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Loosen your grip by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

http://www.fromthedraw.com/

When first shooting a bow there is a lot to learn … stand this way, find an anchor point or two or three, back tension, don’t punch the trigger, level, breath, etc.  The list goes on and on.

I remember getting so frustrated with my husband when I was first learning because he wanted me to get everything right.  Now don’t get me wrong, he had my best interests in mind which is admirable.  While I appreciate his concern for my accuracy and desire for excellency, it can also be exasperating when you are trying to remember everything and your spouse is whispering in your ear, “You did it wrong, again.”  I know he was just trying to help, but I felt like he was secretly enjoying pointing out my errors.  Ugh.  I wanted to throw an arrow at him, and since I’m confessing, I think I chased him around with one at some point. Don’t worry, a broadhead was not fixed to the tip of my arrow!

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Gals, if you are just learning to shoot, here’s a piece of advice:  Find a non-biased friend or someone from a local pro-shop to help with your shooting technique.  I’ve found that it is much easier to hear constructive criticism from a non-husband source.

With that being said, after years of shooting a bow, I am still working on perfecting my shot.  I know there is always room for improvement.  Sometimes a minor adjustment here or there can bring you to that next level of consistency in your shot.  Since we are now in a hunting off-season where most deer hunting has come to a close, don’t put your bow away! I would encourage you to take a look at your form.  Is there any room for improvement in your shot?  Video yourself and evaluate your form.  Have someone else give you a second opinion.

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I know what I’ll be working on … how I hold my bow, specifically loosening my grip.  I need to make sure I’m holding it correctly with the bow grip in the meat of my palm, letting my fingers relax, and trusting my bow sling.  After a missed shot this last year, I can almost guarantee it was because I was so excited that I gripped my bow which ended up giving just enough torque to throw my shot off.  So, I know I need some work in this area.  I’ve asked a friend at a Pro-Shop to make sure I’m holding my bow correctly. I know it will take practice… I can consistently shoot 20 yard shots all day long, but I quickly learned the hard way that if I haven’t formed the habit of consistently holding my bow correctly, it is way too easy to grip and torque your shot during the heat of the moment when the shot counts. I have a date with an elk in about 9 months from now, and I’m not going to make the same mistake twice!

What about you?  Are you taking strides this winter to improve your shot?  What areas do you need to improve on?

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.

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


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

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

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

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

Taking part in the 2012 California Sheep Survey

Taking part in the 2012 California Sheep Survey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Researching hunts like an alligator hunt is exciting.

Researching hunts like an alligator hunt is exciting.

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

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

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

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

 

Taking a Good Picture by PSE’s Dustin Jones


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

Nothing is more exciting than taking an animal with your bow. All of the time that you have put into scouting, preparing, and finally taking that shot has finally paid off. After all of the celebration of recovering your animal has taken place, the next step that most anyone will want to do is take a picture to remember the hunt. Something that I like to take into account is showing respect to that animal. Now I am not saying that the way I take pictures is the way that you should take your pictures, because trust me I still need some work in this area, but there are some tips that will help you capture a good trophy picture.

My first antelope.

My first antelope.

First of all, do your best to remove any blood from the animal. If you are near water it makes it pretty easy to clean up some of the blood using a rag or something to wipe down the bloody area. If cleaning off the blood isn’t possible, usually there is one side that is less bloody than the other. Try and roll the animal or even position the animal in a way that hides most of the blood.

This is an antelope that I had taken and I was so excited to have shot my first antelope with a bow that I hurried to take the picture. You can see there is some blood that I could have washed off and I could have gotten in a better position to see the horns.

My first deer with archery equipment.

My first deer with archery equipment.

Secondly, take care of the tongue. Shove the tongue back in the mouth, hold the bottom jaw, sew it shut, or just cut it off but either way do something to get the tongue out of the picture. That has been one of the biggest things that I have learned to help make a photo look more presentable. I tend to get in a rush after I kill an animal that I forget to take the time to check for the tongue. As you can see in my picture that I could have stuck the tongue back in his mouth and it would have made the photo look a little better.

Dustin Goose 2008
Lastly, show it off. Get down so you are able to show off the antlers (if you were blessed enough to shoot one with them) or just the animal itself. Pictures tend to look better if you are down on the same level as the animal versus you standing over top of the animal. This allows you to truly show off the animal and it just looks better.

 

My dad's elk.

My dad’s elk.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad. As you can see, he got down at the same level of his elk and you are able to see the size of the antlers, there isn’t any blood, and the elk’s tongue is not hanging out of his mouth. I’m not saying this is the perfect picture but you can tell the difference between the previous photos and this photo. This is a larger animal with a bigger rack but there were plenty of things that I could have done in my photos to be a better photo to show off.

So when that moment arrives that you get to take some pictures of your kill, take the time to prepare for a great photo that you’ll be proud to show off. You put forth a lot of effort to hunt the animal, so put forth the effort to take a great picture to show off the animal.

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.

Keaton’s BC Bruiser by PSE’s Will Jenkins


By Will Jenkins

http://www.thewilltohunt.com/

PSE got word of a monster mule deer taken in British Columbia with a PSE so I tracked down Keaton and got the story Believe it or not this is only Keaton’s second deer with a bow! His first was a 2×2 and now his second buck is a pending record book mule deer with a green score of about 219″. Keaton killed this magnificent buck with his BowMadness MC in only his second year hunting. Now for the story!

Keaton started the day with the attempted stalk of 6 different 4 points, (east coasters remember this means a 4×4 or eight total points). After a quick lunch break he was back out and spotted a 2 point and decided to go after him and see what else might be traveling with him. After 20 minutes on the stalk the buck led him to an overgrown quad trail that Keaton continued down. After walking the trail and having a close encounter with a few does he spotted the two point at about 50 yards. He continued down the trail and after making it about 100 yards he glanced to his left and there he was, staring directly at Keaton. He drew his bow and back stepped about 10 yards to get a clear shot through the trees. He settled his 60 yard pin, released the arrow and the buck took off passed him. As he passed Keaton noticed blood running down his side and knew it was a lethal hit.

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After taking a moment to compose himself after some major buck fever he started to look for his arrow and the blood trail. Unfortunately he couldn’t’ find either as the hit ended up being slightly high to due to estimating the yardage a little further than it was, easy to do when a monster sneaks up on you! With no arrow and no blood trail he decided to look for sign of a dead deer. He noticed some crows circling not far away. As he arrived where the crows had been circling he again encountered the 2 point and two does. As they walked off he noticed a magpie fly up from the ground and there he was!

After 60 or more failed stalks this season, Keaton was rewarded with the opportunity at a true trophy animal and a buck of a lifetime. He was able to seal the deal using his PSE bow and not only get the trophy but create great memories of an amazing hunt and sharing the recovery with his friend Chris. Congratulations Keaton on an amazing animal!

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.

Scouting New Hunting Ground from Afar by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

Referencing Google Earth and my map

Referencing Google Earth and my map

When we decide we want to hunt in a new location we preferably like to set foot on the ground, on location, to determine the terrain features and lay of the land. But often times that is not a possibility due to limited time, resources and various logistical constraints. I have been asked numerous times, “How do you scout an area that you have never set foot on before?” “How do you decide on an area to hunt out of state when you are unable to go there yourself?”  These questions have became very common with my most recent hunt where I was able to take down a 400”+ Public Land bull elk in a General Area in a location that is not known for monster bulls! “How did you find this spot to hunt?!”

I first decide on an area to hunt by calling local Wildlife Biologists in the state where I have decided to hunt. I narrow my options down by checking on which states and areas offer a good chance of drawing with at least 2 preference points. I look at past records that I can find about these areas by checking out various talk forums that are geared towards a state by state basis and my species. General tags are also easier to draw than that of a limited tag unit. This means I usually need to find where the public land and general areas are since I do not have a lot of money to throw around to pay access fees or an outfitter/guide.  I am a Do-It-Yourself hunter and have extreme pride in doing my own hunts from start to finish!

Next I start making phone calls to local Wildlife Biologists in the areas that I am interested in. When talking with the local Biologists I ask various questions such as:

1)      Where would you consider the healthiest animals are located this year? (For whichever species you are pursuing)

2)      How have the winters treated the animals in this area and have there been any known diseases lately?

3)      What is the hunting pressure like in this area?

4)      What is the maturity level of the animals in this area?

5)      How is the forage in this area?

6)      What is the terrain like in this area? (most often found out by maps)

7)      Would you hunt this area if you had the option?

If possible, I like to talk to local hunters as well that have firsthand experience about these places. Some ways to go about this is to again visit various talk forums on the internet and put a post on there. Those that are willing to share advice will do so. This can be a huge help as well!  A good title for the post would be, “Looking for advice for Unit 127B in Utah. Help please!” You will find that there are many others out there that like to help others become more successful in their hunting endeavors.

I also like to take a look back at the last year and figure out what the weather was like in the past. What is a dry year, wet year, record harvest year? Etc… Much of this information can be obtained from the Wildlife Biologist that you talk to. This will also help me determine some good areas geographically where there could be a good chance to find an animal of my liking.

Mapping software and maps come in very handy.

Mapping software and maps come in very handy.

When I have this information compiled by writing it down in a notebook, printing off maps, ordering topographic maps and having the Forest Service send me maps; I spread all the information out in a spare bedroom on the bed. This area gives me a chance to lay it all out so I don’t miss anything. I grab my computer and fire up Google Maps and Earth and start studying the lay of the land. I compare the paper maps with that of Google and get a really good understanding of the area I am most interested in. I identify the key terrain features that will likely make animals call it home!

Technology has become a great thing for us to be able to use. I like to find a location that offers everything that my prey needs to survive; everything that my prey needs to feel secure and safe. I go over my information and find areas that look promising. Google Earth allows me to start dissecting that area looking for food, water, shelter, bedding areas, and good travel corridors. When you are using Google Earth you can determine where the feeding areas are simply by looking at open meadows, timber and field edges. Finding water is easy to do as well. Look for low areas that may have plenty of run-off from higher elevations or an area that may have a spring nearby. Wetter areas on Google Earth really stand out by the brighter green shades of foliage. Look for streams or creeks. Look for small ponds; anything that will yield water. Water is essential and almost every animal you will hunt depend on a daily water supply of some sort. Locate bedding areas by looking at a topo map and also Google Earth at the same time. This will help determine potential bedding areas by locating benches, thicker cover, dark timber, rough rugged nasty terrain that pressured animals like to hang out in, etc…Now combine everything; the bedding, feeding, and watering  areas will be connected by travel corridors. When looking at travel areas look for pinch points, saddles, benches, anything that will allow an animal to travel more easily.

Like stated before, I do not have all kinds of money to be able to make long trips to scout before season starts. Being able to use maps and technology really make it possible for me to scout an area without actually being there. Often by the time I step foot on the actual area I know almost as much about the lay of the land as if I would have if I have been there before. Granted, I will not know what is there for animals but if I have done the research right there will be animals there, no doubt! Doing just this allowed me to take a bull of a lifetime in 2012 and quite possibly one of the largest bulls ever taken on Public land in a General area with archery equipment! A DIY bull that will rank high in the MT record books!

This is a very low down and dirty process and a lot more details go into it. For blog purposes you get the point.  Feel free to look for more detailed and future articles and stories at my web site that I am expanding called Trigger Addiction located at http://www.triggeraddiction.com.  What Triggers your Addiction?

Picking out favorable terrain features that will help hold animals

Picking out favorable terrain features that will help hold animals

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.

An Archer’s Morning by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

Blog: http://www.fromthedraw.com/

AnArchersMorning1.29.13

Carrying bow in hand and arrows in the other, the archer journeys through the open field.  An established target lays waiting along a well worn path.  The archer doesn’t want to miss the moment.  She makes an appearance briefly each morning, nods and slips away after illuminating the land with glorious stretched out rays.  Each new day is introduced in morning splendor as she swings her lantern of light across the horizon.  She is making her way, evidenced by the surrender of darkness, so the archer quickens his step.  Dawn is drawing near and the archer will be there to greet her.

The rhythm of the draw, aim, and release is mesmerizing, which somehow pauses the spinning of the world as an arrow slices through the crisp clean air.  Fingertips begin to grow numb as Jack Frost makes an appearance, but Dawn’s soft golden rays greets the archer with a kiss simultaneously as the string is anchored to lip’s edge.  The favor is returned as glistening rays dance off the tip of the arrow now slicing through the thin veil of breaking light.  The dance continues.  Anchor.  Breathe.  Aim.  Release.

Morning is now chasing Dawn across the prairie, threatening to snatch up her golden rays as the sun inches higher in the sky.  The brilliant rays of first light has done it’s job and pierced through the archer’s heart.  Dawn’s tranquility has swept by, leaving an archer in an open field thankful for another day.  Through the peep hole of a bow sight, the archer winks and watches as she introduces the day gracefully.  She winks back and slips away with a promise to return to catch the next arrow in flight.

The archer gathers arrows and journeys on, ready to face the day with the promise of Dawn coming again.

AnArchersMorning2.1.29.13

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.

Stalking Boars by PSE’s Pedro Ampuero


By Pedro Ampuero

Blog: http://www.adventurousbowhunter.com/

StalkingBoars2.1.29.13

Wildboars in Spain have always experience a huge hunting pressure, and can get really spooky.

This pressure has made them be most of the time nocturnal, which makes really hard to hunt them.

Luckily, it has been a great year of acorns, and we have been seeing some boars at last day looking for them.

This has allowed us to spend some days trying to stalk boars, which is way more fun than waiting for them in a tree. They have an awesome nose, but the hearing and eyesight is not as good as deer, so you can get closer. I shot this young boar from 30 yards.

Its getting colder every day, and I hope to be able to drop some more during the last month of the season.

Good luck all in the woods,

Pedro Ampuero

StalkingBoars1.29.13

Pedro Ampuero was raised in Spain, a country full of hunting opportunities in which the hunting season goes year round. He spends many days each year in the field and traveling the world in search of new adventures. You will always find him outdoors scouting, hunting, filming or tracking with his Bavarian bloodhound.

Pedro is a mechanical engineer by trade and a bowhunter by heart. He is the co-founder of the blog AdventurousBowhunter.com and Cazandoconarco.es and has written many articles for the hunting industry and currently collaborates with the most prestigious companies on the industry.

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

Patience by PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

It doesn’t matter what you hunt, where you hunt, or how you hunt; there is one thing that you need on every hunt you partake in, in any location at any given time of the year. The one constant that is needed on any hunt is patience. With patience, you are able to stalk or wait on that animal of your choosing without pushing the envelope too far and educating them. Patience will yield you more animals than any other factor that comes into play. I will touch on various types of hunting situations and my three favorite ways to harvest an animal as well as provide an example of how I used patience to turn the situation into a positive outcome.

The Omen Pro getting it done!

The Omen Pro getting it done!

Spot and Stalk:

More animals are missed during spotting than one would think. When you find a good vantage point and you are glassing the terrain and you think that there is nothing there to look at; slow down and go over it again. More often than not I have missed bedded bucks on the first look. I have to remind myself to be patient and go over the terrain again and look for any little thing that might show signs of life. Look for something that doesn’t fit the terrain, look for shadows and look for shady areas that could provide that buck or bull with the shade needed to stay comfortable. I have found that after initially glassing an area, I may find a few animals but by slowing down and taking more time, I often find numerous animals that most often are over looked. One situation in particular comes to mind. I had been glassing for what seemed like an eternity, my eyes were tired, my legs were numb and my butt was sore. I was sure the buck that I was searching didn’t stop in this basin. He had to have moved on. I took a break, ate a snack, drank some water and enjoyed the view from my perch. I took in a few deep breathes, stretched and went back to glassing. I felt revived as I pressed the spotting scope to my eye. A few minutes passed and suddenly I noticed something out of the ordinary; my buck bedded in a location that I had already glassed numerous times! He had been bedded there all along! A simple break was all I needed to regain my concentration and get my patience back in check.

When it comes to stalking an animal, patience isn’t an option; it is a virtue. Stalking pits your skills against that of your prey on their terms. They are very familiar with the terrain in which they live. You must be too. Being patient will make it easier for you to complete that stalk. Impatience will cause you to step on the twig or brush up against that branch that you should have seen. I have found myself numerous times rushing a stalk and have to remind myself to slow down and be patient. By doing this I begin to notice more things that could ruin that stalk. Numerous stalks pop into my head when thinking about this topic. One such stalk I found myself bewildered and lost. I couldn’t figure out where I was in relation to the terrain. I looked back towards my vantage point where I was and realized that everything looked much different now. From over two miles away things sure look different when you get to that location! I pressed on not sure of exactly where I was. Just then I bumped a buck that I didn’t know was there. He jumped up and blew out of the basin taking the big boy with him. I had become impatient and ruined that stalk. I didn’t take the time to do terrain recognition like I should have. I rushed myself. If I would have been patient the outcome may have likely been much different.

Ever since watching that monster cross over the ridge something inside me changed. From then on, I remind myself more constantly to remain calm and keep patient. That was many years ago and patience has rewarded me many more animals since that time. When I know I am rushing things or becoming impatient I will take a knee or sit down, grab some water and say a quick prayer, recheck my position to ensure that I am on track and go about my stalk.

Tactics combined took down this old buck!

Tactics combined took down this old buck!

While sitting in the treestand or in a ground blind, I have seen many people lose concentration and an animal will come along only to bust them because they weren’t paying attention. Yes, I am that guy! Patience comes into play again. It can be hard but keeping an open mind that an animal could come walking along at any time can keep a person going. Knowing that you are so close to either success or defeat and thinking about it can help remind you to stay alert at what is going on around you in any situation. Sitting in an antelope blind can be exhausting to say the least. I am reminded of sitting in a blind at a waterhole in 100+ degree heat or perched in a treestand during the rut all day long in freezing temperatures. In either situation you are almost guaranteed to see an animal! 12 hours in on my 14 hour sit, I finally had a shooter antelope buck come in to quench his thirst and 4 hours in on my 6.5 hour sit I had a mature whitetail sneaking along the trail in search of a hot doe. Both animals are now on my wall! Why? Because I was patient!

Patience is a must in this situation as generally you are on the move with the animal and keeping at least two steps ahead of them and what they are going to do is essential. Anticipating what the next move will be can be difficult at times because animals can be so unpredictable. Paying attention to the habits of animals is important. If you are able to watch the animal of your choice before going in for the kill always helps but is not always possible. Many times while planning how to ambush an animal, I have had to change my plan numerous times to adjust how I was going to kill that critter. The wind can change, animals can change heading, you may run out of cover, you may be hot, tired, and wore out but maintaining patience is vital to success. I am reminded of this last season, twice. Spot and stalk situations turned into ambush situations. Spot and stalk and ambushing are much the same to me but in an ambush you have an animal that is still on the move. I had spotted three whitetails moving from their feeding area to their bedding area; as I stalked closer I realized that they were moving faster than I initially thought. I quickly decided to slip in front of them. After a couple of failed attempts I was hard after it again. This time it paid off as the three bucks passed by around 40 yards. I opted to take the most mature but not the biggest racked buck. My arrow hit its mark from 44 yards! Patience and staying two steps ahead of these bucks made it possible. Another situation this last season was with a mature muley that I had spotted at first light. At 8 am I was moving along a shallow draw towards 14 deer; one of which was the buck I had hoped to pass an arrow through. I did get impatient and a doe spotted me. I had become impatient and was moving too fast. After a long stare down the doe moved her group off to safer pastures. A half a day later I was inching forward on the same group as I had a couple of more times throughout the day. There was very little cover and patience forced me to remain pressed to the ground and moving very slow. I knew it was the last stalk/ambush of the day. I had run out of cover and the deer were moving my way. I had planned for them to move down this low area headed in the direction they had came from that morning. I had 75 yards to crawl to get to the only cover available to conceal me. Once I was there I prepped the area and moved the weeds/grass that I needed to for a shot. Numerous deer, and that doe, finally picked me out when they were at 30 yards. The buck was still pulling up the rear. I remained calm, range finder pressed to my eye, bow in my hand, and patience at bay. The buck came into the opening at 62 yards, I lowered my range finder and hooked my release and pulled my bow back slowly in one motion without spooking the deer. I watched as my arrow ended my 2011 season perfectly! This same type of patience ended my 2012 season much the same as you read in my last week’s blog Post Rut Whitetail! Both of these hunts were made possible by using spot and stalk and ambush scenarios combined.

Patience made this dream come true

Patience made this dream come true

Still hunting has proved very productive for me in my backcountry elk hunt less than a month ago. Getting in the bedroom (bedding area) of whatever animal you are hunting and almost making time stand still between each step you take can be very rewarding but only if you are again, patient! In order for me to still hunt correctly I need plenty of patience and I need to be spot on with my movements. In doing this I like to take no more than three steps at a time and stop, glass what is in front of me, and move on with a few more steps when I am sure there is not an animal within eyesight. I pay particular attention to each step making sure not to step on tree branches, pine cones, dried leaves, or anything that might cause unnecessary noise. The goal here like many other types of hunting is to see that animal before it sees you. Once you spot an animal you can finish up the hunt by closing the distance by spot and stalk or with an ambush situation.

One of the largest general area bulls of all time

One of the largest general area bulls of all time

Regardless of what type of hunting you are doing; spot and stalk, ambush, still hunting, treestand, blind, etc….the list goes on and on. You can often combine a couple of these types of hunting together to fit the scenario and make you more successful in the field. The sky is the limit and patience is key! Patience has its place in each and every hunt. Increase your patience and I guarantee you will increase your success!

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.Preview

Holding a First Bow Kill Close to Heart by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson
http://www.fromthedraw.com/

PSE's Emily Anderson

PSE’s Emily Anderson

I hope the thrill of my first deer kill doesn’t fade away too quickly from my memory. There is something truly wonderful about the whole experience, and I’m sure I am not alone in the endeavor to hold a first bow kill close to heart, and safely tucked into the deep recesses of one’s mind.

I still remember the feeling – it was as if time stood still.

Morning

Morning of First Hunt

The morning of my first whitetail deer hunt I found myself up in a tree stand for the first time in my life, and just as I was getting comfortable with the distance from my feet to the ground below, the silence was interrupted by the sound of brittle leaves being crushed. Something was making its way along the path below, and closing the distance to our stand fast. I glanced up at my husband above in a tree stand, attached to the same tree as mine, and smiled. We watched together in anticipation of what was coming our way. It didn’t take long for the disrupter of the morning silence to make an appearance, and from our perch above the ground we could clearly see the mule deer as he made his way along the path below. Our tags said “whitetail” so we watched and admired the buck as he continued on his morning journey.

Emily Anderson

As a western hunter who is used to hunting from the ground, spot and stalk style, this new view from above had me intrigued and fascinated. I loved being above the action and felt like a giddy school girl when again the sound of *crunch* *crunch* echoed through the trees, signaling the closing distance of another buck. We watched a buck work his way down from the field above and mosey around a big oak towards my side of the tree. After a brief nonverbal discussion, my husband nodded, giving me the green light to take a shot. I slowly reached for my bow, took a breath, came to full draw, picked a spot and settled my top pin. The arrow released and I watched as it made impact on the chosen spot. Thwack!

I remember looking at my husband, looking back at my deer running down the path, looking back at my husband, and then starting to shake uncontrollably. It was an adrenaline rush like none other I’ve ever experienced. I had arrowed my first buck and I was hooked! After shooting that buck, I felt a sense of relief and sheer excitement all wrapped up together in a ball of emotions. Relief due to the sense that all the practice and preparation finally had cumulated into the desired result. My arrow flew true and found its mark. Buck fever had been replaced by a calming feeling just before the shot, and the instant flow of adrenaline as I realized what I had just done, had found its appropriate time to flow through my veins … directly after the kill shot.

First Bow Kill

First Bow Kill

When I first took up bowhunting, I often dreamt about and wondered what I would shoot first with my bow. That question has now been answered for me, and I’m proud to say it was a whitetail.

What about you? What was your first bow kill? Do you still vividly remember the details of that hunt? If it is starting to fade, I would encourage you to take a moment to write it down. You’d be amazed at how that moment in time comes flooding back when you start journaling it out.

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 Albert Quackenbush’s Missed opportunities lead to success


By Albert Quackenbush
www.SoCalBowhunter.com

Riding the pine. Sitting the bench. Waiting your turn. Everyone has their own way of saying it and no matter which way you look at it, well, it’s never as fun as actually playing. For the past couple of weeks it has been difficult finding time to get into the forest. To be honest, it drives me a bit insane because the weather has turned cooler, much cooler in fact. It has been considerably cooler in the mornings and evenings, which is perfect hunting weather in Southern California. Instead of hunting, I have been reading and reminiscing about hunting.

California draws can hide a fair share of huntable animals

California draws can hide a fair share of huntable animals

I work hard to hunt here. There is a wealth of public land and a plethora of hunters. The deer are tough to hunt and live in rugged country. Finding these areas to hunt can be found with hard work, but can also be found be sheer luck! One of my local deer spots I stumbled upon by sheer luck through a friend. It is loaded with deer, but it’s also surrounded by non-huntable areas. I have been reading about how some of my fellow hunting brethren have gone deer hunting and have seen deer, but have had no shot or they have shot and missed. Sitting here thinking about these scenarios brought back to memory my last hunt from last year.

A few weeks prior to me sitting in my deer spot, my good friend had shot and killed his first deer with a compound bow. His vocal excitement could be heard for miles. He was so excited that he jumped up and down while yelling, which spooked the remaining deer off. There was no way to contain his joy and I was proud of him for all of the work he had put in. Now, I was sitting in the same spot, patiently waiting for a deer to walk by.

Glassing rocky hillside like this one can result in finding deer or sheep

Glassing rocky hillside like this one can result in finding deer or sheep

From my experience in this spot, my gut feeling was that I would start to see deer walk by between 9:00 and 10:00 AM. Sure enough, close to 9:30 I watched a far hillside as three doe ambled down the steep face on the trail I expected them on. They were still a quarter mile away, but it gave me time to prepare. Too much time really. As I sat waiting, I looked for a spot to let an arrow fly once the deer walked by. The trail was a mere thirty yards from the bush I was hiding near, but would that be enough?

SoCal mule deer spotted on a recent hunt

SoCal mule deer spotted on a recent hunt

Early that morning, I had erected a small turkey blind in front of my position to break up my pattern. To be honest, I wish I had brushed it in better because as the deer got closer and closer they knew that something was different. The deer around here aren’t like whitetails. They get spooked, but not like a whitetail. These deer just remain cautious and when you have three of them together you have to be aware of all three sets of eyes. As the deer drew closer and got within range, I drew my bow and waited for the lead doe to walk into the opening I planned for. The lead doe slowly walked into the lane and then I saw it; the small tuft of dried weeds sticking up right in front of her vitals. The weeds were at least ten feet closer to me and instantly my mind told me not to shoot. I let down and when I did the deer spooked about ten yards and stopped, but none of them gave me another shot. It was the last day of the season and while I had drawn my bow, my tag would remain empty.

A few weeks later, I sat down with a few gentlemen for lunch when the subject of me letting down came up. One gentleman, a former hunter, questioned why I let down. He brought up a good point that I was shooting a powerful PSE Bow Madness, a heavy arrow, and was only thirty yards from my target. Why hadn’t I just shot? I felt incredibly content when I told him that I was not about to wound a deer. I wanted to kill it with one shot, not have to track an injured animal. I mentioned it was a sharp downhill angle, the noticeable weeds, and the fact that the deer were on alert. He shook his head and said that he didn’t understand why, but that he was a rifle hunter and not a bow hunter. To be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered if he was a bow hunter. The opportunity that had presented itself was mine and mine alone. I had held the choice in my hands and I opted not to shoot and I was content.

With all that being said, I want my fellow hunters to understand that a successful hunt doesn’t always have to end with a shot. Sure, I would have loved to have filled my tag, but I had found a spot, located deer, and had drawn on a mature doe. I won’t say I wasn’t disappointed, but I also felt sure of my decision to pass on the shot. In a couple weeks I’ll be headed back to that spot and I hope this year the odds are in my favor.

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

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

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

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