing

Better Bowfishing by PSE’s Dustin Jones


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

Throughout the summer months it can be difficult for hunters. There is the anticipation for the upcoming archery season with the lull of nothing to hunt. This time of year is well spent scouting for a new hunting spot or making sure the old stand will still be a reliable spot. Between scouting and practicing the excitement starts to build and the anticipation of the upcoming season becomes, well almost unbearable at times. One thing that I have found that is a great summer activity that scratches the hunting itch a little is bowfishing.

Curt Coates Bowfishing on Bear Lake

Bowfishing here in Idaho is a blast and there are several lakes and rivers that have an abundance of carp to chase. If you look online about bowfishing, you’ll see a lot of videos that shows people going out on a boat both in the daylight and the evening. While this is one of the most popular ways, I have had just as much luck shooting from the banks of the river or lake.

Melissa Coates Bowfishing on Bear Lake

One of the hardest things to remember about bowfishing is the aiming. The majority of people (myself included) who go out bowfishing for the first time end up missing the fish because they shoot too high. The reason is because of refraction. The fish looks like it is in one spot but because of the light reflecting off the water, the fish is actually lower than what it really is. A good rule of thumb would be to aim at the bottom of the fish, and then aim down about 6 inches or more. It takes some getting used to but just like any type of shooting, practice makes you better. Obviously if the fish are right on the surface of the water you wouldn’t aim low, but if they are down a little deeper you typically want to drop about 6 inches for every foot they are in the water. Just remember to aim lower than you think.

Carp on the Surface (photo by Kevin Jones)

Another important thing to pack is a good set of polarized sunglasses. Wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses helps take the glare off the water and you will be able to see more fish. Especially when fishing from the bank the glare off the water can be pretty extreme. The best time that I have found to bowfish for carp has been early morning or late afternoon and the glare on the water is very intense. I haven’t been out at night yet but I have heard that it is just as good if not better at night.

Curt Coates with his Carp

Lastly one thing to remember that you’ll be glad you have if you shoot one of those 30 pound carp is a glove. If you are shooting a bow without a reel and are pulling the line in by hand, you’ll be glad you are fighting the carp with a good leather glove on. I have the PSE Kingfisher set up and I just pull the arrow in by hand and I usually keep one in my back pocket just in case I shoot a big one. The last thing you want to do is shoot a monster carp and grab hold of the string just to get your finger or hand sliced open. These fish can fight like no other.

Bowfishing is a great way to get out and hunt throughout the spring and summer months. Be sure to look up the regulations in your state and get out there and enjoy some summer time bowfishing!

Dustin Jones is a passionate outdoorsman who loves to hunt, especially bowhunt. He created his blog, HighCountryBowhunter.com, to share his experiences with others. He is a Field Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com and Adventure Team member for MINOX Hunting Optics.

Dustin was born and raised in Eastern Idaho where he currently resides with his wife and two sons.

Keep your eye out for the #elktour DVD over on huntography.com! Watch PSE’s Emily Anderson and Dustin Jones hunt elk DIY style on our amazing public lands in the Western United States. Huntography also films a deer hunting DVD called #deertour which you will be able to watch PSE’s Will Jenkins hunt whitetails. Huntography…filming America’s hunters, one at a time!

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Is there really an off season? By PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

Resolutions are tossed around at the start of each year and most last but a few weeks. The off season can seem like it lasts forever, but does it really have to? Does it even exist? For the die hard deer hunter who hunts only deer the off season can feel like an eternity. For guys like me who hunt year round to stay sharp there is no off season. I don’t hunt all the time though. Taking part in other activities not only helps me prepare for whatever hunting I will do in the Fall, but it also helps me out a great deal. Some of my shared tips not only help sharpen your skills, but you might be lucky enough to have one or two lead you to some new hunting land.

As soon as the season is over I review the data I have compiled throughout the season and set a mental note for what areas I want to research through online mapping, zoning and to see if they are private or public land. During the deer season I found areas that were posted and others that I want to explore further. The off season is a perfect time to do that. I begin by scouring the internet, finding out who owns the property and then ask permission to either hunt it or, if I am lucky, seeing if it borders public land in any way.

Take part in events that get you out in nature. What do I mean? Do some shed hunting! Find an area of land and just search for sheds. Volunteer your time in a conservation effort. Take for example the Southern California Bighorn Sheep Survey. I participated in this last year to see what the local sheep habitat looked like and to help count whatever sheep I saw. Not only did I get to meet some new people now turned hunting buddies, but I also was able to hike into an area I normally would not have access to. Come to find out the area has a public access point and there is ample huntable public land. We glassed steep, rocky hillsides for hours and didn’t turn up one single sheep, but we had a great time and knew we’d be back. You can also take in a few hunting seminars. It’s a great way to learn more about the animal you are hunting and a great way to make new friends.

Taking part in the 2012 California Sheep Survey

Taking part in the 2012 California Sheep Survey

Scout, hike and get in shape! Some of you are probably curious as to why this isn’t my number one recommendation. If there is one thing that I avoid is making resolutions regarding losing weight because it is usually the first resolutions I hear made each year. I am not one of the masses who vows to lose weight each year. While I can always stand to lose a few pounds, my goal isn’t to lose a set amount of body fat. I aim more to get out more and hit the trail and better yet, hit the areas that don’t have trails. Get out there and glass new areas and hike them. Get a feel for the land and be sure to take your camera and GPS. Losing fat and gaining lean muscle is an added bonus!

Hiking into new areas is good exercise and can lead to new hunting spots

Hiking into new areas is good exercise and can lead to new hunting spots

You can make an effort toward conservation of the land by picking up trash. Make the hunting areas that much cleaner and safer by picking up what others have left behind. These past two years I have located some seriously trashed areas due to human negligence and we aim to clean them up. Plan a day or two with a group of friends where you hike in with trash bags and pack out every piece of movable trash you encounter. Be aware that there may be creatures making homes in certain items and you should verify each is empty before picking it up. If you can drive a vehicle into some of the areas, try to load them up with as much garbage that you can to reasonably  haul it out. Sure, I know this is hard work and that it shouldn’t have to be your job, but it does give hunters a good name, and more importantly it beautifies the land, make it safer for the animals and gives you greener pastures to hunt in.

Bad luck if you break the miror but good luck if you pick up the trash in the forest.

Bad luck if you break the miror but good luck if you pick up the trash in the forest.

This is also great time of year to utilize some gear you haven’t used often or a good time to pick up somethings you want to try out. Why wait until the hunting season? If you test them out now and list the pros and cons, you will be better off when hunting season comes around. I like to test out gear in the off season to see what works well or not so well in order to consolidate what is in my pack come September. You can find out what is effective for different hunting situations and remove the gear that is not.

Last, but not least is to research some new animals to hunt. Last year it was to hunt elk for the first time and that turned into one of the most memorable hunts of my entire life. This year, with the help of my friend Bill Howard, I am researching an alligator hunt in Georgia. It’s a hunt I have thought about often, but know nothing about. With his help I am going to be finding a way to bow hunt an alligator sometime in the next couple years, but it is not a hunt that I will take lightly. It’s a hunt that will take careful planning and practice while utilizing some bowfishing skills.

Researching hunts like an alligator hunt is exciting.

Researching hunts like an alligator hunt is exciting.

These are but a few of the things I do while preparing to hunt deer in the Fall. For me, there is no off season. In the Spring there are turkey’s to hunt and in Southern California you can hunt wild pigs year round. What a great opportunity to find new areas to hunt, meet some new friends and to hone my skills as a bow hunter. 2013 has much to offer and I plan to enjoy the off season as much as I possibly can.

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 28 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com, and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a Pro Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com, Piranha Custom Bowstrings and Field Logic. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.

Albert was born and raised in New York State where he learned to hunt everything from squirrels to whitetail deer. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and daughter and hunts year round.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.

 


PSE’s Dustin Jones King Fisher


By Dustin Jones
HighCountryBowhunter.com

Dustin Jones

PSE’s Dustin Jones Bowfishing

The offseason can be hard as a bowhunter. For me once the spring/summer time rolls around I am getting the itch to start bowhunting. I always wanted to go bowfishing but I just never took the time, until this year. I finally went out and bought the PSE Kingfisher and started doing my research. I spoke to several people who mentioned to me that there were some great places to start bowfishing. In fact, they had mentioned some of the size of carp that were caught and I couldn’t believe the sizes. They were telling me 20 and 30 pound carp! That got me even more excited.

Dustin Jones

PSE’s Dustin Jones Bowfishing Trip

So for Father’s day weekend, my dad and brother headed out to give it a try. Neither of us had ever gone out before but we were all itching to get out and do some hunting. Talk about a great time. We spoke to some guys at the cove we were putting in the boat and said that in this same cove a few weeks ago they shot a 27 pound carp! That definitely got our hopes up.

Dustin Jones

PSE’S Dustin Jones Fish

We trolled out into the cove and started seeing carp surfacing and even jumping completely out of the water. We anchored down and sat there, each of us on an edge of the boat looking and waiting for a carp to swim nearby. We never did see any come near the boat, so my brother and I decided to walk the banks very slowly while my dad tried his hand in the boat still. So with my PSE Kingfisher I crept into a very muddy and shallow cove and started seeing the water swirl nearby. Soon I started seeing fins and the golden scales of carp. I took aim and let the PSE Kingfisher release some havoc on my first carp with a bow. I quickly pulled him in and admired the fact I shot a carp with my PSE bow. I noticed that the carp started swirling again so I quickly put the arrow back on and quickly shot my second carp! I was gleaming. I must have scared them off because I never got another shot in that spot. That was some great practice and it definitely cures the itch to go bowhunting. So if you have played around with the idea of bowfishing, I highly recommend getting into it. My PSE Kingfisher worked perfectly and performed like a charm.

Dustin Jones is a passionate outdoorsman who loves to hunt, especially bowhunt. He created his blog, HighCountryBowhunter.com, to share his experiences with others. He is a Field Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com and Adventure Team member for MINOX Hunting Optics.

Dustin was born and raised in Eastern Idaho where he currently resides with his wife and two sons.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


How long does it take to build a legend?


2013 PSE EVO Max

2013 PSE EVO Max

Pre-Order Now From Your Local PSE Dealer!

Pre-Order from your local dealer now!

Since 2011, the EVO™ has established itself as the smoothest drawing high performance bow on the market. In 2013, we continue the EVO™-lution of the X-Force™ Revolution by improving it once again. The EVO™ MAX has the new Centerlock 2™ Limb Pockets, FleX™ Cable Slide and the Backstop 2™ to create one of the quietest, most consistent shooting platforms to ever hit the market. Coupled with PSE’s Planar Flex Riser and revolutionary EVO™ cams; the new EVO™ MAX isn’t just the perfect combination of speed and feel; it’s a LEGENDARY HUNTING BOW!

To find your local PSE Dealer, click here!

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Jason Patterson Tells the Difficulty of Taking a Short Bowhunting Shot


PSE Field Staff

PSE’S Jason Patterson

Editor’s Note: The best thing that we can do as parents is to give our children memories that will last their lifetimes and impart the values and beliefs that we want them to teach to their children. By spending time with our children they learn the importance of family and the need to spend time with their children once they have them. Jason Patterson of Jackson, Tennessee, a member of PSE’s Field Staff, has found that bowhunting with his PSE bow is the thread that connects the generations in his family.

“One morning I went to my little 50 acre hunting lease just before daylight,” Patterson explains. “I didn’t see any deer for awhile, but after daylight I heard a rustling in the leaves behind me and turned to see a big doe coming toward me. She walked right under my stand, and I shot her at 7 yards.” The straight down shot is one of the most difficult shots that a bowhunter has to make, mainly due to most shooters practicing shooting from 10 to 40 yards. Very rarely do people climb into tree stands in their back yards and shoot at targets from zero to 10 yards from the tree stands. Therefore, the deer in super close like this doe was is often the most difficult shot for the bowhunter to make. However, Patterson had learned the hard way how to make this close in shot.

Patterson Deer Hunting

Oakley Patterson

“I learned the hard way to make this shot, because I had missed a deer earlier in the season that was in close,” Patterson says. “So, I talked to a friend of mine who is also a Mossy Oak manager, is really big in archery and also works with PSE. I called him and said, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I had a doe at 5 yards from my tree stand, and I shot over her back.’ My friend, Parrish Elliott, told me, ‘Jason, when you have a deer that close, use your 40 yard pin to aim.’ I thought my friend on the other end of the phone line had lost his mind. But he encouraged me to get in my tree stand, set up a target at 5 yards and shoot it with my 40 yard pin. That’s what I did. I realized with the 40 yard pin as an aiming point I could take a deer in close. Although I told my friend about the one doe that I’d missed, I didn’t tell him about the other two earlier that had been in too close for me to shoot. When I started using that 40 yard pin, I found out as unbelievable as it was that I could aim with it successfully at a deer from zero to 10 yards from my tree stand and make a successful shot. I have to admit I had to practice and build up my confidence in aiming with that 40 yard pin, before I believed that this strategy actually would work. On this morning when that doe came in at 7 yards, I aimed like I had been practicing. To my surprise, the arrow hit where it was supposed to hit, and I recovered the doe. Believe it or not I learned that making the 5 yard shot was far more difficult than a 40 yard shot. I’ve talked to many other bowhunters with this same issue. I shot that doe through the top of the shoulder, and the arrow went out through her heart. She only went about 30 yards before she piled up.”

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Bowfishing for Fun, Excitement and a Tool to Train Youngsters with Jason Patterson


Bowfishing

Oakley Patterson

Editor’s Note: The best thing that we can do as parents is to give our children memories that will last their lifetimes and impart the values and beliefs that we want them to teach to their children. By spending time with our children they learn the importance of family and the need to spend time with their children once they have them. Jason Patterson of Jackson, Tennessee, a member of PSE’s Field Staff, has found that bowhunting with his PSE bow is the thread that connects the generations in his family.

Jason Patterson was introduced to bowhunting many years ago by walking the banks of creeks and rivers and shooting fish from the bank. One day Jennifer McKinney, a Mossy Oak Pro Staffer, called Patterson, an area manager for Mossy Oak, and said, “Why don’t you and Oakley go with me and my crew bowfishing? I think Oakley really will enjoy it, because he’ll get to shoot a lot. So Patterson talked to his son Oakley about the bowfishing trip, and they decided to go this past June. “We were going to fish the Tennessee River near Camden, Tennessee,” Patterson explains. “I had never bowfished like this before, using halogen lights that shined down in the water and a deck where you could stand and shoot.  That first night we went out on the water about 9 pm on Kentucky Lake, a lake on the Tennessee River that had a lot of grass in it this year. We moved into the shallow grass, saw fish in the light and shot at them. The buffalo carp, needle nose gar and catfish were moving into this shallow grass to feed at night. Since we could see those fish in shallow water, we thought taking those fish with our bows would be easy. But we soon learned that being successful at taking fish with our bows isn’t as easy as we had thought.” Jason and Oakley Patterson each shot at fish 100 times if not more. And, as Patterson remembers, “We missed a lot more fish than we hit. But we intended to learn more about this form of bowhunting. I also realized that bowfishing was an excellent sport for youngsters.”

When you bowfish on a lake or on a river with numbers of fish in its shallow water, youngsters will have nonstop action.  Hunting is fun for youngsters but shooting is even more fun. And, shooting at lots of fish is as good as shooting can be. “We didn’t come off the water until about 4:00 am.,” Patterson reports. “About midnight we ran out of gas for the generator that powered the halogen lights from the boat. When we went back to the dock to get more gas, I asked Oakley if he was ready to go home and go to bed. He quickly said, ‘No, sir, I want to stay longer.’”

Staying up late at night with grown folks is a big deal for youngsters anyway, and then shooting his bow at night and taking a few fish is an adventure that Oakley can tell all his friends and relatives about for the rest of his life. And, Oakley was having fun. “Oakley was really excited about the whole bowfishing program,” Patterson says. “We shot grass carp, buffalo carp and longnose gar, and we had a few chances to shoot catfish.” On his first trip, Oakley took three fish, and his dad took six. “We probably missed at least 150 each,” Patterson reports as he laughs. “I learned that bowfishing could be a very humbling sport. Jennifer McKinney was nice enough to ask us to go a second time. This time we took about 25 fish and two big catfish, one weighing 18 pounds. Although Jennifer also took a nice catfish, once again, we missed more fish than we took.” On this trip, Oakley took a 40 inch gar that weighed about 9 pounds.

Jennifer McKinney

PSE’S Jason Patterson and Jennifer McKinney

Oakley was set on fire about bowfishing. Patterson has an aluminum boat, and he’s already thinking about rigging it up with a platform and lights. Then he and Oakley can bowfish anytime they want. They are also considering each getting a new PSE Wave bow to use for bowfishing. The Wave, designed for bowfishing, should help Jason and Oakley improve on the number of fish they’re taking on each outing. On their first two bowfishing trips, Jason was shooting his PSE Evo, and Oakley was shooting his PSE Chaos. All they had to do was attach a spinning reel to each of these bows and then attach the line from the reel to the fiberglass arrows they were shooting.

“Bowfishing is relatively inexpensive, because you can use any of the bows you have to most any closed face spinning reel and an arrow with a tip on it from Muzzy,” Patterson explains. “Oakley and I both had a blast bowfishing and stayed busy shooting and reloading almost all night long. These two trips provided chances for Oakley and me to really bond and be together. Oakley likes to shoot his bow, and with bowfishing, he had continuous action all night long. I really enjoyed seeing him shoot.’”

Don’t forget that there’s a learning curve in bowfishing, because instead of aiming dead on you have to shoot instinctively and try to aim under the fish. You have to calculate your aiming point with the depth of the water. The fish isn’t usually sitting still – you’re shooting at a moving target. Sometimes the action is so fast that instead of aiming, you have to react, draw and release the bow. In most of the South where temperatures may be in the high 90s and even over 100 degrees in the summertime, often the weather’s too hot for most people to sit in the boat in daylight hours. However, when the sun goes down, the moon comes up, and the temperatures fall, bowfishing can be a pleasant experience. You can build your muscle memory, while practicing a different style of archery.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Jason Patterson’s Son Led Him back to Bowhunting


PSE Field Staff

PSE’S Jason Patterson

Editor’s Note: The best thing that we can do as parents is to give our children memories that will last their lifetimes and impart the values and beliefs that we want them to teach to their children. By spending time with our children they learn the importance of family and the need to spend time with their children once they have them. Jason Patterson of Jackson, Tennessee, a member of PSE’s Field Staff, has found that bowhunting with his PSE bow is the thread that connects the generations in his family.

Jason Patterson has been shooting PSE bows for the last 3 years and before that shot PSE bows for many years. But he left the sport of bowhunting some time ago, because waterfowl hunting near where he lived was so much better than the deer hunting. But 3 years ago, he got back into bowhunting. He remembered how dependable and technical his PSE bows always had been when he shot PSE bows earlier. So, he wanted to go back to shooting PSE bows but he also had another reason a much deeper reason for returning to PSE his son Oakley. “PSE produces one of the top bows in the nation right now. I grew up in southern Indiana, and all my life I’d been a deer hunter. I moved to Tennessee when I was about 20 years old. At that time, deer hunting in Tennessee wasn’t as good as it had been in Indiana. Yes, the state had plenty of deer, but the bucks were smaller than Indiana bucks. So, I switched over to rifle hunting. Then I got bit by the waterfowl bug and forgot about deer hunting for a little while.

Oakley

Oakley Patterson

Then when my son Oakley turned 6 years old, he wanted to try deer hunting. We started gun hunting for deer. Oakley is 12 now. When he was 10 1/2 years old, he got his first bow and is shooting the PSE Chaos. I had talked to Blake Shelby, the marketing director for PSE, and PSE’s Bobby Vargas. We decided Oakley was just now getting strong enough to pull the Chaos and be able to hunt with it. Because the Chaos is such an adjustable bow, as Oakley grows and becomes stronger, we can increase his draw length and increase the weight that he is able to pull. Right now he’s pulling 38 pounds, although he started at 32 pounds. Too, since we’ve gotten into bowfishing, Oakley has started drawing his bow and shooting much more, which has made him stronger. I’m the area manager for Mossy Oak Camouflage. One of the pro staffers for Mossy Oak I work with, Jennifer McKinney, invited Oakley and me to go bowfishing with her. That one bowfishing trip really set Oakley on fire. We’re bowfishing more and more this summer. As Oakley draws his Chaos and shoots it, the stronger his muscles will be, and the more weight he can pull.

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.


Take Care of Your Bowhunting Equipment to Shoot Accurately with PSE’s Frank Pearson


PSE's Frank Pearson

PSE’s Frank Pearson

Editor’s Note: Frank Pearson, owner and operator of the Frank Pearson School of Archery and the personal archery coach for Pete Shepley, founder and owner of PSE Archery, has seen the evolution of the bow from the longbow when he first started shooting and competed with up to today’s modern bows and most technical PSE equipment. If anyone knows archery, and how to help an archer shoot better, you can rely on Pearson. This week Frank Pierson will give us practical tips on how to shoot better, whether you are a tournament archer or a bowhunter.

Question: Frank, what is another problem that you see that target archers and hunters have that causes them to not shoot as accurately as they can.

They don’t take care of their equipment properly. Their strings and cables have to stay constantly waxed. You’ve got to keep your bow out of the heat. If you put your bow in a bow case and put that bow case in the trunk, and the sun is beating down on the trunk for several hours or maybe all day, the strings and the cables on your bow will stretch. Then when you arrive at the tournament or the hunt, your cam is out of time, and the bow doesn’t fit you the way it has before you’ve put it in the trunk. If your string stretches, your draw length gets longer, and your arrow goes faster than it did before you put the bow in the trunk. If the cable stretches, just the opposite happens. Your draw becomes shorter, the bow doesn’t weigh as much when you pull it back, and the arrow goes slower than it did when you put the bow in the trunk. Many times the reason archers don’t shoot accurately at tournaments or when hunting is because they haven’t cared properly for their bows on the way to the hunt or the tournament. You solve this problem by placing the bow in its case inside your car not in the trunk. If the weather is really hot, leave your windows down. Many times when people call bow manufacturers and complain about the performance of their bows, the problem is not the bow, but rather the way the shooter did not take care of the bow. Today’s modern bows are very finely tuned instruments. If you are a surveyor, you know that your transit is a very finely tuned instrument that has to be cared for and kept out of the elements as much as possible. If you don’t give your bow that same type of special attention that a surveyor gives to his transit, you shouldn’t expect peak performance from that bow, when you’re shooting the last round of a archery tournament or a buck of a lifetime steps out in front of you within range.

For more information go to http://www.frankpearson.com.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Frank Pearson Tells What You Learn at Archery School
To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


Bowfishing with Your PSE Bow


Bowfishing and Deer Hunting – the Similarities

Editor’s Note: Wives and children like baking in the sun and swimming in the gulf or the ocean. However, if you don’t enjoy getting sand between your toes, having a sunburned back and having salt water in your nose and mouth, then consider bowfishing for saltwater fish. But be sure to check the state’s regulations where you’re vacationing to know which species you can and can’t take before planning a saltwater bowfishing trip. Fortunately PSE offers a wide variety of bowfishing tackle at reasonable prices that will enable you to get started in this sport. The good news about bowfishing in salt water where permitted is that you also can get tasty fillets to eat. If you enjoy both hunting and fishing, bowfishing enables you to participate in both sports all year. Folks can hunt with a bow when deer season and turkey season end, although the game has neither fur nor feathers but rather scales. And, a fish in the skillet is still a fish in the skillet, whether you take it on hook and line or with a bow and arrow. This week, let’s look at bowfishing with PSE.

Bo Hamilton of Biloxi, Mississippi, thoroughly enjoys bowfishing for sheepshead and redfish. Here’s what he’s learned on his bowfishing hunts.

You may shoot 50 times at fish with a bow and arrow at night and still not get a limit of redfish or even three or four sheepshead.
A bowhunting trip can’t be more fun and exciting than flying through the shallow marshes on an airboat at night to bowfish.
People who don’t know how to shoot bows and/or don’t know how to fish still can participate in this sport of bowfishing for redfish and sheepshead at night.
A shooter doesn’t need great strength, nor does he or she have to have mastered the sport of bowhunting to shoot at fish at night with a bow.

“You’ll enjoy far-more sport taking a saltwater fish with a bow and arrow than catching a fish on a rod and reel,” Hamilton explains. “Too, the fish has a better chance of escaping from the bowhunter than it does from the angler. When the lights at night hit a saltwater fish, the fish reminds me of a deer when it hears a pack of hounds coming after it and has a running chance of getting away.”

PSE Bowfishing

Nighttime Bowfishing with PSE

A few years ago, outdoor writer John E. Phillips bowfished in Louisiana with a bowfishing guide and two novice bowhunters who never had bowfished before or shot a redfish or a sheepshead. Before they left on the trip, the bowfishing guide told them, “We take many first-time bowfishermen out on their first bowfishing trips. We’ve taught secretaries, accountants, corporate executives, factory workers and mill hands how to shoot bows, aim at the fish and take the fish. Too, we also have many 3-D archers and bowhunters who are looking for an off-season sport who go bowfishing with us. We always have lots of fun on each trip and take some fish. And, our guests have experiences they’ll never forget.” The novice bowfishermen never before had put on ear protection like you wear at a rifle range to go bowhunting or fishing. However, hunting from an airboat that sounds like the roar of a jet engine as an airplane takes off makes the ear protection mandatory, when you run between the shallow-water bays where they hunted for the redfish and the sheepshead. The decks of most airboats can accommodate three shooters at a time. Each shooter takes the fish that he or she sees show-up in the halogen lights beneath his or her shooting station. Perhaps I need to reword that. Each shooter has the opportunity to shoot at the redfish and the sheepshead that show up in his or her lights.

When you spot a redfish, you first must make sure that the fish has the legal length for you to harvest it (check your state’s regulations). Then you have to draw, aim and shoot quickly, because of the movement of both you and the fish. You also have to aim somewhat under the fish due to the way the light refracts the image of the fish. The fish’s scaly sides will appear higher in the water than the fish’s actual position. After missing a number of fish while bowfishing, these novice bowfishermen learned that shooting instinctively produced more fish for them than their attempting to aim and calculate their shots.

PSE Bowfishing

The PSE Equipment You Need for Bowfishing

When outdoor writer John E. Phillips started bowfishing, his bowfishing guide, explained, “The bows we use for bowfishing can be quickly modified to adjust for a shooter’s draw length and the amount of poundage he or she can pull. The people who bowfish with us quickly and easily can learn how to shoot bows, since we can modify the bow to fit each one and the weight these bowhunters can pull comfortably and shoot accurately.” PSE has three bow-fishing packages from which you can choose – the Nova and the Barracuda – both compounds – and the Kingfisher, a recurve. You can purchase only the bow or the package that includes the bow, reel, line, rest, bowfishing arrows with safety slide and bowfishing points. Each of PSE’s bowfishing arrows with points come outfitted with the safety slide installed, a point and a nock, so that you can shake the fish off the arrows quickly, re-nock the arrows and prepare to shoot again – particularly when you get into an area with a large school of redfish or sheepshead.

PSE Bowfishing

The Adventure of Bowfishing with PSE

Bowfishing from an airboat in the black night of a murky back bay will make your bowfishing mission exciting. You’ll run-through marsh grass, jump over small mounds of dirt, drop-into shallow bays and often see hundreds of different fish on your quest. Oftentimes when you reach a shallow bay where you want to bowfish, you’ll see huge numbers of a wide variety of fish. However, then by the time you leave the seat where you’ve ridden, walk to the shooting platform, pick up your bow, get your arrow nocked and situate yourself on the shooting platform, all the fish you’ve originally seen may have disappeared. But as the airboat makes its way through the shallow bays, you’ll still spot plenty of fish. You’ll see so-many redfish and sheepshead, you’ll remind yourself of a quail hunter who flushes a covey out from under his feet and watches the birds go in every direction – never picking out just one quail at which to shoot. The excitement of jumping a covey of quail or a school of fish becomes part of why you will love the sport of bowfishing in salt water and will have so much fun participating in it.

And the adventure continues when you prepare some of the fillets you’ve taken with your PSE bowfishing equipment. Here’s a couple of favorites.

Fire-Broiled Redfish
Ingredients:
1 3- or 4-pound redfish, dressed
1-1/2-teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon salad oil
Juice of one lemon
1/4-cup melted butter
Parsley for garnish
1 lemon, sliced

Preparation:
Rub fish with salt, pepper and oil. Grease broiler rack or pan before placing fish on it. Place close to fire at first to sear the surface of the fish, then turn, sear second side quickly. Complete cooking a little distance from the fire, turning the broiler several times during the cooking process. If you don’t wish to turn the fish, cook until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and is browned on the surface. You may wish to transfer the broiler rack or pan to the oven proper to cook, if you don’t want to turn the fish. The time of cooking will depend on the thickness of the fish. Thin fillets will require from 8 to 12 minutes with thin whole fish from 12 to 20 minutes. Thick fish (one-inch thick) will take from 15 to 25 minutes. When fish is done, pour melted butter and lemon juice over it, garnish with parsley and sliced lemon and serve.

Fried Sheepshead:
Ingredients:
Sheepshead fillets
Egg
Zatarain’s Fish-Fri
Oil

Preparation:
Put a sheepshead fillet in a well-beaten egg, coat it with Zatarain’s Fish-Fri, and then drop it in hot oil. Drain on paper towels.

Blackened Sheepshead:
Ingredients:
Sheepshead fillets
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning or some similar spice mixture
Olive oil

Preparation:
Coat the sheepshead fillets with the creole seasoning. Place a small amount of olive oil on each side of the fillet. Then either grill the fillet or pan-fry it in a really-hot black-iron skillet. The real secret to having tasty fish fillets is to not overcook it. The conversion rate of sheepshead to fillets is higher than you think. Twenty big sheepsheads will fill two or three, 1-gallon bags with about 7 pounds of fillets in each bag.

PSE Bowfishing

Bowfishing – Recurves Versus Compounds

How long has it been since you’ve shot a recurve? Have you ever shot instinctively? Do you even know how to shoot instinctively? Do you need to know how to shoot instinctively? Why should you shoot instinctively, since today PSE has compound bows, sights, mechanical releases and all the other advantages that the newer bows offer? Sometimes progress can be one step back, something outdoor writer John E. Phillips learned on his first saltwater bowfishing trip. He chose to shoot a recurve, because he hadn’t shot one since his high-school days, and Phillips’ guide and his friends were shooting recurves. Philips realized that since he’d have to draw and shoot quickly that the recurve was a much-faster way to draw and shoot than a compound bow would be. “Just look at the fish, draw the bow, and shoot,” the bowfishing guide said. When Phillips first started shooting at fish, all he got when he retrieved his arrow was mud. But each time he tried to shoot instinctively, he noticed his arrows started landing closer to his scaly targets. About one or two hours into the trip, he realized that his instincts had taken over, and he could hit the fish at which he was shooting. If you’re more interested in the process rather than the product, and you don’t mind failing to finally succeed, a step back into the olden days of the shooting the recurve instinctively offers as much fun and challenge as actually taking the fish. However, if you’re more success oriented and prefer to shoot what you know, PSE has bowfishing tackle and bows with wheels and let-offs more like the bows you shoot when you hunt deer or competition shoot.

An advantage of bowfishing in the spring and summer and shooting instinctively means that in a good area of salt water, you’ll have plenty of targets, numerous opportunities to shoot and many chances to try your hand at shooting instinctively, if you wish to do that. However, if you prefer to bowfish with a compound, you can shoot some of the newer bowfishing bows that PSE offers. But you’ll still be shooting at unknown targets, and in most instances you’ll have to get the shot off quickly. Regardless of which PSE bow you pick to bowfish with, you can have a grand time this summer bowfishing in the shallow waters of back bays and lagoons and taking delicious saltwater fish.

PSE Bowfishing

PSE Bowfishing

To learn more about PSE’s top quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


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