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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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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.

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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


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.”

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


How I Cope With the Offseason by PSE’s Dustin Jones


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

Sunset On The Last Day

Sunset on the Last Day of the Season

There is that moment that comes around every year that every hunter dreads, the last day of the season. You dread the fact that you no longer are able to get out and enjoy the thrill of the hunt. When the sun finally sets on that day you come home, kick off your boots, and think about the long wait that you are going to have until the next season. You ponder about the close encounters, missed opportunities, and start planning on how you can change to seal the deal next season. That is if you had a season like mine. If you were successful you think about the things you did right and why the worked. But even if you were successful there is always room for improvement.

Big Ole Coyote

Big Ole Coyote

During the off season there are several things that I do to keep honing my skills. One of my favorites is to hunt coyotes. This is not only a great way to keep hunting but it also helps the deer population. Now hunting coyotes is a challenge with a rifle, so being successful with a bow is even more of a challenge. A challenge which I have yet to accomplish so far but definitely something I have been shooting for.

Beautiful Fox

Beautiful Fox

Throughout the hunting season I have seen several pictures of coyotes and foxes all along the same trail that the deer frequently use. This is why I continue to hunt in my same general area for deer, but now I change the game of thinking and hunt fox and coyotes. I still set out trail cameras because I am able to get pictures of some predators and still get to keep an eye on the deer that continue through the same pathway.

Coyote Hunting From a Blind

Coyote Hunting From a Blind

I still do hunt them from a tree stand but I also enjoy hunting predators from the ground in a ground blind. This is just because during the colder months while the deer season is closed, I can keep warmer sitting in a ground blind than in my tree stand. Also I have been busted way too many times by predators sitting in a tree stand so I have decided to try more ground blind hunting for predators.

Coyote Track

Coyote Track

All I know is that my EVO and I are itching to send an arrow through a large coyote or fox during this downtime. This helps me cope with the break of the big game hunting season. I am still hunting and honing my skills, but it is a completely different animal and a new challenge. So get out there and keep shooting.

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.


Maximum “Effective” Shooting Distance by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

This is another one of those touchy subjects with many. It often turns into “I can shoot farther than you” conversation that turns to arguments at times.  Even worse when you start throwing in the talk about animal distances!

This is what it comes down to and it is as simple as this. Your maximum effective shooting distance is that distance in which you are comfortable and can consistently put  your arrows in a group one after another repeatedly.  For some this is 40 yards and for others it may be 90. Keep in mind this is not shooting at live targets during hunting conditions per say!!

Shooting from various positions is important....

Shooting from various positions is important….

“So what do you need to do to increase your maximum effective range?”  It all comes down to one word…….PRACTICE! And then more practice, practice, and practice! Try not to use an excuse that it is too hot or cold out, it is too windy, it is too wet, it is raining, etc…you get the picture. Sure there has to be limits but by shooting in as many adverse weather conditions as you can will also increase your shooting capability and confidence. Having confidence in your shooting and your equipment is very important and this can only be gained by shooting as often as possible.

When I first started shooting over 25+ years ago I started shooting at 10 yards and over time my range increased to 20, 30, 40, 50, etc…As I became more confident in my equipment and myself I began to stretch that distance to 110, 120, etc…Granted this didn’t happen overnight or over a year or two. I am still brushing up on my shooting today and I feel as if I can never be as good of a archer as I want to be!

A practice that I like to do at times is shoot an arrow at my target and run to that target, grab my arrow and run back immediately picking up my bow and shooting another arrow. Sometimes I do this while shooting up or down a hill as well to mimic the effects of being short of breathe as if I had to get up a hill quick to make a shot. As I get better I start to move the target farther away.

I am to the point today that I usually practice at ranges greater than 80 yards. This makes those 50 yard shots feel like chip shots and those 30 yard shots a slam dunk! So what is my maximum effective shooting range? Right now I would say that it is 120 yards but can stretch that out to 140 yards but I lose a bit of confidence after 120 yards. I can assure you that I will continue to improve on that! Remember, this is while target shooting.

Light levels can change....

Light levels can change….

Another thing that makes this type of shooting possible is by having a flat shooting, fast performing bow. That makes the Omen Pro and Max my favorite bows to date because of their raw performance. The shorter brace height has never been an issue for me either. Having great form makes these longer shots possible and longer shooting will actually improve your form. Why? Because a minor flaw in form at 30 yards may mean a 2” change in point of impact. A minor flaw in form at 100 yards can mean a foot or more! Longer shots force you to improve and keep your form consistent. Longer shots compound minor flaws in form and this makes you become a better shot and archer. Shooting from various positions is also important. Standing (even and uneven ground), sitting in various positions, with various types of clothing, different angles, etc…again, you get the point. Mimic as many various shooting positions and situations you can.

Now to what everyone is wondering. You wouldn’t dare shoot at an animal at 120 yards would you?! Well that all depends…..More than likely not but I will shoot at and kill animals at longer yardages than most archers would even think about shooting.  Again, why? Because of my practice that I have done and the confidence I have in myself and my gear!  120 yards is not a shot I have ever done and do not plan to because I like the challenge of getting in close as I can for a shot!  With that being said the animal’s behavior, body position, and weather conditions do come into play for each shot. An animal that has no idea I am there and is completely relaxed will allow a farther shot than an animal that is alert and nervous. Every condition has its place and many do not have a place for a shot at all. Keep in mind that I will never loosen an arrow on an animal that I know will not make a good clean ethical kill shot! We should all have that same belief in our mind at all times.

Elevated shots are important....

Elevated shots are important….

The greatest archer of all is the one who knows his limitations.

Only you can answer what your maximum shooting range is. It will depend directly on your level of confidence and capability directly related to practice and the shooting you make yourself take part in. Maximum shooting distance on a live animal in a hunting situation takes on many variables that also, only you can decide on.

So what are you waiting for?! Get out there and practice and brush up on your skills! I challenge you to start practicing at longer distances. You will be happy you did! It will increase your maximum shooting range guaranteed!

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.


Hunting Close to Home by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

http://www.fromthedraw.com/

Hunting on land close to home is advantageous for many reasons.  While it may not be as glamorous as planning that back-country trip in the mountains with a nonresident tag in your pocket, it does provide a consistent hunt opportunity year after year.  It often is the backup hunt we can pull out of our pocket when other plans fall through.  Sometimes it is even the hunt holding our attention throughout the year since we may be driving by this land on our many trips to and from the office, taking inventory of animals in our ‘backyard’ honey-hole.

What is interesting to me is that these faithful, routine, or ‘backup’ hunts occurring each year will naturally vary depending on where you live.  It is all a matter of perspective. One hunt someone consistently goes on year after year because it is a residential tag and a matter of convenience, may be considered a hunt of a lifetime for someone else several states away.  E.g., An alligator hunt may be a bucket list hunt for someone living in the North, a whitetail hunt may mean an out of state tag for a Westerner, and then an antelope or a Mule deer hunt may be a big deal for someone on the East Coast.  To some these are dream hunts.  To others where the animals are close to home, they are the hunts relied on year after year.  For me?  It’s antelope. I put in for several tags each year that would trump my antelope tag if I got lucky and drew my first choice, but one thing is for sure… I have an antelope tag in my back pocket. It is the backup plan.

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Once opening day rolls around mid-August, it isn’t uncommon for me to have a spare change of clothes in my car – the kind that blend naturally into the prairie land that antelope call home.  Binoculars ride shotgun in the passenger seat, always within arms reach to take inventory of what is roaming the prairie land.  My husband and I, along with our good friend, Allen, share permission to hunt a couple ranches near home.  My phone often rings as I’m on the way home and I receive a report from my husband or Allen on a buck they saw on a specific section of the ranch.  Conversations usually start out like… “Did you see that one up by the windmill?” or “There’s a bachelor herd over by the back ravine” and “They’ve been making their way to the North water hole late afternoon.”

I can remember a couple summers ago when I was driving home from the office and my phone rang.  My bow was in the back seat and a thought was lingering in the back of my mind on whether I would have time for a quick hunt on the way home.  Maybe one of the guys had an update for me.  When I picked up the phone, I could hear the excitement in his voice and I knew Allen had more than just a regular update.  It was good news!  Buck down.  I immediately turned my truck in the direction of the dirt road that led to the ranch.  There was an antelope on the ground and I had to share in the excitement.

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Paying attention to where the bucks were feeding, watering and grazing all summer long had payed off.  Allen faithfully watched the habits of these bucks and had a feeling that as he eyed the bachelor herd graze over a section of the ranch on his way home one evening, that they would make their way down a ravine and over to the next watering hole.  He decided to go for it.  There was enough time to grab his bow and quickly make his way to the other side of the ravine to a natural blind in the brush. Just as he arrived, the bucks popped up over the ravine and Allen arrowed his biggest antelope yet!

One of the best parts – since it was close to home, we all had the opportunity to share in the excitement.  I’m sure that I forgot to change out of my work clothes and may have even laid down in a cow-pie-laden ground to get just the right picture angle.  It was worth it.

If you are fortunate to have a section of land to hunt near your home, it is worth the effort to pay attention to the movement of the animals.  Take the time to study their habits.  You won’t be sorry when it is time to pull out that faithful ‘backup’ tag in your pocket and chase after that animal you’ve been waiting to hunt all year long.

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.


PSE’s Todd Carter on How to Hunt Trophy Bucks


By John E. Phillips

Editor’s Note: Todd Carter of Oldham County, Kentucky, manages about 7,500 acres for wildlife and has one 800-acre farm he manages intensively. He’s been a PSE pro for the last 3 years and shoots the PSE Evo. He’s also on the Mossy Oak Pro Staff.

Day 1: Todd Carter Talks about Taking the Black Widow Buck

I was hunting a 4-1/2-year-old buck named the Black Widow that eventually scored 188-7/8-points on Boone & Crockett. We had been watching this buck on trail cameras for about 2 years and found his scrapes on top of an oak ridge. We didn’t usually put our stands up until the day we planned to take a buck. On this particular day, we hung our stands at noon. I got in my stand at 4:00 pm. At 5:30, we saw this buck coming toward us from only 40-yards away. I waited until he got within 10-yards before I brought my PSE Evo to full draw. I was using a two-blade Rage Broadhead, and I had a good solid back wall. When the pin sight rested behind the deer’s front shoulder, I released the arrow. When the buck took the arrow, he did a mule kick and ran back the way from where he’d come. We waited for a good while, before we went after him. When we climbed down out of the tree, we located a really-good blood trail and went 100 yards before we found him.

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I believe the secret to taking trophy bucks is living with them. I’m on my land looking at the deer and the other wildlife on these properties about 360 days in the year. I’ve learned after a buck sheds his velvet, he’ll probably set-up his home range. So, when you find a deer like this, you not only have to learn where that deer is living, you have to find markers that tell you where that deer likes to be. We had found this deer’s scrapes and rubs and knew he was using this area. When we put-up our tree stands, we got about 18-feet off the ground. I believe in the first-strike strategy for taking these older bucks. If these bucks realize they are being hunted, especially older-age-class bucks, they’re much harder to take. We want to introduce as little human odor as possible into an area. I like to get high in the tree, so one piece of equipment I always have with me is a Gorilla Safety Harness. No one intentionally falls out of a tree. Tree stand accidents occur when you least expect them and when you’re least prepared to deal with the fall. So, I always wear a harness.

Day 2: PSE’s Todd Carter and the Buck Old 22

We had 3 years of trail-camera pictures of the buck Old 22. This buck was 5-years old, and during the early part of the season, our trail cameras revealed he already had been shot by another bowhunter and had an arrow sticking out of his back. We know no one on our property had shot this deer, so we assumed a hunter on the neighboring property had done it. To be honest, we thought Old 22 was dead, after we got the pictures of the arrow in his back. We didn’t get any-more pictures of him and didn’t sight him when we were scouting. I was really surprised when I finally saw Old 22 again, since it was the first time anyone had spotted him, because he’d stopped appearing on the trail cameras.

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On this particular day, I was near a water hole and spotted him at about 45 yards, headed toward the water. Old 22 had 12- or 13-inch tines, but his rack was really narrow. I could tell he had lost weight and wasn’t very healthy. Apparently the shaft of the arrow had broken off. I let him come in about 20-yards from my tree stand and released my arrow from my PSE Evo. I was shooting a G5 broadhead. He only ran about 40-yards before he went down. We watched him fall. He scored 180-3/8-points. We really wanted to take this deer, because we didn’t want him to die of his previous wounds. We know if we don’t get a good hit on a buck, we can’t assume that buck is dead until we find him. Old 22 had carried his arrow for a long time. No one likes to shoot a deer and not recover it, especially a trophy buck like Old 22, but it happens. So, anytime you see a wounded animal, take him if you possibly can, especially a really-fine buck like Old 22.

Day 3: PSE’s Todd Carter Tells about Taking Minivan – a 300-Pound Buck

We called this buck Minivan, because he was a really-big buck, well-over 300 pounds live weight. He was big and blocky and resembled a minivan. Minivan was 6-years old, and we’d tried to take him a few years earlier. He just didn’t look like he ever would have a quality rack. His rack had a lot of stickers on it and a lot of mass. The year before, he’d only had about a 120-inch rack. He had a few drop tines on the right side of his rack, but wasn’t an impressive deer. We’d labeled him as a management buck and planned to shoot him to get him off the property. I agreed to take this buck, even though I wasn’t expecting him to be very big or have good antlers. There were several-other trophy bucks on the property the landowner and his friends wanted to take themselves. Another buck living in the same area was a 4-year-old 10-point that scored 160 points. We didn’t want 6-year-old Minivan to run the 4-year-old off the property. We intensively manage the deer on the property where I hunt, and we know we can’t stockpile mature bucks in our area. To grow a trophy buck, he needs to be able to hold in his home area without being challenged by another big buck.

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Minivan always had lived close to a road. I knew Minivan was living in a certain thicket, and when he came out of this thicket, he would go eat some native grass and then move to a pond below where he’d been bedding.  I set-up my stand, so when the buck came out of the thicket on the way to the native grass, I’d be able to get a shot with my PSE Evo. Sure enough, he moved out of the thicket and came down the trail 15-yards from me. When I released the arrow, he took off running. He went about 70 yards and fell over in native grass. When we recovered him, we found he scored 168 points.

Day 4: PSE’s Todd Carter – the Hammer Buck

Hammer was a deer we’d been watching for 3 years that traveled to other properties too. We all had agreed to let him pass, until he got to be an older-age-class buck. The first year, we got good trail-camera pictures of him. He was 2-1/2- to 3-years old and scored 130 or more Boone & Crockett. The next year we had trail-camera pictures of him he was a 12-point, and his rack looked bigger. We found his sheds, which scored about 157 B&C. The next year he was scoring 178 B&C, so we decided to put him on the hit list. Hammer was in a thick-cover bedding area and was going toward water. On the farms I manage, there isn’t much water, so we try to take the bucks in-between the bedding area and the ponds where they water. This way we don’t disturb the bedding area or the watering sites. This buck had developed a scrape and a rub line out of the thicket, going toward the water. I took this buck at 15 yards with my PSE Evo by hitting him right behind the shoulder. He ran about 150 yards.

09

Once again, I believe the secret for consistently taking trophy bucks is to know what bucks you have on your property, watch them over an extended time using trail cameras and make sure they have enough food. This way they can reach their maximum potential. If you keep up with your property’s doe numbers and keep bucks from competing with better bucks, you won’t have dispersal (deer leaving your property). The final element to taking a trophy buck like this one is once you gather all the information you can about him, don’t hunt him until all the wind and the weather conditions are right and are stacked in your favor.

06

You can’t have trophy bucks on your property, if you don’t fulfill all the management requirements to produce them. We plant Mossy Oak BioLogic year-round to ensure there’s plenty of food for the deer on the property. We keep our doe numbers in check. Once we identify a buck we feel has trophy potential, we learn all we can about that buck. We allow him to live long enough to produce the body weight and antler development that we want him to have. If you’re patient and let that buck become a 5- or a 6-year-old, you not only have produced a trophy buck. At that point, you also will know where to put your stand and at about what time the buck should appear. If you set-up your stand within 20 yards or less of where the deer will be, and if you’re shooting a fast, flat-shooting bow like the PSE Evo, you can expect to harvest trophy bucks regularly.

Day 5: PSE’s Todd Carter Believes in Using Bowhunting as a Deer Management Tool

We manage our property for all types of wildlife. We have plenty of food and cover and very-little hunting pressure. On the 800 acres, we have about 80 does and manage them as intensively as we do our bucks. We know we have some does that consistently produce buck fawn twins. We have others that are producing three buck fawns per year. You can’t guarantee that a doe will produce just buck fawns or just doe fawns. But if you keep up with your does and watch the types of fawns they drop, you’ll see some have a tendency to produce bucks. You’ll also see some does consistently produce two or three fawns.

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For our management programs, these does are just as important as the older-age-class bucks on the land. The top-producing does are on the Do Not Hit list. We only take the does that are older and have stopped having fawns, or the does that generally produce only one fawn. Most biologists recommend you try to carry two does for each buck you have on the property, but I prefer to have four does for every buck. I go against accepted wisdom on deer management because the worst thing you can do is grow a buck up to trophy size, and then have him be harvested by one of your neighbors. If there are more does that are ready to breed on an adjacent property, your bucks will leave and go where the ladies are. I’ve found if I have four does for every buck, I can keep more of the big bucks on our property, even during the rut.

I’m often asked how I’m able to manage my does and identify the ones that are dropping the most buck fawns. The answer is quite simple. Does have a home range, just like bucks do. If you photograph and observe your does after deer season ends when they are dropping fawns, as the fawns mature, you can keep-up with which does are the most-productive in the herd. I want to watch them through at least one or two breeding seasons and be able to identify each of the does on the property. I live on the farm I manage, and one of those groups of does comes and feeds at my house. I can watch those does interact and can record their personalities. For instance, I’ve been observing one doe for the last 3 years, and I know for certain that she’s produced three buck fawns. This doe is 5- to 6-years old, stays within 100 acres and is definitely off-limits for harvest. In the winter, I get camera pictures of her in the Mossy Oak BioLogic Winter Bulbs & Sugar Beets plots. She follows the food.

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I’ve taken 15 does with my PSE Evo in the last year. One of the reasons I like to hunt does with my PSE bow is the arrow doesn’t make any noise. Guns going off and hunters moving around puts pressure on the deer herd and can cause dispersal of your trophy bucks. So, we prefer to bowhunt on this 800 acres. The hunters can go right to the stand we’ve put-up on the day we want to harvest that trophy buck. When they take that trophy buck with a bow, there’s no noise to spook all the other deer on the property. We can load-up the buck and the hunter and get out of the woods without spooking the other bucks. It’s not to your advantage to do an intensive-management program to produce trophy bucks and then put so much hunting pressure on those bucks that you run them off your property.

For more information on hunting deer, get John E. Phillips’ new eBook “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros.” Too, you can go to 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.


The Cure for Post Season Withdrawl by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

February is typically a month where we feel deprived of hunting. There is a void in our lives as not too many are out actually hunting, but more so just thinking about it and how they can’t wait for deer season to roll back around. Even for me it can be a tough time of year to get out, but with turkey season rapidly approaching getting into the woods to scout is key to success. A major plus is that while scouting areas for turkey in California you can also hunt coyotes or hogs year round so bring your bow and arrows when you scout, too!

Target Practice

Target Practice

Practicing should be a year round activity. Just because the snow is falling or there isn’t any hunting season open doesn’t mean you should hang up your bow for the next few months. Stay sharp year-round by practicing year-round. I am fortunate to have good weather and an outdoor archery range open throughout the year. This year I plan on also setting up a small target in my garage to allow me to shoot a few arrows every day just to keep my body fluid.

Bring a friend out scouting and introduce them to the wild! Another good way to get people interested is to take some of that hard earned venison and whip up a nice meal. Have some friends over for a venison feast, swap stories and share the wealth. You would be surprised at how many guys want to go hunting after tasting some steroid-free meat!

Bring a GPS…and be sure you are up to date with the current versions of software. Land may have changed hands, public land become private or vice versa. By bringing a GPS into the field you can mark different areas to review in the comfort of your home and give you exact locations for when you head back out to hunt.

Scouting

Scouting

Two more items that are a must when I scout are my binoculars and my camera. A good pair of binoculars like my 10x42s are great for scouting because they are powerful and I don’t mind the extra weight when it comes to optics. I want good quality, power and reliability (just like my compound bow). I also bring a camera along to document areas, things I find on the ground, and any animals I might see. It’s also a great way to document your trip to show your hunting buddies or your family.

So, if you get out there to do some early pre-season scouting or are fortunate enough to get some hunting in share your experiences and photos on the PSE Facebook page. We would all love to participate in your progress, excitement and all around success!

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.

 


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