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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.


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.


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.

 


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.


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!

q6EMtOzCblUaBpZyDjfxkWpYF3CVsBp20H97T3N0Zoo,Mn709iIIcH9b3b5QOIhYpSi3DSI_1HcTTp80PwC-uLMCarrying my bow buy the string, over time, could also cause it to stretch prematurely, especially when hunting in the hot California weather. I certainly didn’t want that happening as like every bow hunter, I want to get the maximum life out of my bow string that I can. I also don’t want it to happen to you!

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.


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.

 


Gear Review-PSE Phantom Micro Adjustable Drop Away Rest by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Albert Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

Having been a fan of drop away rests for years, I have tested many with decent results. Some are cable driven and others are limb driven. The PSE Phantom™ Micro Adjustable Drop Away Rest is a cable driven drop away rest that offers much more than your everyday drop away. Reviewing the Phantom Micro was very enjoyable and enlightening.

Phantom mounted at rest and ready to shoot

Phantom mounted at rest and ready to shoot

The PSE Phantom Micro Adjust is our finest drop away arrow rest and features a full capture platform for the arrow. The rest falls out of the way for complete arrow clearance. The oversize screws make adjustments and tuning very easy.

Installation of the Phantom Micro is simple, but there were no instructions in or on the packaging, so you have to get them online. This would have been better if they were in the package in my opinion. Follow the directions found here and you’ll be headed in the right direction.

My favorite part is the fact that the rest itself never touches the riser. Unlike most drop away rests, the Phantom sits slightly behind the riser thus allowing it to swivel and function quietly and more efficiently. One of the best features is no aggravating slapping sound when the rest drops. I can’t tell you how much time I have spent trying to quiet down other drop away rests. When the Phantom Micro drops it is ultra-quiet and super smooth.

The curved supports on either side have a rubberized coating providing more sound-dampening when your arrow makes contact. It contains the arrow and is quiet. No more needs to be said.

I did not like that there is no glue or sticky bottom to the rubber piece that sits on your riser. This is the piece that your arrow makes contact with to keep it from making noise. In order to utilize it, you must purchase an adhesive and glue the rubber rest to the riser. If you don’t, the arrow makes constant contact with the riser and metal-on-metal makes noise.

Nice grouping after tuning the Phantom Rest

Nice grouping after tuning the Phantom Rest

I spent two days at the range after I installed the Phantom where I shot a minimum of fifty shots. During that time I had a good friend listen to the bow while I shot. Specifically, I had him focus on the arrow rest. He said he heard no noise and was also impressed at how fast it dropped. The Phantom Micro is the quietest rest I have ever used. I plan on using this rest in 2013 as it boosts my confidence in knowing I have less chance of spooking game.

Overall, I have to say that the Phantom Micro Adjustable drop away rest is one of the best I have put to the test. I like it better than any of the other drop aways I have used and it’s a great buy at $99.99. I have and will continue to recommend this rest to my fellow archers looking for the quietest, most highly functional drop away arrow rest on the market.

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.


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


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

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

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

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

Taking part in the 2012 California Sheep Survey

Taking part in the 2012 California Sheep Survey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Researching hunts like an alligator hunt is exciting.

Researching hunts like an alligator hunt is exciting.

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

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

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

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

 


PSE’s 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.


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Family Hunting


By Albert Quackenbush
www.SoCalBowhunter.com

My dad, my brother and I during the fall 2009 NY whitetail archery season

My dad, my brother and I during the fall 2009 NY whitetail archery season

My family is extremely important to me and is my top priority. Bow hunting is a very close second! Second to the excitement of filling one of my own tags is the thrill I get when my dad, Skip, or my brother, BJ, fills one of theirs. My California archery deer season for has been open for a couple months, but theirs has been less than a month. I try to keep up on their quest by texting my brother (who I know will usually answer from the tree stand) and calling my dad during the workweek. I have been keeping up with their progress since summertime as they have shared stand locations, deer they have seen, and trail camera photos. To be quite honest, I am a bit jealous. Whitetail hunting is a passion I share with them and hearing about it makes we crave it more!

BJ and his 2012 NY archery 6-point buck

BJ and his 2012 NY archery 6-point buck

Last week, I received a text from BJ saying he had a deer down. It was followed up by one that stated he had arrowed a 6-point. Then it stopped. No more texts. What? Where were the details? Not wanting to be left hanging, I texted him back asking for the story. He said he’d be posting it online. It seemed like a week went by, but my brother posted that afternoon and here’s what he wrote:

I was in my stand this afternoon and I surveyed the area to see what spot would be the best place for me to shoot a deer. There was one spot about fifteen yards away that seemed to be perfect. Nice and open with no obstacles. Guess where I arrowed this guy?? In that EXACT spot!! No joke. He wandered in tonight around 5:30 PM and came toward my stand, but stayed just out of bow range the whole time. He started going away from me so I hit my grunt call. He stopped. I hit it again and his head whipped around toward me. He turned and walked right in the spot fifteen yards away. I stopped him with a mouth bleat and the rest is history. A short drag out of the woods and a ride back to the truck and we headed home. Best of all, my wife had a huge Crockpot of venison pot roast ready to be devoured!! Thanks to my Dad for helping me out and I give him all the credit for this one. He’s the one who found the rubs and said we should put a stand up there. He picked the stands tonight and let me have that one. Thanks!! Happy hunting!

What a bow hunters dreams seeing this from a treestand.

What a bow hunters dreams seeing this from a treestand.

Knowing all the work that my dad and brother put in to hunting whitetails, this was huge for them. Getting some meat in the freezer is always a priority, but having one down with antlers is a bonus. I know they both have quite a few tags left to fill, but I also know that with the rut just kicking in and the cooler temperatures arriving that they are both fired up for the rest of the season. The best part for me is that even though I may reside 3,000 miles away, I am right there with them and I am also getting fired up for them.

My 2011 NY archery button buck

My 2011 NY archery button buck

With me taking my first elk this past September and now my brother taking a buck in NY, my dad is up to bat. He has said to me that his sons have set the bar high for him this year. All I have to say is he usually takes that bar, fashions an arrow, adds some fletching and a broadhead and arrows himself a few big deer by seasons end. Don’t let him fool you, he just saves the best for last.

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.


Constructing Ground Blinds in the High Desert By PSE’s Albert Quackenbush


By Albert Quackenbush
www.SoCalBowhunter.com

PSE' s Albert Quackenbush's Ground Blind

PSE’ s Albert Quackenbush’s Ground Blind

It is essential to be hidden from plain view when trying to arrow a big game animal. They are smart and have lightning fast response time. We use camouflage, face paint, natural surroundings and blinds to give us an edge. For most of us DIY hunters, saving money is also essential in keeping our wallets full and our spouse happy. Instead of buying an expensive ground blind, you can reduce the cost dramatically by making your own ground blind when in the field. I will focus on deer hunting, but these practices can be used for other game animals as well.

Trimming the dead branches to open up shooting lanes

Trimming the dead branches to open up shooting lanes

First and foremost, you must know and understand the laws regarding hunting public and private land for your city, county and state. Believe it or not, there are laws in many places dictating whether or not you can trim a tree on public land. Common items you will find in my pack at all times are a set of pruners. On public land I will use them to trim dead branches or fallen branches. On private land, I will trim whatever the landowner allows me to. For the purpose of this blog I am going to focus on public land ground blinds.

Second is ease of use and accessibility. I don’t have the luxury of hunting close to any road. No, I have to hike in a mile or more in order to find a decent spot to set up. For that reason I don’t use a pop-up blind as they are heavy, bulky and awkward to carry over long distances. While I do a fair share of spot and stalk hunting, I do like setting up in a funnel or pinch point. In the past, I have carried in roll-up blinds to hide my shape from the deer. The drawbacks are carrying it, weight and breaking up the shape of the blind itself. You still need to brush it in when hunting deer because of the straight edges. It defeats the purpose, right? When there isn’t much cover and I have to hike in a long distance I construct my own ground blind.

Adding grass and loose weeds to fill in the gaps

Adding grass and loose weeds to fill in the gaps

Spot and stalk is one of the preferred methods of hunting out here. When I construct a ground blind I take into consideration that I may locate an animal and need to get after it quickly or get a more open area for a shot. I choose a spot that will give me plenty of protection visually, but also give me an escape without impeding my mobility. What I mean by this is that I will at least give myself an open area to dash out if need be. When choosing my spot I also make sure that I have plenty of shooting lanes.

I will find a funnel, pinch point, food source or well used trail and set up a blind in an ambush area. I am certain to choose a spot where my back is against a bush or brush so that it breaks up my outline. A tree that is as wide as or wider than my shoulders is preferred, but in the high desert where I hunt, finding a tree can prove difficult to find.

Clearing out debris for quiet movement

Clearing out debris for quiet movement

Clearing the ground of debris is next on my mental checklist. Loose branches and leaves are shuffled to the imaginary edge of where I think the edge of the finished blind will be.

In my pack I carry a large piece of camouflage netting. I will string this between the bushes or across the brush and anchor it. This netting will break up my silhouette and will hide me better from approaching animals. Once I get it to where it isn’t flapping around, I then spend a few minutes collecting downed branches, large and small. If I can find some with leaves on them that is a plus. When I find a branch that is too large I take out my pruning shears and clip them down to make them smaller. Stack them about two feet high if possible and be sure to make it dense enough so you can’t see through it. If you can see through, so can the deer! I collect grasses and weeds and tuck them into the crevices to be sure a deer can’t see through my set up.

Camouflage netting comes in handy for making DIY ground blinds

Camouflage netting comes in handy for making DIY ground blinds

After the outside looks good, I get behind the blind and draw my bow. I do this to ensure I have plenty of shooting lanes and that the netting or any branches do not impeding my shooting. If I find a branch in my way I get out my pruners and trim them back. Once that is set, I am ready to hunt.

 Picking up loose branches and grasses

Picking up loose branches and grasses

After my hunt, I am sure to take the blind apart. I remove the branches and weeds and scatter them around. Then I take down my netting and pack it up. Because I hunt public land, most times I set up a blind it is used only once, unless I find this is a great area with little pressure. Even then, I tear down the blind so other hunters don’t spot it and also figure out it’s a good spot.

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

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

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


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Building friendships through bow hunting


By Albert Quackenbush
Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Glassing

It’s a rare event when I want to crawl back into bed on a hunt morning, but today was one of those days. I was just plain tired and the bed felt super comfortable, plus it was 2:00 AM on a Saturday. Fortunately, I snapped out of it quick because while it may have been early, it was time to bow hunt!

Brett and I made it to the trail head at 4:15 Am, which was exactly the time we wanted to arrive. There was a 3/4 moon, so we got to do something I have never done before; hike into our spot by moonlight. Our headlamps remained off on the nearly two mile journey into our destination. We were both happy that the temperature was 46 degrees as that made our hike in much more enjoyable. After dropping Brett off, I made my way to my glassing location, which was a Ridgeland that gave a spectacular view of the valley below. Sunrise wasn’t until 6:30 AM, but the moon was so bright that I was able to start glassing the ridges at 5:45 AM. It was amazing!

Albert Quackenbush

Brett glassing a distant hillside for deer

Sharing public land with rifle hunters is something every bow hunter must do. On this particular morning, the rifle hunters were out in full force. Around 7:00 AM, I received a text from Brett that he had spotted some does on a ridge. Quickly picking them out through my binoculars, I waited to see what they would do. As they walked down a trail, all they needed to do was turn right and they would be in bow range for Brett. They had other plans and turned left.

Hunter safety is something I am passionate about in my bow hunting seminars. In the state of California, it is not mandatory for any deer hunter to wear blaze orange. When archery and rifle seasons coincide, I am always wearing some sort of orange to let other hunters know where I am. Forty-five minutes after sunrise, Brett informed me that another hunter was near his location and had no idea he was there. Brett and I were both wearing blaze orange hats and this hunter had absolutely no orange on. I watched as the hunter took the ridge I was glassing from and started to hike it right toward me. I made the decision to stand right up and make sure he noticed me. Not only did I not want to be mistaken for a deer, but I also wanted him to know that I was hunting this ridge. He finally noticed me, turned around and stopped near Brett again. He then noticed Brett, waved and found another position. It was a tense situation because we didn’t want any confrontation nor did we want anyone shooting in our direction.

Albert Quackenbush

Deer on the nearby ridge

We glassed and waited patiently for a buck or a doe to walk into range. After two hours of waiting, a shot rang out in one of the canyons. I watched four doe take off from where the shot came from. Anticipating them running up the ridge I was on, I got ready. Like the two does from earlier, they went the other way. Within the next few minutes, we watched as four other hunters met up with the shooter. By his actions, we could tell he had a buck down. Brett made his way over to my location and we glassed the canyons as the hunter’s field dressed their deer. Seeing nothing, we hiked into an adjacent bowl.

We hiked and glassed and hike some more. We ran into more rifle hunters and still had smiles on our faces. Why? We were bow hunting and having a great time being in the great outdoors. As we made our way through drainage I spotted a forkie shed. It was a great reminder on why we were hiking our tails off.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush found Small forkie shed in drainage

The weather was perfect, but the deer were nowhere to be found. We did find another hunter taking a nap under a shaded bush. We chatted with him for a few minutes and then continued hiking. Beside the other hunters, we soon realized we were not the only predators in the forest. Right in the middle of the trail we found these mountain lion tracks that had been made that morning. It gave us an uneasy feeling, but the worst part was the cat had decided to head right into the area we were headed. Now all bets were off as we turned back to find a shaded spot to relax for a couple of hours.

Albert Quackenbush

Mountain lion track

The evening hunt was a bust, but on the hike out it was evident that both Brett and I enjoyed the day. Breathing in the fresh air, burning boot rubber, and seeing some beautiful country while bow hunting made it a great day. All in all, we encountered eleven rifle hunters throughout the day. Not a single one of them had a stitch of orange on. I encourage all of you bow hunters to be safe out there and to try to anticipate situations you will encounter. No matter what, have fun and be safe out there!

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.


Tips on Target Practice By PSE’s Albert Quackenbush


By Albert Quackenbush
www.SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Target Practice

Practice for the extreme if you want to down an animal with one clean shot. What do I mean by that? A few years ago, I was out scouting a month before the season and at 6:00 AM it was 89 degrees. At 6:00 AM!! Imagine what it would be like at 2:00 PM. Here the temperatures during hunting season can easily reach 100 degrees midday. It gets hot, you get sweaty and uncomfortable and you need to prepare yourself for it. Also, you really should practice at ranges you aren’t so comfortable with. Shoot out further and you’ll be surprised at how your accuracy will change at closer range. Here are steps I continually work on throughout the year when I am practicing to prepare myself for the extremes.

In the early part of the year you will find me practicing in shorts, a t-shirt and sneakers when I am at the range. It helps me loosen up and it’s comfortable! The same should go for you. Start off the year practicing in your comfortable clothes, no matter where you are. Make it enjoyable. As the weeks tick by, I will add more clothing during select sessions at the archery range. On some hot days (80+ degrees), I’ll clothe myself in my long-sleeve, long pant gear. I’ll wear my hunting boots, too. Why do I torture myself like this? Hunting in the high desert could mean shooting a deer when it’s 90 degrees. You really should practice in those extreme situations. I have also had clothing get tangled into my bow string and throw off my shot. Wear what you plan to hunt in from time to time and you’ll find instances like this that can be corrected early on.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush 3D Practice

Sometime during the next few weeks I will add in a 3D target to the mix. While you can start with a regular target with dots to shoot at, in the field you won’t have a bulls eye to focus on. Buy a 3D target and practice with it as much as you can. For me, I shoot at a small javelina target. Have I ever hunted javelina? No, but the target area is very small and it leaves little room for error. I could try to pick up a moose target, but I want my shots tight and my confidence level as high as it can be. If you hunt deer exclusively, pick up a quality deer target. My shots greatly improved when I started shooting a 3D target.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Target Practice Tips

Want to add some more fun to your target practice? Take an old sock and fill it with rags or more old socks. Prior washing optional! The more you stuff in the better the result will be. Once you have six or eight in, tie off the end with a knot. Success! Now you have yourself a small rabbit target to use at the range. Then, tip one of your arrows with a judo point made for small game hunting. Start shooting at the rabbit a few times during each session. Keep track of your range and how you improve over time. You might surprise yourself how confident you will become and how far out you can hit that small bundle of socks.

Keep in mind that you must also prepare yourself for failure. Without failure there can be no improvement. Even after 28 years of experience with archery I still miss my mark once in a while. I am not perfect and I have bad days at the range, too. Just a few weeks ago, I was shooting with my friends and we were shooting at sixty yards with deadly accuracy. During our round of six arrows each, I drew my bow, settled my pin, and let the arrow fly. Immediately I knew it was off the mark as I felt he bow torque in my hand just as I released. My arrow went right over the 3D target and buried itself in the thick grass behind it. Was I dejected? You bet I was! How had I missed? No matter what I thought, I had to stay positive. It was what I did next that mattered most. Instead of beating myself up for missing, I went back to shooting and focused. I found my anchor point, settled the pin, squeezed the trigger on my release and buried an arrow deep into the vitals of the javelina. My practice session ended where it should have – on a successful shot.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush

In closing I have one very important tip to ensure continued success. Once your arm gets tired, stop practicing. You can make bad judgments followed by avoidable mistakes if you continue to push yourself. Instead, go rest or pack up and prepare yourself to come back another day. I had to learn the hard way and now whenever my arm gets tired I am done. Remember that when shooting at an animal it is the first arrow that is the most important, not the last.

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

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

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


PSE’S Albert Quackenbush Teaching Our Children


By Albert Quackenbush
www.SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush givng his daughter a lesson in proper hand placement

When my dad taught me how to shoot a bow I felt like I was on top of the world. I was able to take part in something I knew he loved and I got to learn from him. From shooting at straw bales in the backyard to hunting whitetails on the farm, you could almost always find us with a bow in our hands. He was an excellent teacher and to this day is very encouraging when it comes to bow hunting. Now I am in that role of being a father. As parents, my wife and I have the responsibility of guiding our daughter and molding her into the woman she’ll become. We can teach her things together as parents, and we can also share our own individual gifts with her. It goes without saying that what I share most with her, on an individual level, is bow hunting. Just as I won’t hide from anyone who asks me about hunting, I will not hide what I do and love from her. By sharing my side of life she will learn about her dad, but also learn more about herself as she grows.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Showing his daughter a good example of how to shoot

As my dad taught me the ways of the bow, I have begun teaching my daughter, Riley. It’s not only the archery that I share with her though. When I turn on an outdoor television show about bow hunting, I take note of what’s happening and also what my daughter is doing. Explaining what is happening during the shows is easy. She follows right along, but the hard part is making sure she understands it. When an animal is shot with an arrow, I don’t cover her eyes and I don’t tell her they ‘caught’ the animal as I have heard other parents do. This father is sure to tell his daughter that the animal was shot and killed. It died. Stopping there would make no sense and I explain that the person is going to eat the animal or share it with someone else who will eat it. She may not understand it all now, but as time progresses it will all begin to make sense.

On almost any Saturday (hunting season excluded) the early hours usually have a typical storyline. I wake up and make some coffee. Riley wakes up shortly thereafter and we get a few hours to do what we’d like. Her eyes light up when I ask her if she’d like to head down to our garage to play. The great thing about my relationship with my daughter is that even at 3 1/2 she knows that if we are heading out to the garage she can always shoot her bow. For the past couple months, when we get down there she nearly always ask if she can shoot her bow and arrows. As a bow hunter and father, this makes me a very proud papa! Every time she asks my answer is a resounding YES! The bow she is using is just a little shooter with suction cup tipped arrows and I am trying to instill safety in her, so we always shoot outside the house. She doesn’t seem to mind if we are shooting at a piece of cardboard, she just enjoys it! The first few times she wanted my help, but anyone with kids knows they want to do it themselves very quickly.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Daughter Riley wanting to do it herself, nocks another arrow

The thrill I get when Riley walks around the house and mimics shooting a bow is undeniable. She will pretend to draw her bow and tell me she is shooting an elk. (I guess I have been talking a lot about elk hunting lately.) She even asks me about my trips to the archery range, shooting with my friends and if I had fun doing it. Now THAT will make any bow hunting dad proud. It makes my day when I hear her ask me things like that. She listens intently and hopefully will keep a few tips from dear-old dad tucked away for future use.

I want to encourage all of you bow hunters who are also parents to share the details of hunting with your kids. Don’t shelter them and hide the truth of what happens when we hunt. If you are honest with them, they will appreciate what bow hunting is more than you’ll ever know. The phrase has been repeated over and over, but I feel it speaks the truth – bowhunting is my passion. I am not expecting Riley to have that same passion. The only thing I can expect is for her to choose her passion for herself. Whatever she chooses to be her passion, you can bet that her mother and I will support her in every way we can.

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

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

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


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Preparing for a Southern California Hunt


By Albert Quackenbush
Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Glassing is a key to SoCal hunting Success

From grammar school through college I was a doodler. On every sheet of paper or napkin you’d find some sort of doodle showing what I was thinking about that day. Nowadays, doodles can be found in the way of biologist phone numbers, road names, and illustrations of what I have seen in certain areas. Similar to that, when I plan for a Southern California hunt, I am constantly taking notes in many different forms. Planning for a hunt out here is very much like school – you have to do your homework to be successful. I get emails and blog questions asking me where to go and how to find animals to hunt, but that’s just the surface work.

The number one question I get asked is how do I find a place to hunt in Southern California? Homework and a positive attitude are two things you must do and have to hunt the areas here. You also have to have the courage to hike to new locations, glass and burn boot rubber. If driving is a factor in your decision, keep this in mind; most areas to hunt are anywhere from a half hour drive to a 3 hour drive – one way! There are many factors that I have to consider when planning for a hunt. I will share some of them here.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Utilizing Maps

Maps and Boundaries
Maps can be a hunter’s best friend, so I scour maps all year; online and paper topos. My hunt preparation, no matter where I am going always includes maps. I usually start reviewing area in Google Earth because it’s easy to mark locations, east to share with your hunting buddies, and it’s free. I like topographic maps because I can review the terrain and more importantly locate water sources. Whether it’s a map printed off the internet or a topo, I always have a map of the location I am going with places highlighted to check out.

Forums and Other Hunters
Online forums and other hunters are a great source of information. Most hunters like to brag a little when it comes to finding a good spot, or animal, to hunt. When I first started out hunting in SoCal this is exactly what I did. I gathered as much Intel online that I could. I processed it, asked questions and verified that the areas where I wanted to scout were public land, legal to hunt and had a chance for finding animals. This is also a great way to meet other hunters who are looking for hunting partners or have land they are willing to allow you to hunt. Now don’t get your hopes up there, but it IS possible. With some browsing, phone calls and asking questions you CAN find private land to hunt that won’t cost you anything but a tank of gas to get there and back. It just takes perseverance and some work.\Trail Cameras and Scouting

 

PSE's Albert Quackenbush Utilizing Maps

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Trail Camera

An often daunting task is to find the deer on public land. Trail cameras and scouting are the very best ways of finding a shooter deer. The logical thing is to combine the two. Bring a trail camera or two when you go scouting and if you plan to set up some trail cams bring out your optics and glass. One of the challenges here is that your cameras will mostly be going on public land. Putting your cameras on public land will give you some great information, but the cameras seem to be a big target for thieves. Use common sense and don’t put them in easy to find places. Take the time to hide it, lock it up and take it down when you have the information you need.

Check Over Your Gear
Often overlooked is the shape of your gear, namely your bow, arrows, release and any electronics. I can tell you that having your gear fail on you will make your heart sink. I have had the misfortune of having a release seize up due to the dry, sandy conditions of the high desert and I have had my trigger fall right of my release while hunting. Fortunately, I have a backup release with me at all times, but that isn’t always true with a bow. I don’t always take a backup bow with me, so it’s a priority to go over it carefully and make sure it’s lubed, string is waxed, screws are tightened, and everything is in place.

Packing In and Packing Out
Lists can be a downfall for some people, but I thrive on making lists and planning. I like to be sure I have everything I am going to need for a hunt and that I haven’t left anything behind. I have been on a few hunts out here now and don’t make a list every time I go, but I have a good idea of what I will need. A few nights before a planned hunt, I will lay everything out and make certain it’s in the right place. It could be in my pack or in a tote to go in the truck, but it’s there. If I have to purchase something at the store I will know it long before the day of the hunt. Don’t wait until the last minute and realize you forgot an important piece of the puzzle.

Setting a Safety Net
An important feature I have added to my hunts is a safety net. Not a safety net in the literal sense, but I a plan in case something goes wrong or if someone needs to find me. I start by making sure to give my wife has a map of the area I am hunting. On that map I mark up the roads or trailheads we’ll be parking at and where we plan on hunting. I give here the directions I am taking to get there. If I am going hunting with my hunting partners, I am sure to give her their names, cell phones and email addresses should she not hear from me. I also give her times I will be going in and coming out. One feature that I must add to my plan is the local hospitals and their phone numbers. Hopefully she’ll never need to call, but in case she does it’ll be readily available.

PSE's Albert Quackenbush Utilizing Maps

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Six miles off the main road

There are many different ways to plan a hunt in Southern California. Every person has a certain approach to the way they plan out a hunt and each time may be slightly different. Even mine gets adjusted from time to time. It all depends on the person and the hunt itself. No matter what, have fun in the preparation and planning. The anticipation that builds through the planning of a hunt can be almost as good as the hunt itself. Almost.

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

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

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


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Hunting Deer in NY vs. CA


By Albert Quackenbush
SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush SoCal Hunting Landscape

Bow hunting for whitetail deer is awesome! It is one of my most favorite things to do. I was surrounded by it growing up. Quite often I am asked how hunting in Southern California differs from hunting back in New York State. In all honesty, there are many similarities with a DIY whitetail hunt in New York and a DIY blacktail hunt in California. That being said, there are also dramatic differences to consider. They are both skittish cervids and are intelligent creatures. Factors like weather, huntable land and animal characteristics are much greater once you have had the chance to experience them in California. That being said, if you put your mind to it and use the same principals for a whitetail hunt, you can hunt Southern California blacktail.

Hunting farmland in Upstate NY made for some great hunting opportunities. More often than not, the farmer was planting crops and had an ongoing supply of food for the deer population. We could glass a field in the evening and see if the deer were feeding. Whether it be a clover field or freshly cut corn field, you could spot the deer pretty easily. Based on your intel, you could go into the area where they came from or were going to and set up a treestand or ground blind. In the foothills and high desert of Southern California the deer are constantly on the move and food plots aren’t something we are allowed by law to plant. The best thing to look for is water. Finding a water source begins by reviewing maps and then hiking out and actually finding them prior to hunting season. If you can find a water source you are in good shape to begin your scouting. In California, you can’t sit over water for more than 30 minutes, so you have to come up with alternative strategies. Just like the food plots or corn fields on a farm, finding where the deer are coming from when they come in to drink will give you an advantage.

When I was exclusively hunting whitetail deer, the first thing we would do every year was look for game trails and fresh sign. We’d look for tracks, rub lines and scrapes. Hunting blacktails in SoCal is similar in some ways. Once I get to an area I use my optics and glass the terrain. I look for animals that silhouette themselves or are bedded down in the shade of a manzanita bush. If I can’t find an animal I look for game trails. Out here you can usually see them zig-zagging along a foothill or running near a ridge. Then I try to find tracks going to or coming from that area.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush- Bedded Pacific-Hybrid buck taken through binoculars

Getting as far away from the hunting population as you can is one of the keys to success. This rings true for both NY and CA. Hunting whitetails in New York, you want to be far enough away from other hunters for a few reasons. First and foremost, your safety. Second, you want the least amount of pressure on the animals to give you the best chance of success. Most Southern California hunters will not venture more than a couple miles on foot to find a spot. Add in steep terrain, lack of water, and shade and you lose another percentage. If you can find a remote, hard to access area you are off to a good start. This is also a good place to start glassing for animals. Personally, the farther I can get away from other hunters and see animals the happier I am. I know that most of the bigger animals are far from roads and people. No matter what, it will not be easy, but it will be worth the effort.

Weather seems to be a major factor to people and it does come into play, but for different reasons. The weather in NY can be very fickle. You might find snow in the morning and then have 80 degrees by afternoon. I’ve experienced this first hand and while that is an extreme case, it does happen. It can do the same thing in California. You can have 30 degrees in the morning and by noon the mercury is reaching 100 degrees. Let me focus on the California heat for a second. I have no problem hunting in the heat. Sure, you need plenty of water and sunscreen, but I have found deer moving at all times of the day out here. They will gravitate toward the shade of trees and bushes, but they do move. The major drawback in hunting the heat is making sure that if you are able to fill your tag you field dress and get the animal cooled as quickly as possible. When you are three miles deep in the forest that can be very hard to do. I will ask any hunter to please consider the care of your animal before taking the shot.

A major difference I have found is the proximity in which you can hunt. In New York, I was able to hit the woods with my dad and brother for the first three hours of the day. We’d park ourselves in a treestand and wait, and wait, and wait. Then, usually around 9:00 AM, we’d convene at the truck and head back down the road for breakfast. Over bacon, eggs and coffee we would talk strategy and be back out in the woods within an hour or two. In California, especially where I live, I need to drive at least forty minutes just to get to a trailhead. Then I have to hike in a few miles to where I am going to start glassing and wait for sunrise. For those reasons, I usually plan on staying out all day. Also, patterning the SoCal blacktail in the areas I hunt has proven difficult. Sure, I have figured out the main trails they use and what time if day they may walk through an area, but 99% of those deer are does and fawns. Locating a mature blacktail is a challenge. You see, in most of the areas out here you cannot harvest a doe. I know, it sounds crazy right? We can pull certain tags that allow us to get a buck or a doe, but they are limited.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Whitetail

Whether you are hunting in New York, California, or any other area, you have to your research, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. The harder you work, the sweeter it will be when you can fill that tag and look back at the effort you made. Make some friends, plan some hunts, and just enjoy the outdoors. Any day I can get out and enjoy the outdoors is a good day in my book. Happy hunting!

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

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

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


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush -Baptism in Southern California


By Albert Quackenbush
http://socalbowhunter.blogspot.com/

Baptism in SoCal

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Baptism in SoCal

When I moved to California in 2006 I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had no friends here. I knew nothing at all about the hunting here and I was afraid. I’ll be the first to admit that I was fearful because there was so much unknown to me. After asking around, I found a local archery club that met a mile from my apartment and thought I was saved. I showed up with my bow set up for hunting out of a treestand. Right away I was told to either get a bow that would allow me to shoot farther or plan on going back to NY to hunt each year. At first, I was more than discouraged, but it began to toughen me up. When I asked the hunters in the group where I might go to get started not a single one would help me. I can’t blame them as they had worked hard to find their own spots and now I had to do it. The archery range where I shoot beckons people from all over and I took it upon myself to approach archers and start asking those questions. I would walk up to them, introduce myself and share what I was trying to do. It wasn’t until I met a young man and his son that I felt I had my first nugget of information. He shared with me a spot to go try and while it would be tough to hunt, it would give me an idea of what hunting was like out here.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Searching for Huntable Areas

My equipment also needed an upgrade. The bow I had wasn’t cutting for Western hunting. I started asking around; scouring the internet and finally found a bow I wanted to try out. I met the seller at his house and he produced a well-cared for PSE Vengeance compound bow. I had never seen a Vengeance, let alone shoot one. This man helped me in a way he’ll never know. First, we talked and then he insisted I shoot the bow before buying it. While that should be a normal thing to do, I know many people who do not and I was one of them at the time. So I shot it. It felt like it was made just for me. It was a little on the heavier side from what I was used to, but it was a well-built bow with power. As we talked, the man shared that he and his son hunted and that if I ever had any questions or wanted to tag along I was welcome. That gave me hope! While I never did tag along, I am thankful for his support!

During my search for updated equipment, I found another gentleman selling some arrows. Little did I know that this chance meeting would turn into a friendship that would lead to a hunting partner. The purchase of the arrows lead to deeper conversation about hunting in California and hunting partners. It turns out that his partner left for the wilds of Oregon and he was partnerless. We rectified that and within the next couple weeks we were out scouting the area. Some of the areas were not only beautiful, but were exactly what I needed to find.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Boots

Hunting out here is just as much about finding huntable land and wearing out boot rubber as it is to knowing the regulations and laws. Knowing the season dates should be a given, but there are multiple regulations between different game animals, weaponry, and borderlines of private and public land. I review the regulations and fish & game code often to be certain I am hunting the right area, during the right time, with the proper weapon.

Another factor that I hadn’t bargained for are the rattlesnakes. Unlike many people, I think rattlesnakes are very interesting creatures. Snakes are awesome in my opinion. That being said, rattlers can stay awesome from a good distance and not underfoot! They are everywhere out here and while you may never see one, you still have to protect yourself. Wearing snake boots has become the norm for me. Hopefully my encounters with them will be few and far between.

SoCal

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush SoCal

My advice to anyone wanting to hunt California, or anywhere for that matter, is to ask as many questions as you can. You might be afraid, but everyone has a slight degree of fear. The worst thing anyone can say is ‘No.’ Find the right person and you may gain access to some prime hunting land or land yourself a good friend. The hard work has paid off for me and I know it will for you, too.

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

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

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


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Very Enticing..


By Albert Quackenbush
SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Bow Practice

Four years ago I purchased my first PSE compound bow. It was a 2006 PSE Vengeance. I spent time researching this used bow and found the details to be very enticing. When I met the seller at his house, we spent a great deal of time discussing the bow. Being a lifelong bowhunter himself, he asked that I shoot the bow in his driveway before I purchased it. The fit and feel was just right for me. The draw was smooth, the weight in my hands was perfect and it shot like a dream. The price couldn’t be beat. I made the purchase knowing I had found the right bow for me, but that wasn’t always the case.

One of the biggest challenges I faced growing up was finding the right bow. When I first started shooting a compound bow it was because my dad bought it for me. I shot it often and loved it because he gave it to me, not really thinking about anything else.

Due to lack of knowledge and understanding, I have shot many different bows during my archery career. The most dramatic and hard lesson I learned was when I was 16 years old. I had outgrown my first compound and had to upgrade. My dad took me to a local pro shop to look at some used bows. We could never afford to buy a new one, which I was completely fine with. Just being able to bow hunt was incredible itself.

Once inside the pro shop, we noticed the owner reviewing a bow a gentleman had just brought in to sell. It looked like a great bow and my dad wanted me to try it out. It was selling for a great price and it was within our budget. This is a common mistake made by new bowhunters. They make an impulse buy and later, after shooting it and realizing their mistake, falter and get discouraged.

Albert Quackenbush

Now please understand I do not blame my dad or anyone else. There’s no blame here. It’s a misunderstanding and lack of knowledge. We did not know that you could shoot a few bows, try them out and see which one fit. It felt like we were inconveniencing the pro shop owner by taking our time looking, so we jumped at the chance to buy the used bow. Sure, I shot it (it was a difficult draw) and the bow was way too heavy for my 16 year old frame, but the price was perfect. So we bought it.

For the next two years I shot this bow with my confidence as low as one could imagine. It had no let-off, was heavy and although I was fortunate to take a couple deer with it, I really disliked the bow. With the same tactics as previously described, I went out and bought a new one.

My point in all of this is don’t buy a bow just because it’s on sale or that you think looks cool. Actually take some time to shoot it. Be sure it fits you so that you will own it for a very long time.

I have moved on from that first PSE to other PSE bows because they just fit me even better. I shot a PSE X-Force for years before upgrading to my current PSE Bow Madness. This is a great bow for me and is hands down the best bow I have ever shot. It fits me like a glove, shoots exceptionally well and is quiet. PSE is a company I trust and will be shooting for a very long time.

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

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

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


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush BowHunting,”It’s What I do”


By Albert Quackenbush
SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush’s DIY Hunter

If you ask anyone who knows me what my passion is I can guarantee their answer will be ‘bow hunting’. Quite honestly, they are right on. When it comes down to it my passion is do-it-yourself bow hunting, or DIY. I enjoy a challenge. I love the hard work that goes into a DIY hunt because the payoff is that much greater.

Take for example hunting deer in Southern California. Sure, there is plenty of public forest land to hunt. You just have to make the effort to get there. Then again, there are also many hunters who like to get out and enjoy the same forest lands I do. In order to steer clear of the other hunters I do my homework. My homework for a DIY hunt starts with scouring over maps to find areas of interest. Sure, I can just hop on a forum and get some details where to go, but where is the adventure in that? I like to find hard to reach areas on a map and see what I can find.

Practicing year round is something I now take great pride in. For me, it is a great way to stay on top of my game. It’s also probably the #1 stress reliever I can think of after a hard work week. I am constantly at the range keeping my body in tune and sending arrows down range.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush’s Passion

I also like to put the boots to the ground and find my own way. That’s where the scouting comes in. The great thing about SoCal scouting is that there is almost always something to hunt… year round! My trusty PSE Bow Madness always goes with me in case I run across a coyote, a wild hog or a jack rabbit, as they can be hunted year round.

I am as passionate about my family as I am bow hunting. Even still, my wife will attest that no matter what I am doing I can relate it to bow hunting and that I probably mention it far too often for her taste. I’ll be the first to admit that it is a challenge to be a good husband, father, work a full-time job and hunt as often as I get to. If I am not out bow hunting I most assuredly thinking about it or sharing information with someone through a hunting story or seminar. I am a bow hunter and it’s what I do.

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

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

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


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush – Proud Bow Hunter


By Albert Quackenbush
SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush Target Practice

Hunting has been in my family for as long as I remember. My dad and brother are the two best hunting partners a guy could ask for. We would spend all year discussing the previous year, the weather, where to place stands and when October would arrive so we could get in the woods. Sure, we hunted for small game and turkey, but the animal we most desired was the whitetail deer. I took it for granted, until I moved 3,000 miles away.

Where I grew up in New York State everyone hunted. When I moved to California that all changed. It was a new place with new friends who didn’t understand hunting. Then married a woman who doesn’t care for hunting, but she appreciates the passion I have for it. I am a proud bow hunter and I am not afraid to share it.

I have actually made some great new friends through bow hunting in California. Some of the guys are my new bow hunting partners. Every week we hit the archery range to practice and talk about the upcoming archery seasons and what we can hunt. I look forward to it each and every week.

Now that my daughter is three and a half, I have started sharing more and more of the outdoors with her. I have never hidden the fact that I hunt, nor will I be ashamed of it. Sometimes, when I am watching a hunting show on television, she’ll hop on my lap and point out the animals onscreen. It makes me proud to know she knows the animals and sees the hunters in pursuit of wild game.

When I get home wearing camouflage face paint, she often jokingly asks me if I am wearing makeup. Of course I reply that indeed I am!

Al Quackenbush

PSE’s Al Quackenbush Teaching his Daughter to Shoot

Just recently, my daughter and I ventured to a sporting goods retailer and we picked out her very first bow. While I was introduced to archery when I was nine, I figured she could start earlier if she wanted to. Sure, she’s not going want to focus on it for more than five minutes, but she should have fun and shoot some arrows like her dad if she wants to. Enthusiastically, she said that she wanted the bow and also loved seeing all of the taxidermy around.

The next day, we got her bow out of the package and she shot for the first time. Like most kids, she was frustrated at first. With a little patience and coaxing, she was shooting arrows and smiling in no time. You can bet that I will be sharing more bow hunting tips and techniques as we both age gracefully.

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

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

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


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush’s Hunting Roots


By Albert Quackenbush
SoCalBowhunter.com

Albert Q

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush

My bow hunting roots were set at an early age in Western New York State. It should come as no surprise that I chose to become a bow hunter because of my dad. I loved being outdoors and so did he. When he would go hunting, he’d take my brother and me along with him, and often we’d get a chance to shoot at a squirrel or two. He taught me to shoot a bow when I was nine years old with an old fiberglass longbow with wooden arrows. He taught me how to shoot, care for my equipment and the safe practices that must be maintained as an archer.

My brother and I were extremely fortunate growing up. Being raised on a farm, we would always have an ample supply of straw bale to hold our targets and we would constantly make up different games to improve our shooting and have fun. Whether it be saving a train from robbers or pretending we were Robin Hood, we would always have fun.

Albert Quackenbush

PSE’S Albert Quackenbush The Early Days

The first shot I ever took on an animal with a bow was when I was 10 years old. My dad had been in the fields and had seen a buck meander into our overgrown orchard. He came back to the house, had me get my bow and he gave me an arrow tipped with a broadhead. With his equipment in hand, we hopped in the truck and drove to the edge of the field. He explained that he was going to circle around the deer and stalk up through the orchard. He posted me at the very top of the orchard, near the field in case the buck doubled back. A short time later, I peered around the apple tree I was using as cover and there he was! He was on a path to walk right by my tree. So I waited what seemed like an eternity and drew my bow thinking he’d be right there. Sure enough he came walking by and I let the arrow fly… right over his back. I was shaking like a leaf in a tornado and he bolted like nobody’s business. When I checked the yardage I was heartbroken. I had missed the deer at three yards! It was a lesson learned and it showed me how much buck fever can take over!

A couple years later, on a walk with my brother on the farm, we spotted antlers sticking up above the swale on the edge of a field. We quietly scooted back to the house and told my dad. Figuring this would be a good lesson for us, he told me to grab my bow and to go put a stalk on the buck to see if I could get him. My brother and I played the wind perfectly and got to within ten yards of this massive buck when the wind swirled and gave us up. He bolted away as our hearts were about to pound out of our chests. It’s hard to describe the excitement and thrill we both felt. Even without shooting an arrow, we had stalked very close to one of the most skittish animals on the planet. We were forever hooked on bow hunting!

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

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

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


PSE Introduces the PSE Staff Bloggers


PSE Staff Bloggers

PSE Staff Bloggers

September 10, 2012 Tucson, AZ – Precision Shooting Equipment, Inc. (PSE), a pioneering company in the archery industry, announces the selection of the PSE Staff Bloggers for blog.pse-archery.com.

“We are very honored to have assembled such an outstanding team of bloggers to represent PSE,” said Blake Shelby, PSE Director of Marketing. “Their dedication to DIY hunting, family and bowhunting will be represented in their posts.”

The PSE Staff Blogger Team consists of the following:

“We are excited to welcome them to the PSE family and look forward to reading their posts,” said Jonathan Shepley, President of PSE. “We believe they will be an asset to our industry with their tips, strategies and insights into bowhunting and archery.”

About Precision Shooting Equipment, Inc.

Pete Shepley, a legend in the archery industry, founded PSE 41 years ago. Today, PSE is one of the largest privately-owned archery equipment manufacturing companies in the country and a leader in development and manufacturing of the most advanced compound bows and related equipment ever produced.

For more information about PSE, visit www.pse-archery.com  or read their blog at http://blog.pse-archery.com.


PSE’s Albert Quackenbush – A Die Hard Bowhunter


Albert Q

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush

What you see is what you get. That’s exactly how I have lived my life and how I want to be known. My name is Albert Quackenbush and I am a die-hard bow hunter. I have been a bow hunter for 28+ years and I most definitely passionate about it.

Up to this point, I spent most of my life living in Western New York State and utilized everything from a bow to a firearm. I hunted everything, but my passion was for whitetails. I now reside in Southern California where I strictly bow hunt and love to hunt anything I can. One of the things that make it even better is having a great group of hunting buddies out here. In NY I have two of the best hunting partners a guy could ask for; my dad and brother. We always swap stories, talk about gear and plan our next hunting trips. I always look forward to heading back to NY to hunt whitetails with them.

The SoCal Bow hunter blog (SoCalBowhunter.com) started for a few reasons. First and foremost, I love to write. I love telling stories and I getting people involved. I saw little to none of that here in Southern California. I also started it to share information and to get information. When I moved to California, I couldn’t get a hunter to help with anything. Everyone was super tight-lipped. It not only frustrated me, it angered me that my fellow hunters would even give me a tip or two. I wasn’t asking for hunting spots, just where to start. That is primarily the reason I started the blog. The second reason is that I love to test out gear and see what works, what doesn’t, and what I would recommend to my fellow hunters.

I am a Pro Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com, Field Logic and Piranha Custom Bowstrings. I am a member of the RMEF, California Deer Association, NWTF, and is a Life Member for the North American Hunting Club. Best of all, I am now part of the PSE Blogging Staff and a PSE Field Staff member.

Albert Quackenbush pse

PSE’s Albert Quackenbush & Daughter

Most of all I just want to be the best husband and father I can be. Being a hunter, while important to me, is secondary. Sharing what I know with my daughter will be ongoing as she grows up. I feel that sharing what I know will help keep our heritage alive for future generations.

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 28 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, 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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