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Contributors Emily Anderson Melissa Bachman

Bow Adventures The e-Magazine for Archery Enthusiasts A monthly online publication.

Ramon Bell

Publisher/Editor BillHoward

Tony Catalde

Cover Design AlbertQuackenbush

Lester Harper Bill Howard Mark Huelsing

Advertising/Marketing BillHoward Circulation BillHoward

Walter ‘Deet’ James Will Jenkins Darren Johnson Amanda MacDonald ‘Papa’Scott Perrodin Albert Quackenbush Ryan Shoemaker Gretchen Steele Nick Viau

For free distribution to your bowhunting group or organization, contact BillHowardOutdoors@gmail.com

for information and instructions. Any reproduction of copy or images without prior permission from Bow Adventures or its contributors is strictly forbidden. ©Bow Adventures2012


Cover: Melissa Bachman Turkey Hunt Inset: Kowa Binos – kymberli q. photography This Page: Melissa Bachman Bear Hunt


On Target with Bow Adventures Subject: Carrying on Archery Tradition 07 - Hunting Matters

Features 23 - Total Fall Prep

Ryan Shoemaker

Walter ‘Deet’ James

26 – Time to Watch Them Grow

Amanda MacDonald

58 – Reflections from 30k Feet

14 - Archers Assemble: Effects of Societal Events on Archery 18 – Getting into Archery

Albert Quackenbush

66 – Bringing up a Youth Hunter

Lester Harper

Columns

Will Jenkins

Mark Huelsing

64 – Shot…or Not?

Tony Catalde

22 - Cookin’ with Camp Dog Crawfish Etouffee

69 – Talking Turkey with Evan Williams

28 - 20 Questions

Gear Reviews

Scott Perrodin

Melissa Bachman

Emily Anderson

48 – Prois Eliminator Series

Gretchen Steele

34 – Better Archer Broadhead Tuning

52 – Wrist Sling from Carolina Cords

38 – Habitat Management

54 – Kowa BD 10x42 Binoculars

Mark Huelsing

Darren Johnson

42 – The Traditional Way Getting Together

Nick Viau

60 – Bowfishing Tips Big Gar

Ramon Bell

Emily Anderson

Albert Quackenbush


BowAmerica is no more. But DO NOT worry! That is only because we have become Bow Adventures! Bow Adventures promises to continue bringing you great stories on bowhunting, bowfishing, and archery in general. We have refocused our efforts to a quarterly magazine that will not only tell you stories of great adventure, but allow you to participate through our writers’ experiences and then give you the information you need to have your own adventures. So join us in our first revamped issue of Bow Adventures and be sure to share with your fellow bowhunters and archers.


In May 2008 I became the Hunting Heritage Biologist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission where I dedicate my time toward understanding issues and barriers to the recruitment and retention of hunters. Prior to taking this position, and despite being an active in hunter education and other related activities, I never really considered the notion that barriers to hunter recruitment and retention existed, or that hunter participation was declining. Growing up in a relatively rural area of Central Pennsylvania, nearly everyone hunted. Back then, most youth received a fishing rod, single-shot shotgun, deer rifle, or bow and arrow for their 12th birthday; not an Xbox 360, cell phone, or iPod. People hunted opening day of deer season because it was a holiday; schools and most businesses were closed. People drove around with deer strapped on top of vehicles, not hidden inside, because they knew that Bambi was a cartoon and deer hunting and meat eating was reality. Guns were not unlike other utilitarian tools in the home and used only for hunting, recreational shooting and self-defense.

Of course, that was then and this is now because hunting participation, and society, has changed. According to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and WildlifeAssociated Recreation compiled by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, peak hunting participation occurred in 1975 with 17.1 million hunters representing about 8% of the U.S. population. Responsive Management (RM), an internationally recognized public opinion and attitude survey research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, indicated that by 2006, there were 12.5 million hunters aged 16 and older


including another 1.6 million under age 16

personally remember “bike hikes” in the

representing roughly 5% of the U.S.

woods, building huts in the yard, and shooting

population. A notable change in hunting

tin cans “out back” in the strip mines near my

participation occurred between 1996 and 2006

home. TV was technology and we watched it

when hunter numbers declined 10%

only after it was too dark outside to play.

nationally. Under the current trend, as the

However, outdoor interest and nature in our

U.S. population increases nationwide, hunters

young people today is all but phased out.

continually represent a smaller proportion of

Most of today’s youth are not experiencing

the population overall. RM also shed light

nature naturally. Instead, much of what they

into the loss of hunters indicating three main

learn about the outdoors comes from school,

reasons including poor health and age (42%),

television or other “electronic” sources.

no time/family or work obligations (32%) and

Richard Louv, in his book “Last Child in the

Lack of access/nowhere to hunt (16%).

Woods,” fluently exposes the disconnection

Viewed another way, a report by Families

between young people and nature, coining the

Afield, a cooperative initiative between the

phrase “Nature-Deficit Disorder.”

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting

In summary, our hunter population is

Sports Foundation, and National Wild Turkey

getting too old, too busy, too far from places

Federation, indicated the national hunter

to hunt and the next generation of hunters is

recruitment rate was 69%. This means for

disconnected from nature. Is recreational

every 100 hunters that drop out only 69 are

hunting at a crossroads? Do we throw our

recruited. Doing the math, it doesn’t take long

hands in the air and surrender? As stated,

to figure out the trend is not in our favor and

hunters now represent roughly 5% of the U.S.

we’ve reason to be concerned.

population. How long before its 4%, then 3%,

Present-day disconnect

2%, or even 1%? Although that may mean

Recruiting the next generation of hunters

less pressure in the turkey woods this spring,

has become a challenge in a world of nature disconnection. The baby boomer generation,

it’s not something to celebrate. We’re lucky, in that 78% of the population

those born between 1946 and 1964 were

still approves of legal regulated hunting, but

weaned outdoors. Having been born near the

could we eventually lose political support for

tail end of the boomer age myself, I

hunting? Try to imagine a day when hunting


would cease to exist, when the number of

Methods, indicated that about 4 percent of the

hunters became so low that society decided

nation’s 6.1 million auto accidents each year

hunting really doesn’t matter any longer.

involve collisions with wildlife. It was

Funding for wildlife management and

estimated that if hunting were lost as a

conservation would diminish, and hunters

management tool the percentage of deer-

would no longer have a vote because we

related collisions alone could increase 218

allowed our numbers to dwindle; the hunter’s

percent including potential increases in human

voice silenced by attrition.

injuries and fatalities. Since deer would need

Benefits to Society

to be controlled in some manner, the nation’s

The personal loss of hunting would be

taxpayer would likely fit the bill at up to $9.3

devastating to say the least, but the loss

billion annually. Wildlife-related crop damage

extends much further. For example, a 2007

could tack on an additional $3 billion,

report by the Association of Fish and Wildlife

controlling furbearers $265 million and

Agencies, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and

damage to homes $972 million. Estimates for

Southwick Associates entitled, Hunting in

health care and disease control for rabies

America, An Economic Engine and

alone was estimated at $1.45 billion. Having

Conservation Powerhouse shed light into

hunting and trapping as wildlife management

hunter expenditures. During that year

tools does not eliminate wildlife-related

nationwide hunters provided $66 billion in

issues, but without them the problem could

economic output including: $24.7 billion in

become far worse.

retail sales, $20.9 billion in salaries and

Back to Basics

wages, $9.2 billion in federal, state and local

If our next generation of hunters is truly

taxes, $4.2 billion in state and local taxes and

disconnected from nature, perhaps we need to

all supporting nearly 600,000 jobs with no

reconnect them. In his book “The Hunter:

bailout required!

Developmental Stages and Ethics,” Dr. Bob

Impressive, but that’s not all. A 2005

Norton provides some interesting insight into

document prepared by the International

this challenge. “Before we put kids in the

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

duck marsh or the tree stand, we need to get

entitled, Potential Costs of Losing Hunting

them into the woods, teach them about nature,

and Trapping as Wildlife Management

let them explore and use their own


imaginations,” and further, “We need to spend

interested and 18% were a little interested.

more time with them in the outdoors, one on

Obviously those coming from non-hunting

one, answer their questions, and teach them to

families were least interested in going

respect wild animals and their habitats.” In

hunting. “The most important reason why

this way, the interest, respect, and

they (youth) weren’t interested in hunting was

appreciation for the outdoors will be

that they were against killing animals. Killing

developed first.

animals is serious business and unless a child

Although the hunt itself may be the

is shown through early exposure to hunting

ultimate goal, we may be lacking in teaching

that a hunt is more than simply “killing

the prerequisites necessary for developing

animals” it will remain and important reason

lifelong hunters and future stewards of

why many young people are not interested in

wildlife. I think we also tend to focus too

hunting.” Far fewer people come from

much on getting the new hunter a shot at a

hunting families today than 3-4 decades ago,

game animal thinking that’s the best way to

therefore, the next generation may be

get them “hooked.” However, as experienced

interested in a more holistic approach to

hunters know, we spend far more time in the

hunting rather than a hasty jump-start to the

woods not pulling a trigger or releasing a bow

final chapter. This might be a good time to

string as compared to harvesting game.

encourage hard work and effort as a means to

Therefore, setting the stage for quick results

success in the field. Preseason scouting is

also fosters unrealistic expectations in the

analogous to studying in school because both

woods. As Dr. Norton pointed out, there are

lead to achievement and its unlikely either

far more important things to learn and

will be entirely substituted by technology in a

appreciate before the shot is taken.

fast-paced world.

Reinforcing Dr. Norton’s theory, a 2002

Further, an interesting Human Dimensions

article written by Mark Damian Duda entitled,

article by Elizabeth L. Ryan and Bret Shaw

The Hunting Mind: Youth and Hunting, was

entitled, Improving Hunter Recruitment and

based on a study conducted by the USFWS. It

Retention, provided “As population

was revealed that 52% of youth indicated that

demographics change, fewer people are likely

they were not at all interested in hunting, 15%

to be initiated into hunting by their families,

were very interested, 16% were somewhat

thereby reducing the number of individuals


introduced to hunting through traditional

someone showed an interest and asked the

channels. Hunters need to portray themselves

mentor to take them hunting. For someone

as members of a community that welcomes

interested in hunting for the first time, this

newcomers and is willing to instruct mentees

research is welcoming and suggests that a

in the skills, techniques, and values unique to

valuable resource is there for the asking. If

hunting. Recruitment and retention of hunters

however, our youth are truly disconnected

hinges on understanding what motivates non-

from nature, waiting around to be asked may

hunters to participate in a mentored hunting

not be very effective. Consequently, it may be

experience and what motivates existing

time for us to reach out proactively instead of

hunters to serve in a mentoring role.”

waiting to be asked.

So, what really motivates a hunter to become a hunting mentor? In 2008, RM asked

Hunter Recruitment is Ageless We tend to focus primarily on “youth”

active hunters, “Why did you take someone

hunter recruitment. Obviously, that’s intuitive

hunting?” Responses in descending order

thinking because youth are the next

were as follows:

generation, but we should also consider

• Showed interest in learning the sport/asked me to take him or her (44%). • Wanted to share my experience and/or enjoyment of the sport (16%).

“adult” hunter recruitment and retention as well. In fact, there are many adults that have not been exposed to hunting early in life, but now may have interest in participating. In

• For fun, enjoyment and/or recreation (11%).

fact, a 2009 report conducted by DJ Case and

• To introduce the sport/to encourage interest in

Associates, an organization specializing in

the sport (11%). • Family tradition/want to continue hunting heritage (9%).

communications in wildlife and natural resource conservation, indicated that “67% of first-time hunters were 20 years of age and

• It is important to learn gun safety, self-

younger. However, it also means that about a

defense, and/or how to shoot (5%).

third of first-time hunters were 21 and over.”

• Companionship (4%). The survey discovered that the greatest motivation for mentoring was the fact that

This adult group represents a value-added hunting community with the ability to participate in recruiting and retaining other family members and friends.


Concerning retention, some hunters lose interest in hunting after becoming disconnected from family and friends. This

• Inviting someone to a wild game dinner. • Taking someone along on a pre-hunting season scouting or shooting trip.

results when individuals move to other states • Sharing a hunting magazine subscription with in search of employment or perhaps due to

someone.

separations and or death in families. Helping • Introducing someone to the outdoors through to reconnect these folks back into the hunting a simple walk in the woods. community contributes both to increased Hunter in the Mirror hunter numbers and may rekindle the spark of passing on the heritage to others. Indirect Mentoring Opportunities Introducing someone new to hunting is

An uncle introduced my brother and me into hunting at an early age and our father, a non-hunter at the time, also began hunting. We hunted together whenever we could and

the ultimate form of mentoring. However, it is

after school squirrel hunts are some of the

not the only way. Indirect mentoring can be

most cherished memories of my life.

just as valuable and have nearly the same

However, things would change when my

impact as direct mentoring. For those that

uncle moved away to find work and my

hunt alone most, if not all, of the time,

brother and I became increasingly

indirect mentoring may be your way of giving

independent. None of us stopped hunting, we

back while inspiring the outdoors in

all had become fully engaged in the hunting

someone’s life. Opportunities for indirect

culture, but the paradigm shifted somewhat.

mentoring can be achieved through becoming

While my brother hunted with dad most of the

a hunter education instructor, assisting with

time, I became a solo hunter. For those who

youth conservation field days and or

can relate to hunting alone, there’s something

Becoming an Outdoor Woman event as well

unique about the one-on-one hunting

as other initiatives designed to get folks

experience and I came to embrace it. When

outdoors. If organized events are not

hunting alone, you’re on your own time, own

preferred, the following are some excellent

schedule and own deadline. There’s no

indirect mentoring examples:

waiting for anyone and you can come and go

• Share hunting stories and outdoor skills with someone.

as you please. It wasn’t until I was in my early


40’s when I truly came to realize the sacrifice

If we are to succeed in maintaining our

my uncle had made to the benefit his young

hunting heritage, it will be accomplished

nephews and their father. Hunting positively

through the same gift we were provided by

influenced our lives in so many ways both

the one who mentored us. Our 26th U.S.

directly and indirectly. In fact, I may not be

President Theodore Roosevelt communicated

writing this now if my uncle had kept hunting

it best by stating, “Those of us privileged to

all to himself as did I for many years. I’ll

take to the field are entrusted by fate and

admit, I still continue to hunt alone most of

circumstance to hold and nurture the hunter’s

the time, but do make an annual effort to

legacy.” If hunting matters to you, don’t let it

mentor work colleagues and friends both

slip away on your watch.

directly and indirectly. If one talks the talk, one must also walk the walk. The Future Hunting is Personal No doubt, hunters have come to a crossroads which we cannot afford to ignore. Each year, hunters represent a smaller proportion of the population overall. Our disconnection with nature will not automatically improve nor will society revert back to the good ole days because times have changed. Federal and state wildlife agencies, nongovernmental organizations and others can be facilitators and catalysts toward improving hunter recruitment and retention. However, organizations are made up of individuals and it’s the individual hunter, not the organization that is responsible for maintaining our hunting heritage for future generations.

BA


Amanda MacDonald

probably introduced archery to more hipsters in NYC and Chicago than anyone else, so

Archery has become the hip new thing.

there are more skinny-jean and fedora types

Those of us that have been doing this for

out on the range with the camo’d club these

awhile are nodding sagely with a hint of “I

days. In the Pasadena area the interest shift

told you so.” Girls that shoot are now

has been a little older than expected. Jim and

definitely regarded as cooler by the boys,

Terri have noticed that, “After Hunger

especially in high-school, where coolness can

Games, the single largest increase at our range

be tough to come by. Between the Hunger

has been women age 25-35, which more than

Games, the Avengers movie and the upcoming

doubled.” They expect they will get more

summer release of Brave, kids and adults

boys after Avengers, and a wave of 6-12 year

alike are getting more exposure than usual to

old girls after Brave.

archery this year. And don’t forget the

My new friend Sydney is 15 and is also a

London summer Olympics, which is right

dancer. This girl also loves to shoot targets

around the corner.

with her dad and siblings on their property for

Wired magazine’s GeekDad author Jim

fun. Sydney is looking at getting her small-

MacQuarrie coaches JOAD kids along with

game license to have even more fun this

his wife Terri, and has helped the sport gain

summer. Bit by the bug just before the movie

exposure through a non-sport avenue by

rush hit, she’s shot some 3-D this winter as

bringing his experience to bear in tongue-in-

well.

cheek fashion on how it’s done (or not) in the movies recently. Because of Wired, Jim has

Local shops from Pasadena, California to Fox Valley, Wisconsin are seeing a boost in


kids wearing mockingjay necklaces leading

how to shoot, and the biggest thing USA

their parents in to look at bows. Both shops

Archery is in need of right now are

where Matt and I shoot have definitely seen

instructors, and people who are willing to start

growth in league signups, classes and just

Junior Olympic Archery Development (youth)

general interest. Camps that offer archery are

clubs in their community.”

expected to get more kids in the door this summer. Clubs are getting more calls, too. Doug

Just to give you an idea of how much interest has grown this year, www.usarchery.org quoted 30,585 unique

and Sue Ludwig, coaches for the Points to the

visitors in March 2012, versus 19,206 in

Cross club, run one of the upstate NY JOAD

March 2011.

programs that introduces kids to Olympic-

It’s an Olympic year. I know this because

style archery. Doug is also one of the coaches

the P&G tear-jerker commercials with the

for the Olympic Dream Team, which is

gymnast mom are already running and my

bringing up the talent for the limited spots that

friend Dan is shooting full-time just in case

will go to London. PTTC has received more

this is THE year. According to US Archery,

interest recently, but they aren’t sure if it’s

the United States “currently has the number

from the movie buzz or from the upcoming

one world-ranked athletes and teams in six of

Olympics.

eight categories, including superstar Brady

Teresa Iaconi, PR consultant for USA

Ellison, increasing the country's hopes for a

Archery and certified coach, has a similar

gold medal performance in London and

perspective. “Clubs in general are reporting

making the sport more popular than ever.”

big increases in beginners wanting to learn

World Archery recently nominated the USA


as the “top archery country since 2008”. Until

Everdeen character showed correct form

then, Korea had been the perceived power

throughout the movie due to her excellent

house team to beat in the past along with India

coaching.

and Italy. Lee Ford-Faherty, US Archery

It’s not just the clubs that are seeing more

Para-Olympic Team member, has definitely

popularity. Archery themed anything has

noticed a jump in interest in her club from

become easier to find and more mainstream.

high-schoolers all the way up to middle-aged

Etsy and Pinterest are seeing a burst of

women where she trains. Watch for Lee this

handmade quivers, archery themed home

summer as she competes in London with the USA team. Fads happen in every sport. Daniel Grundman, owner of FlexFletch Products Inc., attests to the fact as their clear fletching is selling like hotcakes due

This Six Week Session of Four Classes is Full

to the Hunger

décor, and archery related jewelry now being

Games using it in the star’s set up. All

sold online. Those of us who already decorate

teenage girls know that if you look like

with our extra arrows and gear laying around

Katniss, you will shoot like her as well.

the house now look like we knew what we

Amen and pass the fletch glue. I suppose

were doing the entire time. Score.

training with Khatuna Lorig wouldn’t hurt

Of course, I am truly excited that my sport

either. Lorig has been a great ambassador to

is getting so much attention right now. Any

the sport at the Olympic level and the Katniss

sport that welcomes and is accessible to so


many age groups gets a solid thumbs up. It’s a sport that kids who may not be quick with a bat or big enough for football can excel in. It’s a sport where a 30-something woman (or man) can figure out well enough to fill the freezer or hit some foam in the middle. It’s satisfying, relaxing, social and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why more people don’t love it with or without the movies.

BA

All Kinds of Interesting Archery Equipment are Now Available.

Lives: Upstate NY with hubby, two naughty cats and a lazy dog, Sign: Leo, Day Job: Marketing Manager, Favorite Snacks: Diet Coke. Dark chocolate. Ignoring the rotting fruit on my desk that I shoulda had, but went with the chocolate instead., Favorite music to practice to: Imogen Heap, Explosions in the Sky, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dominant eye: Neither, Current Gear: Win&Win Inno riser. Yeah, I know it’s not Made in the USA, but it rocks and Hoyt has enough of my hard earned cash, thankyouverymuch. 30# limbs, homemade string, Dan’s clicker, X7 chubby indoor arrows (also not mine), prototype Mutant tab by EvoWorx (Never heard of it? You will) Favorite Archer to Study: Joe Fanchin. Best game face ever. When I’m not shooting I’m: Making stuff in my studio, taking the dog for a hike with Matt, baking something carb-tastic, or making excuses to ditch the gym and go shoot.


Albert Quackenbush

or three right off the bat. There are many and most are traditional archers. Think Robin

With the archery craze hitting the

Hood and Lord of the Rings. Then you have

mainstream media with movies like The

the recurve and compound shooters from

Hunger Games, The Avengers, and Brave

movies like Rambo, Blade: Trinity and TV

more and more people are looking at getting

shows like Smallville (Green Arrow).

into archery. The thing that usually holds

Fortune was on my side as I got my start in

them back is they don’t know how to get

archery when I was very young. How young?

started. Recently, Bass Pro Shops in Rancho

Nine years old to be exact. I hail from a

Cucamonga, CA invited me to give a seminar

bowhunting family and my dad introduced me

on Getting Into Archery directing it toward

archery by handing me a fiberglass longbow,

women and our youth. I can see why as just

some wooden arrows and walking me to a

the other night, after returning from the

stack of hay bales on the farm. Growing up on

archery range, I was outside my garage

a farm had its advantages. The straw bales

chatting with a fellow archer when a car drove

were plentiful, so I always had a target to

past us down the alley and abruptly stopped.

shoot at. My brother and I would fire arrow

The driver put the car in reverse and stopped

after arrow after arrow, all the while

right behind me. I could hear two kids in the

pretending we were hunting or saving a train

car exclaiming, 'That's so cool! Awesome!' It

from would-be robbers. No matter what the

dawned on me that I had my side quiver full

‘game’ of the day was we had fun, and were

of arrows attached to the outside of my

fortunate enough to have someone right there

backpack. I quickly turned around and said

to teach us.

hello and they just seemed mesmerized. Goes

The most common question I never get

to show you the impact these movies are

asked is, ‘Where do I begin?’ Yes, I said

having. Sure, there are plenty of other movies

never because many people are simply afraid

and television shows where archery was

to ask. The amount of information out there

present. Most times people can rattle off two

can be overwhelming. There is a plethora of


information online, but the best information is

explain that I have been shooting a bow for

found at an archery range, pro shop by

almost 30 years and this set up is customized

speaking to other archers. The Bass Pro where

for me. I move on to explain the difference

I gave my seminars has a KIDS: Intro to

between a traditional bow and a compound. In

Archery every Wednesday evening at their

my opinion, if you are looking to get started

30 yard range. It is such a great way to get a

in archery you should always shoot a longbow

bow into the hands of our youth and allow

or recurve first. That way you gain an

them to have fun with it.

appreciation for using your fingers to shoot, the draw weight and shooting instinctively. Once you have used stick and string for a while, and should you decide to try a compound then go for it! I recommend

When I start talking to people about

that any aspiring archer take some lessons.

getting into archery I am usually at the

Form is VERY important. Ask around at your

archery range or giving a seminar. They look

local pro shop or archery range and you'll

at the gear I am using and suddenly look

often find certified instructors. If you can

sullen. My PSE Bow Madness seems all

learn to shoot well, using the proper form, you

tricked out to the novice archer. I am quick to

will enjoy archery for life.


The next step is to find a bow. Talk to your

are a leather shooting glove, an arm guard and

local archery pro shops and ask questions.

arrows. Should you choose shoot a compound

The available staff will help answer any

bow you should look into a release aid and

questions you have. You must understand that

some arrows that fit you and the bow you are

each person shoots differently and that you should shoot many bows before making a decision on the one to purchase. I truly mean that. Don't rely on hunting shows or someone telling you that you 'need to shoot this bow'. Go to the pro shop and shoot a few until you find one that fits you and the

shooting (proper spine). That's a different

way you shoot. While I appreciate all the time

article in itself, choosing the proper arrows.

I spent shooting with my dad, we never had

There are many other items like a quiver,

this advice growing up. We went out and

target, etc. that you will also need later on, but

bought the bow that was through a friend, or

this will get you started. Shooting a particular

on sale at a pro shop. We didn't spend the

bow or release or using a certain arrow is

time going over the bow and what it would

ALL personal preference. Choose the one that

take to shoot with it consistently. Thankfully,

works the best for you.

times have changed and I now shoot a bow that fits me perfectly. If you decide on traditional archery, some of the other items you'll be looking at acquiring

The most important thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy yourself!! BA


CRAWFISH ÉTOUFFÉE INGREDIENTS: 2 lbs. fresh crawfish tails peeled with fat 1 large onion, finely chopped 1/4 bell peppers, finely chopped 2 teaspoons dried parsley 1 8oz. can cream of mushroom soup 1 8oz. can good quality tomato sauce 1 cup fresh green onion chopped 3/4 stick butter 2 cloves of garlic (unless your seasoning mix has garlic) (Camp Dog Cajun Seasoning works well, has garlic in it.) cooked white rice.

DIRECTIONS: 1) Empty crawfish into a large bowl (do not rinse, keep fat on) season well and add parsley flakes. Mix it all up and let it stand while you prepare the sauce. 2) Melt butter or margarine at low heat in a medium size aluminum pot. 3) Add onions, bell pepper and green onions. Sauté slowly at very low heat until onions are transparent. 4) Add tomato sauce, stirring frequently to prevent sticking for about 15 minutes. 5) Add seasoned crawfish tails. Cover and cook on low to medium heat for another 10 minutes stirring frequently, (do not let hard boil) 6) Add cream of mushroom soup, stir and cook covered for another 15 minutes. 7) Serve over hot cooked white rice.

We certainly hope that you enjoy our recipe and try our products! Thanks, Papa Scott


Ryan Shoemaker When I talk prep, I’m talking 3 main areas: For most it’s the offseason. Last fall is long gone and unless you’re chasing the great gobbler, you’re probably eyeing the calendar like a kid at Christmas counting the days until opening day arrives. If you’re anything like me, you’re left dwelling on your thoughts and memories from last fall and asking yourself questions like did my season go well? Was I successful? What could I have done differently to change the end result? Good preparation is all about planning and if you were to ask yourself if what you are doing right now is helping to shape your future in a positive way, what would your answer be? And be honest. The great fighter Muhammad Ali once said, “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.“ Whether it’s boxing, football, or bowhunting, the truth is, 99.9% of your success lies in what you do or not do in the weeks and months ahead preparing. Where to Begin?

Physical, Mental, and Equipment. All three are important and all three work in conjunction with each other. It’s kind of like the trifecta of bowhunting preparation. If you’re short in one area, you’ll feel it in another. With the ultimate goal of being strong in all three it takes that same commitment to arrowing a good Whitetail as it does to stay diligent on your prep. Let’s break down how to do it… Physical – Listen, in my opinion there has never been a time in history with more people telling you to be in shape to hunt. Never. More and more people are screaming to run this, lift that, and to put yourself into super extreme physical shape to be successful. Do you need to? No. Does it give you a better chance at being successful? Yes, I think so. And, depending upon the type of animal/ terrain you are hunting, it could mean the difference between success and failure in your hunt. I truly believe that I’ve experienced and found success because of the physical and


mental stress that I’ve endured preparing for a

could or should happen come season. Make

hunt. However, I do not believe that this is

the decision now to use your mind to

the way for everyone. The physical part of

determine what needs to happen. Plan, plan

preparing is all about doing what’s right for

some more, plan again, and then execute.

you and your fitness and expectation level. If

Stay committed to your goals for the season.

that means running an ultramarathon, great. If

Equipment – Playing probably the most

that means striving to run or walk your first

vital role to your success is your equipment.

5k, tremendous! The point is, do what will fit

Truth is, no matter how physically or mentally

and push you to be at your very best. Make

developed you are, if you’re equipment isn’t

the commitment to do something. Set a goal.

ready, neither are you. Start now by going

Work to achieve it, and put yourself in a

through your equipment and honing in on

better position going into this fall!

those items that need repaired or replaced.

Mental – Bowhunting is hard. It takes

Look over your bow top to bottom. Do the

perseverance, commitment, and a never quit

strings and cables need changed? Do you

attitude. The mental part of bowhunting not

need to tweak your arrow set up for better

only accounts for being mentally tough, but

broadhead flight? With lots of time between

also the mental exercise of thinking through

now and opening day, there’s no better time to

situations before they happen. New hunt

be experimenting with different setups.

areas, new stand locations, dissecting travel

In the end, good preparation is all about

corridors or devising your yearly hunt plan all

planning. Start today by sitting down and

takes strategy and effort to break down. Take

making a list of what you would like to

the time to sit down and really put forth some

improve upon to make a positive impact on

mental energy into working through what

your season.

BA


Will Jenkins While most people are winding down from

loaded with features. If you do not get one of

turkey season and hitting the 3D course or

those they should at least be the standard by

fishing, I am out setting up and monitoring

which you judge others. You can sometimes

trail cameras. I have got the tick bites and

find deals on used cameras on local hunting

poison ivy to prove it! While I don’t

forums or eBay but these can pose a risk. If

necessarily recommend the tick bites and

you do buy from eBay I suggest getting them

poison ivy it comes with the territory. I love

new and from a seller that advertises the fact

getting pictures of bucks and watching as they

that

develop their racks and watching

they are an authorized dealer.

fawns grow from

Now that you

scraggly legged

have a camera

newborns to fat

where should

little fawns that

you put it?

can be pretty

What should

entertaining. Trail

you put it on?

cameras have come

Should you

a long way from

put

Flash 35mm boxes on

anything in front of

a tree. They now have advanced features, black

it? These are all great questions and flashes

some depend on the answers to others. To

and even video with sound. With all of these

start with I would suggest finding a high

options what is the best way to record the

traffic area between either a bedding area and

growth of your deer herd?

food source or bedding area and water source.

To start you need a camera. Pick one that

Next there are plenty of apparatuses to hold

fits your needs and budget. Honestly the best

your camera from security boxes, to mounts

deals on the market right now are the Moultrie

to camera sticks. While a security box may

MiniCams. They are small, affordable and


This gives you the ability to understand how sensitive the motion sensor is as well as letting understand the trigger speed. be warranted, starting out, just strap it to a tree

Capturing multiple images will better your

about 36 inches high. If feeding deer is legal

chances of seeing the animal in frame.

in your area I suggest putting down some

Depending on the results you can then adjust

mineral with some feed on top. Or if you

these settings. These initial settings may lead

don’t feel like putting down feed just mineral

to a bunch of blank photos from wind blowing

will do; the feed just helps them find it a little

branches and other things that might trigger it,

faster. The mineral, even if it is a small

but you are sure to not miss any deer or

application, can last

animals. Then you can adjust based on the

weeks without a

new application

and is

much less

first few card readings. Some adjustment will also depend on whether you are trying to catch feeding deer or deer on

expensive than

the move.

continually

Now,

putting feed out. I use

you are all

mineral in

set up and if you are like

front of

me, trail

cameras for

cameras only

two reasons. First it gives

throw fuel on the

developing bucks and lactating does a

fire. Being able to

good source of minerals and second it makes them pause and hang around for some good

see the deer

pictures.

through the seasons is amazing and really

With all this new technology how should

grow and develop

brings you that much closer to the animals

you program your camera? I think the best

you are hunting. The cameras can help you

way to start out with any camera is to set the

pattern the deer, understand the makeup of

sensor to high, make it capture 2 or 3 images

your deer herd and let you know which

per trigger with a delay of 15-30 seconds.

specific deer are hanging around.

BA


Bow Adventures asked Melissa Bachman 20 questions that everyone wanted to know.

and her passion for bowhunting. Melissa is a VERY busy lady. Between

Ok, maybe not everyone, but we felt these

hunting, filming, shooting her My Take with

questions would help you get to know Melissa

Melissa Bachman or just preparing for her


next adventure, Melissa is making her mark

So join us in this series as we learn about

not only on the bowhunting world, but the

Melissa. I am sure you will agree, even

world in general. Thankfully she was able to

though Melissa is a heavy hitter in this

take a few minutes with us!

industry, she is still a very real person.


1- How long have you (been an archer or) bowhunted? MB-I got my first bow at 5 years old but

yesterday (June 4, 2012). I spent 14 days in a tent on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska bear hunting. For the past 3 years I’ve successfully

wasn’t able to actually bowhunt until I was

called in some giant black bears but this year I

12. I was a pretty small kid so I did pushups

couldn’t get a single bear interested in my

for over a year to build up my strength to pull

predator call. Not only was the hunting

back my 40 pound bow at the time.

difficult it takes some mental toughness to

2- What/who started you in bowhunting?

sleep in a tent and hunt for 14 days straight in

MB-Both my parents are bowhunters so

extremely wet soggy

they got me started at a very early age and even brought me along with them on stand while out deer hunting

conditions. I’m not sure it ever quit raining and our gear was wet from day 114. 5- What

before I was old

was your

enough to

favorite

hunt on my own. 3- What was

hunt? MB-My favorite hunt was a spot and stalk mule deer hunt I did last

the first game you

year in Colorado where I went home with a

harvested with a bow?

176-inch velvet mule deer. I spotted a

MB-The first game I ever harvested with a

beautiful high racked mule deer and hunted

bow was a whitetail doe. I was so proud and

him for11 days straight trying to film it all

knew I would be a bowhunter for the rest of

myself. Finally I connected on the last

my life.

morning and it was probably one of the most

4- What was your most difficult hunt?

rewarding hunts I’ve ever done. This mule

MB-One of the most difficult hunts I’ve

deer had tested my patience and really made

ever done was a trip I just came back from

me question myself as a hunter a couple


times, but the persistence paid off and I was able to adapt and finally get within bow range

Arrows- Carbon Express Blue Streaks 250’s

and as a bonus I filmed the entire hunt from

Broadhead- Rage Extreme

start to finish on my own.

Release- True Ball Short & Sweet

6- How long do you prepare for a hunt?

Sight- HHA

MB-I try to get my gear ready a couple

Rest- Vital Gear Kazaway Rest

days in advance and put it in a pile while I

Stabilizer- Vital Gear Nomadic Stabilizer

think of more things I need to bring. I’m a

Lumenoks- Where legal

big list person so I’ll try to come up with the

Cuddeback Trail Cameras

main things I can’t forget

SHE Safari Clothing

then add

about an extra 80

9- What is the one thing you have to have on every hunt?

pounds of spare gear

MB-As a

just in case. I can’t

bowhunter I

think of any trip

don’t like to have

where someone

bulky clothes with

would say “Wow,

too many layers,

you pack light.”

although I hate being

7- How do you prepare

cold! The one thing

for a hunt?

you will always find in my pack are Therma

MB-I

Care wraps. If I get in a

usually make a list of gear I

situation where I’m cold I

need, double check that all my equipment is in working order, and try to get mentally

can

always put one on my neck

prepared before heading out.

and back and get that added warmth needed.

8- What gear do you use? (bow, arrow,

There is nothing worse than shivering when

fletching, broadhead, release, camo/clothing,

you’re getting ready to shoot, I know I shake

backpack for instance).

enough just from the adrenaline and I sure

MB-Camo- Realtree

don’t want to be shaking from the cold as

Bow- Mathews Jewel 64lbs

well!


10- What game do you wish to hunt but never have? MB-My dream hunt is to bowhunt brown bear using my predator call in Alaska. 11- What game do you want to hunt again? MB-I can’t really think of any game I

Non-Hunter- Chelsea Handler- I think she would be a lot of fun to have along in the field and would probably enjoy hunting…especially if she brought Chuey along as well! 14 - Do you have any superstitions or

wouldn’t want to hunt again, but I really enjoy

rituals that must be followed for each hunt or

hunting gators, bears and whitetails!

preparation?

12- What is the one thing regarding bowhunting you could do without? MB-I could do without all the hate mail I receive from anti-hunters who believe bowhunting is the most cruel thing in the world. I can’t tell you how many nasty

MB-I’m not really a superstitious person but I’m a firm believer in putting in a ton of time and not giving up. 15 - Any other hobbies you'd like to share with us? MB-I spend most of my time hunting but I

messages I get regarding their hatred for

also enjoy fishing and shopping for something

bowhunting however their lack of

different.

understanding is pretty evident. 13 - Choose 3 people to take on a hunt with you, 1 living, 1 deceased, and 1 nonhunter. Who would they be and why? MB-Living- My family- Although I used

16 - What is your favorite thing about archery or bowhunting? MB-Since I was a little kid I’ve loved doing things that were challenging. I like to do things that take a lot of practice and

to hunt with my family a lot as a kid, I don’t

patience and succeed when others would

get to hunt with them as much anymore, so if

likely give up. To me bowhunting is one of

I had to pick someone for a hunt it would be

these things. Hunter’s can’t just pick up a

my parents and my brother.

bow and be a great bowhunter within a matter

Deceased- My grandfather- My grandpa and I used to play practical jokes on each other all the time but he passed away before I was old enough to hunt and I know we would have had a blast together.

of hours, it takes practice, persistence, and it’s an incredible challenge. 17 - What do you dislike the most about archery or bowhunting?


MB-There really isn’t much I dislike about

and shot in the throat with my bow in Alaska.

bowhunting but the hardest part for me is

I can assure you it’s one of the biggest

probably the early mornings. I would really

adrenaline rushes I have experienced

like to do a new show called 10-2 and prove

bowhunting

to the world you can sleep in and still take big bucks!! 18 - Ever have a hair-raising incident

19 - What is one bit of advice you would give to a new or young bowhunter? MB-One piece of advice I’d give to a young bowhunter is to find equipment that fits so

or scary situation

you won’t

occur while hunting? MB-While hunting in Alaska last

have

year I called in

to

a black

break bad

bear into 18-yards

habits later.

with my predator call while

I’ve seen too

doing a spot and stalk bowhunt from the

many kids get

ground. The scariest part was knowing that when I was calling my hand was on the call

disappointed

instead of being on my release. When I hit

not shooting as well as they hoped due to

the predator call for the last time at 30-yards

equipment being the wrong size.

and the bear came rushing toward me I realized it was time to put down the call and make my shot count. The bear wouldn’t back

because they’re

20 - What are your bowhunting goals for the next year? MB-In the next year I hope to get up to

down so I ended up shooting him right in the

Alaska to do my dream hunt for brown bear

throat which put him down inside 50-yards.

using my predator call.

This was actually the second bear I called in

BA


Maybe you have had the opposite experience. Maybe your trials with fixedblade broadheads has left you wondering why anyone would forego the forgiveness and

Mark Huelsing

large cutting diameter of today’s mechanical

The whistle and wobble of the arrow in

broadheads.

flight was like nothing I had ever experienced.

If you are like most bowhunters that have

I was, at the time, a complete novice to

had trouble with fixed-blade broadheads, your

bowhunting. (I still have a lot to learn.) That

problem was likely that the fixed-blade

erratic and noisy arrow was my first

broadheads didn’t shoot where your field

experience with a mechanical broadhead, but

points shot. This situation is very common,

you know what they say about first

and in all but the most extreme cases,

impressions. That disappointing experience

relatively easy to solve.

of a broadhead opening up in flight was years

Before You Begin

ago and I haven’t touched a mechanical broadhead since. I haven’t sworn off mechanical broadheads simply because of that one negative experience. Actually, the reason that I haven’t touched a mechanical broadhead since that fateful day has little to do with what happened then, and everything to do with what I have discovered in the years since – that is, that fixed blade broadheads can be accurate, consistent, and devastating on big game.

The process of tuning for broadheads begins before you ever take a shot. One of the most critical aspects to broadhead tuning, and ensuring you have a proper bow and arrow setup, is selecting an arrow with a proper spine. If you aren’t sure what spine arrow you need for your setup, contact your local pro shop, or turn to one of the many online guides, such as Easton’s Arrow Tuning & Maintenance Guide. Additionally, before you begin broadhead tuning you should have already made sure that


your bow is properly tuned with field points. I like to ensure that the center shot of my rest is in spec, that my nock height is at (or just above) level, that my cams are in sync (if

note of the location of the group on the target

applicable), and that I have a proper paper

and remove the arrows.

tune. If all of that sounds foreign to you, or

Now we are going to shoot the same

you haven’t had your bow tuned recently,

number of broadheads, using the same arrows,

then take your bow to your local pro shop and

at the same target, from the same distance,

have it checked out.

with the same point of aim. Shoot one

The idea that fixed-blade broadheads are

broadhead-tipped arrow at a time, removing

inherently less accurate than mechanical

the arrow and marking its location before

broadheads isn’t quite true. However, fixed-

shooting the next one. Do not change your

blade broadheads are inherently more

point of aim for any of your shots, and don’t

sensitive to weaknesses in our setup and

worry one bit about adjusting your sight.

tuning. Because of this we need to make sure

Up & Down

that we get our bow and arrow setup right

It is best to make vertical adjustments,

before we begin to tune for broadheads. Honestly, if you start with a decently tuned

bringing field points and broadheads on the same horizontal line, and then moving on to

bow and proper arrow setup, then the actual

make left/right adjustments, bringing field

process of bringing your broadheads and field

points and broadheads together to the same

points together should be very easy.

spot.

The Tuning Process

If your broadheads are hitting higher than your field points, raise your nocking point

Start by shooting a group of 3-5 field points from a distance of 20-30 yards. Make

slightly. If your broadheads are hitting lower than your field points, lower your nocking point slightly.


It is extremely important that you make

Once you have your field points and

very minor adjustments and then re-shoot

broadheads hitting at the same elevation, it is

your broadheads; sometimes adjustments of as

time to move on to turning for windage.

little as 1/32” are all that is needed. After

Left & Right

each small adjustment, reshoot a group of 3

There are several ways to correct left-and-

field points, and then three broadheads. One alternative to raising or lowering your

right deviations between your field point and broadhead groups, but there is really one main

nocking point is to raise or lower your arrow

reason that this difference occurs – namely

rest. It is okay to do this if you need to

that broadhead tipped arrows are more

correct very minor differences between your

sensitive to proper arrow spine.

field points and broadhead groups, but any

If your broadheads are missing to the left

major corrections should be made by

of your field points, then your setup is

modifying the nocking point. Keep in mind

showing signs of a stiff spine. Conversely, if

that changing the height of a drop-down type

your broadheads are missing to the right then

arrow rest can affect its timing.

you have a somewhat weak spine.

If you decide to move your rest, as

If you are sure that you have selected a

opposed to moving your nocking point, keep

properly spined arrow and your broadheads

in mind that the direction of movement for the

are missing to either side of your field points,

rest is opposite

then your first step

of the

should be to make

movement

minor adjustments to

required for the

your rest and see if

nocking point.

you can begin to bring

If your

the broadheads and

broadheads are

field points together.

hitting high,

If you find that it is

lower your rest

necessary to move

slightly. If your broadheads are hitting low,

your rest large amounts, or if moving your

raise your rest slightly.

rest isn’t bringing the field points and broadheads together, then you will need to


resort to another method of resolving the

The only time we should touch our bow sight

issues that you are experiencing.

is after we have ensured that our field points

There are several ways to correct an

and broadheads are hitting at the same spot on

overspined or underspined arrow for your

the target, regardless of where on the target

setup. First, and most obvious, you could try

they are hitting in relation to where we are

an arrow with a different spine rating.

aiming.

Secondly, you can decrease your bow’s draw

Bringing the field points and broadheads

weight to correct a spine that is too weak, or

together is the hard part; adjusting our sight to

increase it to correct a stiff spine.

make these groups hit where we are aiming is

Another way to correct the effects of an

easy. Remember, when we want to sight in

improper spine is to change the weight of

our bow we always “follow the arrow” with

your broadhead. Increasing broadhead weight

our sight. If your groups are missing to the

can correct an arrow that has too stiff of a

right, then we move our sight to the right. If

spine, and decreasing broadhead weight can

our groups are missing low, then we bring our

correct an arrow that has too weak of a spine.

sight down.

One additional way to affect arrow spine is by

There are certainly plenty of good

changing the length of an arrow. If your setup

mechanical broadheads on the market today,

is showings signs of a weak spine, cutting

and some of the new designs out for this year

your arrows down can help, if you have the

have me really excited about the direction that

extra length to do so.

mechanical broadheads are headed. That said,

Sighting In

for me, nothing beats the strength, reliability, and penetrations of a stout cut-on-contact

So far we have covered how to bring your field points and broadheads together to shoot at the same spot, but it is probable that these groups aren’t hitting where you are aiming.

fixed-blade broadhead. I hope that you can use this guide to help fine-tune your bow and arrow setup for whatever broadhead you choose. Happy hunting!

BA


too soon, it is usually more productive to take

Darren Johnson

a moment and instead think about your plant selection.

It doesn’t seem possible, but summer is

There are many types of plants that work

here already. While farm crops are already in

well in a food plot, but in this column, we will

the ground, there is still plenty of time for

discuss some of the more common ones in

those of us planning to plant food plots. It is

which the seed can easily be purchased in

common for “food plot farmers” to try to time

most places. One of the most common food

our activities to the traditional farm planting

plot plants is sorghum, also known as grain

schedule, but there is no need. Agricultural

sorghum or milo. It is readily available, fairly

crops are planted on a schedule built around

hardy and best of all; the deer don’t show

harvest, where food plot schedules are more

much interest in it until late summer and fall

productive when built around animal

when the seed heads are mature. This allows

nutritional needs, proper soil preparation and

the plants to avoid overgrazing during the

plant selection. This is because there is no

summer months when they are rapidly

need for the plants to mature at a specific

growing and producing seed heads. It is also

harvest time. If we are off by a few weeks,

a good plant for bird species such as turkey,

the plants are still mature and available as a

quail, pheasant and dove. It is easy to plant,

food source for the animals during the

competes fairly well with weeds and is

upcoming fall and winter months.

somewhat drought tolerant. This is a very

In fact, it is common for impatient people

good all around plant but isn’t the deer’s

like me to want to get the seed in the ground

favorite food so there may be times when the

too early. This can be problematic due to late

deer choose more desirable food alternatives

freezes that can kill tender plants or heavy

such as acorns, corn or clover. During the

amounts of spring rain, which can cause soil

winter when food sources are at a minimum,

crusting or seed rot. This often results in a

you can bet that the deer will be visiting a

weedy, poor quality food plot, or even worse,

sorghum food plot regularly.

none at all. Instead of jumping on the tractor


Corn is another very popular food plot

deer magnets. Unlike corn and sorghum, deer

choice. It is a favorite of many animals so a

like both the plant leaves and beans. It isn’t

corn food plot is sure to draw a crowd. It isn’t

uncommon by late summer to see soybean

the cheapest seed or the easiest plant to grow,

plants with every leaf eaten off. Even so,

but a mature corn food plot is beneficial for

many of these plants will still grow beans that

several reasons. First, standing corn in the

are a great protein source in late-fall and

winter can be very beneficial in helping the

winter. I believe there are two keys to

animals eat enough calories to survive. Corn

soybean plots. First, don’t harvest the beans

isn’t high in protein but does offer lots of

in the fall. Let the plants remain and you will

carbohydrates to help carry them through

find deer visiting the plot all winter long.

tough times. Deer couldn’t thrive with a year-

Second, choose a forage bean variety that

long corn diet, but for the winter season it

grows larger leaves and fewer beans. This

provides much needed calories. Another

maximizes nutrition during the fawn-nursing

advantage is that standing corn offers animals

and antler-growing period of summer. You

protection from the elements. While this isn’t

will find turkeys and pheasants love soybean

a good thing for hunters, it allows the animals

food plots also. If I could choose only one

to bed down and eat without burning a lot of

plot seed, it would be forage soybeans.

calories traveling to and from the food plot.

Alfalfa is another common food plot

Corn needs a lot of rain and significant

choice. It offers the advantage of being able

fertilization for many soil types, but overall

to be planted in spring or summer and still be

works well. The toughest part of having a

of value later in the year. It generally attracts

corn food plot is keeping the deer from

only deer and can get weedy from time to

overgrazing the immature plants. Sometimes

time so sometimes it needs to be killed with

overgrazing will be so heavy that the plants

an herbicide and replanted to get rid of the

will be unable to bear ears later in the

weeds. If you are planting multiple food

summer.

plots, designating one as an alfalfa plot can be

Another go-to food plot plant is soybeans. Drought tolerant and easy to plant, they are

very beneficial to the deer.


Sunflowers are another good food plot

provides great opportunities for archers to get

choice. They are desirable to deer, turkey,

an unobstructed shot on the animal. Anyone

doves, squirrels and songbirds of many types.

serious about developing food plots on their

I have also seen quail and pheasant frequent

property needs to utilize clover to some

these plots. When other quality food sources

degree.

are at a minimum, you will find deer trails

While there are many other food plot seed

that look like highways coming into the

types available, any of the ones described can

sunflower patch. Often the deer will choose

result in a very productive, successful food

to bed in the plot rather than waste energy

plot that not only improves animal

travelling to and from. They are also an

populations and overall health, but wildlife

attractive food plot to passersby and don’t

viewing and hunting success as well.

look weedy or unkempt like other food plots can look.

If you are like me, each spring you are itching to hook up the seeder to the tractor and

Another great choice for a deer food plot is

get going. Instead, take a moment and make

clover. It can be planted in spring or summer,

sure that your food plot seed choices are the

is a tough plant that is drought resistant and

best ones available to help you meet your

fixes nitrogen back into the ground rather than

wildlife management goals. An extra moment

consuming it like other plants do. Due to deer

of preparation can reap huge rewards for you

loving clover, it is great planted around the

later in the fall and winter. Good luck and

perimeter of a plot or in strips throughout the

happy planting.

plot. Deer can’t resist nibbling on it so it

BA


Nick Viau For many archers, a round of 3Ds may be a great way to unwind on the weekends or keep one’s skills sharp out of season, but it means a little bit more to the average stickbow shooter. While scorecards are valued, it is the

events. You don’t see that for modern

gathering itself that is ultimately the most

munitions owners because they are more

prized, which is why 3D shoots are usually

abundant.

three-day events. I am not insinuating that modern archers aren’t into gathering, simply that you don’t hear about it as often as the traditional crowd. Why? I think it is because we’ve become the oddballs in the bowhunting community, and oddballs like to hang out with other oddballs, and do oddball things.

When I began shooting a bow, finding

It is human to be around like-minded

other traditional shooters or a shop catering to

people with similar interests. As these

them was difficult. The industry favours the

interests get more specific, the groups of folk

highly marketed, moneymaking compound

identifying with them are naturally smaller

and that is what shops stock. I had to rely on

and more invested. The need for camaraderie

fate and hearsay to find fellow enthusiasts,

grows stronger amongst this smaller populace,

whereas compound-oriented commerce can be

and reasons to gather throughout the year are

found in any outfitter. The need to gather and

invented.

discuss is not as pressing as it is for those

I’ve witnessed the same phenomena amongst traditional black powder shooters.

favouring traditional tackle. It isn’t as difficult to recruit when the

Wander into a local sporting goods store and

activity is common either. We rely on word-

you are likely to find a pamphlet produced by

of-mouth and word-of-action as our primary

a flintlock or percussion cap specific club,

marketing tools, but it is the latter of the two

advertising a list of traditional black powder

that is the most effective. You cannot truly Continued pg 44


Photo: Bernie Eng


experience the magic of traditional archery

archers against each other in open field,

until you’ve held a stickbow in your hand,

circle-target, hit the bull’s-eye in three arrows

sent an arrow down range with it, or had a

at increasing distances, battle royals for

hardy conversation with someone who knows

nothing but a homemade arrow and the

it intimately.

respect of your peers.

The following is a taste of what makes a traditional event special.

Fairway games are a delightful alternative, and are always worth a laugh. They vary from

Shooting

aerial shooting, breaking clays at close range,

Obviously, shooting is essential when

lobbing Flu Flus into pots of faux gold, to

creating the ideal traditional event. We come

shooting at targets filled with cash at ranges

together in celebration of a projectile-

of 50, 80, and 100+ yards.

throwing weapon, after all. Anything void of shooting would seem fairly drab in

Ultimately, the most common form is the occasional bet between family and friends,

comparison. There are

and the scorecards

plenty of opportunities for

stay in the car.

arrow flinging of all kinds

Family,

at a traditional event.

Friends, and Food Traditional

Summer events usually sport multiple 2D/3D

gatherings are often

courses for the masses to

planned, annual

enjoy, including options for the little ones, and you

Photo: Bernie Eng

vacations. The camping is usually

can shoot all weekend for less than a round of

free, the people are friendly, there are kids

golf.

everywhere, and there is always something to

Friendly Competition

do. The food is incredible, and abundant, but

Opportunities for competition vary per

you wouldn’t expect anything less from folks

event. Some are structured around it, and

who live to prepare and consume wild game.

others are structured without it. Some are

Whether you visit for the day, or spend the

garden-variety target shoots with rounds,

weekend, there is little reason not to bring the

scorecards, and trophies. Others pit scores of

entire family. You can give them a wonderful


vacation for little money. Several if you

I’m always stunned by the donations for the

attend more than one! It is sort of like a

latter. We are blessed with members who are

family reunion with bows, and it doesn’t get

as generous as they are gifted in their craft.

any better than that.

The vintage pieces that pop up are equally

Gear, Gear, Gear Every traditional event has a vendor or two present, whether it is small outfitters, major

interesting, and usually still functional. Valuable Interactions It is impossible to attend a traditional event

brands, or independent bowyers from all over

and not bank at least one memorable

the country. With such a small and specialized

conversation. It doesn’t matter how

audience, it is a wise investment to make an

accomplished you think you are as a hunter,

appearance at as many as possible. It is also a

there is always someone out there with the

personal investment, as they look forward to

capacity to humble you, albeit unintentionally,

going as well. While there is an exceptional

whether they’ve done it longer, better, or in a

opportunity to push product, there is an even

way that is totally unique. And sometimes

greater opportunity for networking and

conversing isn’t necessary. I’ve met people

relationship building. Likewise, traditional

who have “it”, without even knowing what

tackle enthusiasts seldom get the opportunity

“it” is. People who are so passionate it oozes

to try products out first hand unless they are

from every pore. Living, breathing examples

fortunate enough to have a dedicated outfitter

of an ideology- flaws and all. Folks with

nearby. Few have this privilege, and drive

mileage who were there when the roads in

hours out of their way just to go shopping.

which we trod were merely trails to be

The traditional consumer is a special breed. We are a loyal lot once we find

cleared. I’ll never forget one in particular at the

something that suits us. We are buying the

2010 Compton Traditional Bowhunters

bowyer as well as the bow, which is why it is

rendezvous in Berrian Springs (Michigan). It

commonplace to find bowyers and reps

was a particularly sticky day in June and the

mingling, shooting, and camping with clients

3D courses were slamming with people.

at annual events.

Every target had three to five in tow, which

Gear can also be acquired through swaps (or “trade blankets”), raffles, and auctions.

made for ample discussion time. My Dad and I decided to “shoot through”, skipping a


particularly large group of folks, and hitting

with a longbow, delivering arrows like

the next open target. While doing so, we

wrapped gifts. At that moment, his bow was

butted up against a heavier set gentleman in

the most important thing in his life, and you

his seventies with a straw hat and a long white

could tell that it had been several times

beard. After exchanging subtleties and

before.

complaining about the bugs, we decided to

While we did not indulge in deep

join forces. It didn’t take long to realize he

conversation, a sequence of short exchanges

was the genuine article.

proved all that was necessary. I remember few of them save one,

He wielded his longbow effortlessly,

regarding his arrows:

sending arrow after

ornately crested

arrow

aluminums with a

into the

wood grain finish.

vitals of

“Those are

every

arrows are

target with

beautiful,” I said.

ease. We were

“Did you do

impressed to

those yourself?”

say the least, but whenever we offered praise

Photo: Bernie Eng he simply

“I did not,” he replied. “I used to make my own, but at this age I’d rather do the

shrugged it off, and grinned as if he preferred

shooting and leave the making up to someone

not to receive it.

better.”

“I ought to be able to shoot this thing by now,” he’d retort. “I’ve been doing this long enough!” It was evident he had. An aura of competence followed him from target to

“Well who made them?” I asked. “A friend of mine, a few years ago,” he paused to examine one. “But he passed recently.” He grinned, returned the arrow and moved

target. Age had weakened the body, but had

to the next target, signalling the

not touched his spirit. He was Santa Clause

conversation’s end, and I immediately


admired the depth of the man and what he

their example, and what stickbow

represented. The old bowhunter, passing the

organizations do by collecting and sharing

torch to the next generation the only way he

them. People like me do not exist without

knew — by being there.

those opportunities for inspiration. They keep

Tradition The dictionary’s definition of tradition is

me coming back year-after-year. Should you have the chance to attend a

“the handing down of statements, beliefs,

traditional archery gathering, I beg that you

legends, customs, information, etc. from

take it. Even if it is just to tag along. You will

generation to generation, especially by word

have a great time, and the experience may

of mouth or by practice”. That is exactly what

change you in ways you cannot fathom. In

people like the gentleman above do through

fact, give me a shout, we’ll go together.

BA


Gretchen Steele

the jacket and pants. When the temps are warmer, the excellent breathability keeps one

It seems as though I have looked for the

for from feeling that they are suffering inside

perfect rain gear most of my life. I’ve

a sauna - a common problem in most rain gear

searched, I’ve searched low. I’ve worn

and waterproof clothes.

everything from a hastily fashioned poncho

The Prois Eliminator Jacket is staple in my

made from a trash bag to military surplus, and

outdoor wardrobe and travels with me where

just about everything in between. All had their

ever I might go. In the hot, humid, summer

faults – too noisy,

months, I’m dry during

too hot, not truly

the torrential

waterproof, didn’t

thunderstorm

come in any

downpours, without

camouflage pattern;

feeling as if I am

and so it went until I

trapped in sauna. I

found The Prois

bowfished almost an

Eliminator Jacket.

entire rainy, night

The Prois

tournament in my

Eliminator series is

Eliminator jacket in

typical of the

August without feeling

outdoor/shooting sport/and hunting wear

sweaty, hot, or melty. In the cold winter

produced by Kirstie Pike at Prois. It’s all

months, an extra layer or two under the

about fit, form and function. The Eliminator

Eliminator series kept both warm and dry.

series (which also has accompanying pants to

From the heavy wet snow, to stinging sleet, to

complete the ensemble) is waterproof and

navigating the soggy wet fields, the

breathable and perfect for all seasons. When

Eliminator series kept me dry. Absolutely dry.

the temps turn colder, simply layer up under


When it’s not wet and soggy out, the Prois

• The Snap up “Duck Tail”. This is my

Eliminator jacket makes a great, silent,

favorite part of the coat. The duck tail

lightweight jacket perfect for spring turkey

unsnaps, and comes down to cover one’s

hunting or early season deer hunts. This

fanny. NO MORE WET BEHINDS! I am

jacket is my go to jacket for

able to sit in the damp or wet

any outdoor activity, from

areas while stalking wildlife

bowfishing, to chasing

with my cameras and did I

whitetails, to waiting on the

mention…NO MORE WET

ducks to come in.

BEHINDS? No more drafts up my back when I bend and

What exactly is it that makes this jacket such a

twist trying to get the right

must have for any woman

angle for a photograph. No

who spend her days in the

more trying to fashion a dry

field in inclement weather?

spot to sit in a ground blind or tree stand. The duck tail keeps the derrière dry! The duck then

• The fabric: The Eliminator line is engineered with 8000/5000wtaerproof

conveniently folds up, is secured with snaps,

breathable laminate with a polyester tricot

and seemingly disappears into the jacket when

shell. The jacket feature the Prois their

not needed.

signature nylon lining provide maximum softness, silence and moisture elimination. • Construction: The Eliminator jacket

The Eliminator Rain Pants outstanding features include: • Created with 100% polyester

features taped seams, waterproof zippers, snap

8000/5000 laminate, these pants are

down zipper sliders for silence. The hood is

certain to maintain warmth and dryness.

superbly designed with a visor for even more

Exterior shell soft, supple and utterly

water protection as well as the drawstring that

silent with movement.

pulls the hood to the head for maximizing

• Pull-On styling to use alone or layered

peripheral vision.

in the elements. Engineered with elastic

• A drawstring waist to keep those damp

waistband and added drawstring with

chilly drafts out

cord lock to provide the perfect fit.


• Taped seams throughout.

too big. When recommending this rain gear, I

• Deep cargo pockets with pillow top

now make sure to caution women that

closures to keep contents dry. • 9" boot zips aid ease of donning. • The Prois tricot lining system is utilized in these pants for

ordering one size up for layering is not necessary. Prois is Gaelic for pride or prowess. Both terms are applicable to the entire Prois line of

comfort, dryness and

women’s outdoor and hunting

ease of movement. The

apparel. The pride that Kirstie Pike

tricot lining also makes

and the staff at Prois take in the

pulling the Eliminator

design and construction is obvious

pants on over a pair of

upon the first inspection of the

jeans, brush pants, or

garment. The prowess is

sweat pants a breeze.

recognized in the use of these great

Everything slides

products in the field. The women of Prois have a

smoothly. The Eliminator series is

saying, “Take pride in NOT being

available in Realtree AP HD

one of the guys! “ When it comes

and Realtree Max 1 camouflage patterns. My

to well fitting, very functional, well

only complaint about the Prois Eliminator

designed women’s outdoor wear and hunting

series is that isn’t offered in Realtree Max 4;

clothes, Prois takes pride in making clothing

which is a pattern that I like the best for the

that fits a woman hunters needs as well as her

locations where I normally roam.

feminine form.

The sizing on the Prois Eliminator Series

Even Sarah Palin chooses Prois for her

runs true to the Prois sizing chart, as I learned

outdoor apparel! The now recognizable “P for

when ordering the accompanying Eliminator

Prois” is being seen on more and more

pants. I initially ordered one size larger in

professional women hunters and outdoor

order to be able to layer up under the pants,

enthusiasts.

however this was not necessary. The one size larger pants turned out to be just that, one size

Visit Prois website today and have look at the many excellent designs for any type of outdoor pursuit you may have.

BA


I love my maroon and orange Carolina

Emily Anderson

Cords wrist sling which coordinates nicely When I first started shooting a bow, I

with my bow string. What can I say? I’m a

quickly learned there are many opportunities

girl who wants her bow to match. My

to personalize your equipment. We all know

camouflage may not always match in the

how girls like to accessorize, but it isn’t just a

field, but at least my bow looks good!

girl thing when it comes to bows!

It really

For custom orders, email

doesn’t matter whether you are male or

CarolinaCords@gmail.com. They will even

female, as I’ve seen some pretty snazzy

customize the length to accommodate your

looking bows owned by guys at the local

needs. As a gal with a small wrist, I really

archery shop. Bow customizations include

appreciate this option!

everything from colored strings, matching arrows & fletchings, dipped or anodized cams, stabilizers, etc. One quick and cheap way to jazz up your bow is to coordinate a paracord wrist sling with your bow string. There are many companies which allow you to personalize the color scheme and even pick out leather options. Carolina Cords is one of these companies. They have a good selection of colors to pick from on their Facebook Store. A sampling of their color options include purple, Carolina blue, maroon, hot pink, neon green, urban camo, white, coyote brown, foliage green, and fireball. All color choices are listed here.

BA


personally know a single hunter who used

Albert Quackenbush Quality. Whenever a hunter asks me about what optics to buy, quality is the first word

their optics. I hope this review will change that for the hunting community. While talking with the folks over at

out of my mouth. That's what you want in

KOWA, it is obvious that they have the

optics and I can tell from firsthand experience

utmost confidence in their products. Not only

that KOWA is quality. I'll admit, I didn't

are they knowledgeable, but they are

know much about KOWA when I first saw

dedicated to providing quality, customer

some advertisements in a hunting magazine. I

service. They gave me the opportunity to see

had heard about people using the brand, but

for myself and to share my findings with the

hadn't seen them first hand. I didn't even

hunting community. So, for the past few

Image Š kymberli q. photography


weeks I have been testing out a pair of

Width 127mm

KOWA 10x42s and a pair of the SV10x50s

Height 51mm

from the new product line. I was able to put

Weight 745g (25.7 oz.)

them to use in the field, along with a TN-773

Warranty: Lifetime of the product

Series Spotting Scope when I went on the CA Bighorn Sheep Survey in the SoCal

from manufacturer's defects First impressions. Right out of the box the

mountains. I have also taken them out hog

BD42-10x High Performance Binoculars felt

hunting in different terrain at a different time

great in my hands. I noticed that compared to

of day. I enjoyed every second of reviewing

my other binoculars, these weigh just slightly

these. For this review I will cover the KOWA

more, but I know that is attributed to the high-

BD 10x42s Binoculars and the others in

end glass. The only thing I didn't like right out

subsequent reviews.

of the box was the smell of whatever the

Included in the box are:

binoculars are treated with. That was very

Case

powerful in my nostrils. Others have said this

Strap

could be due to the leather case they came in,

Rainguard

which is entirely possible. I am assuming the

Kowa Lifetime Warranty

more I use these the more the scent will

BD42-10x Specifications:

dissipate. I may try setting them in coffee or

Model BD42-10

something to reduce the strength. Anyone

Magnification 10X

have any suggestions to remove the scent?

Objective Lens Diameter 42mm

Minimum Focus Distance 2.0m

hunter who wears glasses and contacts, I

Real Field of View 6.0 degree

strive to find optics with stellar eye relief and

Apparent Field of View 6.0 degree

clean view. The BD42s are exceptional in

Exit Pupil Diameter 4.20mm

both areas. I used these in bright sunlight and

Relative Brightness 17.6

on a cloudy day. There is no lens distortion.

Twilight Factor 20.5

Period. The focus was sharp in all conditions.

Eye-Relief 17.6mm

The view is crystal clear. No graying around

Field of View at 1,000m/yds 105m/yds

the edges and no fogginess. Did I mention

Length 146mm

super sharp all around?

Lens clarity on these is excellent. As a


The non-slip grip on the BD42s is a must

KOWA BD42s adjust down perfectly to my

when hunting in the high desert. With my

narrow-set eyes and adjust open to someone

gloves on or off, the grip was excellent and I

who might have a greater distance. My eyes

never

are set narrow on my

felt

head and I have had

like

difficulty finding a

these

high-quality pair of

would

binoculars that will

slip

adjust to fit my

from

needs. These fit the

my

bill to a T and I

hands.

couldn't be more pleased. I even had a

When Image Š kymberli q. photography

little room to spare

my hands were sweaty the grip had a slight tack to it and stayed put in my hands.

and that is a first. The diopter (focus adjustment) adjusts

The BD42s have a distinctive barrel where

smoothly and with ease, but not overly so. It

there is a slight contour where you place your

will hold your setting even if bumped around

thumbs. I found this extremely useful.

a bit. Still, even if you did bump it, you can

Gripping the binoculars felt natural and the

find your settings very quickly. I noticed that

weight distribution was balanced. The weight

fine tuning the optic settings to your eyes is

was not an issue when glassing, as I first

faster than other brands because you don't

thought it might be. The BD42s weigh more

have to turn the diopter as far. A very nice

than binoculars I am used to because of the

feature indeed.

high quality glass, but I never had an issue

The binoculars come with a unique neck

with them. In fact, it was a pleasure using

strap that has neoprene padding covered in

these. I could sit back and view everything

soft cloth material. It seats comfortably on the

clear as day, even into the evening twilight.

back of your neck and doesn't rub. This was

One of the main features I truly love to test is the interpupillary distance of optics. The

one feature I did not use often. Like many Western hunters, I am using a harness or chest


pack to house my binoculars. If I was not

from my hands moving. Having the ability to

using a chest pack, I would be using one of

mount these to a tripod, especially out here in

these padded straps. I have tested plenty of

Southern California where you are constantly

them and they can do a number on your neck

glassing is a must and these have it.

when hiking for a short distance, let alone miles. This strap is well made and I can tell

The KOWA BD 10x42s retail for $685 (You

that much thought went into it before it was

can find them as low as $615). I highly

decided upon to put it in the box.

recommend the KOWA BD 10x42s for any

Another nice feature of the BD42s is the

hunter out there. For your money you get a

ability to mount them to a tripod. I mounted

quality product that you can always rely on. I

these to my tripod and it was like I had

will be using these for my 2012 scouting,

opened a new world. Not only could I see

birding and hunting.

clearly, but I could pinpoint features I could

You may read other reviews here and here.

not see while hand holding the bino's just

BA

Image Š kymberli q. photography


Mark Huelsing

over thirty-thousand feet in the sky. I can make out certain prominent features of the

“Ladies and gentleman, can I have your attention? The captain has turned off the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign, indicating that you are now free to move about the aircraft.” Move about the aircraft? That hardly seems feasible. The man in front of me has fully reclined his seat, cramming my 6’3” frame into a position which makes me think I could qualify as an act for the Cirque du Soleil. The lady next to me has fallen asleep and somehow managed to place a good portion of her body weight onto my left side. Move about the aircraft? I hardly have room for my chest to make the slow rise and fall that is required to breathe the stale air that surrounds me. My attention turns to my right, and the clouds outside the tiny window. We pass in and out of these clouds as we make our way across the Northwest, towards Missouri. We have departed from Washington State and will be crossing over some of the best land that the west has to offer. I am passing by these lands at a rate of over five-hundred miles per hour, and from

terrain, but what I cannot see from this perspective is the vast amounts of wild game that inhabit these lands. My mind wanders from the terrain, to the game, to the hunter. These lands are much more than beautiful and bountiful; they are lands in which hunters that I know make their pursuit. I think of Dan, Dustin, Steve, Rob, Emily, and Tom. I think of the game that they pursue in Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and other western states. I don’t hunt these lands, or many of the species that calls these lands home, but these lands are still something that I should care about. I shouldn’t care for these lands simply because I know folks that hunt them, although that does strengthen my resolve; I should care for these lands because it is for the good of hunting. I have a deep conviction that hunters need to protect our lands, and also work with one another to protect all types of historical, ethical, fair chase hunting. Many hunters are, like I have been in the past, only concerned


with what happens on their hunting land and to the species that they enjoy hunting. It is critical that in this day and age we learn to see beyond our own hunting. We, as hunters, must begin to see the big picture; and, not only see it, but work to

The truth is that, yes the problem is big, but with each of us playing our part, we can work together to ensure quality hunting for our next season, as well as the future generation. The truth is that the problem may be

protect it. One of the most frustrating

hundreds, or even thousands of miles away,

experiences I have had with hunters has been

but if it is effecting hunting, then it should

the mindset that, “Issue X doesn’t apply to me

matter some to all of us.

directly, or present any harm to my way of

The truth is that, while someone else may

hunting, therefore it doesn’t matter.” That

be working on an issue, we all have a part to

kind of thinking is reckless and it presents a

play.

very real danger to the future of hunting. I hope that you are a passionate and driven

The true is that we can’t afford to claim ignorance. We can’t afford to not pay

bowhunter. I know I am. I hope even more

attention. We must learn about what issues

that you are a passionate and driven

are facing hunting today. We owe it to

bowhunter that realizes you (yes, YOU!) have

ourselves, and we owe it to hunters

a role to play in securing the future of

everywhere.

hunting. The lies are easy to believe. We can say that the problem is too big, or that the problem is too far removed from my back

Henry Ford once said, “There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems.” Before I buckle my seatbelt and prepare

yard, or that someone else will take care of

for landing, I have one question for you –

the problem, or that I didn’t know there was a

What little problem can you begin to help

problem to begin with.

solve?

The truth?

BA


Ramon Bell

beautiful and fascinating species of fish. The minimum weight for a longnose gar to

I can’t tell anyone exactly where to go at

be listed in NCBA’s “All-Time Records" is

any given time to find a really BIG GAR! Big

ten pounds. A ten pound gar is a nice fish. I

gar, or any big fish for that matter, is where

have taken many ten pound gar over the years,

you find them... when you find them.

but I have yet to break the 20 pound barrier!

I’ve been bowfishing since 1986. The first

I’ve shot several in the 18+ pound range. I’ve

fish I ever shot with a bow was a longnose gar

seen and shot at some 20 plus pounders too! I

from the Deep River, near Sanford, N.C. from

just can’t seem to boat that elusive trophy

a canoe with my bowfishing partner that day,

twenty pounder.

Scott McNeely. It weighed 8 lbs.- 2 oz. It

There’s one thing I have learned about

wasn’t a monster, but it won the North

bowfishing for gar that I want to share. If you

Carolina Bowhunters’ Association annual

want to shoot a big gar, don’t shoot the first

contest for the “Largest Longnose Gar”

big one you see, unless you are absolutely

category that year. Not many people were

certain it is a big one. Many times, you will

bowfishing back then, so I was simply lucky

see several smaller gar milling around a tree

that no one turned in a bigger one that year. I

or bush in the water near the shore. This will

will never forget that trip! What it did was

usually be in water 5 or 6 feet deep, or deeper.

“Hook” me on bowfishing for life, and

Some may look big, but they are still just long

especially bowfishing for gar. They are a

and fairly thin. They may be 2 to 4 feet in length. These will most likely be males. They “school” together and hover above the big females. When you see small gar doing this… STOP, WAIT AND LOOK all around the immediate area. Search the area all around and specially, directly UNDER these smaller gar. Many times, that is where you will see the big female…suspended directly UNDER the smaller males…maybe 2-3 feet UNDER them. Aim low! Good luck!!

BA


The first book of its kind on bowfishing. Follow the quest for 10 species that represent the pinnacle of bowfishing achievement. Best of all, follow the pursuit during the pursuit! Alligator Gar Silver Carp Shortfin Mako

Common Carp Snakehead Skate Alligator

Paddlefish Hammerhead Stingray

Follow at BowfishingSlam.com & on Facebook at Bowfishing the Slam

Book to be released Fall 2013


Tony Catalde I spend a lot of time in the field hunting every week and almost all of it is by myself. Every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for the past few months have been in search of California pigs and turkeys. Every day at 430pm I head out and put in the miles of walking, stalking and setting up in a stand. It has been a rough few months for me. All I have to show for it is a pair of worn out boots, calls and broadheads that have only seen a Morell Target. But, that is not entirely true, I did have a few turkeys and pigs under 20yards three times and yet I did not even pull the string. Fences got in the way. Obviously fences are a good thing in hunting, they keep wayward cattle off your land from your neighbor, they give you a nice spot to rest you back during Turkey season and the keep unwanted guests off your property during the ever coveted deer season. But there are those times that you are on the other side of the fence by yourself, no one within 10 miles of your location and you have to make the call to be ethical or bag something you have been dreaming about for months.

I was sitting back against an oak tree facing an open field that had been cut three weeks prior to my set. Wind was calm, sun was just tucking itself to sleep and I threw out a soft purr. Then they come in, two nice Toms strutting their stuff 50 yard, 40 yards, 30 yards just a few more yards and they would be over the fence that was on my left and in my kill zone. But not today, the two Toms just stayed on their side despite my calls, purrs and a young lady I had set up just for them. I know I could have threaded my Easton St Axis 340 through the bobbed wire and made a kill, but I just could not pull that string back. So they strutted away never to be seen


have not been before. I was walking up a knoll when I spotted that tall skinny neck and brown figure of a Tom. I pulled my call from my hat and gave a soft purr, he answered back again.

and started to close the distance. I headed up

Fast forward two days later, a Thursday evening and very uneventful at my normal creek bed where I have been stalking pigs. So with some things to day I headed home and what do I see crossing the road in to an empty field, miles from the nearest farm house? A nice heard of pigs and one nice fat black and white female that catches my eye. So without hesitating, okay a little I have to film them for a few minutes, I took off down the road to the farm house and feverishly tried knocking on the door to try and get permission to hunt the heard. To no avail though, so with my tail between my legs I drove back down the road. Past the herd of pigs stopping briefly to wave and then I sulked my way back home. If that wasn’t bad enough the ultimate test in patience came a few days later. It came on my typical Monday evening hunt, but this time on a new stretch of the property that I

hill just out of sight from him and let out another purr. This time he came in hot and heavy up the knoll. I backed off from my position a few yards behind a big oak tree, it would get me the cover I needed to draw my string and let the skinny stick do its magic. And like planned perfection there he was 19 yards, a double bearded Tom. Everything I have been looking for over the past few months, but the season ended the day before. Once again miles from anyone, I’m the only person on the property and I did what I hope everyone would do. Smile and walk away. That’s hunting though. You win some and you lose some. Some days are like you can’t go wrong and others you can’t make it happen. You are who you are when no one is around and I hope I stay just the way I am, tags in my pocket and stomach empty. But, if that means I am a true long bearded outdoorsman then so be it. There is always next year. I believe if you are ethical and honest the game will come your way eventually.

BA


Lester Harper

water. He never had to go to the police station to pick me up. He never had to worry what I

Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains of the East coast, I was brought up in the outdoors. Being the son of a gunsmith and an

was getting into, because he knew if I wasn’t in the house I was in the woods. Now that I am a father of five I understand

avid outdoorsman; I was instilled with the

completely what my father had to go through.

essentials to hunt, fish, and provide. My father

I spent most of my adult life in the Army; I

was a man that I admired deeply. He worked

know what hard work is. When I wasn’t in the

from daylight to dark as a brick mason; when

service I worked beside my father for his

he got home he spent the evening in his gun

masonry company. Hard work came natural to

shop working. Most people would say when

me. I was turning into the father that spent his

did he ever have time to spend with his two

whole life at work to provide for his family. I

kids but this is far from the truth.

realized my kids were growing up and I

My dad may have not been the dad that

wasn’t there to see it. When my career came

would come home and throw the ball with his

to an end in the military due to some injuries I

son or spend every evening with me, but he

had occurred. I realized that I needed to

did teach me some very valuable lessons.

change.

From as early as I could remember my father

I started building traditional bows my last

and I would stand in our back yard shooting

couple of years in the service. When I finally

the old hay bale with our recurve bows. He

was medically discharged in 2010 I decided to

taught me to shoot, hunt, and fish. Every fall

open my own traditional archery business. A

and winter we would spend our days scouring

big decision was being made for me I went

the woods in search of game animals. Almost

from a great paying career to battling injuries,

every weekend he would take me out to the

starting a business, and homeschooling five

range to shoot rifles and skeet shoot. You see

kids. I thought to myself how in the world am

my time was spent in the woods or on the

I going to do this. What I realized is that my


kids just wanted to be with me. I would teach

our town with traditional archery. As a father

them by day and work all night in the shop

I could not be more impressed with their

where they would sit and help work on bows.

actions. I presume they will be teaching their

This led to them really getting into archery;

kids when the time comes so the generation of

not just building bows but shooting them as

hunters will live on.

well. From then on things were different in our house. My kids knew what the outdoors were all

Take a child outdoors through some of the great organizations out there or just show your own kids how to shoot and hunt. This

about; we hunted with them from birth it

knowledge is valuable and you never know

seemed like. They also knew all about gun

what they may do with it. God knows how

safety and hunters education. My children get

proud of a father I am to have great children

to spend quality time outside away from

doing not only what I have taught them but

television and negative influences of the

what Christ has commanded of them. As an

world while enjoying an afternoon of

Evangelist and a Bowyer we need to instill

traditional archery.

values in the children of today. In Grant

The fact is that my kids learned a very

county, West Virginia where we live we have

important survival technique from me that is

the highest drug population of any county in

to hunt. They know that they can eat if they

our state. I have taken my ministry to the

can hunt. One of the coolest gifts I could ever

county to get more kids involved in the

have given them is primitive hunting. Now

outdoors, and the inspiration came from five

even better than learning about primitive

small children in my own home. God Bless

hunting they are helping me teach other youth

them for being my inspiration.

locally the great sport of archery. They are spreading their love for God and archery to other kids in a hope to evangelize the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the youth in

BA


Emily Anderson

in high school, my younger brother, Austin, and I had a wild idea to finally give turkey

One thing I’ve learned from hunting is to

hunting a try. We finally had the time...and

value the wisdom of other experienced

LOVED being in the outdoors and it was a

hunters. When fellow hunters are willing to

dreadfully perfect match! From that time on,

share their success stories, be sure to listen to

turkey hunting has been an OBSESSION

their tips and techniques they’ve used to bring

every spring!!

success in the field. We all love a good hunting story, and sometimes sitting around a campfire swapping these stories can provide

Emily: How many turkeys have you taken with a bow? Evan: I have harvested seven with a bow

that valuable piece of information to tuck

since I started using archery equipment in

away in your bag of tricks that may prove

2008. Six of the seven were in the spring

useful on your next hunt.

season and one in the fall. I haven't hunted a

Evan Williams with www.RokSlide.com,

lot outside of my home state of Kansas for

who is a friend of mine was willing to share

turkeys. Kansas is broken down into two

some of his stories with us. Turkey gobbles

turkey spring OTC areas – A one bird unit (1)

have long faded as Spring slipped into

and two bird units (2,3) for spring hunting,

Summer, and thoughts of big game are

with Highway 183 dividing the areas. In 2009,

beginning to swirl around in our heads, so

I began purchasing both tags when I started

let’s “sit around the campfire” one more time

gaining access to more ground in the "two

to reflect on Turkey season...

bird" unit.

Emily: How long have you been turkey hunting? Evan: I started turkey hunting fairly "late"

Emily: What is your experience with spot and stalk for turkey? Is it even possible? Evan: For me, "spot and stalk" hunting for

when compared to most people I think.

turkeys usually meant...spotting them in their

Several factors most likely were the culprit for

strutting zones and then running around to

the late start, e.g., big game hunting at the

intercept them as the traveled between feeding

forefront of my thoughts, competing in five

sources/roosting areas and strutting zones.

high school sports and three activities outside

However, this year has been different. Garrett

of school. During spring break my junior year

Roe of Heads Up Decoys has a bow mounted


decoy similar in fabric to that of other decoys,

Merriams, Osceola, Goulds - North American

but much more mobile! It mounts to your

sub-species all found in the US). However,

stabilizer and when combined with a real fan

each sub-species is a little different in their

will drive mature, dominant birds WILD!!! I

aggressiveness for lack of a better word. Most

actually was charged this year on opening day

people would tell you that the Easter sub-

of the Kansas Archery season! I shot out of

species is the most aggressive of them,

self-defense.

followed by Rios, Merriams, Osceola, Goulds.

(Emily’s note: You may want to make sure

I believe it depends more on the following:

you are the only hunter in the area also when

1 -- Time of year

using this type of decoy! Wow!)

2 -- Weather

Spot and stalk by most western hunter’s definition is very tricky with turkeys since

3 -- The particular bird I have been able to hunt each of the Grand

they simply see so well. Last week in Kansas

Slam Species (Eastern, Rio, Merriam,

I was lying in a shelter belt of cedars crawling

Osceola) and used the same calls, but took a

through to get within bow range of three

different approach to my calling sequences

mature birds feeding in a cut bean field.

and volumes depending on the situation.

Suddenly, three more toms came walking

Turkey hunting is truly the closest thing that

along the edge of the timber ten yards away.

you can get to hunting Elk.

They took one look my direction (remember I am laying prone--completely FLAT) and they were out of there! Turkeys see in color verses

Emily: What calls do you prefer for turkey e.g., box, mouth reed or slate? Why? Evan: A lot of it depends on the situation.

the vision of Ungulates (deer, antelope, elk,

I use all three types of calls. I prefer to use a

etc.).

mouth call because the reeds make it easier

I did harvest my fall turkey on a true spot and stalk! Emily: Is there a difference in calling styles for different breeds? Evan: I wouldn't say that there is a

for me to change between purrs, clucks, yelps, cuts, etc. This helps if you need to quickly change things up depending on how the bird is reacting. Another reason why the mouth call is my favorite is because of its versatility

difference in calling styles for the different

and compactness. Not to mention its HANDS-

sub-species of turkeys (Eastern, Rio Grande,

FREE use!!! When I am getting ready to take


that shot I need my hands ready to draw or

Weather definitely has an impact on

already be at full draw and yelp at him and get

Turkeys. I don't hear near as much

him to pause for a second and allow my arrow

vocalizations on super windy days, in the rain

to pass through.

or in the snow. However, I love hunting birds

For slate calls I prefer to use a crystal. I

on a heavy fog morning, spitting rain, or light

can always touch up the surface of a crystal

snow flurries. Most people are going to be

and keep my volume and consistency. Box

tucked away at home avoiding the weather.

calls are great on those super windy days in

The birds are still out there. They are still

Kansas. I like nothing better than to be on a

going to have a routine and now is the time to

ridge in Kansas between two wooded bottoms

capitalize on it while everyone else sits things

on a windy day and bust out a deep, high

out. Three years ago in Kansas...it was the

volume box call to get my sound out to find a

opening weekend for the Archery Season and

bird in the bottoms.

we had four inches of snow on the ground and

Emily: Do you think there is a best time

driving 40+ mph winds. I knew that a buddy’s

of day for hunting turkey? Does weather have

creek bottom just soaked up the birds in that

an impact, e.g., will turkey be out in rain /

type of weather and I dropped into it. In 50

snow?

minutes of calling ... I had 16 different toms

Evan: I think that each time of day has its ups and downs. I have never had great success calling birds in right off the roost. I have done

come into my set!!! It was a great day. Emily: Blind or no blind? Advantages of one over the other?

it, but with little consistency. Evenings I

Evan: If you are looking for a more

usually use more for glassing and finding

traditional style of hunt, e.g., calling, birds

birds going to roost which tells me where to

responding, calling, etc., then a blind is the

start the next morning. My "sweeter" time of

best way to go. Set it up where you want to

day has been between 10:00 AM - 3:30/4:00

be. Throw your decoys out in front of you (I

PM. This is usually when hens have split off

never have one past 12 yards) and call. The

from the group to go lay on the nest, and those

trick is to BLACK OUT if you have a black

toms are cruising around looking for a lone

interior blind. Make sure your gloves,

hen still out there for him.

Facemask, shirt (long sleeve) and bow are all blacked out....Fool their eyes! A blind will


allow you more movement with the birds in

hid in the grass (CRP) and when they came in

close but it will cause to you be (in most

I drew, stood up on my feet and filled my tag!

cases) less mobile. If you are wanting a little more challenge,

The 2010 season has to be the most memorable for me. I had been practicing my

go without. It will also cut down on the

calling a lot, because when we first started

weight you will be carrying around and

hunting I wasn't allowed to touch a call. I was

increase your mobility. But now you have to

so bad at it that my brother Austin was afraid

worry about getting birds within bow range

I would scare all the birds away! But in 2010 I

and drawing. These aren't whitetails or elk.

got so good that I was the only caller that

We are talking about turkeys that have better

year... and we were able to successfully fill a

vision than an antelope. The trick is to set up

total of 12 tags between friends and family!!!

your decoys in the open 20-25 yards away

Opening day I called in a double for a buddy.

where their attention will be focused a ways

It was his first time hunting anything with a

away from you. Also, you will want to wait to

bow and he doubles in thirty minutes.

draw until the birds are facing away from you

A few weeks later I called in three birds

to make sure they can't catch your movement.

for my girlfriend and she connected on her

This is how I killed my first archery bird – at

first ever Turkey (shotgun...12 yards). That

18 yards.

was a special one too because it was a bird off

Emily: What is your most memorable turkey hunt and why? Evan: There really are so many good

of a new piece of ground that my parents had just purchased. We had a host of misses and blunders for

ones! I remember every Turkey that I have

the rest of season and finally during the last

killed with a bow and can point it out on a

three days I had the opportunity to try and fill

map.

my tags. The second morning I set up in a hay

My first one was special because I had

meadow that one of the flocks on the property

worked SO hard. My brother and my friend

had been using. At 10:00 I started to see a

had both used shotguns and filled early, but I

group of eight birds (1 Tom and 7 Jakes)

was only going to use a bow. We had some

coming in. They marched to eighty yards and

strutters out in a drilled wheat field so we ran

started feeding and dusting themselves and

out ahead of them and threw out a decoy. I

then stopped. Five minutes later I got super


aggressive on the calls and had a gobble from

w/ Instructional CD. It will give you three

just over the hill to the east of the group.

different mouth call options to play with as

Seconds later another Tom appeared in full

well as driving sounds and tips to listen to and

strut. That started "THE RACE." The two

practice with. Look into a second type of call.

toms saw each other and started racing each

My choice would be a box then a slate

other in to my decoys. I shot both birds in a

(simply for ease of use). I love the PRIMOS

matter of 30 seconds - the first at 11 yards the

Box Cutter and the PRIMOS Chick Magnet.

second at 31 yards. Emily: Any other advice for beginning turkey hunters? Evan: Be patient!!! There is a learning

Also, get good decoys! Avian X has just hit the market with some phenomenal deeks. They are a little pricey, but one will do to start and a good decoy will make all the difference

curve like hunting any new animal. Turkeys

between a successful hunt and you eating a

are like any other Big Game Species. They

tag.

have a routine. Know the routine of the birds

If you are going to be hunting from a

you are hunting and when the calls aren't

blind...make sure it is black inside and is

working, have Plan B ready.

roomy! I prefer to use a PRIMOS CRUSH or

If you are used to using mouth calls, great!

Dark Horse followed by a Rhino Labs XP-1.

If not...grab the PRIMOS Turkey Starter set Thanks, Evan, for sharing your turkey stories and advice with us. Since the time of this interview, both Evan and his wife, Kayle, arrowed nice Kansas birds. Congrats on turkey number eight!

BA


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