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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.


Deer Wrapped in a Blanket by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

http://www.fromthedraw.com/

While the wind taunted snowflakes all around outside today, covering the ground in furled blankets of snow, it was a different story inside my house.  A wonderful smell waffled from my oven.  The battle raged outside, as snow attempted to pile along the fence line, only to be whipped up again in the blizzard’s breath, seemingly begging to come inside and melt away with each beating against my windows.  The beast laughed as it played with the snow, watching each snowflake eventually succumb to the fury of the wind, and I smiled as I had no reason to leave the house today.  Venison was being neatly tucked in blankets of ham, rows of venison wrapped ham rolls prepared to bake in the oven and make mouths water.

Not long after the smell of venison ham blanket mixture began to waffle from the oven, my husband wandered into the kitchen.  “What is that great smell?” He asked.

I thought I’d share this great recipe so you too can make mouths water, and lure family members in around the dinner table.  They are also great to prepare ahead of time, and bring along camping!  Just freeze individually to set each ham roll, then place in a large freezer storage bag.  Thaw, top with glaze and cook slowly on a grill or wrap in tin foil over a fire.

Deer Wrapped in a Blanket

Deer Wrapped in a Blanket

Here’s my twist on Pig’s in a Blanket – venison style!

Venison Wrapped Ham Rolls – AKA “Deer Wrapped in a Blanket”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground venison
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup crumpled whole wheat bread
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • Sliced ham 1/8 inch thickness*
  • Whole cloves

Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl, and place several spoonfuls on each piece of ham.  Be careful to not overstuff!  Fold the ham over the venison mixture and trim securely with cloves.  Place in a shallow pan and top with glaze.

Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl.

Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl.

*Hint: Have your ham freshly sliced at the deli counter, and request the slicer to be set at 2 1/2 thickness.

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs melted butter
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard

To prepare glaze, mix the above ingredients over medium heat until butter is melted and a thick mixture forms.  Spoon the desired amount over each venison ham roll, reserving some to baste at the end.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove cloves and enjoy!

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.


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


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

Sunset On The Last Day

Sunset on the Last Day of the Season

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

Big Ole Coyote

Big Ole Coyote

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

Beautiful Fox

Beautiful Fox

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

Coyote Hunting From a Blind

Coyote Hunting From a Blind

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

Coyote Track

Coyote Track

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

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

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

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

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


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


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

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

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

Shooting from various positions is important....

Shooting from various positions is important….

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

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

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

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

Light levels can change....

Light levels can change….

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

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

Elevated shots are important....

Elevated shots are important….

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

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

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

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

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


Hunting Close to Home by PSE’s Emily Anderson


By Emily Anderson

http://www.fromthedraw.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PSE’s Todd Carter on How to Hunt Trophy Bucks


By John E. Phillips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

 


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