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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.


Scout & Shoot by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

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!

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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.

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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

http://www.thewilltohunt.com/

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!

 

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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.

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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.

Networking

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.

Technology

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.

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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.

Attitude

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.

Conclusion

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?

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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

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Bow Hunting Set-Up by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

As far as archery junkies we are all wanting to know what each other has decided to shoot for the year. What bow are you using? What arrows? Broadheads? Rest? Sights? Strings? Quiver? Stabilizers? Etc, etc…I get asked this question each and every year and decided to touch quickly on my set up and the best way for you to go about choosing your equipment.

There are so many options out there today in the archery world and quite frankly it can be very overwhelming to say the least! I have lost count as to how many companies are producing bows these days and if we start talking about accessories it is even more overwhelming! To someone just getting into the sport it can get very confusing very fast!

So where does one start? I would have to say that getting to the local pro shop and shooting as many different bows as possible is the best idea out there. Deciding on one bow and buying that bow only because your buddy told you to isn’t always the best option! Get out there and educate yourself, shoot as many different makes, brands, and models as you can to form your own opinion! Also don’t let the Pro Shop employees tell you what you need to shoot. You need to decide! They will set you up with the correct draw length and poundage; from there it should be up to you to.

Of course my set-up is going to be highly PSE related because that is who I am! I am a died in wool PSE guy through and through and have been shooting PSE’s for over 20 years and to this day I am happy with the results! PSE has always treated me right in regards to the equipment they provide to the consumer.

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So what PSE has been my favorite? PSE really starting changing the game in 2007 when they introduced the original X Force. The HF was a trend setter for sure as it was fast and a great shooter. But to date my 2012 Omen Pro is my favorite bow by far with the 2013 DNA right on its heals! These two bows remain in my arsenal for 2013 and I am also waiting on my 2013 Omen Max which I am sure will be just as stellar as my Pro!

So let’s focus on the PSE flagship bow for 2013 for a bit. My custom dipped Kryptek Highlander DNA fitted with premium America’s Best Bowstrings. I had the dip work done by Hydro-dip out of Utah and they do some great work! This bow has the best draw that I have ever experienced! Some feel that they don’t like the valley but that can also be adjusted. Me, I like the short valley as it makes me stay hard into the wall which in turn increases my accuracy and consistency. I have it set up with a 6 pin CBE Tek-Hybrid sight, Phantom drop away rest, 5” Vibracheck Omega stabilizer, and an Eclipse 6 arrow one piece quiver. I am spitting a 428 gr. Easton Carbon Injexion at 305 fps with a 28” draw and 70# draw. Fletching of choice is the 2” Fusions and Trigger Addiction wraps by Onestringer.

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My release of choice this year is either a Scott Archery Silverhorn or Wolverine.  My broadheads will be the Hartcraft Xchange in 100 gr. These heads are relatively new to the archery industry and you need to take a look! These things are amazing as you can choose from five different blade configurations with the same ferrule. Not to mention the ferrule is also under a warranty that no other company can compete with! Damage a ferrule, send it back and you have a new one on the way! I have also been awaiting some Ulmer Edge expandable heads to show up in the Deep Six thread. I will also test those to see how they will perform. From past testing of their other heads in the standard thread they have performed very well.

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Clothing of choice will of course be Kryptek apparel in Highlander. This camo pattern blends like no other I have tried! The gear is amazingly comfortable, versatile, and priced right. The 2013 line is off the hook! I will be running Crispi boots in the Nevada and Idaho. Tenzing packs will come in handy for the pack out jobs as well. Great combination for sure!

So in a nut shell that is my set-up for this year. Does this mean this is what you should be using? No it doesn’t. There are many, many options out there for everyone and finding what works best for you is very important. Ultimately, only you can decide. You can only be as successful as you are confident in your gear!

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

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


Caring for Your Archery Gear by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

The off season is the perfect time for bowhunters to take the time to review what gear they have and what they might need to replace. Bowhunting in Southern California has many advantages; there is plenty of public land, you can hunt in many ‘no firearm’ areas, and deer season is much longer. Due to the different land, weather and lengthened seasons, many bowhunters forget to stay on top of one key ingredient – caring for your archery gear.

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One of the major factors in the deterioration of your bow parts is dirt getting into places it doesn’t belong. Add in the dry heat of SoCal and you have a recipe for disaster if your gear is not attended to regularly. I have learned over the years that after each hunting trip I go on, whether it be a day trip or a week-long adventure, I need to carefully look over my gear and clean it if necessary.

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Cleaning should be easy. Wipe dirt away with a rag and also use an air compressor to blow dirt and sand out of any small crevices. If the limb pocket grease spreads out or splatters, clean it up. Don’t use water or harsh abrasive cleaners, just compressed air and possibly a bit of alcohol on a rag. Do this with the limb pockets, any holes or crevices and also the additional components such as the sight, arrow rest, etc.

Wax the string on a regular basis, but don’t allow dirt or grime to build up. That means you are putting too much wax on the string. Rub it into the string and wipe away the excess. Once you have everything clean, shoot a few arrows and make sure everything is functioning properly.

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The same principles apply for your optics and release aids, too. Check the eyecups of binoculars for dirt and debris. If there is debris, clean it out, but USE CAUTION! Don’t just stick a rag in the eyecup and wipe as you could scratch the glass. Blow the majority out of there and then use an optics cloth to carefully clean the lens. With release aids, check the trigger for dirt and rust. Use a scent-free oil to lubricate the moving parts of the release often.

By carefully checking and cleaning your gear after each outing you will decrease the chances of any malfunctions that may arise and increase the life of your gear allowing you to focus more time on bowhunting.

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.


Hunting Ethics: Do We Need Them? by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

How is ethics related to the world of hunting, and why as hunters is it valuable to incorporate into our way of thinking?

Let’s first discuss the HOW.

To understand how hunting ethics affect the hunter, let’s consider the definition.  According to Webster, “ethics” can be defined as follows:

 A system of moral principles; the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.

There are not only written but unwritten rules of conduct recognized by the hunting community, which all play a role in the moral principles of hunting. The written laws are clearly outlined in each state’s rules and regulations and if they are broken there are obvious consequences, e.g., shoot something out of season with the wrong piece of equipment, and you may find yourself losing your license, paying a hefty fine, and wearing a new name of “poacher.”

Where the lines tend to blur and become a little gray is when we cross over and begin discussing the unwritten hunting ethics.  Sure, you may not be doing anything labeled illegal; however there still may be consequences.  It is this unwritten code of conduct that I actually think has a bigger impact on the hunting community if not taken seriously and ultimately can give a bad impression to the non-hunting community as well.
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Most of us as hunters have encountered a situation while out in the field that makes us a little uncomfortable, and we question whether what we just observed was ethical.  Deep down we know it may be wrong and it may simply be a battle to bite our tongue, move on and do the right thing.  For example, while hunting public land there is an unwritten code to not hunt on top of other hunters.  I understand that this may vary slightly depending on where you are hunting and how pressured a piece of public land is.

In my experience, I’m typically hunting in the mountains where there are plenty of entry / access points and not one trail head into an area.  Therefore, if you’ve gotten up early and beat everyone to a certain spot on the mountain or in the woods, you’ve earned the right to hunt that location.  Now you may be saying, “wait a minute…it’s public land and we all have the right to be there.”  Yes, I agree.  However, when there is an entire mountainside with several entry points, I’m not sure why you would park right next to someone and hike in on top of them.  It’s just rude. I understand that you might have heard a bugle and it sounded like a real elk, but it might be good to consider that either 1) it is the hunter in the truck you just parked next to, or 2) they are working a real bull and you just stepped into someone’s hunt.

Obviously there will always be exceptions and times when you simply can’t avoid bumping into other hunters in the field.  I would encourage us all to be aware of our surroundings, and if you notice you’ve crossed into someone’s hunt, back out graciously.  It is the ethical thing to do.
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As mentioned earlier, the unwritten hunting code of ethics can also spill over and have a negative effect on the non-hunting community if not taken seriously.  My challenge to all hunters is to always conduct themselves in a respectful manner while out in the field.  It means not leaving trash behind, respecting the animal by taking ethical well-placed shots, and even taking all your meat out of the field.  The list goes on.

I can attest that always striving to take an ethical shot can be challenging at times.  When you have an elk staring you down at 30 yards away and the shot presented is not ideal, it is decision time.  It takes every fiber in your being to make the choice of whether to shoot or not to shoot, and then you are left wondering after the moment passes whether you made the right one.

The #ELKTOUR DVD Season 1 has just been released which I was honored to be a part of last fall.  I was privileged to be able to preview the DVD in advance and got to relive the close encounters I had with elk last season.  While it was fun to watch and see our past hunt play out again before my eyes, I also had to witness one of these “moments.”  I made the decision to not shoot at the time through a small grove of aspens and after watching the video I found myself yelling at the screen, “SHOOT!”  However, the reality is I feel comfortable with my decision in the field.  Ultimately if the shot doesn’t feel right and I’m not comfortable taking it, bottom line is that I’m not going to release an arrow.  (If you watch this hunt, I bet you will have fun yelling “SHOOT!” right along with me.)

After digesting all of this, I’m left with the second half of my question – WHY is it important to incorporate hunting ethics into our way of thinking?

Ultimately, I think it is simply this … incorporating ethics into our hunting lifestyle reveals a portion of who we are as individuals and as a hunting community as a whole.  It encourages us to promote hunting in a positive light, realizing that our actions affect ourselves, fellow hunters, and the non-hunting community.  If we realize as hunters the importance of holding each other accountable to a higher standard, the idea of toeing the line somehow becomes less enticing.  My challenge to all of as hunters is to raise the bar to incorporate the best practice of ethical hunting into each hunt we embark on.

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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.


Trail Camera Strategies by PSE’s Will Jenkins


By Will Jenkins

http://www.thewilltohunt.com/

There’s been a surge in Trail Camera interest, technology and options in the last few years. I started using them about 3 years ago. Recently a few friends and readers have come to me with questions about where and how to set cameras up since they were new to the game. I have 3 major strategies to the placement of trail cameras and you can hybridize them and they can all overlap but each provide a little bit different information about deer movement and identifying where your deer are.

Travel Routes: If you’d like to see when and which deer are using the travel routes through your properties, this should be in your arsenal of camera placement strategies. Look for game trails, find major entry or exits into a field or where they are crossing a road and follow them into the woods a good ways. Put the camera about waste high 10 – 15 feet off the main trail. I try to let these cameras set for 2-4 weeks and take note of what animals are traveling the trails during what time of day.

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Fields/Food Source: Putting a camera on a field is great because the camera’s field of view is so wide and not restricted by trees and brush so you can see a large area. Strategically placing a camera in a field can give you a lot of information as to where the deer enter the field and at what times. With some of the ‘Plot Watcher’ cameras or cameras with a ‘Plot Watcher’ option like the you can really get a good idea of the activity on fields or plots in a time lapse style video. This could save you a lot of frustration when you hunt a well traveled trail that you think is a field entrance in the evenings but is a field exit and the deer won’t be there until well after shooting light or at dawn. Look for high traffic areas in the field or points in the field edge that are between any know bedding or staging areas.

Bait: Being in Virginia where you can’t bait during the season I use bait outside of the season to take inventory and get better quality pictures helping stop the deer in front of the camera and help draw some more deer into the area. Use bait when you can’t nail down a trail and the property holds little or no food source. It helps draw the deer to an common place for some good pictures and if you place the camera with some thought to where you think they are coming through it can help you further identify travel routes. For instance behind my house it’s a maze of thick areas and infrequently traveled trails with a few areas of sign. However there is also a creek and a couple of clearings. Both provide good visibility to where I think the deer are traveling. I put bait in the clearing and by the creek, faced the cameras so they have the most clear view of potential travel routes and hopefully when I check them this weekend I’ll have some good intel on the movement in the area.

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As I mentioned it’s easy to mix and match them, put a little bait on a travel route to give them a reason to pause for a picture or maybe bait a field edge before crops are planted to keep them interested in the area. This may be obvious to some but as a new comer it can be daunting to have one or two cameras and hundreds of acres worth of options. In comparison to many I’ve only been using cameras for a short time and these are the strategies that have worked for me. What are you’re strategies?

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.


Alaskan Guide Pack by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

As backcountry hunters we are always looking for the best way to remove our animals from the terrain in which we take them out of. We look for improved gear and anything that will make the pack out more comfortable. A pack is very important and I am going to talk about an external frame pack that I have been using for the last 7 years with great success.  But it is nearing that time when this pack needs to be replaced as it has seen plenty of wear and tear while packing out thousands of pounds of venison over the years. About the only type of company that I do not have a sponsorship from is that from a pack company. I am a free agent so to speak!

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The pack I speak of is the Cabelas Alaskan Guide external frame pack.  Granted it is not a Kifaru or any other kind of sought after pack. But it is a pack that is worthy of notable and proven features that have proven themselves to me time and time again. As described, the pack is made of 420-denier Oxford nylon rip-stop material and 5,000-cu.-in. capacity. Five exterior storage pockets, including a 22″L x 7″W padded spotting scope pocket. Easy-access steel rod loading system; unlike traditional frames that use noisy, hard-to-adjust pin-and-ring attachment systems, the Guide Model’s lightweight yet tough aluminum frames have quiet, simple-to-adjust webbing attachment points to guarantee not only complete in-the-field silence, but ultra-quick adjustments as well. The holster-compatible hip belt and shoulder straps are heavily padded for comfortable carrying. And the belt is Nylex-lined to prevent perspiration buildup in warmer conditions. A built in rain fly will keep your contents dry during those downpours and snow bouts. Removing the pack from the frame leaves you the option of using just the frame to carry your meat out of the backcountry. The adjustable meat shelf allows you to distribute the weight in the correct spot and keeps your load from shifting.

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I have never had trouble with not having enough space for even hunts as long as 17 days with this pack. The variety of pockets and a zippered internal shelf allows me to get at my sleeping back from an external pocket down below. Various locations of straps allow you to attach more gear to the outside if you so wish. Compression straps also help to keep things from shifting and moving. If you remove the pack from the frame, the pack still has built in shoulder and waist straps. This means you can still use the pack detached from the aluminum frame. Another great feature!

Pack Out with Royal Flush

Although I am hoping to replace this pack soon as it is getting worn I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this pack to someone who is trying to find a pack that can really pack a heavy load and a lot of supplies or meat. The price is right too for those hunting for an external frame pack on a budget.

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

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


Patience leads to perfect practice by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

Perfect practice leads to success in the field. We have all heard it many times, but it rings true. Not mentioned often is the art of practicing patience both on the range and in the woods, both with you and with other archers. Learning to harness it is something that does indeed take practice.

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One of the reasons I like to get to the local archery range early in the morning is that there is less pressure than later in the day. When I lived in New York I had the luxury of having a target set up in my backyard and could practice at a moment’s notice. I could shoot anytime and I didn’t have to wait for others to finish up. Here in California it’s a different story. In the city where I live, I am not allowed to shoot in my backyard. It’s a safety issue that I understand. The other options are to go to a local pro shop to shoot up to 30 yards, or to go to the local outdoor archery range. The outdoor range I speak of is the site of the 1984 Olympic archery competition. It’s a large range where you can shoot out to 110 yards if you like. On Saturdays and Sundays the range fills up quickly, so it is in your best interest to get up early and claim a bale target.

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Recently, my friend Brett and I have been hitting the range around 7:30 AM on Saturday mornings. The weather is cool, a bit overcast and we can almost always grab our favorite target area – the one on the very end. On two separate occasions, we have watched the range fill up quickly. This causes a bit of congestion. Here is where focusing on being patient comes into play. If you are late to the range, you must be patient and wait for a target to open up. If you are like Brett and I, we must be patient with ourselves. You have one of three decisions to make. You can give up your target to allow someone else to shoot. Not a likely choice as you made the effort to get there early. You can cave under the pressure and rush through your practice to accommodate the people waiting for you. This would be the absolute worst decision as it would cause poor form, poor technique, and quite honestly poor practice. The best thing you can do is shoot like you would during a perfect practice session. Take your time, focus on technique and worry about you and no one else.

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If you have ever gone golfing in a foursome there is bound to be someone in your group that is slower than the rest. Usually it is me, but that is beside the point. Before long, the foursome behind you is on your heels. You have three choices. You may continue to play slow and irritate the other group. You may allow them to play through. Or you can stress out under the pressure to speed up and totally mess up your day of relaxing on the course. The same will happen on the archery range should you allow it.

We had a gentleman come sit right by us at 40 yards after we had only been there a half hour. We usually shoot for two hours or so and I was sighting in a new single-pin sight, so I was patient. As the minutes went by, arrows flew downrange and we had a blast. Before long two and a half hours had elapsed and our arms were spent. We offered up our target and the man graciously took it. He was patient and so were we. Everyone was happy.

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My favorite part of the day was toward the end of our range session. A young boy walked up beside us and started shooting. You can see him in the left side of this photo. His first arrow in his aim was true and he exclaimed to his teacher, ‘I hit the target! Look, I hit the target!!’ His enthusiasm was pure and full of energy. It totally made my day to see someone so excited about archery. I hope all of us can get out there and let that inner child out as often as we can. We should all carry that enthusiasm and have fun when we hit where we are aiming. Even after nearly thirty years of shooting a bow and arrow, I still get a thrill out of my arrow hitting exactly where I am aiming.

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.

 


Quick Tips for Tent Location in the Mountains by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

http://www.fromthedraw.com/

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Choosing the correct spot to pitch your tent may seem like an easy task, but there are several things you should consider to get the best rest possible out in the field.  I know from experience that after climbing above timberline, finding that perfect spot for a tent can quickly become a tiresome task.  However, it is worth the effort to pick your spot wisely. If you settle for the wrong piece of ground, you may end up tossing and turning all night, which will in turn affect your performance in the following day’s hunt.

Here are some quick tips when looking for the perfect tent location:

  1. LOCATE FLAT GROUND:  This may seem obvious; however, this simple task can sometimes be extremely difficult on the side of a mountain.  If you are on a slope, even the slightest degree, you will find yourself fighting gravity all night long and will most likely end up rolled up on one side of your tent.  A word of advice: Make sure your tent is anchored down!  You will also want to angle your tent strategically.  In my opinion, it is better to have your tent parallel to the hill with top part slightly angled up.  That way you will ensure that all the blood doesn’t rush toward your head, and you don’t wake up with a massive headache.IMG_0125
  2. CONSIDER THE TYPE OF GROUND:  A ground cushioned with a layer of forest duff is much more comfortable than rocky ground that is usually found just above timberline.  If you are at a high altitude, consider looking for an area just where timberline breaks where pine trees may provide some softer ground cover.  Depending on where you are at, there may also be grassy saddles where the top of the mountain seems to roll over to the other side.  Often they will produce flat, areas to pitch a tent.  However, the velvet-like appearance of the grass covered hill may be a little deceiving.  It is usually very rocky ground under all that grass.
  3. BE AWARE OF THE WEATHER:  Yes, you read that correctly.  You should consider the weather when pitching your sleeping spot.  If you are fortunate to find an open, flat, non-rocky section of land, keep in mind that if this prime real-estate exists in the wide open on the top of a mountain, you may be in for a surprise if a thunderstorm rolls through.  The wind can get ferocious as it whips across the top of a mountain.  For this reason, if you aren’t sure what type of weather is expected that evening, it might be better to opt for a slightly less ideal camping location if it provides some protection from the weather.  Of course, I wouldn’t suggest pitching your tent under the tallest tree on the mountain either due to the very real danger of lighting.
  4. PICK YOUR SPOT STRATEGICALLY:  Consider where you will be hunting the next morning.  Pick your tent location so that you can easily slip into the best location at first light.  Pay attention to game trails in the area.  E.g., make sure your not camping right on top of a well traveled path.  Locate where you think the animals you are hunting will likely be feeding in the morning.  Will you be able to glass the area without being seen?  Are you out of the way enough?  How long will it take you to get to where you need to be that next morning?

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That’s my quick list of tips for finding the perfect spot to pitch a tent.  Hopefully you will find one of these tips helpful when the time comes for finding a spot to sleep in the great outdoors!

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.


Benefits of 3-D Archery by PSE’s Dustin Jones


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

Spring is here which means that I am getting closer to chasing antelope and elk. Predator hunting is the only season that I’m hunting right now but there is one more season that I look forward to this time of year. I am taking advantage of practicing and participating in the many upcoming 3-D archery shoots.

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There is so much you can learn and grow from as a bowhunter by shooting 3-D targets. I’m not saying that shooting a block target is bad or that you should only shoot 3-D targets. When you get the chance to shoot at a life-sized deer, elk, turkey, or any animal you are pursuing, you gain that experience that you otherwise can’t from just a block target. I wanted to share some of the benefits that I have gained.

Shot Placement

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Sure the vitals on a deer are all in the same place, just as every elk has their vitals in the same place. But what happens when you get an animal just slightly quartering towards you or away from you? What about if they are bedded down? There are so many different possible situations that you could encounter while hunting that you couldn’t possibly prepare for everyone, but you can prepare for a lot of them by shooting at life-size targets. Being able to set up a quartering shot, long distance shot, or even a kneeling shot will help prepare you for those situations better. You can also quickly walk up and analyze the shot placement, make any adjustments and try again.

Realistic Situations

You can see different situations and scenarios in this picture

You can see different situations and scenarios in this picture

You spot your animal and you notice that there will be just this one little opening for a possible shot, should you take it or let it pass? Setting up a realistic situation is very easy to do and great practice. Set up your target with some brush in the way so you have to adjust a little, or even set it up at odd distances instead of at the regular 20, 30, or 40 yards. Sometimes those shots that are 36 or 43 are just enough to get you to over-think your shot. The two shoots I mentioned in the beginning are great examples of this as they are set up on a mountain and you scale the mountain to take your shot on different animals in different situations.

Pure Enjoyment

Teaching my son Fynch while he's young

Teaching my son Fynch while he’s young

When I shoot either at the 3-D range or at a local shoot, I am usually with friends or family when I go. Being able to have great company and friendly competition always adds to the level of enjoyment. Let’s be honest, it is much more fun to shoot at something that resembles the animal you will be pursuing rather than a cube. Having friends or family share in the archery experience is priceless. My wife actually owns a bow but has made it very clear she does not want to shoot a live animal, but she loves getting out and shooting 3-D targets.

Fynch and his Bear

Fynch and his Bear

These are just some of the many benefits of shooting 3-D. There are plenty of opportunities to get out and experience shooting 3-D. What are some of the benefits that you have encountered?

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.


Archery Practice Tips by PSE’s Will Jenkins


By Will Jenkins

http://www.thewilltohunt.com/

Now that Deer season is over and we’re gearing up for spring gobbler, summer 3D or Field Archery shoots its time to practice.

If you have any amount of land you most likely practice often and alone in your yard without the luxury of having a lot of input from other archers. Here are a couple of things that  are important to being both consistent and accurate.

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1. Don’t Practice Past Fatigue: Guilty! I do this all the time, shoot a few dozen get tired but push through it and form goes down the drain. Take a break come back in a couple hours for those last few or wait until the next day. Otherwise, you will definitely start developing some bad habits.

2. Line up the Peep with the Pin Housing: If you use a peep be sure to line it up with the circular pin housing of your sight. This will help you keep everything in line and be more consistent. This may be a no brainer but you likely focus more in the pins than the housing. Making sure you consistently center the housing makes a huge difference and it’s easier to center than just looking at the pins.

3. Develop a Repeatable Shot Sequence: If you just yank the string back and let if fly you’re not doing it right. Try to develop a basic shot sequence it doesn’t have to have tons of steps or be overly complicated just make each shot has the same order and sequence of movements. This doesn’t mean you need to make that sequence specific to any one stance because we should all know wild game rarely comes through the shooting lane that allows you to use the most comfortable shooting stance.

4. Video Yourself: If you don’t have people to watch you and help critique your form get a video camera and a tripod and video yourself. Play it back and watch your form. If you aren’t sure post it on you tube and get in an archery forum link to it and ask for input. This is also a good opportunity to note your draw length and see if you look overdrawn. If you don’t have a video camera use your cell phone, smart phone or point and shoot camera most all have video capability.

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None of these tips are ground breaking but a few things to keep in mind while practicing. Maybe you already knew them and this will serve as a reminder to keep you consistent. Now get out there, practice and don’t settle for good enough!

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.


Preparing and training for that first shot by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Albert Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

Picture this. You are running up or down the mountain and come face to face with a bull elk. Your arms are shaking with adrenaline. You can’t catch your breath and you are finding it extremely difficult to steady your pin. Now stop and think. How can you prepare for this situation without being in it 24/7? Actually, there are some good ways to prepare you for these specific situations. These different routines that I am about to share can be done in your backyard as well.

Having an Olympic sized archery range nearby is a blessing for me because I don’t have wide open spaces to practice. What this does allow me to do is to practice with my friends where we can all participate. It not only makes it fun to ‘compete’ against your hunting buddies, but it also helps you hone your skills as a bowhunter in a tough situation.

The first arrow is always the most important. In most hunting situations you will only get one shot and you need to make it count. So many archers tell me how they get frustrated when they shoot fifty arrows in a session and the last arrow flies off target. If you get to that point stop practicing! If your arm is exhausted or your shots are erratic, take a break. Poor practice will lead to bad form in the field. Instead of focusing on that last shot, focus on #1. Take your time and really focus and picture that arrow hitting dead center of the bullseye. That is your goal!

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Stretch out your arms and back lightly before you take that first shot. Loosen up and then fire a half dozen arrows down range. After you pull the arrows and get back to your bow, drop the arrows and get ready to elevate your heart rate! Remember doing wind sprints during practice? That’s exactly what you are going to do. Let’s say you are 40 yards away from the target. Set your bow on the ground with an arrow next to it. Then as fast as you can run toward the target, touch it, and run back to your set-up.

Slow down and safely pick up your bow. Nock an arrow, draw and settle your pin, and let the arrow fly. Try to complete this step in less than five seconds. What does this accomplish? First off, it gets your heart rate up. It also helps you create a shot scenario and shows you what your body will be doing in that shooting situation. It also shows you what you can improve on when confronted with a high adrenaline type of shot situation.

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For the next round, run the sprint, but before picking up your bow, slow down and do ten quality push-ups as quickly as you can. This will fatigue those arm muscles a bit, but that’s what you want for this scenario. Repeat the shooting sequence and record your results.

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Work on these exercises for only a few times in each practice session. Mix them up from time to time, too. Over time it will make you more confident and allow you more flexibility in your shooting. It allows you to condition yourself (to a point) to ‘buck fever’ and to mentally focus on the target and NOT your shaking hands. It is not meant to be a cure for buck fever, but more so as a training tool to help you mentally and physically prepare for it. If nothing else, it’s a great way to practice!

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 29 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a PSE Staff Blogger and a Pro Staff member for 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 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.


VIDEO: Ensuring your equipment is always spot on by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

When it comes down to making a shot count it is too late to find out that your equipment is not how you last left it. Ensuring that your equipment is always spot on you should take necessary measures to ensure that this is true. This is a tips and tactics video that I recently put together to help and to allow you to make that shot when it really counts!

Click on the link to watch Jared’s video.

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Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

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


Nacho Venison Bean Bake by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

http://www.fromthedraw.com/

The venison in my freezer is slowly dwindling down, but there are still plenty of packages to get me through a couple more months.  With each package subtracted from my freezer supply, I am mentally calculating how much longer it will last.

With my stock rapidly becoming depleted, I found myself eyeballing a poor deer that was laying near a fence line as I was on my way to work the other morning.  It was an odd location for a deer to decide to settle in for it’s afternoon nap.  I was confident that another commuter into town probably collided with the deer earlier that morning.  The doe or perhaps recently antler-less buck caught my eye as my car speed by, and as our eyeballs met, my caffeine depraved state of mind and work commitment kept me pushing on towards town as I fought the temptation to turn my car around.  I quickly phoned my husband to see when he would be making his way back through the woods.  I asked him to check on the deer and if he was still laying there, to call the Division of Wildlife to see if a roadkill tag could be issued … depending on the condition of the deer.   It would be a win-win.  The deer would be put out of it’s misery, and the supply of meat in our freezer would be restocked.  However, it wasn’t meant to be.  Someone else either put the deer down or it recovered enough to meander back into the woods.

Each state is different in their rules / regulations on whether roadkill tags are issued.  If you are up to it, I would encourage you to find out what the rules where you live.  I know that in Colorado there are opportunities to acquire a tag if the opportunity is right.  We’ve put down an elk a couple years ago on the side of the road after it got tangled with a truck and fence line.  After receiving permission from the Division of Wildlife, we were issued a roadkill tag and put him out of his misery.  Honestly, that was the best tasting elk we’ve had!

Whether you have roadkill meat or you are using up venison from last season, here is a tasty recipe that I know your family will love!

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Nacho Venison Bean Bake

Ingredients:

*  1 pound ground venison

*  1 cup onion

*  1 chopped red pepper

*  1 package taco seasoning

*  1 can tomato sauce

*  1 can diced tomatoes

*  1 can chili beans

*  1 can black beans (drained)

*  1 can whole kernel corn (drained)

*  Nacho chips

*  1-2 cups cheddar cheese

Brown the venison, and add the onion and pepper.  Season with taco seasoning.  Stir in the tomato sauce, beans, and corn.  Cover and simmer.

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Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.  Add a layer of nacho chips on the bottom of the pan.  Spoon a healthy layer of the venison and bean mixture.  Layer with more chips and cheese.  Add remaining venison / bean mixture and finish with a layer of chips and cheese.

350 degrees for 30 min or until bubbly.  Enjoy!

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P.s., IMO this bake is better the second time around.  Heat and spoon over a wedge of lettuce and some sour cream.

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.


Day 2: PSE’s Bill Epeards Takes an Eastern Gobbler with His X-Force Bow By PSE’s Bill Epeards with John E. Phillips


Editor’s Note: Bill Epeards of Goshen, Indiana, conducts 45 to 50 seminars per year, all over the country, on turkey hunting, whitetail hunting and dangerous game hunting. He has taken 12 Grand Slams of turkeys and 2 World Slams. Two of the Grand Slams have been completed using his PSE bows.

I took my Eastern gobbler for my Grand Slam in my home state of Ohio. I don’t know how the Eastern gobbler reacts to hunting pressure throughout his home range, but here in Ohio, the gobblers are very sensitive to hunting pressure. If you spot turkeys out in the field 200-yards away and stop your truck to look at them, those turkeys will take off running. I think the Eastern gobbler very well may be the most-difficult turkey to take of all four races of wild turkey, since these gobblers tend to receive the most hunting pressure. Regardless of which race of turkey you hunt, scouting is the most-important part of the hunt. This statement is especially true when you’re trying to take an Eastern gobbler with a bow.

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Many turkey hunters miss the point of being successful. You don’t have to be a world champion turkey caller to take a gobbler with a bow; being a good woodsman it far-more important. Learn the turkey’s daily movement patterns before you start to hunt him. When I scout, I try to get on the highest ridge in the area to listen for turkeys. We know when a gobbler flies-down off his roost, he probably is headed to find food and water. Next, a gobbler usually goes to an open field, a power line, a gas line right-of-way or a clear cut to feed on insects and young tender shoots of grass or to strut, drum and gobble to attract hens.

One of the differences in hunting turkeys from a blind and hunting whitetail deer from a blind is you can set-up a blind for turkeys the same day you hunt, especially if you use a Mossy Oak (http://www.mossyoak.com) blind and brush it in before daylight. When whitetail hunting, I try to have a blind set-up and in place for about a month before I hunt from it to let the whitetails become accustomed to it. Once you set your turkey decoys in front of your blind, if the turkeys respond to the decoys and start to come in, they won’t pay any attention to the blind.

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When you call to a gobbler to get him to come to you, you’re trying to get that tom to perform an unnatural act. Most of the time in nature, when the tom gobbles, the hens will go to him. When you call to a turkey, you’re trying to get him to do something he won’t normally do – go to the hens. Too, a gobbler has an audio global positioning system (GPS). As soon as he hears a hen yelp, a longbeard usually can pinpoint where she is within a few feet. Another reason you need to scout before you hunt is to make sure there are no fences, creeks or blown-down trees between you and the turkey. Although a gobbler can and will go around, under, through or over an obstacle, he doesn’t like doing that. So, you want to give the gobbler a clear and easy path to walk to your blind site. I always start my hen calls with a slate call. As the turkey gets closer, I switch to a diaphragm call like the Quaker Boy Split Notch Mouth Call (www.quakerboy.com), so I have my hands free to hold and draw the bow. If the turkey is a long way off, and I barely can hear him when he gobbles, I start calling to him with a box call instead of a slate, because the box call is louder and has a higher pitch. In this scenario, I’ll move closer to the turkey, set-up my blind, use a slate call and finally my diaphragm call.

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On this particular hunt, I was hunting out of a Double Bull Blind (http://www.primos.com/products/double-bull-blinds) on a picked soybean field edge where gobblers normally come out to strut. We knew the gobbler would show-up here, since we’d scouted the area before the hunt. The first thing I did after we set-up our blind was use a Quaker Boy Owl Hooter to get the turkeys to shock gobble. I wanted to know where the gobbler was, and what direction he’d be coming from when he got to the field. After I blew the owl call, and the turkey gobbled back, I knew the bird was 100- to 150-yards from the field. Once I saw the turkey step out on the edge of the field, I began to purr to him on the diaphragm call. He gobbled twice. When he saw those decoys, he gave them his full attention. I like to use a hen and a jake decoy, or a hen and a gobbler-in-full-strut decoy. Ninety-nine-percent of the time, the turkey will come to the gobbler decoy, because he wants to run that gobbler away from his hens and prove his dominance. So, I put the gobbler decoy closest to my blind at 15- to 18-yards out, with the hen decoy about 20-yards away.

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I like to hunt from a commercially-made ground blind, since having a cameraman in the blind with you is easier. Both of you have more room to work and you can get away with more movement. This gobbler came in at full strut, but he was very cautious. He came in and circled my gobbler decoy about three times. This gave me plenty of time to make sure he was in the right position for me to make a good shot before I released the arrow. I was using my PSE X-Force bow with a Spitfire broadhead (http://www.newarchery.com/products/mechanical/spitfire-2). When I shot the turkey, I aimed just behind the wing butt, and the turkey went down instantly.

Click here to get the ebook “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros” by John E. Phillips, 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’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Bill Epeards Hunts the Rio Grande Gobbler


The Hunt for the Grand Slam of Turkeys Plus One With a Bow By PSE’s Bill Epeards with John E. Phillips


Day 1: PSE’s Bill Epeards Hunts for the Osceola with His X-Force Bow

Editor’s Note: Bill Epeards of Goshen, Indiana, conducts 45 to 50 seminars per year, all over the country, on turkey hunting, whitetail hunting and dangerous game hunting. He has taken 12 Grand Slams of turkeys and 2 World Slams. Two of the Grand Slams have been completed using his PSE bows.

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In my seminars, I encourage bowhunters to set their bows up for the game they want to hunt.

Many bowhunters set their bows at one weight and hunt all game with the same draw weight, but I don’t. One of the reasons bow manufacturers build bows that allow you to adjust the weights of the bows is so we can set our draw weights differently for various animals we hunt. When hunting turkeys, you need to set your bow, so you can hold it at full draw for a long time, if you have to do that. Sometimes a turkey will walk within bow range, step behind a bush or a tree and wait for a hen to come to him. The turkey will be within bow range, but you can’t take the shot. If you let the bow down, the turkey steps out, and you have to draw again, there’s a good chance the turkey will see you. Since turkey hunting requires a lot of patience, and you may have to hold your bow at full draw for a while, you don’t want to shoot a heavy bow. I normally shoot about a 63- or 64-pound bow when I’m hunting big game, but I turn the bow down to 60 pounds for turkey hunting.

02

On this particular hunt for an Osceola, I was hunting with Cody Worley. We didn’t use a blind, but we did use decoys. We had created a makeshift blind out of natural foliage. Besides my 60-pound PSE X-Force bow, I was using a Spitfire broadhead made by New Archery Products (http://www.newarchery.com) and the Quaker Boy Old Boss Hen turkey call (http://www.quakerboy.com). I carried a little stool with me to sit on, so I’d be high enough to draw and shoot. When we got to the area, the turkeys were gobbling on the roost, and we worked them for about 40 minutes. I started calling with a Quaker Boy slate call. As the turkey got closer, I put a mouth diaphragm in my mouth. A mouth diaphragm allows me to have both hands free to hold and draw my bow. The gobbler came-in and went straight for the decoys. Having decoys really gives you an advantage, since as long as the turkey is concerned with the decoys, he won’t be worried about you. When the turkey was positioned broadside to me, I aimed and took the shot right at his wing butts. The turkey dropped and flopped, and my hunt was over.

03

There’s one caution I think is important if you decide to hunt the Osceola turkey. Most of the time, you’ll be hunting them in the Florida wetlands where there are palmettos. Too, the property may be heavily forested. Often when a turkey gobbles, because the foliage muffles his gobble, you’ll assume the turkey is much-farther away than he actually is. Another factor I’ve noticed about the Osceola turkey is he gobbles much less than any of the other races of turkeys. Often, he will come within bow range silently. If I hear an Osceola turkey gobble at 100 yards, I’ll set-up immediately, because that gobbler actually may be within 50 to 80 yards. Just remember you really can be fooled about how far away an Osceola turkey is, especially if you primarily hunt other races of turkeys, like Easterns, Rio Grandes or Merriam’s.

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Click here to get the Kindle ebook, “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros”, by John E Phillips 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’s top quality bows and bowhunting accessories, click here.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Bill Epeards Takes an Eastern Gobbler with His X-Force Bow


Hunting in a Social World by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

scentfreelipgloss@yahoo.com

I may just be speaking about myself, or perhaps there are others like me out there…  As hunters, we all get excited to get out and jump into the action when opening day rolls around.  We’ve been practicing all year long.  Our bows have been fine tuned – probably multiple times. We are more than ready to pick up our bows and carry them into the woods.

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With the social media world captivating us and offering the opportunity to connect with others who share similar interests, it allows the convenience of sharing the journey along the way.  But it’s more than just that.  You can be guaranteed that the instant a hunt turns into a success story, the excitement is shared on-the-spot.  Cell phones are whipped out directly after high-fives are exchanged, and the images spread like wildfire across social venues online.  In a way it sometimes feels like a race to fill the first tag and post a trophy picture / story.  It seems as if we are all lined up on the starting line of opening day, bows in hands, waiting for the gun of daylight to go off.

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I’ve found that the early season mixed with the social world becomes an avenue for the envious hunter to emerge within myself.  I can’t help it … the little jealous hunter wants to get out at times and I have to make a concerted effort to kill this little monster.  Please don’t get me wrong – I love it when I get to see a picture of my fellow hunting friends who just moments ago tagged that monster buck, bull of a lifetime or long-beard.  However, if I’m totally honest, I want to post the next picture.  I want to jump in the social frenzy and join the party!

Combating the envious hunter within me is sometimes quite the challenge, but I’m going to let you in on a secret.  I’ve found that striping off the jealous layers and simply joining in the celebration of other hunters with a sincere ‘congratulations’ takes the focus off yourself.  Guess what?  You have in a way just joined the party.

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So, I’ve decided that using the opportunity to share in other’s success is way more fun than dwelling on the fact I haven’t filled a tag yet.  I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.  You can be guaranteed that I’ll be joining your celebration party online, until I have the opportunity to shoot my next buck or arrow my first turkey.  Then I hope you’ll celebrate along with me.  Oh and one more thing … if we are ever hunting together, I may even photo bomb your trophy pic, because come on – that would just be fun!

I want to hear from you:

Am I alone in this? How do you combat your envious hunter within?

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.


Carrying your bow properly by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

One thing I take note of is how people care for their gear and I try to learn from it. No one is perfect and I love it when I can get extra life out of my gear. I am sure that this of you who watch bow hunting shows on television have seen this. A bow hunter walking down a trail or skirting a ridge while carrying his bow by the string. Even I have been guilty of it on more than one occasion. Did you know that you can throw off the way your bow shoot because of that?

Imagine that you are running a ridge in pursuit of a giant mule deer buck. You have spent an entire year practicing, getting in shape, and focusing your efforts into this one moment. Your bow is bouncing up and down as you cradle it by the string. As you crest the ridge, the buck is turned away from you, so you draw and settle in. Only now, your peeps is off enough where you can’t see the pins. You twist and turn it as the buck turns, spots your movement, and bounds off. Your hearts sinks. Frustration gets the better of you and you sit down in disgust. What happened?

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Most people wouldn’t be able to tell you right away what happened. I only recently learned why this happens because I have a good friend, Eddy, who knows bow strings very well and he busted me carrying my single cam bow by the string. What was I doing wrong? I had seen so many others doing it. The information I received was invaluable. I was carrying my single cam PSE Bow Madness by the string when Eddy shared with me how the constant bouncing up and down of the bow which I walked could cause the string to rotate on the single cam bows. This would cause peep rotation and throw off all the work I had invested in sighting in my bow. After all that I had done to prepare for my Colorado elk hunt, I didn’t want my peep rotating at the worst possible moment! I am very thankful he pointed that out!

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For those that have to hike in a long way and are carrying their bows in their hands, I know how difficult it can be to find a comfortable way to carry it. My recommendation is to not only practice shooting the bow, but practice different ways of carrying it as well. This will help you on those days when a bow hunt leads to long walks and where you want your archery gear at peak performance.

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 29 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a PSE Staff Blogger and a Pro Staff member for 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 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.


Consistent Practice by PSE’s Dustin Jones


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

Here in Idaho it gets more and more difficult to practice during the winter months due to the snow and the cold. I practice outside so when it starts getting snowy and cold it makes it harder to get out and shoot. Sure there are a few places around that have indoor shooting areas but the longest shot is about 25 yards and I have to pay. While this is great for practice sake, I like to shoot longer distances to make the shorter ones easier and I like to shoot for free. But all in all it is best to practice between the seasons.

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Consistency is what every bowhunter wants to achieve. Many people think that it is just simple to pick up a bow and shoot bull’s eye after bull’s eye. While there are some that can do this; I for one need constant practice. I don’t consider myself a professional by no means so there is always room for improvement.

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One of the most common ways to improve your accuracy is eliminating your bow toque. As you are shooting and you notice your arrows are consistent up and down but off left and right, you are experiencing some bow torque. The main reason that causes bow torque is your grip and PSE’s Emily Anderson wrote a great article on Loosening Your Grip.

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I actually have been trying to focus on this as well for my own form. I did find a useful tool that actually helps you attain the proper grip. I used the True Shot Coach and it helped tighten my groups. Like I mentioned I don’t consider myself to be a professional but I felt confident in shooting my bow. I did notice that I had the occasional stray arrow that would be off to the left or right. This meant that I had some bow torque that I needed to correct and this actually helped.

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The key is to practice and strive to find ways to improve. I am out there as often as I can, hauling my target out through the snow and braving the freezing temperatures just to get a few rounds in when I can. So make sure you get out and keep practicing because the 2013 season is slowly approaching!

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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.

 

 


Spot Shooting with PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

With the bow seasons 2012 fading away and spring seasons of 2013 just around the corner, many of us are left with the anxious feeling of what to do next!? For many this causes some extreme anxiety as well! The past seasons are always engrained in our minds and 2013 seasons will be here before we know it. This applies even more to those that do not hunt during the spring time. Now is not the time to let your shooting fall to the back seat! There is never a time for that for the serious archer…..

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The past seasons are slowly fading away and leaving those important memories and lessons burned into our minds forever; we are left with the “off season blues.” Now is the time to freshen up a few of our skills while patiently waiting for the next season. Many people hang their equipment up and leave it alone until just before the next season. However, this is when it is a good time to sharpen up on your shooting skills. It will pay off in the future seasons to come.

I find it very comical when someone comes up to me and when asked how the shooting has been going I get a reply along the lines of, “I only pull the bow out to shoot it just before season to make sure it is still on.” The customer is always right, right? Well not in this case, I just smile and say that I disagree with their thinking 100%. Generally they are very receptive and listen to what I have to say and why I feel that way.  So what is there to do during the off season I am often asked?

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This may include some 3-D shooting, league shooting, outdoor ranges, or getting together with some friends in the back yard and flinging a few arrows while telling hunting stories. Although 3-D shooting is hard to beat, if you don’t have the time to get away and commit to these events like I do, there are other options. Something I enjoy doing during the off-season is what I like to call “spot shooting.” Others may know this as “stump shooting.” There is no set schedule, just whenever you can get away.

Now I know when I say “spot shooting” most instantly think about punching paper at a spots league from 20 yards or something similar. But not this guy! Nope…..think of shooting that will challenge you with various scenarios and shot situations. Various stance and positions, standing and sitting. Listen up!

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This is something I have been doing for quite some time now and it helps me out a great deal. I got this idea when I was younger. I would go hiking or go for walks in the outdoors looking for sheds or scouting for future seasons. I got to thinking, “Why don’t I carry my bow with me and shoot at different spots while I was out?” This has helped me a great deal with range judgment. (Keep in mind this should only be done away from people in secluded and/or designated areas.)

You are offered with many different shooting scenarios in changing terrain and conditions. Simply pick out a dark patch of grass, a cow pie (preferably dried up), mounds of dirt, or anything you can find to shoot at that won’t ruin your arrow! The possibilities are endless! Also just an FYI, rocks are not a good choice for obvious reasons. But it never fails that I usually end up finding the rock that I am not looking for from time to time.

But no matter what you decide, one does come across patches of rocks that are unseen by the eye. Trust me, you will go through a few arrows but if you pick your spots wisely it will keep broken and/or bent arrows to a minimum.

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I have found carbons to be more forgiving for this type of shooting for obvious reasons. Aluminum tends to bend pretty easy as we all know because it retains memory. The nice thing about carbon arrows is: if they are not broke they are usually good to go. I flex check my arrows often to avoid downfalls. I also tip my carbons with 100-grain Zwickey judo points or some style of rubber blunt. This will keep your arrows from skipping into the next county. The judo tip usually makes it quite easy to find your arrow after the shot. The tip does not allow the arrow to completely bury itself under grass or dirt. But don’t get me wrong; the judo tip does not make your arrow invincible to loss. I have plenty lying around out there as well as many busted arrows to prove this. Despite the loss of arrows, I feel this hobby has helped me out a great deal with range judgment and depth perception as well as different shooting positions and elevations.

I will also use my broadheads every chance I get as well. There is nothing like using your hunting set-up year round to perk your confidence in your ability and equipment. There are also rabbits and squirrels that you may run across while hiking, scouting, or shed hunting that all taste pretty good! Prairie dog towns are also another fun place to practice hitting small targets at extended ranges! They don’t taste near as good as a rabbit though!

So even if you shoot league, go to 3-D shoots, or fling arrows in the backyard, and/or you just simply want to try something different to put a bit of a spin on your shooting, try “spot shooting,” it just may be something the “off-season blues” called for…below are a few things I do.

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When I go on a family hike or with friends you will see me toting my bow along. It is a great way to sharpen up my skills and keep on my A game. I like to think of my bow as an extension of me. I often times get weird looks from others on hiking trails but if they are bowhunters they often think, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

It is also fun to get together with a few buddies and go for a long hike. Each person takes turns picking out what they want to shoot at along the way. Usually the one who makes the least effective shot goes and retrieves everyone’s arrows in an attempt to redeem themselves on the next shot. I also like to carry a pack with weight in it to help  learn the best ways to shoot with a pack on and the additional weight and how to maintain your form and balance. The various shot scenarios will help you determine how to keep the correct form when shooting angled shots. It is a fun way to add a little competition all while increasing your effectiveness.

Another thing I like to do while out is to push myself in order to get my heart rate racing and my breathing going full force. Quickly look around and pick something to shoot at and take the shot while huffing and puffing. This helps me to control my breathing while completing that shot. There have been numerous times that this has happened while hunting. Knowing how to shoot under these conditions can reap big rewards for you in a future hunt.

So this spring I will be out shed hunting, this summer I will be out scouting, I will be hiking, getting myself in shape, fixing fence, etc….the options are endless, but you will find me with my bow right there with me as I sharpen up on my shooting. Will you?!

Jared “J-Rod” Bloomgren is a hardcore Do-It-Yourself bowhunter who strives to better himself each year in the outdoor community. As a professional hunter, freelance writer and photographer, he likes to relive his outdoor adventures through written expression and photography making the reader feel as if they were along on the hunt. He attributes much of his success to the vital education he has learned from the various big game animals that he hunts. He is quoted as saying, “In each and every hunt, success or defeat, I learn something from every outing and that I can put in my arsenal of knowledge to use at a later date, a later date that will again put my wits against that of my prey.”

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