Hunting & Family

Jen “TheArcher” Cordaro – Academian and Bowhunter: Part One

Editor’s Note: “I wanted to take a wild hog with a bow and arrow,” anthropologist and advocate today for hunting, Jen Cordaro said. Little did she know where this one thought would take her or how seemingly impossible that task might be. Cordaro was a vegetarian for 10 years, didn’t grow up hunting, didn’t have any friends who hunted and never had shot a bow. She just had this deep-seated urge to take a wild hog with a bow.


When I decided I wanted to take a wild hog with a bow, I didn’t know where to go, who to see, how to find out what I needed to do to hunt a wild pig, or what I should learn about shooting a bow. I never had owned or shot a bow in my life, and I possessed all the reasons for not becoming a bowhunter. However, taking a wild hog with a bow was a dream of mine. I was conflicted, because I basically was a city girl. I didn’t have any friends who hunted. I had all the stereotypical reasons for my subconscious to tell me this was something I couldn’t do, even though it was something I wanted to do.

I read that there was an archery class being taught in San Diego. Just to see if I could shoot a recurve bow, I took the class. I met a sales associate at the archery shop and explained to him. “I don’t know what type of equipment I need, and I don’t know what I need to learn to hunt and take a wild pig with a bow, but this is something I want to do.” I told him this before I ever had taken an archery lesson or held a bow in my hand. He said, “I’ve never had anyone come into the shop who’d never shot a bow and never gone hunting who had as much passion to shoot the bow and become a hunter as you. I’ll try to help you make your dream come true.”

I took the recurve class, and within 2 weeks I bought my first compound bow. Within the first month of buying my compound bow, I shot my first archery tournament at the San Diego Archers Club in San Diego, California. I took first place in woman’s hunter free style shooting 3D targets. After that first tournament, I was hooked on shooting tournament archery. I’m a member of the Pendleton Sportsman Club on the Camp Pendleton military base, and I shoot in all their tournaments. I have shot at Riverside Archers Tournaments and Oranco Tournaments. I shoot a minimum of one tournament per month, and I’ve done well in all the tournaments I’ve shot. But as much as I enjoyed tournament archery, I still wanted to take a pig with my bow. I felt proficient enough with a bow to know that if I had the opportunity I could deliver the arrow to harvest a pig efficiently

Seeing my enthusiasm for shooting the bow and for wanting to take a hog, the sales associate invited me to go on an archery hog hunt in central California. I actually didn’t harvest a pig with my bow, but I saw the sales associate take a pig with his bow, and someone else on the hunt bagged a turkey. This was my first experience being in the woods and actually hunting. I was hooked!! I sat in the tree stand for hours waiting on the pigs to show up, but I didn’t see any pigs. On the trail camera the next morning, I saw that the pigs showed up 30 minutes after I left my stand. While I sat in the tree stand, I began to think about what hunting was. I decided, for me, hunting provided a link – or a connection – to legacy, history and American tradition.

After the hunt, my friends, who knew my passion for hunting and for shooting the bow, recommended me to Lonnie Workman, the PSE rep for the far West. He asked me to join the PSE Pro Staff, and I was really excited to represent a company like PSE. Now I had a platform to promote PSE, bowhunting, women’s archery and hunting as a part of our culture and history – all the things my ancestors decided they wanted to be a part of, when they left their homeland in Sicily and came to America. For me, the idea of hunting was and still is about carrying on the American tradition that’s so intertwined with the roots of this country. I believe that hunting allows me to embrace and be a part of a tradition and a legacy that’s such a part of America that I want it to continue and pass it on to others. For my family, hunting was a part of the American dream. They were willing to give up the history and legacy of their roots in Sicily to come to this country and put in new roots and inherit a new history and legacy. Putting myself inside American history and memory through the act of hunting has become very important to me. I like the act of hunting, being successful and being a part of nature. Keeping the hunting legacy and the sport of hunting alive and well is a cause I want to help champion.


I’m working on my PhD degree in public policy and social change. I have a master’s degree in social and cultural anthropology, a master’s degree in human rights advocacy and non-profit management and a bachelor’s degree in geography. Some would call me an academian, but I see myself as a bowhunter and an advocate for hunting. I’m a post-colonial anthropologist. This means I study from World War II until the present. I’m interested in people who are alive today.

I live with the constant knowledge that everything we do, everything we think, and every idea we develop aren’t original thoughts. Most likely, the thoughts that we perceive to be as original probably have come from our memories of things that have happened in the past. Many of the thoughts that we have are created by what’s known as culture. I think of myself as a culture keeper of the sport of hunting. Even though I haven’t grown up with or in a hunting culture, I feel that hunting is a part of our cultural history that we may be in danger of losing. I believe that everyone making sure that the hunting culture stays alive and well and that memories of hunting have a place to live in all of us, whether we have successful or unsuccessful hunts, is very important. I’m an advocate of the fact that hunting needs to be celebrated, held onto and cherished. In the outdoor industry, especially recently, I think we’re seeing more and more women embracing the hunting culture and getting involved with hunting. For me, bowhunting is not only an activity of the present as well as the future – it’s an activity that connects me to the American culture and our hunting forefathers – something that’s very important to me!

I came into the sport of hunting, especially bowhunting, about as backwards as any person possibly can to become a hunter. I was strictly a city girl growing up in Oceanside, California, and later I moved away to go to school and travel all over the world. When I was in high school, my high school had Future Farmers of America (FFA) as a part of the curriculum, and I got stuck taking the FFA class. I was really mad about having to take an FFA class, but all the classes I wanted to take were full, and no other classes I needed were open. So, my counselor put me in the FFA class. I was just about as mad as a young girl could get.

But in my freshmen year of high school, during the second semester, I fell in love with Future Farmers of America. I raised veal calves, pigs, lambs, steers, chickens and all types of critters that were being produced for the meat market. I became president of my Future Farmers of America’s chapter and also a sectional leader in the FFA, and I completed the FFA program and got my state FFA degree. I got a ton of awards and was very involved in FFA – all because I got stuck in that dumb class that I didn’t want to take.

2 Jen Studying close up

I’m from southern California, which is often a very-liberal part of the country. Even though there are numbers of FFA chapters in California, very-few people know about the work of the FFA in our state. And my being a city girl, the FFA was definitely not where I saw myself. When I told people that I was in the FFA and raised veal cattle, they looked at me like I had two heads. I’d be at the beach wearing my flip flops and bathing suit, working on my tan and driving a little Volkswagen Beetle. My friends would say, “You’re in the FFA – say what?”

The FFA is where I first fell in love with animals, meat production and agriculture. I thought for sure when I went to college I would go into animal husbandry and agriculture. I saw myself raising pigs and making wine. I was torn between animal husbandry, agriculture and forestry as a major in college, because I also wanted to be a forest ranger. I applied to and was accepted to Humboldt State in northern California which most people know as a very, very liberal college. It’s often classified as a hippie school. Humboldt is located in northern California just before you reach the Oregon border. If you look out the front side of the college, you’ll see the ocean. If you look out the backside of the school you’ll see the redwood forest. I’ve always liked hiking and being in the outdoors as well as going to the beach. I’d pretty much settled on being a forest ranger. At that time, Humboldt State was one of the best educational places in the nation for natural resources planning and interpretation.

After a rich career in the Future Farmers of America and raising animals to go to the market, I actually became a vegetarian and remained a vegetarian for almost a decade. Now when I tell people that I’m a hunter, and I eat the animals that I harvest, I’m pretty sure they think once again I have two heads. I became a vegetarian not because I was an animal rights person, but because I wanted a closer relationship to the food I ate and the ground in which it was grown. Then, I became a hunter and ate the meat that I took with my bow. I decided I would really get some interesting responses from the people I’d known who had known me for a long time when I told them I was a bowhunter. I learned after harvesting game, field dressing it, cutting up the meat, and then eating it that I had a much-closer connection to the food I was eating than I did when I ate a hamburger at McDonald’s and believed that the hamburger came from the grocery store and nowhere else.

Right now, I buy very-little meat from the grocery store. I eat the meat I take when I’m hunting, and I like to raise my own vegetables. I think this is the natural order of how food should come to the table. By being a bowhunter, I connect with finding the food. I learn how to hunt the animal, harvest the animal, prepare the meat and then eat the meat. I think hunting represents a major part of the history of food gathering, and I want to be a part of that history and that legacy as a hunter.

To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” “The Most Dangerous Game with a Bow: Secrets of the PSE Pros” and “Bowhunting the Dangerous Bears of Alaska,” click on the titles of the books. Or, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

PSE’s Bob Walker on How to Find Big Bucks Where No One Looks

Editor’s Note: A member of PSE’s and Mossy Oak’s Pro Staffs and a fixture on Mossy Oak’s TV show “Turkey Thugs,” Bob Walker of Livingston, Alabama, has guided for deer and turkeys  for 28 years at Bent Creek Lodge in Jachin, Ala. He’s been deer hunting for more than 40 years and has shot the PSE DNA since it was introduced. This week he’ll tell us how to find big bucks where no one is looking for them.

1 Turkey Thug autograph cards

I don’t get to shoot my bow as much as I once did, so I really like the consistency of the DNA. Even if I haven’t shot the DNA for a week, I can pick it up, go hunting and still feel confident the bow is as dead-on as it was when I put it back in my bow case earlier.  I shoot the two-blade Rage (www.ragebroadheads.com), a mechanical broadhead with a 2-inch cut.

My secret to taking big bucks on little properties is to find places to hunt that are overlooked by other hunters. Most hunters say they want to hunt big woods or large properties. They believe the more property they have to hunt, then the better their odds will be for taking trophy bucks. However, I’ve found the opposite is true. The smaller places you hunt where no one else is hunting often produce the biggest bucks. This week I’ll give you five examples to prove my point.


The first deer on any property to feel hunting pressure is the mature buck. He’ll recognize that hunters are in the woods to try and take him more than they are interested in any other buck in the deer herd. So, that mature buck will be the first deer on the property to go to a spot that hunters don’t hunt. Smaller tracts of woods are the most-overlooked areas on any property, if a sanctuary has plenty of cover, food and water, or if the land is extremely close to the sanctuary.

On my first trip to the big buck state of Illinois, I was as lost as a ball in high weeds. I didn’t know the property, and I didn’t know anyone who knew the property where I was to hunt. All I had was a map of this public-hunting area with the boundary lines drawn on it. When I hunt a new place, the first thing I don’t want to do is to get off the property onto someone else’s land. So, when I got to this public-hunting region in Illinois, I took the boundary map and started walking the property line to learn exactly where I could and couldn’t hunt. I’ve learned over the years that often the boundary lines on a map aren’t exactly correct. For instance, if the boundary line of a public-hunting land is the edge of a creek, many times the public land may extend for 10, 20 or even 100 yards on the other side of the creek. The boundaries are usually marked with paint or signs on trees.

As I walked the edge of the creek of this public-hunting land in Illinois, I learned that the boundary of this public-hunting property had little pockets of land on the other side of the creek, although the map wasn’t marked like that. I thought, “Those little pockets of land on the other side of the creek probably get very little or no hunting pressure.” I also decided that since crossing the creek was difficult, that not many people would be willing to cross the creek to only hunt 50 to 100 yards of land from the creek to the true boundary line. Also, I could tell from where I had parked my truck that apparently, many other people had parked their vehicles close to this creek. I decided to park my truck about 200 to 300 yards down the road from where I entered the woods to keep anyone from knowing exactly where I started hunting.

When I got across the creek the first time, I thought that the public-hunting land over there might only be a 50-yard stretch of hardwoods from the creek to the boundary line. But after walking the boundary line, I discovered that in some spots the boundary line was 200-yards beyond the creek. I found a place where a creek bend was close to a soybean field that was on private land. Sitting in my tree stand, I could see houses not too far away.

The first afternoon I sat in my stand a fellow came down the edge of the soybean field walking his dog. The fellow waved to me, as nice as he could be. I climbed down out of my tree stand and walked over to talk to the man with the dog. He apologized for messing up my hunt. I told him not to worry about it. I was enjoying being out here and having a time and place to hunt. As we chatted, the man told me, “If I get home in time, about every other day, I like to walk my dog down this way. Sometimes, we don’t come this far.” He also showed me a branch that came from the public-hunting land and went out into the soybean field – a vital piece of information. We talked for a few minutes. I got my tree stand, crossed the creek and walked back to my vehicle. But from the information I had gained from talking with the man walking his dog, I learned I would have to hunt there in the mornings instead of the afternoons. I also figured out that I needed to move my tree stand about 50-yards closer to the funnel than I had it set-up that day to be successful.

The next morning before daylight, I crossed the creek and put up my tree stand in the location I had picked out the day before. As the sun came up, I saw people coming out of their houses and starting their cars headed to work. I spotted a number of deer coming out of the soybean field that morning and walking down that thick-covered ditch that came from the public land and went out into the soybean field. I could tell to be in the right spot to get a shot with my bow that I needed to move my tree stand one more time – closer to the ditch, which turned out to be a little creek. I picked out the tree where I wanted to put my stand, came out of the woods before lunch and hunted another place that afternoon.


The next morning I crossed the creek again, moved my stand closer to the funnel and the thick- covered ditch that ran from the public land out into the soybean field. Just as the sun came up, I saw a huge 12-pointer following a doe down the ditch.  He came to within 24 yards of my stand.

I raised my PSE bow, came to full draw and shot the buck. That buck scored 160 points on Pope & Young.

I’ve learned that on many public-hunting areas, you may find small patches of woods that are within the public-hunting area that don’t show-up on the map. There may be only an acre or less that’s not shown on the boundary map. Because these places are so small, most hunters won’t go to the effort to try to find and hunt them. Therefore, they become safe havens for mature bucks.


When I recovered my buck and started dragging him out, I met an older gentleman and talked to him. I discovered that his family had lived on a portion of what is now a WMA (Wildlife Management Area). We started talking about squirrel dogs, and that gentleman gave me the secret to taking the buck I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Bob Walker on the Hunt for Mr. Gary’s 45 Acre Buck

To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” “The Most Dangerous Game with a Bow: Secrets of the PSE Pros” and “Bowhunting the Dangerous Bears of Alaska,” click on the titles of the books. Or, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

To learn more about PSE and the company’s outstanding bows and bowhunting accessories, head to the PSE Archery website.

Growing Up Drury (Part 2) by John E. Phillips

PSE’s Matt Drury Tells How to Become a Professional Hunter

Editor’s Note: Thirty-two-year-old Matt Drury is the son of Terry Drury of Drury Outdoors (https://www.druryoutdoors.com/) fame. For 10 years, Matt has been the man behind the scenes of Drury Outdoors. For 2 previous years, he interned at the family business. When Matt went to college, he didn’t really know what he wanted to grow up to be, although he knew he wanted to use his creative mind and art talent to take raw video and create masterpiece hunting TV shows and CDs. According to Matt, “I was making Edit Decision Lists when I was in high school.” Today, according to brothers and well-known outdoorsmen Mark and Terry Drury, “Matt is the man in charge.” His official title is Drury Outdoors Brand Manager.

Being in the professional outdoor world, we get a lot of questions from hunters here at Drury Outdoors. By far, we’re most often asked, “How can I become a professional hunter like Mark and Terry Drury?” Most people really don’t understand that job opportunities in the outdoor industry aren’t limited to simply being a professional hunter; there are many careers available if you’re driven. Despite popular belief, growing up in the Drury family didn’t automatically guarantee me a job working for Drury Outdoors. I had to prove to my family that I took my education seriously and was willing to work hard to make myself an asset to the family business.

Whether you strive to be a professional hunter or a behind-the-scenes person, more education, especially being educated in matters related to the outdoors, is the key to opening doors in the outdoor community. The more time and effort you’re willing to put into becoming a professional outdoorsman, the better your odds will be for getting your dream outdoor job. For your best chance of working in the outdoor industry, I strongly recommend that young hunters attend college. After I graduated high school, I was gearing up for college but didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. Like many college kids, I couldn’t identify where I was going to land, but I really wanted do creative work. I took a lot of different courses in college, including computer animation, graphic design, art and my most favorite, video production. When I learned what was required to take raw footage and make it into a TV show, I decided, “This is for me.” I found out I had a talent for video production and realized I’d use that as a basis for my future career.


Every year my Uncle Mark and my dad gather 25 teams of hunters and videographers, known as field producers, to help produce footage for the Drury Outdoors TV shows. At this meeting, our producers are given production tips and are taught better ways to shoot video. A major part of that team meeting is an awards presentation. The first award show for our producers was 11-years ago, my senior year of college. As I watched the different teams being awarded for videos they had shot the previous year, I got really excited. After the show was over, I went up to my Uncle Mark and said, “I think this is something I’d like to be a part of,” and the next day, Uncle Mark offered me a job. As with any family business, I was offered a very modest starting salary.

Drury Outdoors’ social-media sites often are bombarded with questions like: “I want to be in the outdoor business, where do I start? I’m going to college, and I want to be a professional hunter. What classes should I take?” Unfortunately, collegiate counselors don’t have course lists for a B.A. degree in Hunting Professionally, but there are courses that will help you in your journey. If you want to get into the video side of the outdoors, find courses that teach video production and the operation and mastery of video equipment, generally found in journalism departments. New cameras with new features are coming out every year; being able to know new technology will make you a benefit to any outdoor operation. Courses in photography also will be appealing to future employers. Do you know what aperture is, and how it works or the importance of shutter speed? What does ASA mean? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, take photography courses on lighting and framing.


However, always remember that hunting is primarily about shooting. Our field producers, the lifeblood of our hunting trips all over the world, are both hunters and videographers. Some days they are in front of the cameras, and on others, they’re behind the cameras. So, if you’re serious about becoming a part of the outdoor business community, you need to be as good, if not better, with a video camera as you are with a bow and conventional and blackpowder rifles. In college, professors teach students how to be videographers in 4 short years, but learning how to be a true outdoorsman requires more time.

To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle ebooks, “The Most Dangerous Game with a Bow: Secrets of the PSE Pros,” “Bowhunting the Dangerous Bears of Alaska,” and “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” click on each. Or, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the books, and download them to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

Growing Up Drury (Part 1) by John E. Phillips


Growin Up Drury Part 1: PSE’s Matt Drury Tells about His Bow Madness and the Marriage of PSE and Drury Outdoors


 Editor’s Note: Thirty-two-year-old Matt Drury is the son of Terry Drury of Drury Outdoors (https://www.druryoutdoors.com/) fame. For 10 years, Matt has been the man behind the scenes of Drury Outdoors. For 2 previous years, he interned at the family business. When Matt went to college, he didn’t really know what he wanted to grow up to be, although he knew he wanted to use his creative mind and art talent to take raw video and create masterpiece hunting TV shows and CDs. According to Matt, “I was making Edit Decision Lists when I was in high school.” Today, according to brothers and well-known outdoorsmen Mark and Terry Drury, “Matt is the man in charge.” His official title is Drury Outdoors Brand Manager.


Seven years ago, Drury Outdoors and PSE archery began a working relationship. One year after the beginning of that union, these companies began working on a single-cam line of bows known now as Bow Madness. I shot the PSE Bow Madness for 3-consecutive years. Someone would have to pry that bow out of my hand to get me to shoot anything else. I know many hunters fall in love with particular equipment, and I was in love with that bow. The Bow Madness was such a smooth bow and solved some major problems for me. I didn’t have a lot of time to practice or a good place to shoot, so I needed a well-put-together bow that was extremely forgiving. Fortunately, this bow fit the bill; I could just pick it up, shoot it a few times and be ready to go hunting. For me, the Bow Madness gave me the same ease of use as my favorite rifle. When I had it in my hand, I had the confidence that I’d hit my target every time.



PSE, Drury Outdoors and I have learned plenty of information through fellow hunters’ trials. After talking to numbers of hunters, we realized many didn’t have enough time or space to practice archery. Like me, they needed rugged bows that could be set-up once. In a perfect world, they’d become proficient with their bows and only have to shoot a couple of practice arrows pre-hunt to stay in shooting shape. I also noticed that the hunters I talked to would love to be able to shoot 100 arrows every day to reach the high degree of skill that my Uncle Mark and my dad have reached. However, the majority of hunters, myself included, work long hours to meet financial obligations. We also have family and social engagements that don’t allow for much archery time. Therefore, by having a bow like Bow Madness, busy hunters can spend less time practicing, while still retaining the confidence and ability to successfully draw on a deer.


“Bumps” is the name of the deer that is my crowning Bow Madness achievement. This interesting deer had been photographed many times on my Dad’s Reconyx trail cameras (http://www.reconyx.com/). I hunted him on Halloween. Dad had shot a deer late in the afternoon the previous day with his PSE bow. We decided to wait until the next morning to recover him, which is how I ended up shooting Bumps. Before sunrise, Dad suggested that my cameraman and I go to a stand that had a lot of trail camera buck activity. On the way to the stand, we suddenly remembered we were hunting during the Missouri Youth Deer Rifle Season. As Missouri hunters know, rifle season means we were missing two bright things: an orange hat and a vest. Quickly, we stopped the HuntVe (http://www.huntve.com/). We were far from home and so near the stand that we would have had to take precious time away from hunting to return home. But we had to be legal. My cameraman was about to turn around when I reached into my trusty hunting bag. Sure enough, I had four orange hunting vests. I still don’t know why I had so many orange hunting vests, but I wasn’t questioning it that day, I was just happy they were there. However, one thing was missing – an orange hat. Shooters in Missouri had to wear orange hats, and unfortunately, I didn’t have one. Thinking like MacGyver on the TV show, I wrapped the third vest over my hunting hat, making it probably the dorkiest-looking hat in the woods. But at least for the moment, I was legal. I remember sitting in that tree laughing to myself and asking my cameraman, “How goofy do I look?”


About that time, Bumps walked out in front of us at about 20 yards. When the deer had his head down, I drew my PSE Bow Madness, aimed just behind the shoulder and shot. My Rage (http://www.ragebroadheads.com/) two-blade broadhead, pushed by a Carbon Force (http://pse-archery.com/p/carbon-force-bow-madness-200-shaft-dozen) Bow Madness 200 Shaft, met its mark; I had finally taken Bumps. He scored about 135 Pope and Young points. Bumps was the biggest buck I had taken up until then with a PSE bow. I’ve taken bigger PSE bucks since then, but when I look at the video and see I looked as goofy as I felt with the orange vest on my head, I realize Bumps is one of those hunting stories that will keep me laughing the rest of my life. Bumps and I, goofy hat and all – were up on “Bow Madness,” the TV show with Drury Outdoors that PSE sponsors.



To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle ebooks, “The Most Dangerous Game with a Bow: Secrets of the PSE Pros,” “Bowhunting the Dangerous Bears of Alaska,” and “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” click on each. Or, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the books, and download them to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

Better Bowfishing by PSE’s Dustin Jones

By Dustin Jones


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.

Scout & Shoot by PSE’s Al Quackenbush

By Al Quackenbush


Scouting and finding a good hunting spot can be a truly time-consuming process. The same might be said of archery practice and honing your skills. Why not combine the two and make for some fun scouting/target practice? It’s a great way to pass the time and shoot in the outdoors!

My friend Brett and I are always trying to come up with fun ways to practice at the archery range. Sure, we often set up a target on a bale of straw, but we also bring our 3D targets to the range. Not many people do this, but it’s fun and it certainly gets people’s attention. I also started bringing a ‘rabbit’ target made of a sock stuffed with rags. This allows us to practice on a very small target with judo points. It’s a great way to judge distance because we just toss it out in front of us and estimate the distance. It’s great fun!


Now we just have to find the pigs with the little white circles on them.

While we are there, we almost always have a friendly competition to see who can get closer to the vitals on a target at longer range. We both are very confident even out to 60 yards and sometimes a little competition brings out the best in us. The last time we were at the range we were fine tuning or gear. We don’t usually say ‘let’s have a shootout,’ but we almost always inch closer and closer to the center. For me this is great fun and also brings out the best in both of us. When we concentrate and truly focus our shots improve with each arrow.


Brett scouting the foothills of Southern California in search of mule deer.

Another way to have a great time while scouting is to bring along a smaller target like a Rinehart 18-1 for target practice. That way when you hike in, you can toss the target out in front, down a hill or on in an odd position you are not used to. This allows you a totally different shooting scenario and one that you are more likely to be faced with during hunting season. It makes for great fun, but also makes you focus more on your target. When you are shooting at a downhill (or uphill) angle there is a greater chance of losing an arrow or ten. No one wants to go searching further down a slope for errant flying arrows, so you should carefully choose your shot and make it count, just as you would on an animal in the wild.

A fantastic tool that I utilize is a range finder with angle compensation. By using this feature, you can practice those steep angles with the aid of a rangefinder in preparation for hunting season. You may not have the option of time during the season, so if you plan on hunting the steep slopes you will want to practice with and without a rangefinder. Building your confidence without a rangefinder can help immensely in the field.


Practicing your steep angle shots in terrain like this will make you a better bowhunter.



Spotting some deer on a far hillside always gets the blood pumping.

After each round of shooting, take a moment to glass the surroundings. I know that deer are curious and hearing a strange sound like an arrow hitting a target might spring them from their beds and have them staring in your direction. By using this technique, you can get some practice in while scouting. You will have hauled in some extra weight, shot a few rounds and cleared your head before scanning the brush with your optics in search of that elusive ghost. Enjoy the practice sessions and best of luck to you all this season!

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 29 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com and is a PSE Staff Blogger. He is a Pro Staff member for TightSpot Quivers, HHA Sports, and Piranha Custom Bowstrings. 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 lives 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.

Women in the World of Bow Hunting by PSE’s Emily Anderson

By Emily Anderson

A general internet search or call to your local Division of Wildlife will easily reveal the fact that women entering the hunting community continues to grow each year. They now contribute millions of dollars each year toward wildlife and habitat programs through hunting license fees, taxes on bows, guns, etc., and donations to non-profit hunting organizations.

With more women entering the hunting world, the idea of women toting around a gun or bow into the woods is becoming less and less of an anomaly. While this is good for the sport of hunting it may be cause for dismay for some women trying to stand out and make a name for themselves solely based on the fact that they are of the female gender and they hunt.

I will admit that I still enjoy the reaction on people’s faces when they find out I enjoy donning camouflage and venturing off into the woods with bow in hand. However, this reaction is becoming more of a rarity and quite honestly I’m okay with that. It simply means that women in the hunting industry is now more of a commonality, and if I’ve played a small part in making that a reality, it encourages my heart.

Gals, being recognized as part of the “hunting fraternity”, if you will, should not be taken lightly. We’ve proven that we are capable, willing to shoot, kill, clean and carry our quarry back to camp. We are all on the same playing field. There is no grading on a curve, or advantage points when hunting. When the arrow is released from the bow, it doesn’t matter whether or not the hand holding it has perfectly manicured fingernails. (Granted perfectly manicured fingernails may look nice in the photo while holding that 6×6 bull elk.) The bottom line is that the animals don’t know the difference, Simply because we are a different gender shouldn’t give us the right to boast about a kill more than the guys.


I guess what I’m trying to say is that while the female hunter has been encouraged, highly marketed to, and maybe even stood out as having an advantage in the hunting industry simply because she is a thing of rarity, the shine may be lessening. The playing field is beginning to level, and I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. It is quite the contrary. The commonness of the women hunter means more opportunity to champion hunting in a positive light.

What do you think about the increase of females becoming involved in hunting? How has it benefited the hunting community? Do you feel women have had an advantage in some areas? If yes, how do you feel about that? Is it okay as long as it encourages more women to get involved? Sound off…

Emily Anderson’s hunting journey began shortly after she got married. She enjoys the passions for the outdoors, hunting and fishing as a team with her husband. She established www.FromTheDraw.com as a way to share her stories as a female hunter. Emily lives in Colorado which allows her to hunt elk each September in the Rocky Mountains. She is now a PSE Staff Blogger and will be posting daily about her experiences and views on archery and hunting.

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.

Get to Your Stand the Right Way by PSE’s Will Jenkins

By Will Jenkins


Finding your way to stand can be difficult and planning your entrance is essential to a successful hunt. How you get to your stand is often overlooked when hunting and can prove to be a deal breaker on bagging that record big buck.

The shortest distance between your parking spot and your tree stand is always a straight line but the best way to get there never is. First you need an aerial map of the the property preferably with a topographic overlay so you can not only see what tree cover is there but also what land features are underneath. Many of us are guilty of going a certain way to a stand location or specific area of a property simply because we’ve hunted there for years and that’s how we’ve always gotten there. If you haven’t done it I guarantee you will change some trails after sitting down and marking stand locations on a map and really looking at the property.

Second, you need to consider the right wind for hunting that stand. If a stand is set to hunt on a North East wind, you will want to enter from the South West. You want to walk in with the wind in your face so your not blowing your scent all over the area you expect the deer to come from. This may mean you have to make a much longer walk or completely change the trail you take in.

Now that you’ve done a good job planning it you have to see what it really looks like. Maps are a great first draft of the trail but seeing what’s really on the ground will define your trail. Take your time and make a smart route to the stand keeping in mind that you hope to drag a deer out the same way. If you get in early and leave late make sure you do a good job of marking the trail. Even if you know the property well the first season using new trails in the dark it’s super easy to get turned around. I prefer reflective thumb tacks over neon color tapes.

Summer is the perfect time to plan and set up your new trails. It provides a good time to scout and get to know deer movement while improving your access. Also use this time to set trail cameras and clear your shooting lanes and you’ll more than ready to go by fall!


PSE Topo For Article


Will Jenkins is creator of TheWilltoHunt.com and Harnesses For Hunters. He’s an avid outdoorsman who enjoys sharing his experiences through his blog. He also writes for Bow Adventures e-Magazine and is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association.

Will lives in Central Virginia with his wife and two kids. He hunts in Virginia and Maryland but has dreams of heading west to hunt Elk and Mule Deer.

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.

First Buck with My New PSE – Guest Blog by Bass Pro Hunting Staff Member Dave Lee

By Dave Lee – Bass Pro Hunting Staff

I would have never thought that on December 26th, of all days, I would come face to face with my nemesis. The buck I’d been hunting for the last 80 days shows up at 1:00 in the afternoon, broadside, without a care in the world. Only one problem…he had broken off a portion of the left side of his head gear!

The pain really began to set in when I reflected on the Cuddeback pictures from the week prior at 12:42 in broad daylight. His entire 160-inch frame was still intact. I was in awe as I watched the largest whitetail of my 2011 season browsing eyes deep in the snow at 15 yards and I knew I couldn’t take the shot.

For a half-hour, the four-year old lumbered under my stand searching for acorns, carefree. I’ll never forget the calming effect that overcame me. I lost a whole year’s anticipation and nerves in less time than it took to hang my bow.

The Beginning

That night, I was able to reflect on my fondest memories of my youth when my family and I hunted a Wexford County Swamp. At that time, we weren’t looking for world-class animals, but instead shared unforgettable life experiences.

Many of us were fortunate to have mentors who made sure we were exposed to what the outdoors had to offer. For me, hunting revolved around family bonding and values.

These few years in a child’s life are critical. They need to see beyond video games and find a path to their primal instincts that, in turn, will make them better equipped for life.

Independent Years

In my mid-teens, I was on a mission to figure out the ways of the quarry I pursued. My friends and I focused on waterfowl for more than a decade, sharpening our skills on small flying targets. We spent a quarter of the year in their habitat, which without doubt, honed our overall predator and marksmanship skills.

My twenties led me to some of Michigan’s finest whitetail habitats as well as journeys throughout the Cascade and Rocky Mountain ranges, all the while soaking up information that heightened my skills even more. During that time, I realized that our planet’s amazing ecosystems had more to offer than could be found in one lifetime.

Throughout the years, my friends and I began a friendly competition on who would harvest the largest buck of the year. All of us had harvested countless animals and took on the challenge with a vengeance. During this period, the Quality Deer Management movement was introduced. Television began broadcasting this newly researched phenomenon. In my opinion, this was the tool to use in order to produce what every hunter dreams.


We learned that by taking subordinate animals, we would end all opportunity for mature bucks with filled tags. This lesson took us to the next level. Looking back, I can’t even imagine how many mature bucks my friends and I simply did not know existed.


Twenty plus years into it, I finally figured it out. I’ve covered thousands of miles of ground, learned as much as I could about the game I’ve hunted, and the number one thing I learned was . . . location . . . location . . . location!

Time spent researching where to be in order to intercept a trophy animal means the difference between harvesting the intended trophy or another fruitless season. I’ve found that going in to it blind is worse than not hunting at all.

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked how I find the properties I hunt, I’d be hunting heavy horned sheep in Kazakhstan. The simple answer is networking. There is not a day that goes by that I do not throw hints to newly met people, almost subconsciously, picking their brain for any information leading to my next trophy. Hunters as a whole are very friendly group. Sharing experiences with new people can create lifelong relationships and that can lead to endless opportunities.


Every hunter has a wealth of information at their fingertips. A serious hunter can research the best areas to find any species of game on the planet. A simple browsing of the web can produce statistics, trophy areas, planning, and all the information needed to get the hunt started.

One of the most recent additions to the hunter’s arsenal are cell phone apps, such as Google Earth which gives you a birds-eye view of any spot on the planet. The GPS has evolved into a hunter’s guide to his own destiny. While hunting with my grandfather, he trusted his compass to negotiate his stomping grounds. We can now pinpoint our exact location via satellite photos and see what’s over the next ridge without even climbing it.


Trail cameras have replaced the need to spend countless hours in the field scouting. This innovation is the mainstay of the trophy hunter. At any one time throughout the year, I have a half dozen or more cameras working for me, documenting every animal which crosses their path. I’ve been able to track antler development, travel corridors, pinch points, bedding and feeding areas, and ultimately find the largest bucks with little disturbance to my hunting properties.

One has to choose their path and realize what they can do economically and research the opportunities within their grasp. No matter where you live there are mature animals to be hunted. Time may not be on your side, but technology can maximize your time and fulfill your dreams. Hunting smart will line your walls faster than just depending on dumb luck.


As I try to portray my experiences in this article, I’m reflecting on my own life and trying to decode my own efforts to share. During a recent seminar, I was asked if I believe I’m a better hunter than others. My answer was no. I’ve just spent the time and energy in the wild environment to realize that nature has a plan for everything. We make our own destiny. After all, we are the ultimate predator.

I’ve seen what our Nations Mountains, hard woods, river bottoms, thickets, and farmlands have to offer. Years of trial and error have molded me into what I am. I’ve done my share of missing, wounding, and killing. Because of that, I know that, when presented with an opportunity, I will follow through and harvest the animal. But, I would let a trophy animal pass if he presents no shot rather than wounding him.


Today, we have generations of people who have not been exposed to what we as hunters take for granted. It’s up to us to take the time to involve as many kids as possible. Realizing this, I’ve made it an annual mission to donate a youth hunt and take a new hunter out to harvest their first animal in order to help save our heritage. It’s a rewarding and humbling experience.

The buck I mentioned at the beginning of the article was no ordinary animal for the State of Michigan. It was a world-class animal that I followed with my trail cameras for the last three years. I knew he would become an animal of epic proportions and elected to let him pass last season . . . not an easy task.

Twenty years ago, I would have never seen a buck of that stature. I would have been tagged out and happy. Who would have figured that decades later, I would spend hundreds of hours hanging in a tree waiting for a certain buck to cross my path and ultimately let him go?


On October 23 of the 2012 season, I harvested that very same buck with my PSE X-Force. If I had taken him in the past December, he would not have evolved in to this 180-plus inch giant. I love when a plan comes together!

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

Better Optics Make for Better Hunting by PSE’s Dustin Jones

By Dustin Jones


Out here in the west, my style of hunting is mainly spot and stalk, and just like any style of hunting, it requires a lot of scouting to pattern the animal and ensure that you will be hunting in the right area. Once you think you’re in the right area, you still have to find the animals before you can put a stalk on them. One of the most important pieces of equipment that you will find with me every time I hunt are my binoculars. A good quality pair of optics will go a long way in almost any hunting situation.


The best way to spot and stalk is to spend a good amount of time spotting the hillsides and drainage areas. Finding where the animal is and watching what it is doing helps you to set up a game plan to put the sneak on. One thing to do is get to a high vantage point where you can sit and glass a large area. Spend the time scanning over the area, taking your time and looking for different shapes: ears, antlers, or any part of what could be a deer, elk, bear, or moose. You can see in the pictures below a nice bull moose that we were able to sit and glass in order to get a good look at him.




I always pack my binoculars with me on every hunt, but when I am headed out on an elk hunt I make sure to pack my spotting scope as well. Being able to set up a spotting scope and just glass mountainsides gives me the advantage on locating the elk to construct a game plan. I use the Minox MD 50 W when I go elk hunting.  It is lightweight enough that I can throw it in my pack and not take up room while providing high magnification to allow me to get a good look at the animals I am chasing. When you are hunting spot and stalk elk, you definitely don’t want to be packing a lot of weight in your pack as you go up and down deep canyons while you are putting on the sneak. The size and weight of the MD 50 W is just right to take along with a nice lightweight tripod to set it up on.


Once you spot the elk and you are putting the sneak on, pack up your spotting scope and rely on your binoculars moving forward. A durable and lightweight set of binoculars is vital when spot and stalk hunting. Again, trekking up and down steep canyons is difficult as it is and having a heavy pair of binoculars will just slow you down. The BL 10 x 44 binoculars from Minox provides just what you need. They are lightweight and quick to focus on the object, which is exactly the kind of performance you want as you’re putting the stalk on a herd of elk.


When moving in closer to the elk, you need to stop and take a break every once in a while in order to make sure you are headed in the right direction and the elk haven’t decided to move in another direction. You always need to check on your progress as you move in to get a shot. You don’t want to just pick a spot and head that direction without stopping to check if the elk is still there. So always make sure that you can stay hidden but be able to check on the elk every now and then.


The key point is to take the time to glass and make sure you have some quality glass. It will surprise you how much you are missing if you just take the time to slowly scan a mountain side. It takes a lot of patients to just sit and glass but in the end you will see more animals. Best of luck and enjoy this time of year as you get out and scout for the upcoming season. Be safe and enjoy!

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.


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