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Better Bowfishing by PSE’s Dustin Jones


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

Throughout the summer months it can be difficult for hunters. There is the anticipation for the upcoming archery season with the lull of nothing to hunt. This time of year is well spent scouting for a new hunting spot or making sure the old stand will still be a reliable spot. Between scouting and practicing the excitement starts to build and the anticipation of the upcoming season becomes, well almost unbearable at times. One thing that I have found that is a great summer activity that scratches the hunting itch a little is bowfishing.

Curt Coates Bowfishing on Bear Lake

Bowfishing here in Idaho is a blast and there are several lakes and rivers that have an abundance of carp to chase. If you look online about bowfishing, you’ll see a lot of videos that shows people going out on a boat both in the daylight and the evening. While this is one of the most popular ways, I have had just as much luck shooting from the banks of the river or lake.

Melissa Coates Bowfishing on Bear Lake

One of the hardest things to remember about bowfishing is the aiming. The majority of people (myself included) who go out bowfishing for the first time end up missing the fish because they shoot too high. The reason is because of refraction. The fish looks like it is in one spot but because of the light reflecting off the water, the fish is actually lower than what it really is. A good rule of thumb would be to aim at the bottom of the fish, and then aim down about 6 inches or more. It takes some getting used to but just like any type of shooting, practice makes you better. Obviously if the fish are right on the surface of the water you wouldn’t aim low, but if they are down a little deeper you typically want to drop about 6 inches for every foot they are in the water. Just remember to aim lower than you think.

Carp on the Surface (photo by Kevin Jones)

Another important thing to pack is a good set of polarized sunglasses. Wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses helps take the glare off the water and you will be able to see more fish. Especially when fishing from the bank the glare off the water can be pretty extreme. The best time that I have found to bowfish for carp has been early morning or late afternoon and the glare on the water is very intense. I haven’t been out at night yet but I have heard that it is just as good if not better at night.

Curt Coates with his Carp

Lastly one thing to remember that you’ll be glad you have if you shoot one of those 30 pound carp is a glove. If you are shooting a bow without a reel and are pulling the line in by hand, you’ll be glad you are fighting the carp with a good leather glove on. I have the PSE Kingfisher set up and I just pull the arrow in by hand and I usually keep one in my back pocket just in case I shoot a big one. The last thing you want to do is shoot a monster carp and grab hold of the string just to get your finger or hand sliced open. These fish can fight like no other.

Bowfishing is a great way to get out and hunt throughout the spring and summer months. Be sure to look up the regulations in your state and get out there and enjoy some summer time bowfishing!

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.


Scout & Shoot by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

Scouting and finding a good hunting spot can be a truly time-consuming process. The same might be said of archery practice and honing your skills. Why not combine the two and make for some fun scouting/target practice? It’s a great way to pass the time and shoot in the outdoors!

My friend Brett and I are always trying to come up with fun ways to practice at the archery range. Sure, we often set up a target on a bale of straw, but we also bring our 3D targets to the range. Not many people do this, but it’s fun and it certainly gets people’s attention. I also started bringing a ‘rabbit’ target made of a sock stuffed with rags. This allows us to practice on a very small target with judo points. It’s a great way to judge distance because we just toss it out in front of us and estimate the distance. It’s great fun!

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Now we just have to find the pigs with the little white circles on them.

While we are there, we almost always have a friendly competition to see who can get closer to the vitals on a target at longer range. We both are very confident even out to 60 yards and sometimes a little competition brings out the best in us. The last time we were at the range we were fine tuning or gear. We don’t usually say ‘let’s have a shootout,’ but we almost always inch closer and closer to the center. For me this is great fun and also brings out the best in both of us. When we concentrate and truly focus our shots improve with each arrow.

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Brett scouting the foothills of Southern California in search of mule deer.

Another way to have a great time while scouting is to bring along a smaller target like a Rinehart 18-1 for target practice. That way when you hike in, you can toss the target out in front, down a hill or on in an odd position you are not used to. This allows you a totally different shooting scenario and one that you are more likely to be faced with during hunting season. It makes for great fun, but also makes you focus more on your target. When you are shooting at a downhill (or uphill) angle there is a greater chance of losing an arrow or ten. No one wants to go searching further down a slope for errant flying arrows, so you should carefully choose your shot and make it count, just as you would on an animal in the wild.

A fantastic tool that I utilize is a range finder with angle compensation. By using this feature, you can practice those steep angles with the aid of a rangefinder in preparation for hunting season. You may not have the option of time during the season, so if you plan on hunting the steep slopes you will want to practice with and without a rangefinder. Building your confidence without a rangefinder can help immensely in the field.

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Practicing your steep angle shots in terrain like this will make you a better bowhunter.

 

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Spotting some deer on a far hillside always gets the blood pumping.

After each round of shooting, take a moment to glass the surroundings. I know that deer are curious and hearing a strange sound like an arrow hitting a target might spring them from their beds and have them staring in your direction. By using this technique, you can get some practice in while scouting. You will have hauled in some extra weight, shot a few rounds and cleared your head before scanning the brush with your optics in search of that elusive ghost. Enjoy the practice sessions and best of luck to you all this season!

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 29 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com and is a PSE Staff Blogger. He is a Pro Staff member for TightSpot Quivers, HHA Sports, and Piranha Custom Bowstrings. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.

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

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


Better Optics Make for Better Hunting by PSE’s Dustin Jones


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

Out here in the west, my style of hunting is mainly spot and stalk, and just like any style of hunting, it requires a lot of scouting to pattern the animal and ensure that you will be hunting in the right area. Once you think you’re in the right area, you still have to find the animals before you can put a stalk on them. One of the most important pieces of equipment that you will find with me every time I hunt are my binoculars. A good quality pair of optics will go a long way in almost any hunting situation.

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The best way to spot and stalk is to spend a good amount of time spotting the hillsides and drainage areas. Finding where the animal is and watching what it is doing helps you to set up a game plan to put the sneak on. One thing to do is get to a high vantage point where you can sit and glass a large area. Spend the time scanning over the area, taking your time and looking for different shapes: ears, antlers, or any part of what could be a deer, elk, bear, or moose. You can see in the pictures below a nice bull moose that we were able to sit and glass in order to get a good look at him.

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I always pack my binoculars with me on every hunt, but when I am headed out on an elk hunt I make sure to pack my spotting scope as well. Being able to set up a spotting scope and just glass mountainsides gives me the advantage on locating the elk to construct a game plan. I use the Minox MD 50 W when I go elk hunting.  It is lightweight enough that I can throw it in my pack and not take up room while providing high magnification to allow me to get a good look at the animals I am chasing. When you are hunting spot and stalk elk, you definitely don’t want to be packing a lot of weight in your pack as you go up and down deep canyons while you are putting on the sneak. The size and weight of the MD 50 W is just right to take along with a nice lightweight tripod to set it up on.

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Once you spot the elk and you are putting the sneak on, pack up your spotting scope and rely on your binoculars moving forward. A durable and lightweight set of binoculars is vital when spot and stalk hunting. Again, trekking up and down steep canyons is difficult as it is and having a heavy pair of binoculars will just slow you down. The BL 10 x 44 binoculars from Minox provides just what you need. They are lightweight and quick to focus on the object, which is exactly the kind of performance you want as you’re putting the stalk on a herd of elk.

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When moving in closer to the elk, you need to stop and take a break every once in a while in order to make sure you are headed in the right direction and the elk haven’t decided to move in another direction. You always need to check on your progress as you move in to get a shot. You don’t want to just pick a spot and head that direction without stopping to check if the elk is still there. So always make sure that you can stay hidden but be able to check on the elk every now and then.

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The key point is to take the time to glass and make sure you have some quality glass. It will surprise you how much you are missing if you just take the time to slowly scan a mountain side. It takes a lot of patients to just sit and glass but in the end you will see more animals. Best of luck and enjoy this time of year as you get out and scout for the upcoming season. Be safe and enjoy!

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.


Caring for Your Archery Gear by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

The off season is the perfect time for bowhunters to take the time to review what gear they have and what they might need to replace. Bowhunting in Southern California has many advantages; there is plenty of public land, you can hunt in many ‘no firearm’ areas, and deer season is much longer. Due to the different land, weather and lengthened seasons, many bowhunters forget to stay on top of one key ingredient – caring for your archery gear.

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One of the major factors in the deterioration of your bow parts is dirt getting into places it doesn’t belong. Add in the dry heat of SoCal and you have a recipe for disaster if your gear is not attended to regularly. I have learned over the years that after each hunting trip I go on, whether it be a day trip or a week-long adventure, I need to carefully look over my gear and clean it if necessary.

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Cleaning should be easy. Wipe dirt away with a rag and also use an air compressor to blow dirt and sand out of any small crevices. If the limb pocket grease spreads out or splatters, clean it up. Don’t use water or harsh abrasive cleaners, just compressed air and possibly a bit of alcohol on a rag. Do this with the limb pockets, any holes or crevices and also the additional components such as the sight, arrow rest, etc.

Wax the string on a regular basis, but don’t allow dirt or grime to build up. That means you are putting too much wax on the string. Rub it into the string and wipe away the excess. Once you have everything clean, shoot a few arrows and make sure everything is functioning properly.

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The same principles apply for your optics and release aids, too. Check the eyecups of binoculars for dirt and debris. If there is debris, clean it out, but USE CAUTION! Don’t just stick a rag in the eyecup and wipe as you could scratch the glass. Blow the majority out of there and then use an optics cloth to carefully clean the lens. With release aids, check the trigger for dirt and rust. Use a scent-free oil to lubricate the moving parts of the release often.

By carefully checking and cleaning your gear after each outing you will decrease the chances of any malfunctions that may arise and increase the life of your gear allowing you to focus more time on bowhunting.

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 29 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com and is a PSE Staff Blogger. He is a Pro Staff member for TightSpot Quivers, HHA Sports, and Piranha Custom Bowstrings. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.

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

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


Patience leads to perfect practice by PSE’s Al Quackenbush


By Al Quackenbush

www.SoCalBowhunter.com

Perfect practice leads to success in the field. We have all heard it many times, but it rings true. Not mentioned often is the art of practicing patience both on the range and in the woods, both with you and with other archers. Learning to harness it is something that does indeed take practice.

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One of the reasons I like to get to the local archery range early in the morning is that there is less pressure than later in the day. When I lived in New York I had the luxury of having a target set up in my backyard and could practice at a moment’s notice. I could shoot anytime and I didn’t have to wait for others to finish up. Here in California it’s a different story. In the city where I live, I am not allowed to shoot in my backyard. It’s a safety issue that I understand. The other options are to go to a local pro shop to shoot up to 30 yards, or to go to the local outdoor archery range. The outdoor range I speak of is the site of the 1984 Olympic archery competition. It’s a large range where you can shoot out to 110 yards if you like. On Saturdays and Sundays the range fills up quickly, so it is in your best interest to get up early and claim a bale target.

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Recently, my friend Brett and I have been hitting the range around 7:30 AM on Saturday mornings. The weather is cool, a bit overcast and we can almost always grab our favorite target area – the one on the very end. On two separate occasions, we have watched the range fill up quickly. This causes a bit of congestion. Here is where focusing on being patient comes into play. If you are late to the range, you must be patient and wait for a target to open up. If you are like Brett and I, we must be patient with ourselves. You have one of three decisions to make. You can give up your target to allow someone else to shoot. Not a likely choice as you made the effort to get there early. You can cave under the pressure and rush through your practice to accommodate the people waiting for you. This would be the absolute worst decision as it would cause poor form, poor technique, and quite honestly poor practice. The best thing you can do is shoot like you would during a perfect practice session. Take your time, focus on technique and worry about you and no one else.

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If you have ever gone golfing in a foursome there is bound to be someone in your group that is slower than the rest. Usually it is me, but that is beside the point. Before long, the foursome behind you is on your heels. You have three choices. You may continue to play slow and irritate the other group. You may allow them to play through. Or you can stress out under the pressure to speed up and totally mess up your day of relaxing on the course. The same will happen on the archery range should you allow it.

We had a gentleman come sit right by us at 40 yards after we had only been there a half hour. We usually shoot for two hours or so and I was sighting in a new single-pin sight, so I was patient. As the minutes went by, arrows flew downrange and we had a blast. Before long two and a half hours had elapsed and our arms were spent. We offered up our target and the man graciously took it. He was patient and so were we. Everyone was happy.

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My favorite part of the day was toward the end of our range session. A young boy walked up beside us and started shooting. You can see him in the left side of this photo. His first arrow in his aim was true and he exclaimed to his teacher, ‘I hit the target! Look, I hit the target!!’ His enthusiasm was pure and full of energy. It totally made my day to see someone so excited about archery. I hope all of us can get out there and let that inner child out as often as we can. We should all carry that enthusiasm and have fun when we hit where we are aiming. Even after nearly thirty years of shooting a bow and arrow, I still get a thrill out of my arrow hitting exactly where I am aiming.

Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 29 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com and is a PSE Staff Blogger. He is a Pro Staff member for TightSpot Quivers, HHA Sports, and Piranha Custom Bowstrings. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.

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

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

 


Benefits of 3-D Archery by PSE’s Dustin Jones


By Dustin Jones

http://www.highcountrybowhunter.com/

Spring is here which means that I am getting closer to chasing antelope and elk. Predator hunting is the only season that I’m hunting right now but there is one more season that I look forward to this time of year. I am taking advantage of practicing and participating in the many upcoming 3-D archery shoots.

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There is so much you can learn and grow from as a bowhunter by shooting 3-D targets. I’m not saying that shooting a block target is bad or that you should only shoot 3-D targets. When you get the chance to shoot at a life-sized deer, elk, turkey, or any animal you are pursuing, you gain that experience that you otherwise can’t from just a block target. I wanted to share some of the benefits that I have gained.

Shot Placement

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Sure the vitals on a deer are all in the same place, just as every elk has their vitals in the same place. But what happens when you get an animal just slightly quartering towards you or away from you? What about if they are bedded down? There are so many different possible situations that you could encounter while hunting that you couldn’t possibly prepare for everyone, but you can prepare for a lot of them by shooting at life-size targets. Being able to set up a quartering shot, long distance shot, or even a kneeling shot will help prepare you for those situations better. You can also quickly walk up and analyze the shot placement, make any adjustments and try again.

Realistic Situations

You can see different situations and scenarios in this picture

You can see different situations and scenarios in this picture

You spot your animal and you notice that there will be just this one little opening for a possible shot, should you take it or let it pass? Setting up a realistic situation is very easy to do and great practice. Set up your target with some brush in the way so you have to adjust a little, or even set it up at odd distances instead of at the regular 20, 30, or 40 yards. Sometimes those shots that are 36 or 43 are just enough to get you to over-think your shot. The two shoots I mentioned in the beginning are great examples of this as they are set up on a mountain and you scale the mountain to take your shot on different animals in different situations.

Pure Enjoyment

Teaching my son Fynch while he's young

Teaching my son Fynch while he’s young

When I shoot either at the 3-D range or at a local shoot, I am usually with friends or family when I go. Being able to have great company and friendly competition always adds to the level of enjoyment. Let’s be honest, it is much more fun to shoot at something that resembles the animal you will be pursuing rather than a cube. Having friends or family share in the archery experience is priceless. My wife actually owns a bow but has made it very clear she does not want to shoot a live animal, but she loves getting out and shooting 3-D targets.

Fynch and his Bear

Fynch and his Bear

These are just some of the many benefits of shooting 3-D. There are plenty of opportunities to get out and experience shooting 3-D. What are some of the benefits that you have encountered?

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.


Archery Practice Tips by PSE’s Will Jenkins


By Will Jenkins

http://www.thewilltohunt.com/

Now that Deer season is over and we’re gearing up for spring gobbler, summer 3D or Field Archery shoots its time to practice.

If you have any amount of land you most likely practice often and alone in your yard without the luxury of having a lot of input from other archers. Here are a couple of things that  are important to being both consistent and accurate.

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1. Don’t Practice Past Fatigue: Guilty! I do this all the time, shoot a few dozen get tired but push through it and form goes down the drain. Take a break come back in a couple hours for those last few or wait until the next day. Otherwise, you will definitely start developing some bad habits.

2. Line up the Peep with the Pin Housing: If you use a peep be sure to line it up with the circular pin housing of your sight. This will help you keep everything in line and be more consistent. This may be a no brainer but you likely focus more in the pins than the housing. Making sure you consistently center the housing makes a huge difference and it’s easier to center than just looking at the pins.

3. Develop a Repeatable Shot Sequence: If you just yank the string back and let if fly you’re not doing it right. Try to develop a basic shot sequence it doesn’t have to have tons of steps or be overly complicated just make each shot has the same order and sequence of movements. This doesn’t mean you need to make that sequence specific to any one stance because we should all know wild game rarely comes through the shooting lane that allows you to use the most comfortable shooting stance.

4. Video Yourself: If you don’t have people to watch you and help critique your form get a video camera and a tripod and video yourself. Play it back and watch your form. If you aren’t sure post it on you tube and get in an archery forum link to it and ask for input. This is also a good opportunity to note your draw length and see if you look overdrawn. If you don’t have a video camera use your cell phone, smart phone or point and shoot camera most all have video capability.

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None of these tips are ground breaking but a few things to keep in mind while practicing. Maybe you already knew them and this will serve as a reminder to keep you consistent. Now get out there, practice and don’t settle for good enough!

Will Jenkins is creator of TheWilltoHunt.com and Harnesses For Hunters. He’s an avid outdoorsman who enjoys sharing his experiences through his blog. He also writes for Bow Adventures e-Magazine and is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association.

Will lives in Central Virginia with his wife and two kids. He hunts in Virginia and Maryland but has dreams of heading west to hunt Elk and Mule Deer.

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

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


Spot Shooting with PSE’s Jared Bloomgren


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


By Jared Bloomgren

www.facebook.com/jaredbloomgren

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

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

Shooting from various positions is important....

Shooting from various positions is important….

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

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

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

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

Light levels can change....

Light levels can change….

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

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

Elevated shots are important....

Elevated shots are important….

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

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

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

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

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


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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