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How PSE’s Spook Spann Chooses Tree Stand Sites


Spook Spann PSE

PSE’S Spook Spann

Editor’s Note: To be consistently successful at taking bucks and especially older age class bucks, you have to know the best places to put your stand. You can be in the best area to hunt, where you’ve found the highest concentrations of deer, but if you pick the wrong stand site you’ll go home empty handed. PSE has asked Spook Spann how he picks his tree stand sites.

Every hunting area is different, and each state is different. However, I can give you some tips that may help, regardless of where you hunt. I like to hunt from evergreen trees, especially cedars or pines, for several reasons. These evergreen trees really help to break up the hunter’s silhouette, and when you’re trimming limbs in evergreens, they generally give off a fairly pungent odor that acts as a cover scent to prevent the deer from smelling you. However, if I can’t find an evergreen, I’ll look for a tree with a lot of limbs that can help break up my silhouette.

If I’m hunting over a high-quality food source like a green field, a soybean field or a corn field, and deer are coming out into that field early enough to hunt them, I’ll set-up on the edge of that field. Any time I’ve got a food source like those, I’ll usually set-up three or four different tree stands I can hunt from, depending on the wind conditions. If I see the deer aren’t coming to the field during shooting hours, I may back off 100 or 200-yards from the field and look for a travel trail the deer are using to get to the field. My favorite places to set-up tree stands are between prominent bedding areas and high-quality food sources. For instance, the deer may be coming into a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) field and waiting in the tall grass before moving to the food source after dark. If I can locate a place where the deer are comfortable waiting for night to fall before they move in to the food source, that kind of site usually produces best for me.

Pro Staff Shooter Spook Spann

PSE’S Pro Staff Shooter Spook Spann

I’ll be looking for a tree stand close to that CRP field that will allow me to look down into the field and see deer, and give me an opportunity to take a shot. If I see a nice buck that’s too far away for me to take from my tree stand, I may try to come out of that stand and make a stalk on him. I usually like to climb 20-25 feet high in the tree. Sometimes there may be a need to get higher. If I don’t have any back cover, I may not climb that high, but this is a good average height for me. Also, any time I’m in a tree stand, I use a Muddy Safeguard Harness. I like this harness because it’s quick and easy to put on and take off, and it doesn’t restrict me when I’m trying to shoot my bow.

One of the most-difficult shots for most tree stand hunters to make is when a deer is right under the tree. Here’s what I do:

  • I don’t try to draw and aim at the deer with my bow pointed at the deer. I make my draw when I’m standing or seated, and then bring the bow down to aim at the deer. When a deer is close, I aim a little lower than I normally do.
  • You can make a better shot by waiting on the deer to walk past you. Then you’ll get a shot that enters behind the vitals and travels up through the heart and lung areas.
  • You can make a close in shot best by remembering to bend at the waist.
  • I start hunting the first day I arrive at the property, and here’s why: I’ve done all my scouting, and I’ve seen all the pictures from the trail cameras in that area. Too, this region may be somewhere I’ve hunted before. So, the first time I go into that area I want to leave as little scent as possible and not disturb the woods. I believe the first day of that hunt will be the best day to try and take the buck I’ve been seeing on my trail cameras.

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.


Spook Spann’s Secrets to Hunting Public Lands


Spook S

PSE’S Pro Staff Shooter 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 used to hunt public lands all the time before I got my TV show. Most of my whitetail hunting is on private lands now, but I do still hunt public lands out West when I’m mule deer hunting. I’ve discovered several different ways to hunt public lands successfully. You have to spend a good bit of time scouting and look for places that are difficult for the average hunter to reach. Most public land hunters don’t want to travel more than 1/2-mile from their vehicles or the road. So, if you’re willing to go further into the woods than the average hunter and get to remote spots you’ve discovered through scouting, you’ll increase your odds for seeing and taking more deer.

However, I’ve also been highly successful by finding places where deer travel and feed within 300 yards of a main road on public-hunting ground. Remember the first tier of public land hunters will be hunting the 1/2-mile area from the road. The second tier will be hunting much deeper in the woods than the first group. That means hardly anybody will be hunting in the first 300-yards from a major road on public lands. The reason most hunters overlook this region is they realize the deer can hear and see all the vehicles on the road, and they know hunting pressure will begin at the road and move away from the road. But deer pattern hunters just like hunters pattern deer. Deer realize that from just after daylight until about 10:30 or 11:00 am, there rarely will be a hunter within 300 yards of the road. They also know that in the afternoon from 1:00 or 2:00 pm until about an hour before dark, there won’t be any hunting pressure in that first 300 yards. So, they can move and feed in these areas during these times.

Spook

PSE’S Spook Spann

The deer are accustomed to seeing cars driving up and down the main roads and recognize that those automobiles don’t pose a threat. They also know hunters will park their trucks in places that have paths going further back into the woods, or where there’s a trail they can use to reach their stand sites. So, if you can find a place along a main road in a public-hunting area where most hunters don’t park their trucks and don’t walk into the woods, those are productive places to locate and take better bucks.

Most public-land hunters walk past the places where deer are holding to get further in the woods to find places where deer may move. So, my favorite two places to hunt are more than 1/2-mile from an access point to public land or within 300 yards of a main road on public land. I may walk 1/2-mile up a road away from my car to identify a thick-cover site where no one will enter the woods, and often that’s where I’ll find a buck. The number one rule on public land to find and take more deer is, “Stay away from the places where most people will enter or leave the woods.”

One of the classic examples of finding one of these kinds of spots was when I was hunting the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area that’s near my home. I found a place close to the road where three ridges ran together and dropped off into a hollow. There were numbers of white oak acorn trees down in the bottom of that hollow, and deer were crossing this bottom to get to another section of the public land. By reading the deer sign, I knew deer were crossing and feeding here, and then using a nearby cedar thicket to could bed and hide. So, I took a stand at this site and took a really nice Pope & Young buck. I’m sure everyone else who saw this spot just thought this area was too close to the road to have a chance at a buck.

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.


How PSE’s Spook Spann Uses Trail Cameras


S. Spann

PSE’S Spook Spann

Editor’s Note: Today many bowhunters are relying on trail cameras to help them take more and bigger bucks. PSE has asked Spook Spann how he uses his trail cameras to locate, identify and take big bucks for his TV show “Spook Nation” on the Pursuit Channel.

Right now I have trail cameras out in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri and Texas. Some of these cameras have been out since the last week of July, and some of the cameras have been out since the last week in June. I don’t go to all the states where I plan to hunt in the coming season and putout the cameras myself. I have friends of mine who putout cameras for me in different states, maintain them, send me the pictures and tell me the areas from where the pictures have come. Right now we’re checking the trail cameras about once a week, and all our pictures have time and date stamps. So, we can get really detailed information about the deer passing in front of those cameras. We learn not only whether the deer are bucks or does, and what size antlers the bucks have while they’re still in the velvet, but also how frequently the big bucks are coming to where the trail cameras are positioned, and the time of day we’re most likely to see those deer.

So far, my trail cameras report four or five really nice bucks in Ohio that will score 170-185 on Boone & Crockett. We’ve photographed several bucks in western Kentucky with racks that will score 150-180, and four in Missouri that will score 155-175. In Tennessee I’ve got one or two bucks that will score 160 or better, and I’m excited about finding these bucks, because they’re here in my home state. I try to pick out the bucks I want to try and hunt in each one of the states I travel to, prior to the season. But often, there will be even better bucks that show up in front of our cameras between now and the beginning of bow season. If they do, we’ll change our plans on which bucks we intend to hunt.

PSE'S Spook Spann

Elite PSE Pro Staffer Shooter Spook Spann

Just because we’ve got these bucks on trail cameras and know where they live and the time of day they’re coming in right now doesn’t mean we have a slam dunk opportunity to take one of these bucks. Many things can change between now and hunting season. I like to think I possibly can take five or six of these deer this season, but I know better than to attempt to predict exactly which bucks I’ll take, and when I’ll take them. I prefer to go where I’m hunting with low expectations and be pleasantly surprised.

I’m often asked, “Which trail cameras are you using?” My answer is always SPYPOINT. Another question I’m often asked is, “How do you keep people from stealing your cameras?” I’ve found several different ways to solve this problem. SPYPOINT has a lock box you can put on your cameras to lock them to the tree with a cable. If you’re having problems with people cutting cables to get your trail cameras, they also makes a camera called the TINY-W, which has a receiver separate from the camera that you can hide in another location. Then if someone messes with your cameras, you’ll get a picture of them and you’ll know who borrowed your camera. They also have a 3G camera you can set-up in conjunction with a website, and it will send the pictures to the website so hopefully you can get pictures of the person who’s causing you problems. However, I have most of my trail cameras on private lands, and the landowners usually have a pretty good handle on the people who have been on his property, while my cameras have been up.

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.


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.


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.


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