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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.


PSE’s Jared Bloomgren’s 2012 Post Rut Whitetails


Jared Bloomgren

 Laid to Rest

Laid to Rest

In December I was able to concentrate on strictly hunting whitetails in my home state of SD. November was filled with a rifle hunt for muleys where I was able to anchor an outstanding buck with over 20 miles of hiking public land in two days! Although these blogs are geared towards bowhunting and archery I think he is a worthy adversary to show here as well! It would have been a hunt completed with my bow but unfortunately forgot a very important piece to that puzzle as I snuck out of our home very quietly with fear of waking my children at 3 in the morning! Oops!

Now back to bowhunting for whitetail in December during the Post Rut. Most times the bucks are starting to get back to their routine of concentrating on food because of lost body weight and energy due to the November rut. However, the does that were missed in the first breeding cycle will come into estrus again roughly a month after their first cycle. Generally this happens during the middle of December and you can bet the bucks will still be checking for receptive does around this time.

This year in 2012 I was seeing what I had seen in previous years. The deer were starting to calm back down from the rifle season and the onslaught of bow season when most hunters are out. The deer began to move back into public land from the security of private, less pressured land. Figuring out their travel patterns became easier to do. They are back to a solid feeding and bedding area routine unless a doe comes into cycle. Then you may see an occasional buck paired up with that hot doe for a day. Otherwise the bucks will start to join back up in bachelor groups and start to let their guard down once again like in the early season. Although they might not be as relaxed as early season they will become very hunt-able with the bow again. Even those deer that were pressured a great deal during the rifle season will start to chill out! This is a great time to be out there and getting after them!

My preferred way to hunt any animal is by spot and stalk and still hunting. Treestand and ground blind hunting can be very affective too but I like to be able to move when I want and where I need to without having to move a stand or blind. I have found that being mobile really increases my odds of killing the buck that I am looking for. Numerous times in the past I have only watched as the buck I was after passed by a stand that I wasn’t in because I was in the other. The next day I would move to that stand only to watch the buck cruise by the other. Very frustrating! So I got out of my stand and was able to kill that buck by stalking him two days later! My best whitetail to date!

20 Mile Muley

20 Mile Muley

Okay, focus Jared! Back to December 2012! It is hard not to reminisce about past hunts and fun times! So December 2012…..I started to hunt an area where I had seen good bucks in the past. An area that is often overlooked because many wouldn’t think this area holds the deer. At any rate I was in there again with an arrow nocked sneaking through the woods looking for a good buck. After a couple of days of hunting this area I had it narrowed down to 3 bucks nicknamed #1, #2, and #3. #1 was a stud 4×5 with an inside spread of at least 21” and the thickest palmated main beams I have ever seen! #2 was a 4×4 with exceptional mass and tall tines throughout. One brow tine had to be at least 12” and his G2’s had to be a solid 12” as well! #3 was a 6×7 with some really neat character. He was a main frame 5×5 with split brow tines and a kicker off of a G2. A great buck as well! I was hoping to get a chance at any of these bucks!

#1 gave me the slip numerous times and one evening I thought I had him but again gave me the slip. While backing out of the area I came face to face with #2 and I let him walk due to #1 being so fresh in my head! I am thinking that was a mistake! Oh well right!? #3 was showing signs of rutting activity and I passed him as well as I wanted him to breed the doe he was pushing.

Some days I would wait along a known travel corridor for the deer to begin to move. When they did I would usually make my move to position myself better or to close the distance. I am a spot and stalk hunter to the bone and that is how I was getting my chances at these 3 bucks mostly. I was also pairing that with still hunting. It goes something like this…..get the wind in your favor and start moving through known areas where the deer like to frequent. Go slow, very slow, one or two steps and glass into the trees hoping to get a glimpse of a deer. At that time if it was a deer I wanted I would change over to spot and stalk to close the distance. At times it can be frustrating because you may bump a doe and that doe may bump your buck but it is taking a chance. Hunting is the only time I gamble generally!

I may have put too much pressure on the area as the bigger bucks began to not show themselves. I have a sneaking suspicion that they went nocturnal and were onto me. This can happen very easily when these older bucks feel the pressure. I decided to give them a week to relax and went back after it.

My Omen Pro Performed Flawlessly Again!

My Omen Pro Performed Flawlessly Again!

The first morning in after a fresh snow and very chilly night I was able to sneak up a ridge in the darkness and position myself close to a known travel area. It didn’t take long for me to start seeing deer movement. It was #3 and he was pushing a doe again! I got down and belly crawled through the snow and got to a big pine and was able to stand alongside it. When I peeked around the tree he was coming at me with a doe in front of him. She turned and he stopped and rubbed his tarsal glands together at 45 yards. The doe moved off and he stood there broadside long enough for me to get an arrow nocked and move around the tree and come to full draw. Just as I was locking in my 40 yard pin he went back to chasing the doe! Aaaaahhhhhh…..

I quickly decided to kick it into full gear and move ahead of the deer. I knew where they were going to bed and I wanted to be there waiting for him! About an hour later I was creeping along to the edge of an open area where the deer usually move through. I picked out a thick cedar tree and broke a few branches and hid myself the best I could. A short time later I had slick heads moving past me at 10 yards. I could see the buck below about 125 yards away moving my way. The lead doe of 6 finally picked me out. No matter how hard I try I cannot look like a cedar tree! Someday I will figure it out! As they stood there doing their head bob action, stomping their feet and snorting at the odd looking addition to the cedar they finally moved past a little ways and stopped anywhere from 40 to 80 yards and kept looking back in my direction. #3 could see them and he too became cautious but he also had in his head that one of these does was the one he was chasing earlier and he wanted to find her! No complaints by me as he kept closing the distance until he walked right up to a doe that was standing at 41 yards. As soon as he looked away my Omen Pro came to full draw and I settling my 40 yard pin low on his vitals. Drawing back as slow as I could helped keep the does at bay long enough for the shot.

He didn’t even know what hit him. Snow, pine needles and dirt flew through the air as he headed back down the hillside on his death run! The arrow was a great double lung and he slowed to a walk 85 yards later and stopped. He was swaying side to side and I knew he would go down very soon! Then he bolted and was out of sight and in the trees. I quickly found my blood covered arrow and took up the trail in the fresh snow. Gotta love tracking a deer in the snow!

Packing Out My Prize!

Packing Out My Prize!

About 150 yards later I was following his tracks and spatters of blood and his prints became very unsteady in the snow. I knew I was getting close. Just a little ways later there he was piled up, lying motionless. I said a quick prayer and collected my prized posession. #3 was laid to rest! Unfortunately he had broke off both brow tines on one side and I didn’t see this until now. I wondered if he broke them off fighting or rubbing a tree, I will never know. I admired his rack and snapped a few pictures before deboning his meat, caping him out, and packing him into my pack for the hike back to the truck! Another later season whitetail hunt was a success!

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

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


TV Personality Spook Spann Shoots the PSE Freak and the PSE Omen Pro


Spook

PSE’S Spook Spann

Editor’s Note: Spook Spann, the host of “Spook Nation” on the Pursuit Channel for three seasons, has been producing TV shows for almost a decade.

I like PSE bows because the company’s committed to building the best-performing bows that can be built in the archery industry. I also like the speed of their bows and the dependability and reliability that’s built into them. Right now I’m shooting two PSE bows, the Omen Pro and the Freak. I like the Freak, because it has a long draw length and is a longer bow (38-inches axle to axle). I’ve been practicing with it and feel I’m shooting the Freak really well, and it feels comfortable to me.

The Freak is different since it’s a longer bow than many of today’s hunting bows, and has a longer draw length than many other bows on the market. It can adjust out to 33 inches, which is an especially beneficial feature to people like me, who have extremely long draw lengths. My draw length right now is 31-1/2 inches, and most other bows stop at about 30 inches. With a longer draw length, I also have a longer power stroke and can generate more velocity from that longer draw length. I’ve found that the longer bows like the Freak are more forgiving than shorter bows, and I think they’re somewhat easier to shoot. Although I haven’t used a chronograph on the arrow speed of the Freak, I’m pretty sure I’m shooting around 300-feet per second. The trend for most of the archery industry has been to make shorter, more compact bows, so the Freak really goes against what today’s trends are in hunting bows. Because of these differences, I think PSE had to come up with a name that was really different for this bow, and that might be the reason for the name – the Freak.

Spann

PSE’S Spook Spann

I’ve been shooting the Freak for about 2 months now, and I’ve built up a lot of confidence in it. But when I’m getting ready to go on a hunt, I don’t want to just have confidence in my bow’s ability to perform. I also want to know that I can physically do whatever’s required to have not only a successful hunt but also an enjoyable hunt. I’ll be hunting out West next week for mule deer, so I’ve not only been practicing 50 and 100-yard shots but also working out. This hunt will be a spot-and-stalk shoot. So, I need to get my body in shape not only for the type of terrain we may have to travel across to get to a nice mule deer but also for any type of climbing we may have to do over steep terrain. I play basketball, workout with weights and do other exercises to help me get in shape. Then I’m prepared if I have to make a really long stalk. I’m often asked how far ahead of time I start preparing for a hunt. I answer by saying; “I try to stay in shape all year long.” I workout, play basketball and run year round. I also shoot my PSE bows all year long, but I shoot an awful lot the month before a hunt. My preparation for a hunt never ceases.

To learn more about Spook Spann, visit his website at www.spookspann.com, or email him at spookspann@yahoo.com.

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


PSE’s John May Hunts Arizona Buffalo After Waiting 20 Years for a Tag


John May

John May

Editor’s Note:  Forty eight year old John May of Arizona has been shooting PSE bows for almost 20 years and has enjoyed some great hunts to take a variety of animals with his different PSE bows.

For over 20 years, I had applied to get an Arizona buffalo tag, finally drawing a tag in 2011. I didn’t really know a lot about the area where I’d be hunting, so I relied heavily on the knowledge of Corky Richardson, Tracy Hardy, George Richardson, Phil Dalrymple, Randy Ulmer and his son Jake. They knew the area very well, because they all had taken buffalo there and had helped other people take buffalo in the same region. Without their help, I would have been totally in the dark about where to hunt and how to hunt. The hunt was on House Rock Buffalo Ranch, near the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The buffalo tend to hang out at the higher attitudes, but then they come down to breed on the House Rock Buffalo Ranch. Because these buffalos have had some hunting pressure over the years, they have learned to stay high. We were hunting at about 7,000 or 8,000 feet of elevation when we decided to go high and hunt in the snow, using snowmobiles and quads. We hoped to get up to where we could find buffalo feeding on the south slope, since some snow was melting off the southern facing ridges. We went to set up a wall camp and had to dig 3 feet down in the snow to get the tent set up.

The first two trips we made to camp, we never saw a buffalo. We decided to wait until the end of May to go when the show had melted off most of the roads. Then we could use our four wheel drives to get around in the mountains. I put in a total of 16 hunting days without seeing a buffalo. I’d been sitting on a waterhole that had been known to be a buffalo hangout in past years. The buffalo would come out of the Grand Canyon National Park, and the only time you could take them was when they moved onto state land. Corky Richardson knew about this waterhole. He told me to build a blind close to the water hole and sit there. I followed Corky’s instructions for several days. Every morning when I went to sit over that water hole, I would see fresh tracks, so I knew the buffalo were coming in to water at night. Finally, I was sitting on that water hole at 1:00 pm. one day. I looked across a meadow and down into a bottom that had a nice creek running through it. The sun was shining through the trees when I spotted this big buffalo coming up that creek bottom and then crossing the meadow. I said to myself “Oh, my, gosh. I can’t believe this is going to happen.” I started praying that the wind and the thermals wouldn’t change, so that the buffalo couldn’t pick up my scent. The buffalo kept steadily coming before starting to take a drink of water at 25 yards from me. I got my bow back and took a good shot that resulted in a clean pass through. After the buffalo took the arrow, he ran about 80 yards and then tipped over. I was shooting my PSE Omen at the time. The arrow passed right through the buffalo’s heart and lungs.

At that time, I was in camp by myself. My buddies were out scouting for me. When I got back to camp, I loaded up knives, chain saws and all the gear I thought I would need to butcher the buffalo, as well as food, water and pack frames. There were a few logging roads where my buffalo was, but there were trees across the road that I knew I’d have to cut to get my truck close to the buffalo. I thought this job was going to be an all-night job. But, just as I finished loading everything up for the trip back, Randy Ulmer and his son, Jake, came into camp and helped me load some more gear. By the time we were ready to leave, the other guys had returned to camp. They were willing to go with me to field dress, cape, skin and quarter my buffalo. We left camp about 1:30 pm. and didn’t return until 10:30 pm. The buffalo scored right at 100 on Pope & Young.

Tomorrow: PSE’s John May and His Surprise Coues Deer

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


PSE’s Keith Hubbard Got his Bear in Southern Arizona


PSE's Keith Hubbard

PSE’s Keith Hubbard

 

With record high temps this past weekend…my honey hole paid off again. In a 24 hour period, I had 5 bears come in. The first afternoon yielded a large sow and cub. On the second day, I was about to climb into my tree stand when I heard a noise. I looked up the hill and saw this bear coming in, so I detached my safety harness, untied my bow and waited for her to enter the water. As she walked in, I sneaked over to within 15 yards, after spending 1 minute or so in the water she began to turn around so I drew. When she stopped, she was facing me, but a few seconds later she turned enough to give me a quartering shot. The arrow entered the shoulder and exited the opposite rear quarter; she ran about 70 yards and piled up. I can’t get over how fast the Omen Pro is at 70 #’s. It left a serious path of destruction. While I was taking photos and skinning her, I had two other bears walk in on me. What a great day to be on a sky island.

Keith Hubbard, PSE Gorilla Squad


Hank Parker talks about his first bear hunt


Hank Parker with Parker 3D talks about his first bear hunt. Hank shot him with his PSE Omen.


Spook Spann Takes Turkeys with a PSE TAC 15 Crossbow


Spook Spann

Spook Spann

Editor’s Note: Spook Spann, who hosts “Spook Nation” TV show on the Pursuit Channel, has been a PSE pro for 3 years. Spann’s recreation and avocation is taking critters with PSE bows.

Spook Spann: I’ve always been intrigued with crossbows. As my dad’s gotten older, he’s wanted to shoot one, too. So, I thought my dad and I could have fun going turkey hunting with a TAC 15. My dad and I one morning started calling and had two big gobblers strut right into the decoys. I didn’t use a blind; I just sat down next to a big tree and put my back up against the tree. I’d put a bipod on the TAC 15 to give me a steady rest when I got ready to make the shot. The TAC 15 was easy to hold and offered a very stable platform from which to shoot. I started calling, and two big gobblers came strutting in and went right up to the decoys. That TAC 15 was so fast that the bolts blistered the air when I shot it. The gobbler in front of me went down like a rock. Two other gobblers saw him flopping and came in and started pecking at him and kicking him.

Before the hunt, I had practiced with the TAC 15 out to 70 yards, and I was totally amazed at how accurate this crossbow was and how much I enjoyed it. Different people have various ideas about where to aim when you’re shooting at a turkey, but I aimed for the butt of the wing, since that was where the turkey vitals were. I also believed that that shot would take the turkey down really quickly. Once again I was using the Swhacker Broadhead, and I couldn’t believe how quickly the turkey went down and stayed down.

What I was really amazed with about the TAC 15 was that even though it was a crossbow, it was extremely quiet. When I shot the gobbler, I don’t believe the other two turkeys heard a sound. If they did, they would have spooked. But they didn’t, and like I said earlier, they started fighting the gobbler that was flopping. Those turkeys never really knew what had happened. The shot and the bow were so quiet that we had to wait an hour after I’d shot my turkey before we could get up and retrieve him without spooking the other gobblers. I really liked the scope on the TAC 15 because it had MIL Dots in the scope that I could set for different distances. The TAC 15 is really a lot of fun to shoot, and if you haven’t tried one, you may be missing a new era of archery.

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


PSE’s Spook Spann and the Gator Getter


Spook Spann

Spook Spann

Editor’s Note: Spook Spann, who hosts “Spook Nation” TV show on the Pursuit Channel, has been a PSE pro for 3 years. Spann’s recreation and avocation is taking critters with PSE bows.

Spook Spann: I was invited to go to Florida to go on my first alligator hunt. So naturally, I took my PSE Omen Pro. We were hunting the alligators on public land from airboats. On the second night, we found the alligator I wanted to take. What was really neat was that I actually got out on the bank and stalked this alligator, getting to within 15 yards of the gator before drawing my Omen Pro and aiming behind his leg. The arrow I shot him with had a string attached to it with a float. I had a good shot on the gator, and after I made the shot, I climbed back into the airboat. We eased out to the float that was attached to the string, which was attached to the arrow that I’d placed in the gator.

The gator tried to get to deep water, and we could keep up with his movements by watching where the float went. We started pulling on the rope, and I learned that if you didn’t pull hard on an alligator but just applied steady pressure, they’d come up to the top of the water. Once we got the gator up after the first arrow, I took a second shot. I aimed this shot in the center of the gator’s neck, and when the broadhead went in, it must have cut his spinal cord, because the gator became immobile. An alligator has a little soft spot right at the back of its head, and if you can get that shot, you’ll have an instant kill. But because I wasn’t at the angle to be able to get that shot, I aimed at the center of the gator’s back right behind its head.

The gator went down for the second time. I nocked another arrow, and this time the only shot I had was once again right behind his front leg. However, that third shot was enough to put this big gator down. He measured 10 feet long and weighed about 400 pounds. As with any other hunt, the fun’s over after the critter’s down, and then the work begins. We skinned the alligator, and I gave the meat to some friends of mine. We ate the alligator, and I had an alligator rug made from the hide, head and legs. This gator is one of my finer trophies, and once again my PSE Omen Pro did what it was designed to do put the arrow where I wanted it to go each time I took a shot.

Tomorrow: Spook Spann Takes Turkeys with a PSE TAC 15 Crossbow

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


PSE’s Spook Spann’s 162 Point Pope & Young 8 Point Kentucky Buck


Spook Spann

Spook Spann

Editor’s Note: Spook Spann, who hosts “Spook Nation” TV show on the Pursuit Channel, has been a PSE pro for 3 years. Spann’s recreation and avocation is taking critters with PSE bows.

Spook Spann: I took this buck on a late season hunt in January in Kentucky. A big cold front had come through in late December and early January. We were hunting these deer in the afternoon from tree stands on the trail from their bedding area to an alfalfa field. There was also a soybean field nearby. The deer were coming out of a cedar thicket, walking down a ridge through some sage, coming down off the point of the ridge, going to the alfalfa field and eating soybeans.

We had put up our ladder stands on cedar trees and had placed a ladder stand on an oak tree right next to two cedar trees. The cedar trees provided plenty of cover for us. In the late season when all the leaves were off the trees, we knew a buck easily could see you, if you didn’t have much cover to conceal your stand. Those cedar trees were bushy and could break up your silhouette as well as anything. I really like to hunt in or around cedar trees in the late winter. The wind was moderate, and I thought it might blow our scent to the deer, so I put out two of my Wildfire products to help cover our scent and pulled up the wicks so that the scent could flow freely, about 45 minutes into the hunt.

When we saw the buck that I took 45 minutes later, he had his nose in the air. I think he knew that there was something that wasn’t quite right, but he wasn’t alarmed. The buck circled downwind of our stand and then came out right in front of me. He had stopped right in the edge of the woods before going into the alfalfa field to feed. He presented me with a quartering away shot at 26 yards. I aimed my Omen Pro right behind the last rib, so the trajectory of the arrow would be moving forward right into his vitals. The buck went only 200 yards before we found him. I was shooting a Swhacker Broadhead and pushing the broadhead with a Gold Tip arrow. This buck was a huge 8 point. I’d seen this buck two times when I was hunting earlier in the week. I knew he was in the area and had a good feeling about having a chance to take him, since we realized that the alfalfa field and the soybean field were deer magnets. This was the first time we’d hunted this particular stand. I believe in the first strike theory of, “The first time you hunt out of a stand is your best chance to take a trophy buck there.”

Tomorrow: PSE’s Spook Spann and the Gator Getter

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


PSE’s Spook Spann and His 193 Point White Tailed Deer


Spook Spann

Spook Spann

Editor’s Note: Spook Spann, who hosts “Spook Nation” TV show on the Pursuit Channel, has been a PSE pro for 3 years. Spann’s recreation and avocation is taking critters with PSE bows.

Spook Spann: I’ve shot the EVO 7 and the X Force EVO, but I can’t turn loose of that Omen when I’m hunting. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the bow. I was hunting in Iowa last year and had the opportunity to take a whitetail that scored 193. I owned a piece of property inside west Iowa that was a 400 acre farm. I didn’t know this buck was on the farm, but there always had been big bucks on this property. One of the reasons I didn’t know this buck was on the land was because we couldn’t put out trail cameras there. I lived in Tennessee, and this property was a long way from my house. I didn’t know anyone locally well enough to run the cameras for me. But I had hunted this farm for several years and felt confident that I knew where the big bucks moved. We picked a little of the corn from a cornfield on the property but left the rest of the corn standing. All of the farms around us had already harvested their crops, so we had the only food source in that area. On this afternoon hunt, my cameraman and I had set up inside an enclosed blind on a tower stand.

There weren’t any trees big enough to set up a tree stand. I had put this enclosed deer blind up 3 years earlier. Early in the afternoon, deer were starting to move into the cornfield to feed. We were 10 feet high in the blind and started seeing deer about 3:00 pm. Then at 4:30 pm, we spotted a buck that would score about 170 on the Pope & Young, as well as several other small bucks and does. With daylight fading, I spotted this really big buck coming into the corn behind some does. I told my cameraman, “Get ready. I’m going to shoot this buck.”

In these shooting towers, you’re very limited on space, and you have to take the shot out of long narrow windows. But as luck would have it, this buck walked right up to the best place I had in the blind to take the shot. Once the buck was only 23 yards away, I took the shot. I thought, “This is going to be an easy chip shot.” But when I shot, I thought I missed the deer. The buck was quartering to me, and when I released the arrow, I knew something was wrong. My cameraman had set his pack right under the window where I had to take the shot. I didn’t know what had happened. My pin sight was right behind the deer’s shoulder when I released the arrow. As soon as I heard that terrible sound with the bottom cam on my bow hitting my cameraman’s pack on the floor below me, I thought I had missed the deer. I saw my arrow hitting the corn behind the deer, and I knew the shot was to the right of where I’d been aiming.

Now you talk about heartbreak, well, I had it. This buck was a beautiful trophy that I’d had a perfect shot on, and I had blown it due to the cam on my bow hitting the cameraman’s pack. We stayed in the stand until dark, and I was totally upset and miserable with myself. Once we finally came out of the stand and went to retrieve the arrow, I saw blood everywhere. We followed the blood and found the buck in less than 200 yards. When we looked at the deer to try and determine where the arrow had hit him, I had hit the deer in the base of the neck where his neck connected to his shoulders. Apparently when my cam hit the pack, instead of the arrow hitting the buck behind the shoulder where I’d aimed, the bow had moved and hit 10 inches to the right of where I’d been aiming. I couldn’t believe that what I thought had been a tragic hunt turned out to be one of the best whitetail hunts I’d ever been on, and I was able to take the biggest bucks I’d ever taken with my bow.

One of the reasons we were able to take this buck was because we found a way to overcome the lack of trees by having a tower stand with a blind on it. If we had put a ground blind in the corn, I’d have been so low that I couldn’t see the deer that had approached. That’s the reason we built the tower stand out in the corn. The stand was actually a steel tower with a ladder on it, and that’s how we solved the problem to get into position to take the shot on the buck that scored 193 P&Y points.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Spook Spann’s 162 Point Pope & Young 8 Point Kentucky Buck

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


Spook Spann Stacks ‘Em Up with His PSE Bow


Spook Spann

Spook Spann

Editor’s Note: Spook Spann, who hosts “Spook Nation” TV show on the Pursuit Channel, has been a PSE pro for 3 years. Spann’s recreation and avocation is taking critters with PSE bows.

Spook Spann:
I was hunting in the Gila National Forest when I met Pete Shepley about 15-18 years ago. He was very nice to me, and I enjoyed spending 5 or 6 hours on a rainy afternoon visiting at his elk camp. I told my hunting companion, “One day, I’ll be shooting a PSE bow as a pro team archer for Pete Shepley.”

I went home, bought a PSE bow and started shooting it. When we started our TV show, “Spook Nation,” I told my producer that I really wanted to shoot PSE bows and have the company as a sponsor. I wanted to shoot their bows for two reasons: I loved the speed of their bows; and I liked Pete, and he’d been nice to me. I had become a Mossy Oak Pro Staffer through Blake Shelby, today the marketing director for PSE who once worked for Mossy Oak. So, when I approached PSE for sponsorship for “Spook Nation,”  everything fit together. We’ve had a great relationship. Right now I’m shooting the Omen Pro. This bow has a lot of speed and is really accurate. Because the Omen is so fast, I can shoot fewer pin sights. Too, it’s more forgiving than other bows I’ve shot. If I misjudge the distance by 4 or 5 yards, I can still take the animal, because the bow shoots so fast. I use an adjustable pin sight that goes all the way out to 90 yards.

I took a mule deer at 103 yards with my Omen Pro, a distance that I realize is much further than most archers shoot in the East. I was in Utah on an archery deer spot and stalk hunt on the Deseret Ranch. I saw one buck I really liked and wanted to take. He was a 200+ inch buck. Although I started stalking him early in the morning, the buck winded us and went back up in the canyon. But then I caught up to him and watched him go to his bed. Being as stealthy as possible, I got within 8 yards of that bedded mule deer buck. I was getting ready to take the shot when he stood up. A smaller buck spotted us, spooking the big buck, which then ran off down into a canyon. The big buck really didn’t know what had happened. He just realized that the little buck had been alarmed by something and run off. So, the bigger buck decided he’d better get out of there too. I did get about 100 yards away. I used my range finder to pick out several trees or bushes and got the range that I was from each one of those landmarks. As the buck started to come out of the valley to see what had spooked the little buck, I started drawing my bow. I must have held the bow at full draw for at least 3 minutes. One of my landmarks was at 103 yards, and I thought, “If the buck comes out to that place, I’ll take the shot.” The buck did stop by that landmark and started looking toward me.

One of the reasons I felt comfortable in taking this shot is because I practice shooting at 100 yards. I’ve shot enough at that range, so that I can put the arrow in a deer’s kill zone, if I ever have to take a shot that long. I don’t want to take a shot that I’m not confident I can make. On this day, there was no wind, the deer was standing broadside, and I knew I’d made this shot hundreds of times before in practice. So, I released the arrow. The buck was quartering hard away from me. The arrow entered at the buck’s back hip and angled up into his vitals. The buck went only about 50 yards before he piled up. When we saw the deer go down, we returned to where we’d left our packs and waited for about 30 minutes. Then I stalked up to the deer with an arrow nocked and my release on the string. The buck had gone over a ridge and out of sight. When I walked to the top of the ridge and peeked over, I saw the buck was down for certain. To recover the deer, we had to go off the side of the mountain. We took pictures with the deer where he lay; then we quartered him up and actually had to carry the deer out in backpacks. I’d had three or four other guys helping me get the deer out, and my pack alone weighed about 75 pounds. We had to carry that deer uphill, and I was really glad I’d spent time exercising and playing softball and was in shape. Getting that deer out and back to the truck required a lot of work. However, to take a trophy like that, the work was more than justified.

I had a lot of confidence in my PSE Omen, I knew it was fast, and I knew it shot flat. I think there are three confidence factors that any archer has to possess to consistently take game at any range.

  • You must have confidence in your equipment, and I felt like I knew the PSE Omen almost as well as the man who built it.
  • You must have confidence from your practice. The shot at this distance wasn’t an iffy shot for me. I knew I could make it, because I had shot 100 yards successfully so many times before.
  • You have to believe in your own ability and trust your muscle memory.

But sometimes even if with this confidence, you’ll still miss deer due to the elements and the animals themselves. You can’t control the weather, but you can maximize the impact of everything you can control.

Tomorrow: PSE’s Spook Spann and His 193 Point White Tailed Deer

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


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