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


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

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

Click on the link to watch Jared’s video.

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to get the ebook “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros” by John E. Phillips, or go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Click here to get the Kindle ebook, “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros”, by John E Phillips or go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

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

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


Hunting in a Social World by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

scentfreelipgloss@yahoo.com

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

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

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

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

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

I want to hear from you:

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

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

Keep your eye out for the #elktour DVD over on huntography.com! Watch PSE’s Emily Anderson and Dustin Jones hunt elk DIY style on our amazing public lands in the Western United States. Huntography also films a deer hunting DVD called #deertour which you will be able to watch PSE’s Will Jenkins hunt whitetails. Huntography…filming America’s hunters, one at a time!

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


Carrying your bow properly by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

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

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

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

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

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 29 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a PSE Staff Blogger and a Pro Staff member for Piranha Custom Bowstrings and Field Logic. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.

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

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


Consistent Practice by PSE’s Dustin Jones


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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Dustin Jones is a passionate outdoorsman who loves to hunt, especially bowhunt. He created his blog, HighCountryBowhunter.com, to share his experiences with others. He is a Field Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com and Adventure Team member for MINOX Hunting Optics.

Dustin was born and raised in Eastern Idaho where he currently resides with his wife and two sons.

Keep your eye out for the #elktour DVD over on huntography.com! Watch PSE’s Emily Anderson and Dustin Jones hunt elk DIY style on our amazing public lands in the Western United States. Huntography also films a deer hunting DVD called #deertour which you will be able to watch PSE’s Will Jenkins hunt whitetails. Huntography…filming America’s hunters, one at a time!

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

 

 


Spot Shooting with PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

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

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

Shooting from various positions is important....

Shooting from various positions is important….

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

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

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

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

Light levels can change....

Light levels can change….

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

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

Elevated shots are important....

Elevated shots are important….

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

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

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

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

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


Hunting Close to Home by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

http://www.fromthedraw.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep your eye out for the #elktour DVD over on huntography.com! Watch PSE’s Emily Anderson and Dustin Jones hunt elk DIY style on our amazing public lands in the Western United States. Huntography also films a deer hunting DVD called #deertour which you will be able to watch PSE’s Will Jenkins hunt whitetails. Huntography…filming America’s hunters, one at a time!

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


PSE’s Todd Carter on How to Hunt Trophy Bucks


By John E. Phillips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on hunting deer, get John E. Phillips’ new eBook “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros.” Too, you can go to www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

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


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


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

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

Target Practice

Target Practice

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

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

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

Scouting

Scouting

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

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

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 29 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a PSE Staff Blogger and a Pro Staff member for Piranha Custom Bowstrings and Field Logic. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.

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

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

 


PSE’s Ernie Calandrelli, the Bionic Bowhunter


By Ernie Calandrelli with John E. Phillips

Day 1: PSE’s Ernie Calandrelli Takes the Biggest Buck of His Life in Kansas

Editor’s Note: When we asked Ernie Calandrelli, public relations director for Quaker Boy Calls in Orchard Park, New York, how long he had been shooting PSE, he answered, “Years and years and years.” Calandrelli can’t remember when he didn’t shoot PSE. Although he doesn’t remember the models of PSE bows he’s shot over the years, he does remember some of the better deer he’s taken with his PSE bows. As Calandrelli has gotten older, he has had medical problems that would cause most bowhunters to give-up the sport. With both shoulders completely replaced, he is still taking deer each season with his PSE bow. Ernie Calandrelli is the bionic bowhunter.

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The best buck I ever took with my PSE bow was a buck I killed in Kansas that scored 176-1/2-points on Pope & Young that I took at 17 steps. I had put a climbing stand in a tree on the edge of a river bank where I had hunted the year before. I climbed into my tree stand before daylight that first morning. As the light brightened-up the sky, I did a series of grunt calls. I just had put down my call when this buck came up over the edge of the river bank. At first light, I had seen a rub and ranged it at 17 yards. When the buck came over the river bank, he walked right beside that tree, before moving to within 12 steps of me. I thought he was at least a 130-inch buck. I made the decision to take the shot, but the way he was coming, I knew he would smell me. While he moved through a thicket, I came to full draw. When the buck hit my scent line, he whirled and ran back into the thicket. I thought the hunt was over, but luckily, he stopped by the tree I had ranged and looked back at me. I put the pin right behind his shoulder and released the arrow.

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I realized immediately I had the buck. I knew I had a clean release, and that my pin sight was behind the shoulder, where I needed it to be. When I touched the trigger on my mechanical release, there was no question in my mind that the buck was mine. One of the big advantages of shooting a PSE bow is if you practice with it, you have confidence and know your bow is flat-shooting and fast. You know when you touch that trigger that you’ll have your buck. I often am asked why I shoot PSE bows, and my answer always is, “They’re dependable, they fit me, and they do what they’re designed to do. They take deer and other big game.”

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Day 2: PSE’s Ernie Calandrelli Takes the Same Kansas Stand and Makes the Same Shot with the Same Bow to Equal a 160 Inch Buck

One of the things I like about PSE is I have years of history with the company. I believe if something’s not broken, don’t fix it. I’m the same way about deer hunting. After I took the biggest buck of my life in Kansas, I returned to Kansas the next year. The first morning of the hunt, I went back to the same stand where I had taken the 176-1/2-inch buck the previous year. I knew when I walked into the woods I’d start perspiring. So, I carried my outer clothes with me to the stand and put them on there. On this morning, I wore a hooded sweatshirt with a Quaker Boy Ridge Runner Grunt Call in the front pocket. Before I could take my outer clothing out of my daypack, I heard something walking and cracking limbs. To be honest, I thought it was another hunter. Then I spotted a deer at about 40 or 50 yards in my peripheral vision.

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I took out my grunt call. Because I was looking at the deer and trying to take out my grunt call out at the same time, somehow the plastic tube on the front of the call got hung-up in my pocket. So, when I pulled it out, I had just the call in my hand. In the early days of deer calling, grunt calls were just short calls with no hoses. So, I knew how to put my hand over the end of the call to muffle and deepen the sound. The deer turned and started coming to me. That buck walked right up under my stand. I couldn’t see exactly how big the buck was. However, I knew he was over 130 inches, so I took the shot. I waited about an hour in my tree stand, before I decided to track the deer. Instead of following the blood trail and going straight to the deer, I opted to go over the bank and walk the edge of the river.

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Before I came out of the tree, I identified a tree that I could recognize from the river bank. That tree was important, because it was the last place I had seen the buck. My plan was to stay out of sight and hearing of the buck I had arrowed and walk down the edge of the river. When I got to the tree where I had last seen the buck, I started looking for my deer. I took my time and walked as quietly as possible. When I was even with the tree, I sneaked over the edge of the bank. Just as I topped the river bank, I saw a huge buck with long antlers. I said to myself, “Oh my gosh, is that the buck I just shot?” I went over the bank and put my hands on the deer’s antlers. I couldn’t believe it. This buck scored 160 on Pope & Young. When I went back to the tree and stepped-off the distance, I found the buck only had been standing 6-yards from me when I took the shot. I had used my 10-yard pin, and that PSE bow shot so flat and fast that my arrow only hit a few inches below where I was aiming.

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Day 3: PSE’s Ernie Calandrelli Lets His Bow Down and Turns Around in the Tree to Get the Shot at a Missouri Buck

A week before I took the biggest buck of my life in Kansas, I had been hunting in Missouri. I had set-up a ladder stand in a creek bottom, where two or three ridges came together. This bottom was right on the edge of some Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land. During this afternoon hunt, the sun was going down over the hill behind me. I knew I didn’t have many-more minutes before dark. As the sun went down, it lit-up the CRP field behind me. Every blade of grass and every bush glowed like neon lights. In the distance, I could see something moving across the field. I picked-up my binoculars and saw it was a monster buck, and he was coming toward me but wouldn’t pass by me. I pulled my Ridge Runner grunt call out of my pocket and grunted to the deer. I hoped to get him to turn and walk to me. As soon as that buck heard that grunt call, he spun and started running straight to me.

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This hunt had to be one of the most-exciting ones I ever had in my life. I never had seen a buck run as fast or as hard straight to me as this buck did. For a minute, I was dazed and couldn’t think of what I needed to do. Finally, I grabbed my PSE bow and clicked on my release. The buck stopped about 80-yards away and stood in a little draw. As I listened and watched, that buck used his antlers like a wrecking ball. He tore-up trees, bushes and everything in sight with those antlers. After the buck had done battle with all the foliage, he stopped, looked in my direction and then looked away. When the buck looked away from me, I gave him a soft grunt call. He whipped his head around and took-off running again. Leaves and dirt were flying in the air as he dug his hooves into the ground and ran full out toward me. When he got within 12 steps of my stand, he locked-up and froze like a statue.

From the position of the deer’s body, I thought he was going to walk to my right side, so I was positioned to take the shot on that side. Instead, the buck went to my left side. I had to let the bow down to turn to the other side of my stand without him seeing me. When I got around the tree and came to full draw again, the buck was 12-yards from me and walking away. I started grunting, whistling and all the things I normally would do to stop a buck. Finally, I yelled at the deer. Once he stopped, I had my pin sight right where I wanted the arrow to go. I touched my release and fired. The buck took the arrow and only ran a few yards before he piled up. When I found him, I couldn’t believe the size of his antlers. This buck scored 166 on Pope & Young.

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Day 4: PSE’s Ernie Calandrelli Says All He Could See Was Antlers Coming Toward Him in Iowa

I was hunting in Iowa during early November. The temperature was 2-degrees below zero, and I was really cold. Icicles hung off all the limbs. The first time I moved in that stand, the icicles fell off and sounded like glass shattering as they hit the ground. I didn’t know what to do. I knew if a buck came in I wouldn’t be able to move without spooking him. Early in the morning, I had a 2-1/2-year-old 8-point buck walk right under my tree. I had a little trail in front of me that came out of some Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land, and there were scrapes and rubs on that trail. This 8-point was a nice deer, but I was really hoping to take a better one. As I watched the 8-pointer move down the trail, all of a sudden he stopped. Every muscle in his body seemed to lock-up. There was a ditch off the side of the trail, and this buck backed-up and went down in the ditch. Because I had the wind in my face, and I hadn’t moved a muscle, I knew the buck hadn’t seen, heard or smelled me. After the buck got down in the ditch, he took off running like a scared dog.

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I looked in the other direction, and I could see horns coming towards me – big horns. This buck was monstrous. When he came to a scrape, he began to work the scrape. Finally, he was at 17 yards. Once he turned broadside to me, I thought, “Oh my gosh, he’s as big as an elk.” I put my sight right behind his shoulder and released the arrow, hoping I could put this monster down. When the buck took the arrow, he only went 50-yards before he piled-up. The buck scored 148 inches, but he weighed over 300 pounds. Because I’d taken elk with my PSE bow before, I felt certain if I could place the arrow where I knew it should be that the speed and the power of my bow could drive that arrow all the way through this big buck, which it did. That buck might be one of the biggest-bodied bucks I’d ever taken.

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Day 5: PSE’s Ernie Calandrelli Downs an Iowa Buck at 20 Yards

I was hunting in Iowa, and one afternoon, I went into the woods to hang my tree stand. I had spotted a really-nice buck, but after several days of hunting, I hadn’t seen him again. I’d learned before in Iowa that those big bucks only might show-up in the same area every three or four days. Often I might go several days and never even see a deer. At about 9:30 or 10:00 am, I spotted that buck coming down a little draw. I grunted to him. He was on a hill, and I was on a bottom. After he heard me grunt, he came down the hill and went down in a little ditch. He was still coming to me. I was a little concerned I wouldn’t be able to take him. When I get in my tree stand, I wiggle around in it a little bit to see if it squeaks. Sure enough, this morning I had heard my stand squeak. I knew if I stood to take the shot, or if I had to move around on the stand to get into position, the stand would squeak and spook the deer. So, I put some cotton gloves under my stand to prevent it from squeaking. When the buck got to the bottom of the ditch, he was about 20-yards from me. I had to stand to shoot. I was hoping I had solved the squeaky-stand problem. I was able to stand-up, come to full draw and arrow the deer at 20 yards with my PSE bow. The buck scored about 140.

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I don’t remember which PSE bow I was using then, and it doesn’t really matter. Over the years I’ve found one PSE bow is just as good as another. They’ve been everything I’ve ever wanted in my bows. Many years ago my friend Bill Epeards introduced me to PSE bows, and I became friends with Pete Shepley, founder of PSe. When I started having shoulder problems, Pete Shepley advised me on which bows I should use, and what poundage I should shoot. I had a complete shoulder replacement in my left shoulder 6-years ago. About 8-weeks ago I had another complete replacement in my right shoulder. Because I’ve had so many shoulder problems over the years, all the deer I’ve mentioned have been shot with a 55-pound PSE bow. I’ve learned that if you shoot a deer with a 70-pound bow and get a clean pass-through, the arrow just sticks deeper in the dirt after it passes through the deer. So, I don’t think shooting the heavier-weight bows is really necessary.

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Today, you can shoot a slower arrow and still produce enough kinetic energy to take any big-game species in North America. We don’t have to shoot those heavier bows. The cams on PSE bows roll-over smoothly, and I don’t have to jerk the string back to get it to full draw. These bows are much smoother and the let-off allows you to hold less weight at full draw. I come to a solid back wall. These PSE bows are just beautiful to shoot, especially as you grow older and have medical problems. Years ago, when I had my first shoulder replacement, I thought my bowhunting would be over, but it wasn’t. I learned I still could shoot a 50- to a 55-pound bow effectively. Now that I’ve had my second shoulder replacement, I still can shoot accurately with a 45- to 50-pound bow. Because of the new innovations PSE has designed into their bows, even though I have had both shoulders preplaced, I still can shoot a compound bow, which would have been totally impossible 10-or 20-years ago.

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To get “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros” by John E. Phillips, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

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


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.

 


Bowfishing for Fun, Excitement and a Tool to Train Youngsters with Jason Patterson


Bowfishing

Oakley Patterson

Editor’s Note: The best thing that we can do as parents is to give our children memories that will last their lifetimes and impart the values and beliefs that we want them to teach to their children. By spending time with our children they learn the importance of family and the need to spend time with their children once they have them. Jason Patterson of Jackson, Tennessee, a member of PSE’s Field Staff, has found that bowhunting with his PSE bow is the thread that connects the generations in his family.

Jason Patterson was introduced to bowhunting many years ago by walking the banks of creeks and rivers and shooting fish from the bank. One day Jennifer McKinney, a Mossy Oak Pro Staffer, called Patterson, an area manager for Mossy Oak, and said, “Why don’t you and Oakley go with me and my crew bowfishing? I think Oakley really will enjoy it, because he’ll get to shoot a lot. So Patterson talked to his son Oakley about the bowfishing trip, and they decided to go this past June. “We were going to fish the Tennessee River near Camden, Tennessee,” Patterson explains. “I had never bowfished like this before, using halogen lights that shined down in the water and a deck where you could stand and shoot.  That first night we went out on the water about 9 pm on Kentucky Lake, a lake on the Tennessee River that had a lot of grass in it this year. We moved into the shallow grass, saw fish in the light and shot at them. The buffalo carp, needle nose gar and catfish were moving into this shallow grass to feed at night. Since we could see those fish in shallow water, we thought taking those fish with our bows would be easy. But we soon learned that being successful at taking fish with our bows isn’t as easy as we had thought.” Jason and Oakley Patterson each shot at fish 100 times if not more. And, as Patterson remembers, “We missed a lot more fish than we hit. But we intended to learn more about this form of bowhunting. I also realized that bowfishing was an excellent sport for youngsters.”

When you bowfish on a lake or on a river with numbers of fish in its shallow water, youngsters will have nonstop action.  Hunting is fun for youngsters but shooting is even more fun. And, shooting at lots of fish is as good as shooting can be. “We didn’t come off the water until about 4:00 am.,” Patterson reports. “About midnight we ran out of gas for the generator that powered the halogen lights from the boat. When we went back to the dock to get more gas, I asked Oakley if he was ready to go home and go to bed. He quickly said, ‘No, sir, I want to stay longer.’”

Staying up late at night with grown folks is a big deal for youngsters anyway, and then shooting his bow at night and taking a few fish is an adventure that Oakley can tell all his friends and relatives about for the rest of his life. And, Oakley was having fun. “Oakley was really excited about the whole bowfishing program,” Patterson says. “We shot grass carp, buffalo carp and longnose gar, and we had a few chances to shoot catfish.” On his first trip, Oakley took three fish, and his dad took six. “We probably missed at least 150 each,” Patterson reports as he laughs. “I learned that bowfishing could be a very humbling sport. Jennifer McKinney was nice enough to ask us to go a second time. This time we took about 25 fish and two big catfish, one weighing 18 pounds. Although Jennifer also took a nice catfish, once again, we missed more fish than we took.” On this trip, Oakley took a 40 inch gar that weighed about 9 pounds.

Jennifer McKinney

PSE’S Jason Patterson and Jennifer McKinney

Oakley was set on fire about bowfishing. Patterson has an aluminum boat, and he’s already thinking about rigging it up with a platform and lights. Then he and Oakley can bowfish anytime they want. They are also considering each getting a new PSE Wave bow to use for bowfishing. The Wave, designed for bowfishing, should help Jason and Oakley improve on the number of fish they’re taking on each outing. On their first two bowfishing trips, Jason was shooting his PSE Evo, and Oakley was shooting his PSE Chaos. All they had to do was attach a spinning reel to each of these bows and then attach the line from the reel to the fiberglass arrows they were shooting.

“Bowfishing is relatively inexpensive, because you can use any of the bows you have to most any closed face spinning reel and an arrow with a tip on it from Muzzy,” Patterson explains. “Oakley and I both had a blast bowfishing and stayed busy shooting and reloading almost all night long. These two trips provided chances for Oakley and me to really bond and be together. Oakley likes to shoot his bow, and with bowfishing, he had continuous action all night long. I really enjoyed seeing him shoot.’”

Don’t forget that there’s a learning curve in bowfishing, because instead of aiming dead on you have to shoot instinctively and try to aim under the fish. You have to calculate your aiming point with the depth of the water. The fish isn’t usually sitting still – you’re shooting at a moving target. Sometimes the action is so fast that instead of aiming, you have to react, draw and release the bow. In most of the South where temperatures may be in the high 90s and even over 100 degrees in the summertime, often the weather’s too hot for most people to sit in the boat in daylight hours. However, when the sun goes down, the moon comes up, and the temperatures fall, bowfishing can be a pleasant experience. You can build your muscle memory, while practicing a different style of archery.

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


Jason Patterson’s Son Led Him back to Bowhunting


PSE Field Staff

PSE’S Jason Patterson

Editor’s Note: The best thing that we can do as parents is to give our children memories that will last their lifetimes and impart the values and beliefs that we want them to teach to their children. By spending time with our children they learn the importance of family and the need to spend time with their children once they have them. Jason Patterson of Jackson, Tennessee, a member of PSE’s Field Staff, has found that bowhunting with his PSE bow is the thread that connects the generations in his family.

Jason Patterson has been shooting PSE bows for the last 3 years and before that shot PSE bows for many years. But he left the sport of bowhunting some time ago, because waterfowl hunting near where he lived was so much better than the deer hunting. But 3 years ago, he got back into bowhunting. He remembered how dependable and technical his PSE bows always had been when he shot PSE bows earlier. So, he wanted to go back to shooting PSE bows but he also had another reason a much deeper reason for returning to PSE his son Oakley. “PSE produces one of the top bows in the nation right now. I grew up in southern Indiana, and all my life I’d been a deer hunter. I moved to Tennessee when I was about 20 years old. At that time, deer hunting in Tennessee wasn’t as good as it had been in Indiana. Yes, the state had plenty of deer, but the bucks were smaller than Indiana bucks. So, I switched over to rifle hunting. Then I got bit by the waterfowl bug and forgot about deer hunting for a little while.

Oakley

Oakley Patterson

Then when my son Oakley turned 6 years old, he wanted to try deer hunting. We started gun hunting for deer. Oakley is 12 now. When he was 10 1/2 years old, he got his first bow and is shooting the PSE Chaos. I had talked to Blake Shelby, the marketing director for PSE, and PSE’s Bobby Vargas. We decided Oakley was just now getting strong enough to pull the Chaos and be able to hunt with it. Because the Chaos is such an adjustable bow, as Oakley grows and becomes stronger, we can increase his draw length and increase the weight that he is able to pull. Right now he’s pulling 38 pounds, although he started at 32 pounds. Too, since we’ve gotten into bowfishing, Oakley has started drawing his bow and shooting much more, which has made him stronger. I’m the area manager for Mossy Oak Camouflage. One of the pro staffers for Mossy Oak I work with, Jennifer McKinney, invited Oakley and me to go bowfishing with her. That one bowfishing trip really set Oakley on fire. We’re bowfishing more and more this summer. As Oakley draws his Chaos and shoots it, the stronger his muscles will be, and the more weight he can pull.

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


James Nickols’ First PSE Buck


PSE's Field Team Member - James Nickols

PSE’s Field Team Member – James Nickols

Editor’s Note: Forty seven year old James Nickols from Sparta, Missouri, a PSE Field Team member, has been shooting PSE for 5 years. I shot another company’s bows for several years. But when PSE came out with its original Dream Season bow, I fell in love with the technology built into the bow. I also liked the company’s target archery bow, the Moneymaker. I was shooting target archery back then too, so I switched to PSE. I was shooting as a semi pro on the ASA circuit and had several top 10 places in competition archery. I got into 3D archery to help me become a better deer hunter because I was missing deer with my bow and felt shooting 3D archery would help me.

The biggest buck I’ve ever taken, I took with my PSE Dream Season. A storm was coming in to our area. I was hunting in Bruner, Missouri, about 35 miles from Springfield. About an hour before dark, the deer started moving, and I was set up in the woods in a ground blind I’d built using sticks and limbs that I picked up. I was hunting close to a white oak tree on the edge of a field, and the deer were feeding on white oak acorns. This was the only white oak tree in the area, and the only way to get close enough to that tree to make a shot was to build a ground blind.

PSE Archery - Compound Bows

PSE Archery – Compound Bows

I was wearing Mossy Oak Bottom Land, and that pattern really blended in well with the limbs and branches I’d used for my ground blind. I was wearing Scent Lok base layer and had sprayed down with Dead Down Wind odor eliminator. The deer were coming out into the field and then coming to the acorn tree. I had pictures of this big buck on trail cameras, but the problem I had was that he was coming into the field from three different trails. On this day, a big thunderstorm was about an hour away. I thought the deer might feed up ahead of the storm, and that this 160-class buck hopefully would be with the other deer on the field. Forty-five minutes before dark, the buck came out into the field and started feeding about 100 yards away from my blind. He slowly fed my way. Finally, when he was 35 yards from the blind, he turned broadside, feeding with his head down. But when I drew, a huge gust of wind blew my scent directly to him. He raised his head and looked in my direction, before putting his head down and started to graze. When the deer’s head was down, I released the arrow.

I got a double lung shot and the buck only ran about 40 yards before he piled up. Just as I released the shot, the wind blew, and I lost sight of my arrow. However, I saw the buck kick his back legs in the air like a mule kick. Then he bolted and ran before going down. When I checked my deer for the entry point of the broadhead, even with that gust of wind, I was only about 2 inches off from where I was aiming. That’s one of the advantages you have with a Dream Season bow, because it shoots so hard and so fast, I’ve found the wind has little effect on the shot. This buck scored 162 Pope & Young points and some change. I was shooting the Carbon Express Game Tracker broadhead with a Maxima Hunter shaft.

I never hesitate to carry a chair, build a ground blind and shoot from the sitting position when I can’t find a tree stand site from which I want to shoot. Today, I can shoot out to 100 yards from the seated position. I don’t shoot game at that distance, but I do practice that 100-yard shot. I also can shoot fairly accurately from a tree stand at 100 yards. I’m confident I can take animals at 70 yards with my PSE bow, as long as the conditions are right.

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


Glenn Eilers Explains the Buck He Took While His Cameraman Filmed


Glenn Eilers

Glenn Eilers

Editor’s Note: When Glenn Eilers of Shelbyville, Kentucky, discovered PSE bows 8 years ago, he decided he’d found a bow that was made for him. He’s been able to use PSE bows to take some really nice whitetails.

Last season, I had a Mossy Oak cameraman with me, and we were trying to take a buck that scored 150 as an 8 pointer and had 9 inch brow tines. This buck also fell to my PSE Bow Madness. I had trail camera pictures of this buck, so we had identified the deer we were trying to take. We hunted the first week of the season. The first afternoon, the weather was about 100 degrees, and of course the buck didn’t show up. We’ve learned that even though the velvet antler deer are generally very predictable, the weather also plays a major role in when they move and don’t move. In extremely hot weather, they’ll often lie in cool, shady places and not move and feed until after dark, when the weather’s cooler. That’s what happened on this hunt. You have to remember when you’re using trail cameras to keep up with the deer’s movement patterns that the weather, the rut, the availability of food, the hunting pressure and many other factors can cause the deer not to show up when and where they’re supposed to show up. Also, even when you’ve got a deer nailed down like we thought we had this deer, if the region has a bad wind, you’re better off to back out. Don’t try to hunt that deer. Wait for the conditions to be right, before you go back and attempt to take him. When you’re hunting a buck 4 years old and older, you only may get one or two chances each season to try and bag that buck. Don’t blow your chances by trying to hunt him when the weather and the wind conditions aren’t right.

We returned to our hunting site the next day, in the middle of the day, and checked our trail camera. We saw that the deer had come in after dark. We knew he was still there, but the weather was so hot, we figured he probably wouldn’t come down the trail before sundown. The third day of the season, we had a cool front come through, and the temperature was 30 degrees cooler – about 70 degrees. This buck had another buck with him, and they both jumped the fence coming into the alfalfa field. We were able to watch the two bucks for about 15 minutes as they kept coming closer and closer. When the buck I wanted to take was at 15 yards, I drew my PSE Bow Madness and released the arrow. This buck scored in the 150s and was a fine trophy.

Tomorrow: Glenn Eilers’ PSE X-Force Dream Season 10 Point Buck

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


Why Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Shoots PSE Bows


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

“I’m often asked why I’ve decided to become a PSE Pro Staffer,’ Ronnie Strickland says. “Most people don’t know that I was a salesman in a sporting goods store, long before I ever picked up a video camera. The first PSE bow I ever got, I think was a Mach 4. I kept noticing that Pete Shepley and PSE always seemed to be ahead of the curve for new innovations in bows. Back in the old days, we would continue to make adjustments to our arrows to try and make them lighter, because the bows just didn’t have the speed that they have today. Then suddenly, PSE came out with an overdraw bow, and we could shoot arrows 23, 24 and 25 inches long. Now, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the faster the arrow is flying, the better your chances are of hitting the target, even if you’ve misjudged the distance a little bit. But, Pete Shepley figured that out and came out with that series of Mach bows with overdraws, and that’s when my love affair with PSE really started. I felt like Pete Shepley was a hunter first, and an engineer second, and the combination of being both kept Pete and PSE in front of the pack.

“I always felt like my PSE bow was like the first Dodge truck I ever bought. I got way more for my money than I expected to get. The first PSE bows I bought were steady and fast, and they held together well. I always knew I got good value for the dollars I spent for a PSE bow. I normally won’t join anybody’s pro staff or endorse products. But, I’ve been using PSE bows forever, and I know I’ll continue to use them. Blake Shelby, the marketing director for PSE, got his first job out of college working for Mossy Oak. After Blake took his job with PSE, he’d call me, and I’d do some interviews with him. Finally, one day he said, ‘Cuz, you need to be on PSE’s Pro Staff.’ I said, ‘Sign me up; I’ve already got PSE bows and I know a lot about PSE from selling their bows many years ago and from shooting their bows.’ Being a PSE Pro Staffer is a good fit for me. Right now, I’m shooting the Brute X Deer Thug Single Cam Bow, which is new, and I have the bow set on 60 pounds. This bow comes fully loaded and ready to go and will be sold exclusively at Dick’s Sporting Goods. The bow sells for less than $500 and is complete with everything but the arrows. You get a sight, a quiver, a stabilizer, a wrist sling and a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest. I really like the single cam technology of this bow. For me, living in the South, bowhunting is about how close you can get to the deer and get off a shot, not about how far I can shoot accurately. So, I set my bow up to take a deer at 20 yards or less. I really like that smooth, quiet delivery of the arrow that I get from a single cam bow.”

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


If Your Bowhunting Video Doesn’t Have Quality Sound, the Video Won’t Be as Good – Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

“I have a sign in each of the edit rooms here at Mossy Oak that says, ‘If it doesn’t sound good, it doesn’t look good,’” Ronnie Strickland reports. “Many times when people want to video their hunts, they’re all consumed with the idea of getting the hunter taking the shot and the animal taking the arrow. The last thing they think about is the quality of the sound. But, I believe the sound is just as important, if not more important, than the video itself. If people will be talking in the video, you’ve either got to get within 2 feet of the person talking (if you have a built in mic), or you’ll have to invest in wireless mics. Notice I said the word, “mics,” plural instead of “a mic” singular. Many people concentrate so much on video and so little on audio that they don’t produce a good bowhunting video. Imagine going to a movie in a movie theater, and the movie has a bad, irritating sound. If you’ve ever been to a movie like this, you know you’ll have a tough time listening to what’s happening, even though you can see what’s happening.

“Video cameras have gotten so good and so simple, that I think I can train a monkey to shoot one. Everything is so automatic on today’s cameras that once you get the camera set up, all you have to do is push the button to shoot the video. The only way to make sure that you get good sound on your videos is to wear a set of headphones. If you’re touching the camera, and you can hear a scuffing sound every time you touch the camera, then you can fix that problem right then. If every time your hunter moves his head, you hear a scratching sound, then you’ve got to fix your wind screen, buy a wind screen or move the mic, so that when the hunter turns his head, he doesn’t brush the head of the mic.

“We use two different types of microphones when we’re filming. One mic is called a net mic, and it’s unidirectional, which means it picks up sounds from all directions. We have a 15 foot cord for it, so we can set it out on the ground. So, that’s one channel input that’s picking up great sounds, like a turkey gobbling or a deer walking through the leaves, or ducks quacking as they’re coming in over a beaver pond. Then, we put a wireless mic on the hunter himself, so he can talk during the hunt. The cameraman wears headphones, and I’ll put one of the headphones in my ear and the other headphone above my ear to enable me to still hear all the natural sounds. I’m convinced that to get really good audio, you’ve got to have a camera that has two mic inputs, so that you can hear the hunter and the viewer can hear everything else going on around the hunter.”

Tomorrow: Why Ronnie Strickland Shoots PSE Bows

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


Learn How to Hide on the Hunt – Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

“Another big mistake that many people often make when taping a hunt is that the cameraman may not hide as well as he should,” Ronnie Strickland explains. “Hunting with a cameraman, means twice the amount of noise and twice the amount of scent, and you’re twice as likely to spook the game as you will be if you’re hunting by yourself. This reason, is why, when we’re hunting or filming, we cover everything but the camera lens with Mossy Oak camouflage. We even cover the tripod legs, and we take extra head nets and gloves with us to be prepared if someone loses one. We always try to take a stand in the shade, which is very important, because as I’ve mentioned, the only thing we don’t have covered with Mossy Oak is our camera lens. If the sun hits that camera lens and a deer or a turkey sees the reflection of the sun on the lens, that animal will spook and get out of there. But, there’s no way to cover up the camera lens or to camouflage it.

“When I say you need to hide better, many people think about camouflage and brushing up in front of themselves. But, if you’re hunting from a tree stand, back cover is often far more important than front cover. If you’re silhouetted in a tree stand, an animal can pick you out just as easily as if you’re walking the top of a ridge with no trees in front of you or behind you. I always carry bungee cords with me, pruners and a folding saw. Many times when I get into a tree, I’ll cut brush or limbs and bungee those limbs behind me to make sure I’ve got my silhouette covered behind me. Now, sometimes I may pick a tree to put my tree stand in that doesn’t have any cover. Then I’ll cut a few bushes or limbs, tie them onto a pull up rope and pull that brush up in a tree with me. You’ve got to break up that human silhouette, and the person shooting the video camera has to be hidden as well as the shooter, if not better. So, when you look at a potential ground blind site or tree stand site to video a hunt, before you ever set up, decide what you’ll have to do to make sure the animal can’t see you and make sure you can shoot the video you want to shoot.”

Tomorrow: Ronnie Strickland Says If Your Bowhunting Video Doesn’t Have Quality Sound, the Video Won’t Be as Good

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


Don’t Forget to Tell the Story of your Hunt – Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

According to Ronnie Strickland, “One of the biggest mistakes most people make when trying to film any hunt is they don’t shoot enough footage. Everyone has gotten really good at filming the animal on impact. But, they forget to tell the story of the hunt. I want to know who the hunter is, how he got to the hunt, where the hunt is taking place, what kind of equipment he’s using, how he’s getting into his stand or blind, and all the elements of the hunt, besides just the animal taking the arrow. The least expensive part of the hunt is pushing the record button on the camera. Most people tend to turn the video camera on just before the hunt’s about to end. If you follow TV ratings, on all the TV shows on all the outdoor channels, the shows that are rated unbelievably high, are shows like “The Deadliest Catch,” “Swamp People” and other shows that tell stories of adventure. All these shows have main characters, and the shows tell stories about these people. They don’t just show crabs coming out of a crab pot or an alligator getting shot. Therefore, I feel that the number one mistake that people make when they’re trying to film their hunts is that they don’t shoot enough video to properly tell the story.

“Remember, the video camera just replaces the pen and paper that most story tellers used for writing. So, the viewer, who has replaced the reader, wants you to tell him the story of the hunt as well as show him what it is like when the animal takes the arrow. An author, when he writes a great novel or a great story, paints visual images of the story unfolding in the reader’s mind. With a video camera, you don’t have to imagine how the story unfolds, as the story progresses. You should be able to visually see that story that you once only have imagined. One of the things that great story tellers do is that they answer all the questions that readers may ask before the reader has to ask the question. Oftentimes, we assume that the viewer of a video knows what we’re talking about in the video. However, you never want the viewer to have to assume where the story is taking place, why you’re at this particular place on that particular hunting site, why you’ve chosen the tree you’re hunting from, and where on the ground you’re hunting. You don’t want them to assume that you’ve scouted the area; you want to tell them that you’ve scouted the area, why you’ve picked that particular site, and why you have reason to believe that animal is there. Remember, once you shoot the deer or the turkey, the story is pretty much over. So, whether you’re shooting video for you and your family or friends, or you’re shooting it for YouTube, your own webpage or for a TV show, shoot enough footage to tell the story.”

Tomorrow: PSE Pro Staffer Ronnie Strickland Explains You Need to Learn How to Hide

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


How to Shoot Better Hunting Videos – Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak


Editor’s Note:
Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

“The first video camera that was ever available for sale, a buddy of mine bought, and we put camouflage on it,” Ronnie Strickland remembers. “We took that video camera out and immediately tried to film turkey hunts with it. I had filmed all of Will Primros’ first videos, starting in 1985, and that’s about when I started getting paid to film. I don’t do much filming anymore. Cameras today are much smaller, lighter and have little bitty buttons to push, unlike the old camera that I used with big buttons. Now, I have a crew of 8 guys who are filming for all the TV shows that we do here at Mossy Oak Productions. At any one time, there will be 5 cameramen on the road filming. There’s no way that one person can shoot all the videos we need. I still have a tiny, little camera that I can hold in my hand with 2 HD cards that can shoot 8 hours of footage. It also has a lot of zoom and is very small and very lightweight. The quality of this camera is outstanding. The first camera I ever had, had tubes in it. Before you could use the camera, you would have to let it warm up.

Today you can film bowhunts for turkey or deer much quicker and better, with video cameras now, than you could with the video cameras I had when I first started. Back then, a good cameraman was not only judged on his ability to shoot good video, but also on how strong he was. Counting the batteries, the camera and the tripod, a cameraman back in the 1980s might be carrying 50 pounds of gear. Not only did he have to be able to pick up that weight and carry it, but he had to take it across mountains and hills and through creeks and swamps and up rocky terrain, following a bowhunter, chasing a turkey. But, with all the improvements with video equipment, you may have to carry 5 pounds of equipment, and you may be able to put that equipment in your pocket, except for the tripod and the camera arm. Even though our equipment is so much better, lighter and easier to hunt with today, I feel that many of the same mistakes are being made that we made shooting bowhunting turkey video many years ago. In an effort to help you shoot better bowhunting videos, this week I’ll try to give you some tips that I’ve learned and taught to our videographers here at Mossy Oak Productions.”

Tomorrow: PSE Pro Staffer Ronnie Strickland Says Don’t Forget to Tell the Story of Bowhunting Turkeys with Your Video

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


Ronnie Strickland Names the Stuff You Need to Take a Turkey with Your PSE Bow


Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

Editor’s Note: Ronnie Strickland, known to most people in the outdoor industry as “Cuz,” is the senior vice president of Mossy Oak, and was one of the first outdoor videographers. Strickland enjoyed shooting tournament archery and also was an avid turkey and deer hunter. When Strickland first started hunting turkeys with a bow, the turkey decoy hadn’t been invented, portable blinds hadn’t come on the outdoor scene yet, and very-little information was available about turkey hunting with a bow. This week Strickland tells us about the first three turkeys he ever took with his bow.

Later on in Ronnie Strickland’s career, ground blinds and decoys had been invented. He went to Ohio to film a fellow taking a turkey. Well, we’ll let Ronnie Strickland tell what happened. “This guy had one of those new-fangled ground blinds at that time that totally hid the bowhunter and the cameraman. He also had decoys, and I had my video camera. I never will forget this hunt that was more like a deer hunt than a turkey hunt. My kind of turkey hunting always had been to cut and run, get close to the turkeys and then try and trick them into coming to me by sounding like a hen who seriously wanted a date. We set that blind up, put those decoys out and waited on the side of a field. My hunter said, ‘If they don’t fly here from the roost, they’ll come here in a little while, and I’ll be able to shoot them.’ I was sitting in that blind thinking this is deer hunting, not really turkey hunting.

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

“Hours went by before we finally spotted a turkey. When the turkeys finally showed-up, they made their way over to the decoys. I had a port in the blind to video out of, and he had a window where he could shoot. The turkeys came in, and the gobblers started strutting around the decoys. The hunter waited for 5 or 6 minutes, before he took the shoot. I guess he was waiting on that turkey to get in just the right position, before he released the arrow. Those turkeys never knew we were in the same world with them. My hunter had a big mechanical broadhead, and he had his bow set on 50 pounds. The hunter took the shot when the bird was 5-feet from the blind. I decided right then and there that if your goal was to take a turkey with a bow, this ground blind stuff was the way to do it – unless you wanted the ultimate challenge – taking an eastern gobbler without a blind. The hardest part of taking a turkey with a bow is being able to draw without the turkey seeing you.

PSE Brute X Deer Thug Edition Compound Bow

PSE Brute X Deer Thug Edition Compound Bow

“One of the problems that PSE has eliminated with all the company’s new bows is holding heavy poundage, while you’re waiting on a turkey to get into a place where you can get the shot. I really like my PSE Deer Thug bow. Not only is it easy to draw and most importantly quiet to draw, but it’s also easy to hold and shoots like a rocket. By using the new PSE bows, I know that bagging a gobbler with a bow and arrow is much-more efficient today than it was 35-years ago when I got bit by the hunting-turkeys-with-a-bow bug.”

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


PSE’s Pro Staff Member Ronnie Strickland Tells about an Outdoor Writer and His String Tracker for Turkey Hunting


Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Editor’s Note: Ronnie Strickland, known to most people in the outdoor industry as “Cuz,” is the senior vice president of Mossy Oak, and was one of the first outdoor videographers. Strickland enjoyed shooting tournament archery and also was an avid turkey and deer hunter. When Strickland first started hunting turkeys with a bow, the turkey decoy hadn’t been invented, portable blinds hadn’t come on the outdoor scene yet, and very-little information was available about turkey hunting with a bow. This week Strickland tells us about the first three turkeys he ever took with his bow.

“I was taking an outdoor writer with me on a bowhunt for turkeys and planning to film him,” Ronnie Strickland remembers. “He had one of those new (at that time) string trackers. So-many turkeys were getting away from bowhunters that someone came-up with the idea of developing a string tracker. A ball of string was attached to the hunter’s bow, and the string coming from it was attached to the hunter’s arrow. Then when the hunter shot the arrow, the string came-out of its holder on the bow, and once the arrow hit the turkey, the string would go into the turkey too. Wherever that turkey went, the string would go with him. Then the bowhunter would have a trail (the string) to follow to find the turkey. This idea was considered really cool back then. Many bowhunters had the string trackers installed on their bows and really liked them, at least for a couple of years.

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

“On this trip, we’d called-up several turkeys, but the toms had spotted this outdoor writer every time he’d drawn his bow. So, I kept calling and moving, trying to get my writer in a good place where he could take a turkey. Because we didn’t have blinds back then, I’d cut a bunch of mesquite bushes and carried them around with me. Then wherever we stopped, I could create a make-shift blind to break-up the silhouette of my hunter and keep the turkey from seeing him as easily. Finally, after the fourth time of setting-up to try and take a turkey with his bow, my hunter was able to get to full draw without the turkey seeing him. Because we’d been walking through a lot of brush, the string on the string tracker had tangled-up, and neither one of us noticed it. So, when my bowhunter shot, this big knot came-out with the string. The arrow went about 10 feet, stopped and fell to the ground. That turkey didn’t know what was happening, but he knew there was nothing happening that would be good for him. The gobbler left instantly. I never will forget what that outdoor writer said to me. ‘Cuz, do you think you can call him back?’ I laughed and said, ‘Yeah, I can call him back – may be next year or the year after.’ That poor outdoor writer never did get to shoot a turkey with his bow. But that’s one hunt I’ll never forget.”

Tomorrow: Ronnie Strickland Names the Stuff You Need to Take a Turkey with Your PSE Bow

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


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