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Contributing Writers Emily Anderson Jason Baggett Timothy Borkert

BowAmerica The e-Magazine for Bowhunters A monthly online publication.

Publisher/Editor BillHoward Cover Design AlbertQuackenbush

Beka Garris Lester Harper Bill Howard

Advertising/Marketing BillHoward Circulation BillHoward

Mark Huelsing Will Jenkins Amanda MacDonald Albert Quackenbush David L. Samuel

For free distribution to your bowhunting group or organization, or for media kits contact:

Ryan Shoemaker Michelle Thryselius Nick Viau

BowAmerica is a Bill Howard Outdoors Publication. Any reproduction of copy or images without prior permission from BowAmerica or its contributors is strictly forbidden. ŠBowAmerica 2012

On the Cover: Emily Anderson and her Kansas whitetail. This page: Emily celebrates a successful hunt.

COMPOUND 11 - Why I Bowhunt RyanShoemaker

17 - Passion from Dad AlbertQuackenbush

WOMEN IN BOWHUNTING Why? To Listen… - 13 EmilyAnderson The Evolution of Me - 27 MichelleThryselius

21 - The Will to Hunt WillJenkins

24 - The Beginning of the Journey MarkHuelsing

34 - Why Bowhunt? JasonBaggett

TRADITIONAL 7 - I Am a Bowhunter NickViau

19 - Traditional Archery: It’s Something More LesterHarper

BOWFISHING 32 - Aim Low BillHoward

REVIEWS 38- ScoutLook Weather 41 - Bogs Copperhead Boot

TARGET Bow Meets Girl. A Love Story - 15 AmandaMacDonald

DO-IT-YOURSELF / HOW-TO Arrow Spin Tester - 35 TimothyBorkert

BOWHUNTING LIFE Nightwolf: A Novel – Book Excerpt - 29 DavidSamuel Finding a Recreational Land Loan - 37 BrittanySozak

WILD KITCHEN Venison Parmesan - 23 BekaGarris

DIRECTORIES State Wildlife Agencies - 43 State Archery Clubs – 45

Bill Howard With the great help of a tremendous outdoors community, I am proud to present BowAmerica. With the inaugural issue, we asked bowhunters and archers based across the country a two word question. The goal was simple; we wanted to know what bowhunting and archery means to them. The question: Why Bowhunt? If we could locate the answer, we felt it could help you determine what bowhunting means to you. The stories in this issue come from different backgrounds, different styles, and different techniques. Some are self taught, some have bowhunted their whole life, and some are relatively new to bowhunting. Yet, the message is usually the same. I was teaching a hunter education class a couple of years ago and during one of the breaks, a student came up to me and asked why I liked bowhunting so much. My answer came rather quick, but it was surprisingly thoughtful. While I am a good shot with the firearm, well above average actually, bowhunting offered something more. Hunting enables one to witness Godâ€&#x;s creation in a way that cannot be seen otherwise. However, bowhunting allows me to become part of nature. Hunting with a firearm from a box stand and launching a projectile several hundred yards toward an animal that feels the pain before hearing the blast is one thing. Studying that same animalâ€&#x;s behavior, learning what it knows and wants, and becoming part of the tapestry of which it lives is another. Then, having to pull back a string unnoticed by that animal that is a mere twenty to thirty feet away adds to the complexity of the moment. If I can become one with nature

to the point I can smell a deer and feel his breath while he cannot do the same of me, I have successfully won that round of the hunt. The kill, it is just an end to the experience. As a teenager, I wanted to be a baseball player. I did not have a good bat or good power. I was a decent fielder with an above average arm and above average speed. I knew it would be hard to break in the lineup if I could not hit. Then something clicked. I went to a camp and learned how to get hit by the pitch and do it as safe as possible. I found out that if I crowded the plate, most high school pitchers would eventually throw the ball too far inside and I could advance to first with a slight bruise. If I could get on base, I could use my speed and start stealing bases. In other words, I could become a leadoff batter. In fact, when my coach first put me at the leadoff position I was told I had to get on base that first at bat and steal second. When the catcher would try to throw me out, we could establish the game plan for the rest of the game. If the catcher had a good arm, we would be aggressive with a hit and run strategy. If the catcher did not, we would try to advance to scoring position by stealing bases and then bunting our way across the plate. I no longer wanted to be a baseball player. I wanted to be a leadoff batter. I had an identity. To recap, hunting witnesses nature; bowhunting interacts with nature. I want to be more than a hunter. I want to be a bowhunter. A bowhunter defines who I am. Continued on page 40

Why do I bowhunt? „Why‟ indeed. An activity as passionate as bowhunting requires knowledge of the person to be fully understood. With that in mind, I would like to share a little piece of my own history in order to help you understand what bowhunting means to me and why I do it the way that I do. I dabbled with the bow and arrow throughout my

childhood. My brothers and I made primitive bows out of branches, twine, and turkey feathers for years until my parents bought us Nerf bows in 1991, which was also when Kevin Costner‟s “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves” was released. We were hooked, and attacked our archery cravings with a creativity that astounds me even today. We made quivers out of old backpacks,

removed the fins from our arrows to shoot around obstacles, and coordinated attacks against hordes of imaginary foes. Not bad for a 10, 6, and 4 year old. Sadly, nothing lasts forever. Not even Nerf. After launching thousands of arrows, our bows gave out and our archery interests with them. I messed with a compound at twelve but gave it up after receiving little

guidance and having no desire to hunt. My uncles tried to change my mind for years, but to no avail. I did not see the point of spending hours in a heated blind, waiting to shoot a deer lured in with bait, and I did not think people hunted any other way. I clung to that perspective for the next fifteen years, only to have my archery curiosity resurrected by the pages of a Green Arrow comic book. What intrigued me the most were the archery references throughout the book, including the characterâ€&#x;s love of the longbow and his relationship to the late Howard Hill. I immediately investigated the archer and was fascinated by what I saw. I spent the remainder of the evening bouncing back between him and traditional archery in general, soaking up every piece of information I could find. My wife merely rolled her eyes when I told her I wanted to buy a bow, and laughed when I told her I would not go overboard. She knows me all too well apparently. The size of the online traditional archery community amazed me, especially since I had not met a single traditional archer in person. I did not know where to begin. My choices were to either become some kind of competitive target

Where I expected barbarians and butchers, I found passionate, ethical, outdoorsmen with a penchant for adventure and unwavering desire for the hunt. archer or a bowhunter based on what I could gather, and I did not fit in either category. My aversion to hunting was strong and I did not care much for flinging tight groups at a circle on the wall. Finding a place to shoot with a traditional archer on staff ended up being the deciding factor. He introduced me to several others frequenting the range, and I enjoyed shooting 3D targets with them on a weekly basis immensely. They were all bowhunters and loved sharing their hunting stories with me in turn. I was indifferent at first, but eventually developed a genuine curiosity on the subject. The more they recounted their traditional hunting tales, the more I craved making some of my own. I was astounded at how misconstrued my perception of bowhunting actually was, and I

learned volumes about bowhunters in the process. Where I expected barbarians and butchers, I found passionate,ethical, outdoorsmen with a penchant for adventure and unwavering desire for the hunt. I did not have enough feet to stick into my mouth. The realization that hunting was as unique as the hunter inevitably propelled me into the woods that October. The months that followed changed my life, and it has been a wonderful ride thus far. Bumpy at times, but wonderful nonetheless. I would be lying if I told you it has been nothing but sunshine and rainbows. I think we all know better than that. I have spent my share of evenings stewing over blown opportunities, and countless mornings questioning whether I wanted to trade my cozy bed for the unforgiving cold of the woods. Yet even when I am at

my lowest, that crazy little voice inside my head interjects and tells me to pull my long johns on. And I do. Here is why: I genuinely love the bow and arrow. You have to love shooting your bow in order to hunt with it, or you are simply extending your hunting season. Bowhunters are archers first. They spend hours with their equipment every week. You cannot hunt ethically or effectively without being proficient with your equipment. I try to get a bow in my hands every day, whether I am shooting six arrows or sixty. It is never a chore to do so. I love feeling the sensation of the shot from the tips of my fingers to the muscles in my back. I love the focus before the draw, the tension of the mind and body,

Someone has to keep the heritage alive. I choose to be one of these people. and the sudden relief that accompanies the release. I love watching/willing the arrow into the target and actually feeling its impact. I love the connection that accompanies traditional gear in particular. It is almost as if they possess a spirit and it is this spirit that makes hunting with a stick bow special. They want to be shot, and they want you to take them into the woods. Bowhunting is the core of my serenity. „Stressâ€&#x; was the excuse I gave my wife for buying my

first bow and it is still my greatest reliever. There is nothing more therapeutic than a morning in the woods following a hectic week of work and worry. There is nowhere I would rather be when clients, committees, and computer screens get the better of me. Whether I shoot anything or not. In fact, I would wager I spend 98% of my time in the woods not shooting at anything and am oddly content with that statistic. The peace, serenity, and isolation of Mother Nature are better for the worried mind than any drug on the market, and your bow is all you need to bottle it. Bowhunting is challenging. There are few things in life as inherently difficult as harvesting an alert animal in its natural habitat. Now

compound that difficulty with a weapon that is most effective within twenty yards and requires significantly more movement to fire than a rifle. For these reasons, bowhunting may seem like masochistic behavior to the outsider. We know what we are getting ourselves into every season, but we do it anyway. Whether or not we succeed in the field is irrelevant. We hunt harder and better every year regardless. Why? Because we know that all of the preparation in the world does not always equate to success. While this is immensely frustrating at times, this uncertainty keeps us coming back for more. Bowhunting is our heritage and our responsibility

Hunters like Saxton Pope, Art Young, Howard Hill, Glenn St. Charles, and Fred Bear understood this. They did not need to hunt with a bow; they chose to hunt with one. They recognized how important the bow and arrow is to our society and made every effort to preserve it. Not because it is practical, but because the adventurous nature of bowhunting is good for the body and spirit. They knew that lifeâ€&#x;s greatest lessons and experiences are obtained in the struggle of overcoming adversity. They gave the advantage back to their prey in order to preserve the spirit of the hunt and put meaning back into the kill. This concept resonated deeply within me, and is now the core of my

bowhunting principles. I continue to hunt with traditional gear for this reason. I understand hunting this way is not for everyone, but someone has to do it. Someone has to keep the heritage alive. I choose to be one of these people. Before you reach for the next big „advancementâ€&#x;, remember why you chose to hunt with a bow in the first place. Remember the intangible trophies of the hunt, as these are what separate the hunters from the killers and gives us are identity. They are what define us. They are what define me. When I look into the mirror, a bowhunter is what I see. BA

Does your company offer products geared to the bowhunting and archery community? BowAmerica enables your company to market a select group of readers that is passionate about the sport they participate. By advertising with BowAmerica you can select the group your company most associates itself with whether it is traditional, compound, women, target archery, or bowfishing. Subscriptions are free to its reader base allowing a large audience for your product. Contact Bill Howard today to select a marketing and advertising plan that works for your company at

It is 3 a.m., Saturday, June 4, 2011. While 95% other people are still in their bed, I am up and in route to the trailhead. Today, I have got 26+ miles to roll on before “officially” starting my day at a 10 a.m. breakfast with the family. As my headlights cut the night I wonder how many other bowhunters are this crazy. How many others are pushing this hard to earn success in the mountains? By 3:45 a.m. I arrive and find myself not surprised to be the only car. I kill the lights and the darkness of the night returns. Sitting there for a moment I start to visualize what could be. Mountains, canyons, bugles…it is all there. Snapping back to reality I lace the Brooks, grab the Badlands, and flip the headlamp. My watch reads 4 a.m. as I vanish onto a dark, lonely, single track trail. ---------------

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.” ~ Unknown 26 years, 1,352 weeks, or 9,490 days. However you look at, for over 26 years I have been lucky enough to call myself a bowhunter. A forever brother of the string, I feel honored to walk amongst those proud souls that live and breathe the sacrifice. Without question the sport of bowhunting is a journey. Feel free to sit down with any hardcore bowhunter and it does not take long to realize you are talking to a different breed. A breed that sacrifices success to gain respect. A breed that realizes it is more important to

fill an emotional and spiritual need, rather than a tag. Plain and simple, this sport of bowhunting is defined by guts and success is earned one inch at a time. For me the journey that is bowhunting is one that has forever changed my life. Like any other kid growing up, I had dreams of what I wanted to be. Some want to be professional sports figures, others doctors, some firemen, but me…I wanted to be a bowhunter. I can remember as a kid sitting in my room peering out of the window waiting for my

dad to come home. I can recall being so excited, I had my tracking clothes out and ready for our split second track job. Seconds became minutes, minutes became hours. At the time, Dad was 3 miles out of town, sitting in a tree, waiting to arrow a good whitetail with his Jennings. Now fast forward 26 years and today my life is shaped by 100

mile, 29 hour ultra-marathons, solo 10+ mile deep backcountry hunts, and experiences that quite frankly had me teetering on the brink of breakdown. Looking back, I have pushed myself to do things I never thought possible. The pain, the suffering, the sacrifice are for me, all ingredients along this hardearned, dig-down-deep, makesomething-out-of-nothing path I have chosen as a bowhunter. It will not be easy and will not be fair, but as a bowhunter I am committed. And through that commitment, I choose to give everything I have…as the legacy will accept nothing less. BA

About the Author: Ryan Shoemaker maintains and is a Solo DIY backcountry hunter, ultra-marathoner, and pro-staffer for Badlands, SEEMZ Technology, Bowtech Archery, Trophy Taker, Victory Archery, and Wilderness Athlete.

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” ~ Steve Prefontaine

Sitting quietly on a stump in an attempt to blend into the forest canvas behind me, all is silent. The absence of a breeze against my cheek brings a smile to my face. I know that even with all the precautions to remove all human odor, even a slight wind can stack the odds against a bowhunterâ€&#x;s favor. Tonight I am the predator. To get close enough to smell the prey before they smell me is

my goal. Close enough to release a top pin shot is my hope. So, I sit motionless on my forest stump, staring at the ground below. I stare not because I am looking for something to mysteriously come out of the ground, but rather my concentration is focused in hopes of catching the unexpected sound. I strain to hear the snap of a twig, the warning bark of a bull, the hoof

print on the earth below, or the sweet solo cow call; all sounds that indicate it is time to nock an arrow Is it possible that until you have relied solely on one of your senses, you have not really learned to fully use it? In a way, the glorious combination of each sense working together seems to numb the individual senses. I am not sure why. But

consider this... I recently read the book Thunder Dog about a guy who escaped from one of the twin towers during the 9/11 attack on our country. The amazing thing? (Besides just getting out.) He is blind. The loss of vision had forced him to truly rely on his hearing in everyday life. In fact, when he was young his mom cautioned him to “see” the coffee table before running his big wheel into it. As a result, he learned to actually hear as he passed doorways, etc. So, when confusion and panic set in for everyone else in the smoke filled building, he was able to remain relatively calm. In a world suddenly filled with darkness for everyone else, he was able to navigate his way out (with the help of his trusted guide dog). He had learned to

rely on his sense of hearing. There is something amazing to me about a blind man leading the way. As I continue to stare at the ground below pondering things like the above man‟s story, the weed wiggles back and forth. There is no wind. Strange. Then in an instant the ground consumes the weed. I am now face to face with a mole wiping the dirt specs from his eyes. A smile slowly creeps over my face. I have enjoyed a rare encounter simply because I am silently still, listening to the woods around me. Moments like this and many others fill my memory... all because I am a bowhunter. I have had a bull elk practically blow snot all over me during a bugle episode. I have crept through cactus filled open spaces in an effort to

stalk prairie ghosts. Under a blanket of starry skies, from the safety of my tent I have listened to epic antler crashing events of bull elk testing their strength in the field next to me. This is why I bowhunt. It is just a few of the many reasons... Bowhunting has provided countless quality hours with my husband in the field that holds a special place in my heart. Bowhunting has provided opportunities for God to speak to my heart through many quiet moments spent in the woods. Bowhunting has provided fond memories with friends and family. Bowhunting has provided meal after meal on our table. And even after considering all of that, I think my favorite reason for bowhunting is the opportunity to listen. To be still. After all, in the busyness of life don‟t we all need an opportunity to get away, calm our hearts and listen? Go. Sit in the woods and be still. BA About the Author:

Randy R. Mabe


Emily Anderson lives in Colorado with her husband. She first took up the bow as a way to share her husband‟s passion. Now it is her passion as well. She writes the blog Scent Free Lip Gloss, named so because when you are hunting, it is not about looking good and smelling pretty for those elk.

I am a target huntress. Not to be confused with those awesome women that are compelled to sit chilly in a tree or hike deep into the backcountry for their elk or deer. I hunt paper X‟s year round, usually 4-5 days a week in the summer with a recurve and occasionally I break out my compound just for fun. I also have been known to enjoy shooting in the pouring rain in our backyard in upstate NY. Growing up in rural central Michigan as a kid in the camo culture, I fooled around with my Bear bow, but set it down to obsessively ride horses until I went off to college. The bug did not bite until I was in my thirties. Then it bit. Hard. My dad and I made the trek up to Jay‟s in Clare on Christmas Eve to select my starter bow and a good sized compound target. Somehow after the first season, I just never stopped. Would go out after work in the backyard and shoot arrows until it got too dark to see where they went. It takes your total concentration, lets you relax and when you are in the zone, you are not really

thinking about anything but aiming. Lots of girls get into this with a boyfriend who 3-Ds on the weekends and end up giving their SO a run for their money. Loving that archery companies are beginning to realize that the ladies are just as serious about this sport and making daintier, though no less rugged bows for us

girls with girly names like the Stiletto. Just a few years ago, there was not so much to choose from. You either got a youth bow or a hand me down that did not fit so well. My release had to be cut way down, my pocket quiver made for me for smaller girl pockets. My sister has recently been converted into the archery clan and is the proud owner of her very own hunting set up. Plus, she looks great in head-to-toe camo and war paint. Switching from compound where I was comfortable as a consistent 295+ shooter, to the recurve system developed by the current USA Archery Head Coach was, and continues to be,

a huge challenge. Using a finger tab for the very first time, I could not get my fingers to let go. Unlearning muscle memory that has served you well and replacing it with something that is not necessarily immediately as successful can be like banging your head against the wall. And getting lower scores sucks when you are used to hitting 9 out of 10 X‟s. I have been really

fortunate to find super patient people to work with that put up with my occasional sassy pants. When I get really frustrated, the compound comes out of retirement and reminds me why I started down this road. This is also a much more physical version of archery. In the summer I was shooting well over 100 arrows a session, 4-5 days week. You sweat and you get muscle sore and you get sick of the songs on your iPod. Check out YouTube for World Archery, there is a reason the

recurve people look fitter. It‟s „cause they have to be. One of the great things about archery is the people that we have meet along the way. Both my husband and I have received an amazing amount of help, information and support from a quite a few folks since we started doing this. Need to borrow a set of arrows, a clicker, try a new quiver? Someone has one in their case that is not being used. Here, just use it for a while. I swapped my Hoyt Pro-Elite, code name Cricket, for an Olympic recurve system a little

over a year ago and have met even more cool and interesting people. This sport seems to recruit similar-minded people. Lots of engineer-types, creatives, and control freaks determined to perfect their aim. As a whole we are highly competitive, but surprisingly supportive of each other. A lot of other sports cannot say that. Another thing most sports cannot say; you can spend a day on the same bale with an elite archer, chatting and watching up close what they do. When is the last time you spent an hour in the batting

cage with Derek Jeter? Yeah, I thought so. And now a quick word about hunting. I am not opposed to the responsible hunting of anything you plan on putting in the freezer. I have dabbled a bit with hunting wiley Michigan turkeys but am not a hard-core hunter. You can read about it in a back post of Bow Meets Girl, my online rambling of my relearning to shoot. “In life, you only hit what you aim at,” Ralph Waldo Emerson. So put „em in the middle. BA

About the Author: Amanda MacDonald is a competitive target archer and writes the blog Bow Meets Girl. Amanda lives in Upstate NY with her husband, two naughty cats and a lazy dog. When she is not shooting she is making stuff in her studio, taking the dog for a hike with Matt, baking something carb-tastic, or making excuses to ditch the gym and go shoot.

I have been an archer for 27 years and bowhunting for 22 of those years. I have only taken one cervid species with archery tackle and that is the whitetail deer. As a native of Western New York State, my main goal was a deer each year. I have taken other species with a firearm, but only whitetails with a bow and arrow. Each year I hunt PacificHybrid deer (California), and whitetail deer (New York). There are other game animals I hunt, but deer are my primary focus. I am a life member of the North American Hunting Club and a pro staffer for I have not found a need to join any organization such as Pope and Young. They are a great organization, but my time is filled with my family, hunting and helping other hunters. I am not a trophy hunter and have never registered an animal. It is not to say that I could not or would not, but personally I do not find a need. If I have a tag and a legal deer walks by, it is getting shot at. My choice to become a bowhunter was hands-down

because of my dad. He would take my brother and I hunting with him when we were very young and I loved being in the outdoors. When I was nine, my dad gave me my first bow, a hand-me-down recurve. He taught me how to shoot it, care for it and the safe practices that go along with archery. When I was young I helped him track a whitetail and that got me hooked on bowhunting. I was the one who found the deer and the experience was one that I think of every hunting season. My dad bought me a compound bow when I was thirteen and I became very proficient with it. It had no peep sight, no lighted pins, no stabilizer and no release. I took my first whitetail buck at age fourteen at ten yards in an open field. I watched him run sixty yards and drop dead. I was hunting the farm where we worked and had a half-mile hike back

to our house. Sharing the news of my first kill with my dad was a highlight I will never forget. Much has changed since my first recurve bow. I became hooked on compounds and the technical variances they have to offer. I strictly shoot a compound now because I truly enjoy the intricacies of the tooling, the gear associated with it, and the challenge of getting everything to work in harmony. I have hunted with shotguns, rifles, air rifles, and slingshot, but now that I live in Southern California I strictly bowhunt. There are many reasons why

I bow hunt. When I first learned to bow hunt it was to fill my freezer. We grew up not having much and any assistance we could get was appreciated. My dad taught me how to provide meat for our family and that is what I did. I bowhunt because it is a challenge. It forces me to rely on my skill and focus on everything around me. I cannot

take it for granted. Bowhunting offers me more opportunity to hunt, too. I can hunt more areas, I can get closer to animals and I just love the gear and seeing it work. I also love going out and being able to kill a deer and share it with my fellow riflemen who are constantly offering me their weapons. I simply say, „No thank you, I'll stick with my

bow and continue to challenge myself.â€&#x; BA About the Author: Albert Quackenbush writes the bowhunting blog site He is a graphic designer, photographer, life member of the North American Hunting Club, and a pro staffer and primary gear reviewer for

By Lester Harper Being a custom bow maker and avid traditional hunter, I always get asked the basic question of “Why do I like traditional archery?” My response is usually, “Why not?” With the era of range finders, guns that can shoot a mile, and range finding scopes with bullet compensation, why would someone want to pick up a bent stick, a wooden arrow and go out hunting? Maybe it is because of tradition, or maybe it is because of the challenge. There is something majestic about being able to get stick bow close to an

animal. To see the breath leave its nostrils; to feel your heart pound as you draw back your bow with anticipation; to know that every movement is crucial to not being seen or heard by the animal makes you part of the hunt. That very second when you forget all about the world and you focus on a hair follicle behind the shoulder of a beautiful creature that God has provided for us. Maybe it is the feeling you get, a feeling that is better than any drug or drink you could ever have. Maybe it is the way life was intended, or maybe we are all just primitive thinkers. It is amazing how with scent

blockers and charcoal lined suites you can still be spotted and winded by a deer. So maybe we need to look further back in to history and see why we should hunt traditional. Written between 1450-1410 BC in the book of Genesis 27:3 was “Now then go get your weapons- your quiver and Bow and go into the open country and hunt some wild game for me.” No one said go get your range finder, your scent blocker, your bad boy buggy and rifle with BDC scope and shoot me a deer. Primarily because these items were not invented yet, but it shows bowhunting has been around

for a long time. The oldest known archery was established around 9000-8000 BC. They have found artifacts from this time period in a location north of what is now Hamburg, Germany. I remember when I was about 5 years old my father had me in the back yard of our home shooting a recurve bow. I am 33 years old and I can remember the times we shared shooting and building a father/son relationship like it was yesterday. Today I shoot with my children and my wife. We are building the same relationship, and my father is still out there with us shooting. My oldest children are shooting competitions with their custom built recurves. When you shoot a traditional bow things are a lot different. The whole thought process is different. There are no sights to look at. There is no drop away rest or stabilizer. It is all about

mechanics. Your eyes focus on the target and your body does the rest. I know there are many people

that every animal you shot an arrow at was a trophy? I am in no way against hunting or shooting with any other weapon out there. My father is a gunsmith, and I served ten years as a gunner in the Army. I like shooting guns a lot. But when it comes to hunting God‟s creatures, I prefer a traditional bow. The satisfaction of building my own bows out of natural wood, then building the arrows, and forging out my own broad heads is just unbelievable to most. To harvest an animal with something so legendary is a feat like winning the Olympics. To be able to pass the tradition on to my five little children is unquestionably priceless. Pass on a tradition, challenge yourself, or just go have fun, but try shooting traditional archery. Once you switch you will not want to switch back. BA

Ask a traditional hunter what a trophy whitetail deer is and they will probably say any one they can stick an arrow through. Don’t you wish that every animal you shot an arrow at was a trophy? out there that would not give up their gun or their compound bow to even try an art form so ancient, but if you want hunting to be a challenge, then try traditional. If you ask any big game hunter out there what a trophy whitetail deer is, they will probably tell you something around a 170-200 inch deer. Ask a traditional hunter what a trophy whitetail deer is and they will probably say any one they can stick an arrow through. Don‟t you wish

About the author Lester Harper is owner and operator of LH Custom Archery located in West Virginia. He specializes in making custom recurves and longbows. You can visit his website at or email him at

Why do I hunt? I hunt because it is my nature, my calling. It is not my calling to kill or be murderous but killing is a necessary means to an end of a successful hunt. A large portion of people have a warped sense of hunting that it is a savage, barbaric act that only Neanderthal like men carry out in the depths of the woods. This is not the case at all as you very well know and I am often asked by non-hunters why I hunt and almost all are surprised by my answer. My answer usually consists of I do it for the experience,

getting out into nature and detaching from the world. I hunt to get away from life and just be. I hunt to spend time with family and friends and trade stories. I hunt because I enjoy the chase. I love spending my time year round in the woods setting trail cameras, scouting, hanging stands and exploring new properties. I enjoy the preparation of practicing with my bow and getting to know all the animals that traverse my hunting properties through sightings and trail camera pictures. Lastly, I enjoy the rush of the

kill. Moving slowly, deliberately to set up the shot on a hopefully unsuspecting deer, my heart beating so loudly Iâ€&#x;m afraid that it alone will spook the deer. Then the climax of hitting the release and hearing the arrow make contact. Itâ€&#x;s not the joy of killing or taking the life of an animal but the culmination of preparation meeting opportunity and successfully harvesting an animal that will feed my family and potentially adorn my wall. A trophy representing all that I mentioned above.

Now, on to the rest of the question. Why do I hunt with a bow? I originally started hunting with a bow purely to get more time in the woods because of a relatively short firearms season. Little did I know it would forever change how I hunted and how I viewed hunting in general. Growing up hunting in Virginia during firearms season means people are running dogs constantly. So you hunt stands on known travel routes where you know the deer will run when being chased. There was the occasional day when dogs weren‟t running but all the deer were on lock down from being chased half way across the county in the days prior and unless they were pushed they seemed to be mostly nocturnal. Moving from that to still hunting deer with very little

pressure was a whole new fascinating world of outsmarting a deer and slipping in and out undetected, considering wind and weather, even barometric pressure and feeding patterns. As far as the equipment itself I feel like I have more ownership over it and it‟s results. Fletching my own arrows practicing over and over. Checking my form and working on the biomechanics of my draw and holding it. Not to say you don‟t have to practice with a gun or that you can‟t fill your own cartridges for me it‟s just different. There‟s something knowing that the only that pushing that arrow towards its target is a string you pulled back. To round this out really why and how I hunt and why and how you hunt can be vastly different and I think that is

what makes hunting such an interesting sport and why a lot of times you can meet total stranger and if they hunt you can talk for hours about it without getting bored or running out of stories. Unfortunately it‟s also a source of argument amongst hunters but lets not focus on that. Thinking through „Why do I hunt?‟ every once in a while is good and may help you learn something about yourself and how you have evolved as a hunter. BA

About the Author: Will Jenkins runs Hunting Blog where he recently started the „Harnesses for Hunters‟ Program. He also writes for Maryland Whitetail Magazine Online.

Wild Game Recipes presented by

Venison Parmesan Ingredients  Venison loin/steak sliced thin (1/8”-1/4”)  Cooking oil  Shredded mozzarella  Tomato sauce  Parmesan cheese  2 beaten eggs  Seasoned bread crumbs  Angel hair spaghetti noodles

Directions Dip venison pieces into beaten egg, then coat with breadcrumbs. Heat oil on medium-hi until hot in fry pan. Fry venison in oil until golden brown, flipping once. Place venison on paper towels for several minutes to rid of excess oil. Place cooked venison in 13” x 9” baking dish, cover with sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350º for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over spaghetti noodles prepared per directions. Recipe contributed by Beka Garris for Beka writes the blog WildernessBabe.

The journey towards becoming a bowhunter is a journey of self-discovery. Each bowhunter has his or her reasons to pursue the hunt, and these reasons often evolve as the hunter makes their pursuit, season after season. I have grown to fall in love with bowhunting for many reasons: the intensity and intimacy of the hunt, the skill and preparation required to be successful, and the simple joy of shooting a bow and arrow. These aspects of bowhunting

are something that I discovered as I hunted with a bow and arrow, but they are not the reasons that I originally started bowhunting. No, the reasons that I started bowhunting were much simpler, much more practical. I grew up hunting the Missouri Ozarks with my Grandpa. Our weapons were rifles and shotguns from a year gone by, and our targets were everything from squirrel and rabbits, to whitetail deer, and even just soup cans on a

fencepost. It was in many ways an ideal childhood for a young boy. It was not long before I found myself in high school, where I ultimately became more interested in pursuing athletics and female classmates, and therefore less interested in those days afield chasing a different type of game. However, sometime during college a switch flipped, and an insatiable longing to return to my roots and resume hunting became more and more pressing.

This longing to return to hunting grew stronger by the day, and the few days that I had available to hunt during the year were not enough to quench my desire. I needed to expand my opportunities to hunt, I needed to have more land available to hunt, and I needed to find a way to hunt nearly year round, and not just during the heavily pressured Missouri firearm seasons.

These three things – extended seasons, expanded access, and less hunting pressure – they are the reason that I decided to begin bowhunting. Extended Seasons The day I decided to bowhunt, my whitetail season here in Missouri

immediately grew more than ten-fold, from a mere 10 days to over 120 days. In my opinion this is the single greatest reason to consider bowhunting, and it does not just apply to Missouri, or to the whitetail species alone. If you love to hunt, the single greatest thing you can do to

get more time afield is to take advantage of every season you can. In nearly every state of the country you can dramatically increase the length of your season, either as a resident or non-resident hunter, by pursuing archery specific seasons and tags. Expanded Access Have you ever dreamed of About the Author: Mark Huelsing is a regular guy with an irregular passion for bowhunting and the outdoors. In addition to writing for BowAmerica, Mark runs the bowhunting blog Sole Adventure, and is also a contributor to several other outdoor outlets such as Filson Life and Bowcast. Connect with Mark at, or say hello on twitter @SoleAdventure

hunting big game out West? I do just about every day! Do you know the easiest way to get an over the counter tag, or the easiest was to draw a limited entry tag in almost every Western state? The answer is to go after an archery tag. Take elk hunting in Colorado for example. I can think of several trophy units that require 10-15 preference points to have a decent chance of drawing a firearm tag. You can draw an archery tag in these same units with just a handful of preference points, or sometimes with none at all. There is also a much greater number of over the counter tags and units available to archery hunters. These examples help illustrate that bowhunting provides expanded access to big game hunting out West, but the same can be said of bowhunting providing expanded land access to hunters in the Midwest and Eastern regions. For example, here in my home state of Missouri there are many public lands that only open to hunters utilizing archery methods. Additionally, there are many landowners who

will turn down firearm hunters due to safety concerns, but will allow bowhunters to use their property. Several land owners that I have had the pleasure of receiving access from would only allow it for bowhunting. Less Pressure One of the reasons that I stopped hunting for several years was because of the massive invasion of hunters during the general firearm seasons. In many ways hunting during the firearm season became less and less about pursuing game and more and more about evading other hunters. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to set out and hunt literally thousands of acres during the archery season without seeing another soul. These same landscapes are often littered with the orange glow of hunters during firearm seasons. Maybe you have not started bowhunting yet, or maybe you have been doing it for longer than I have been alive, it does not matter – what really matters is that you realize what great opportunities we have to bowhunt and that you get out there and Bowhunt America. BA

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself how or why you became a bowhunter? I do. I am a bowhunter, I know that much, but I still find the answer difficult to narrow down without sounding like a rambling mess. I learned about the Wisconsin Archery Season in September of 1994. It was all news to me. I was the daughter of a Wisconsin rifle hunter, not a Wisconsin bowhunter. My dad was a proud member of the blaze orange army every November. Hunting did not exist prior to that 9-day season in my family. Who knew you could get into the woods earlier with a bow? Who knew you could do so without blaze

orange bibs and hats? There were so many things I did not know…so many things to learn. My husband Scott was now my mentor. I only carried bug spray, a bottle of water, and a book into the woods that first season. I did not own a bow. Honestly, I had yet to even shoot one. Of course, I did not own camouflage clothing either! As we ventured into the woods, I was instantly struck by its beauty. Every time we went out I would notice things I did not notice before. I began to grow an appreciation for the variation of colors on the trees, the critters that would move through the woods in broad daylight, and the sounds of the

woods. Yes, the sounds of the woods! I always thought they were silent, but soon learned they had a voice. I became one with that voice, as I listened to everything around me. The sounds consumed me. With the spirit of the woods in my veins, I found myself wanting more. I needed to shoot a bow. It was the next step in my evolution of becoming a hunter. Initially my mind was flooded with doubt and fear - totally normal when experiencing something new. What if I cannot draw back? What if I dry fire? I heard that was not good to do. But my biggest fear was snapping myself with the string! I had seen the bruises and heard the small yelps of

pain when one is snapped. It did not look good or sound pretty. Even with the arm guard I knew I could still be the next possible victim of the string‟s sting. Holding the bow in my hands for the first time felt like coming home. It just felt right, no awkwardness, it was complete comfort. Yet, as I looked it over I could hear the voices in my head rattling through those aforementioned fears. I could hear them as I shot my first arrows. I did not hit inside the 12-ring, but I did hit the target. It was a start and I was ecstatic. So I practiced. Each time I picked up the bow I realized the voices were starting to subside. I truly was transforming. I had come to understand the core of bowhunting and the reason so many hunters fall in love with the sport. When you are shooting a bow you silence your mind. Any thought you have weighing on your mind, disappears. You naturally focus on merging with the bow. It is a blessing to be able to go out and enjoy the sprit of the woods, to be able to have the

opportunity to hunt. It is success to be able to see your prey while out in the woods, even if you do not have a shot.

I released the arrow, held my breath, and watched it reach its mark. I had connected. I HAD CONNECTED! It is a bonus to be able to shoot, connect with, and harvest your prey. Experiencing the harvest of an animal with your bow is exhilarating. Harvesting my first doe is a memory I will never forget. It was September 2004 and I was sitting in a ground blind with our ten-yearold son, shaking with “deer fever” as we observed a doe standing 20 yards in front of us. I remember drawing, looking

through the peep, and adjusting for what I hoped would be perfect shot placement. I tried to keep my breath steady to avoid upsetting the shot. All of the practice, all of the education from Scott, everything I had learned over time was connecting with me at that very moment. My bow was telling me I was ready. I released the arrow, held my breath, and watched it reach its mark. I had connected. I HAD CONNECTED! I still remember the excitement in my voice as we called Scott and our eight-yearold daughter. I had shot my first deer and I did it with my bow! Giving my mind to my bow is a must. My accuracy and enjoyment shooting is solely dependent on my ability to give my mind to my bow. Time with my bow means time dedicated to the woods or to the range, time to appreciate the beauty of all of God‟s work, time to forget about the daily stress, and time to allow me to just be me, a huntress. BA

About the Author: Michelle Thryselius is a proud mom of 2, wife, Outdoor author, Pro Staff Member of Storm Dog Outdoors and a Huntographer. To learn more, follow her Twitter @sdo_mlt

David L. Samuel shares an excerpt from Nightwolf: A Novel. A thriller that is set in locales such as Alabama, Tennessee, and Canada; it chronicles the life of Daniel Correll as he suffers through the pain of losing his mother and moves in with his Uncle Dave. Dave teaches Daniel how to hunt with a bow and Danielâ€&#x;s life changes‌especially when Daniel goes after caribou in Labrador. David lives in middle Tennessee with his wife and daughter. Throughout his adult life, he has been an avid reader of fiction. He began writing novels, novellas and short stories over twenty years ago. Nightwolf: A Novel can be purchased through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Clicking on the book cover to the left will take you to the store.

They awoke to a breakfast of French toast, bacon, and sausage. They were each given a giant mug of steaming coffee, and Dave noted that there was no sugar or cream used to pollute the stout java. They all ate well, but tried not to overeat because they didn't want to be slowed during the day's adventure. They stepped out into the morning sunshine and took in the scenery. The air was cool, and smelled wonderfully clean. The cabin was utterly isolated in this vast open territory. There were no other signs of human habitation for as far as the eye could see.

The morning sun was quickly burning through a light haze, and the air seemed to be charged with electricity in the areas where the sun broke through and struck the earth. They were all in light camouflage jackets and had their backpacks. They got their bows and loaded them into the boat docked at the bank of the river. Cody told them they would travel down river a few miles and then make their way to an area where a large caribou herd had been spotted the day before. Al, Dave, Cody, and Danny all climbed into the boat and began the trip down river. They didn't talk much--they all

seemed in awe of their surroundings. Even Cody, who was up here year around, seemed taken with the sights and sounds of this fine day. The river seemed more like a lake than a river to Danny. It was vast, and on the surface appeared calm. But he was aware that beneath the surface a strong current flowed. Cody suddenly steered the boat toward the shore. The land rose from the bank on a low, rocky incline. Cody brought the boat in at a spot that was bare of rock and Danny heard the bottom of the boat slide against the soft earth as it came to a stop.

They stepped out and all four of them took hold and pulled the boat further out of the water so that it was soundly beached. They collected their gear and huddled a few yards from the boat. "Okay," Cody said, almost in a whisper. "The spot I've got in mind is about two miles from here. We're gonna walk single file. I don't want you looking around--just focus on me. Try to make as little noise as possible, and no talking." They all nodded. Cody led the way with Dave, Al, and Danny following in single file. They made their way across the low rocky incline. It descended into a heavy growth of willows and alders. They moved in silence, occasionally stopping so that Cody could look and listen. A half-hour later they came out of the heavier growth and climbed a steeper incline. The rocky slope was covered with lichen, which Cody said was the caribou's main food source. When they reached the top of the ridge, Danny saw vast, open territory ahead. There were hazy mountains in the distance, but below them was open, lichen-covered terrain.

Cody dropped to one knee, as did the others, and peered through his binoculars for a long minute. He put the binoculars down and said, "There's three bulls moving this way." He pointed, but none of the others could see

gonna make my way around this bend and have a look. You wanna come with me, Dave?" "Sure," Dave said. "Dad, you and Danny stay here and we'll be back in a few minutes." "And keep your eye on that thicket down there," Cody said. "Those bulls won't stay “Remember that a caribou there long because of the flies." Al and Danny nodded is a bigger animal than and then watched them the whitetails we've been make their way around the bend and disappear. Al hunting in Alabama. It's looked at Danny, "I bet that's where the rest of easy to get kinda... them are. Those three bulls awestruck, when you see wouldn't travel too far from the herd." They sat silently for a one up close. Be sure and few minutes and then Al keep your bow ready all said, “Remember that a caribou is a bigger animal the time." than the whitetails we've been hunting in Alabama. It's easy to get the animals without using kinda...awestruck, when you binoculars. "We'll wait here for see one up close. Be sure and now. Try to keep movement to keep your bow ready all the a minimum and keep your eyes time." open for the rest of the group." Danny lifted the bow off his They spent the next hour lap. He remembered that was studying the landscape. Cody one of the first things that Al checked on the position of the had taught him when he went bulls every few minutes, and on his first hunt, and was noted that while they were surprised that Al didn't get moving toward them, their angry with him when he saw progress was very slow. "The that he had the bow across his rest of the group has got to be lap. But Danny supposed that it around here somewhere. I'm

would be hard to get angry out here. The incredible beauty of their surroundings was too profound. When Cody and Dave had not returned after twenty minutes, Al said, "I'm gonna walk around the bend a little ways and see if I can see them. They may have stumbled upon the herd and not be able to move. I'll be back in about ten minutes. Just sit tight." "Okay," Danny whispered. He was actually glad that Al was going off because he liked the idea of sitting here on this ridge in the middle of this majestic, almost magical land. When Al was gone from sight, Danny returned the bow to his lap and looked out into the distance. He would be content to sit here in the good silence and clean air and just take in the beauty.

He still couldn't see the bulls without his binoculars, and thought Al was probably right about the rest of the herd. Why else would they have been gone this long? Danny's thoughts shifted to when he had first gone to live with Uncle Dave and Aunt Connie. He had come so far in a short time. Life was strange. He would have never believed in a million years that he would be lucky enough to go on a trip like this when he was living with his mother in that tiny Knoxville apartment. The biggest reason would have been because he would have been too frightened. Gone was that timid, shy boy. He felt proud of himself for how he had changed. The world was a mystery and an adventure. He thought of Ronnie and how much he wished that Ronnie David L. Samuel has masterfully woven the outdoors and hunting into two great books. These books are great to read from the tree stand, or in the comfort of your home. Events unfold that lead the others to believe they are being deliberately isolated for some unknown reason in The Guilty. Woven into the story of Daniel Correll, in Nightwolf the reader experiences the thrill of the hunt through Dan's eyes in Labrador as he stalks caribou; in Alabama as he hunts whitetail deer; and as he hunts the ultimate prey: Man.

could see this place. And then thought of how many hundreds...millions of people lived their lives without ever experiencing the sensation of being surrounded by scenery such as this. There was movement behind him. Danny went rigid. His first thought was that the caribou had circled around the ridge and were coming up behind him. And here he was with his bow across his lap, not able to do a damn thing. He could hear the animal coming closer behind him. He was thinking about how he might be able to raise and draw the bow and turn--all in one motion--and maybe have a shot before the animals scattered, but then he heard something that sent a spike of fear to his very soul: a low, rumbling growl. BA

Aim low. Not exactly the phrase you want to use when teaching kids how to be successful in something. It is true, if you set your goals low enough then it is easier to meet your meaning of what success is. However, aiming low in bowfishing is a must. I found joy in shooting at fish as a way to lengthen my bow season. I also found bowfishing is a great way for youth to experience the flight of an arrow. Both my oldest son and my daughter experienced their first take with a string attached to an arrow. Bowfishing mainly consists of going after „trash‟ fish such as gar or carp. It combines that thrill of the fight that have anglers hooked to their sport of choice, as well as the sight of the flight as the arrow seems to soar in slow motion toward its mark. Bowfishing teaches skills such as instinctive shooting, a bit of stealth, and what I call „hunter‟s vision.‟ This is the ability to see all the surroundings, much like the predator see‟s the prey so the predator can make its approach. These skills are necessary for a bowhunter as he graduates to hunting larger game that are wound so tight they will take

off with the slightest scent or noise. The main issue with bowfishing is compensating for the refraction of the water. As light shines through the water

onto the fish, it is bent. This results in the fish being in a different spot than what the eye interprets. The deeper the fish, the lower you must aim. My daughter, in her attempt to get her first animal by a bow, shot well over 100 times. We found a large creek where sucker fish spawn annually. The spawn is as close to watching salmon swim upstream in the raging waters of Alaska as you can find in the Southeastern United States. The spawn usually lasts for one week during the later part of March. I religiously carried her and my son, as well as several of their friends and cousins during the week. Many were introduced to the bow for the first time, and all want to be sure to go with me during the next run. After many, many misses, I carried her to the creek one morning before school. I told her it was likely the last time we would see them as the night before the numbers

were already dwindling. One shot. That was all we would have time for. She needed to make it count. She showed no anxiety, just pure thrill in the fact that she would be able to try one more time. As we walked down to the edge of the water, I saw a good size fish about ten feet out. She looked hard for a few seconds and drew back the bow. THWING! The arrow set sail and splashed into the water. She paused, and after a few moments, likely the length of a deep breath, the line took off. She had hit her mark. We both worked on pulling the line back in and once the fish was on shore, she broke out in a smile. Bowfishing is now embedded in her. Just as bowfishing is embedded in my son. And just as bowfishing is embedded in me. Bowfishing has gained in popularity over the last few years. Many states are starting to keep up with records. My son held a state record until this last year, and my daughterâ€&#x;s first fish happens to be a state record for a female. Guides and outfitters now specialize in

bowfishing excursions that bring in monsters such as alligator gar and stingrays. While it is not a fish, the same rigging is used for what was one of my dream hunts. This last year I was able to go after the American Alligator in Georgia. Picture two guys in a boat in the middle of the night, with nothing more than their bows, an electric motor, and headlights. Headlights that fit on your head, not the ones attached to a car. My goal was to bring in one of these beasts with nothing more than a bow. While many will use treble hooks in order to snag the gator for location purposes, then after shooting the gator with a bowfishing arrow with a float attached, will dispatch the gator with a boom stick or pistol, I wanted it to be a bow hunt only. This meant I we had to stalk the gator by boat to a range I could make the shot and then dispatch the gator by drilling a broadhead through the spine. We would set drift with the electric motor and then coast into range. We would dim our headlights so not to spook the gator causing it to drop under water and swim off. After

several attempts, the second night brought me in range on a 6 foot gator which was the largest we had seen. I was content in making this my trophy. We made the coast up to the gator, and instead of going in broadside, I motioned to my hunting partner to make a run behind the gator. This enabled me to have his body, which was sitting in the water at about a 45 degree angle, offer the most area for the shot. If I was high or low, I should find some part of his body as long as I was in line. The technique proved true and after a strong fight we tired him out and pulled him beside the boat. I was then able to shoot a second arrow, this one tipped with the deadly cut of a broadhead, directly behind his skull. Within minutes he was lifeless. In order to be a complete hunter, one that learns and has knowledge of all types of game, I took up bowfishing. I have passed knowledge to my kids. I have taught my kids to appreciate hunting with a bow. All because I taught them to aim low. BA

It began with a longbow; one that had belonged to my great grandfather to be exact. I was 11, and knew nothing about bowhunting, or archery for that matter. My mom took me to a local pro shop called Loveâ€&#x;s Archery in nearby Fort Smith, Arkansas to see about having them string it for me, and possibly show me how to shoot it. After speaking with the man behind the counter, he explained that it was unsafe to shoot due to its age. He then showed me a bow from the rack, and explained that one would be great for a beginner, and suggested that we should wall mount the longbow. I took his advice, and still have it hanging today. In the beginning, bowhunting seemed to be a rite of passage for a young country boy, and it just made sense that I would begin with the long bow that belonged to my grandfather since it was a family heirloom. Through my teens bowhunting was camaraderie with my friends to see who could get the first deer, the biggest turkey, or who could Robin Hood an arrow.

Now, at age 37, married with two boys, the reason I bowhunt seems to have changed several times, and is still evolving. I am still trying to find the answer. Besides my family and faith, the one constant in my life, is a desire and passion for the outdoors. Archery is a passion that I share with my family when I am not competing in BASS tournaments or managing our 3D range. My two sons are very active archers and seem to have the same passion as I do. I am proud to have passed the torch. So, why bowhunt? The answer may continue to change as I get older, but for now, as it has been in the past, it is the total and complete rush. It is about the hunt, not the kill. Understanding that stealth comes before accuracy, and accuracy is just as important as stealth. Bottom line, bow hunting is a ballet of organized chaos. That moment when you draw an arrow to anchor, your heart is about to jump out of your chest, your hands are trembling with anxiety, and you have to remember to breathe. The release, then THWACK!

Each year, as summer begins its decent into autumn, the hunterâ€&#x;s focus is on the woods, where we have been planning strategy for months, preparing and practicing our skill, and waiting for that one moment. Bowhunting to me is about getting close and a passion that has no end. I have always believed that bowhunters give the game they chase an advantage, and I think that is where the true answer for me lies. In order to maintain that advantage, you have to be close. Whether you are in a tree stand, a stalk, or in a blind, a bowhunter has to put himself in a position to make a clean and ethical shot. So to answer the question; I bowhunt because I feel it draws (pardon the pun) on my soul, the call of the woods or in the backyard with my sons. I feel the accomplishment of time well spent preparing for the unknown, as well as the known. It boils down the moment that arrow releases, and the exhilaration that follows. That brings me to the question: Why do you bowhunt? BA

About the Author: Native to Arkansas, Jason Baggett is a semi-pro B.A.S.S. angler, inspirational speaker, and owner of a 3D archery range. Through answered prayers, and open doors, he is a fulltime outdoorsman that understands the difficulties and rewards to chasing dreams. Jason uses his personal website, Jason Baggett, Faith, Family & Outdoors to blog about topics that encompasses his passions and desires.

How to Make a DIY Arrow Spin Tester By Timothy


There is one archery fact that even people who have never shot a bow know. Your arrows must be straight. If they are not, you will never shoot accurately. This was a big problem back when arrow shafts were made by hand. Now most arrow shafts are constructed in a factory and are made out of either aluminum or carbon fiber. They are supposed to come from the factory straight as, well, an arrow. However, this is not always the case. It is not uncommon to get an arrow slightly bent. Let‟s not forget that most archers do not always hit their intended target. Ever miss your target and hit a rock? How straight is that arrow now? Every archer needs to be able to test his arrows for straightness. The best way to do this is with a spin test. You can buy an expensive arrow spin tester, but it is not necessary. You can make your own for about ten dollars and only about ten minutes of your time. Most of the materials you need can be found at any hardware store, although one piece you may need to order. You will need the following things:  1 -¾” board at least 18” long and 1” wide. Longer, wider, and thicker is OK.  4 - L brackets. Any size will do, although purchase the thinnest ones you can find.  4 - #10 bolts. They must be at least ½ inch long.  4 - #10 nuts.  4 - #10 lock washers.  4 - ¾” wood screws. These will probably come bundled with your L brackets.

 4 ball bearings. I purchased 6mm x 15mm x 5mm, although a slightly larger size would make things easier.

improvement stores carry them also. Just search for ball bearings and you will find tons of them. The only tool you will need is a Phillips screwdriver, although a cordless drill will make the build go faster.

Ball bearings can be hard to find. I purchased mine on Ebay for $6, including shipping. Some home

1-First, bolt the ball bearings to the L brackets, one ball bearing for each L bracket. Thread the bolt in this order: ball bearing, lock washer, L bolt, nut. The lock washer is acting like a spacer between the ball bearing and L bolt.

This keeps the ball bearing from binding.

screw. Lining it to the edge of the board ensures that it is parallel.

Figure 1

arrow placed between them will rest on the ball bearings, but not touch the L brackets. Once it is in place, screw the second L bolt down. Figure 3

Figure 2

2-Next, on one end of the board, line one of the L bolts up to the edge of the board and screw it down with a wood

3-Place a second L bolt next to the one you just screwed down. Position it so that an

4-Repeat this process on the other end of the board with the remaining two L brackets.

Thatâ€&#x;s all there is to it! Place an arrow on the ball bearings and give it a spin. If there is any wobble then the arrow is not straight. BA

About the Author: Tim is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He writes about his adventures in his blog, The Unlucky Hunter.

By Britanny Sozak If you are searching for tips on finding a recreational land loan in order to make a purchase on your dream hunting land, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First of all, the property you intend to buy should be clear of any liens or back taxes. These issues, if there are any, are typically discovered during the closing process. You shouldn't let it get to that point, however. If there are issues affecting the deed, the bank will most likely not want to lend money to you for the property. This can result in a rejection of the loan, which can subsequently make it more difficult to obtain a loan elsewhere. Though other lenders cannot actually see that you have been rejected for loans in the past, they can tell if there was an inquiry into your credit history recently. Any bank which is going to loan money for a recreational land purchase is going to want you to have a favorable debt-toincome ratio. This basically means that the amount of debts you have should not be greater

than 40 percent of your income before taxes are deducted. Some banks take this requirement a step further and move this percentage down to 30 percent or less. The more income you have left over after your other bills have been paid, the more you are able to dedicate to your loan payment. There are a few options for such a loan opportunity. The best thing to do is contact different banks and find out what the payment terms are for their loans. If you are able to make a higher payment, you might want to consider getting a short loan. You would be paying less in interest over

time, but your monthly payments would be more expensive. If you choose to get a longer loan term and have lower payments, you should be aware that you would pay more interest over the years. Some borrowers are so happy prospective loan payment that they do not think much about how much money they are actually depending on interest over the duration of their loan. When looking for banks to apply for loans with, check their websites for information regarding interest rates. This should be posted prominently on the home page, since this is one of the most common pieces

of data that potential loan customers are trying to find out. Since residential land is an asset, you would be making a wise investment getting a loan for it. Make sure that you do

the right amount of research and get a good loan, however. You do not want to spend years making payments that you know have a high interest rate associated with them. Once you

get a loan, there might also be a prepayment penalty if you attempt to pay it off early when you want to try to refinance to a different loan. BA

About the Author: Brittany Sozak is a contributing blogger and web writer for the recreational land loan and vacant land loan specialists at Greenstone Farm Credit Services. Brittany has several years of experience writing for a variety of real estate clients from the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest. Brittany Sozak can be reached at 877-204-0234 or

By Bill Howard So, here I am, 4:26pm on a Sunday, sitting a climbing stand on the edge of the woods. Typing on a netbook. Crazy right? Well, I should have about an hour before the first deer sneaks her way out of the darkened tree canopy and finds her way into shooting range for my quick and silent compound bow.

The reason I am working on this now is twofold. One, I need to get this product review done, and two; this is the

perfect time to write about what is going on with this particular hunt. GPS systems became a great tool for the outdoors person several years ago. Utilizing the array of satellites put in orbit by the government in order to help one find his position globally protected the hiker, hunter, or fisher from getting lost. They developed

from a display showing longitude and latitude so you could find yourself on a map, to displaying satellite and terrain images. Along the way, the more bells and whistles the GPS system had, the more expensive the unit would cost. Downloadable maps, some ranging several hundred dollars in cost, were neat features, but unless you were a diehard outdoorsman that traveled to exotic and unfamiliar locations, they were questionable as to whether they were worth it. Now I like to have the tools necessary for me to be successful and safe, but I do not want to carry around a small armyâ€&#x;s worth of supplies on my excursions. With the GPS functions of the current smart phones, I quickly adapted to several applications available on it instead of carrying around excessive amounts of electronics. Free mapping and weather programs were great, as I could not only pinpoint my location, but I could see weather as it developed so as not to get caught off guard on an approaching rain shower or storm. A couple of months ago, I was offered the opportunity to test and review a website and smart phone application called ScoutLookWeather. It seemed

interesting enough, so I agreed. Before downloading it on my Android based phone, I checked the website: The website was easy enough to get a grasp of without a lot of instruction. After the download, the application worked the same way as the website. Also, I noticed it had immediately synced between the website and the phone application.

Doe approaching the stand.

After checking the app, according to my scent cone (a green cone that indicates where your scent will travel based on current conditions) I should hunt the northern stand on the property. My scent would travel right into the path the deer usually take to the field from the southern stand. So, that is where I am hunting.

(LONG PAUSE AS THE HUNT TIME BEGINS, THEN FAST FORWARD) Sure enough, I had a deer come out to my left about 6pm. After the deer paused and offered a broadside shot just 15 yards from the stand, I released the arrow for the kill. While waiting in the stand, 10 minutes later 3 more deer came out to my right but came no closer than 40 yards from the stand. I also noticed looking back at the southern stand, several deer in the field where I expected them to come out also. If I had hunted the southern stand, those deer would likely have caught my scent in the slight breeze. While the shot was true, the deer retreated hard into the woods. I had a hard time finding bloodshed, but after a 20 minute or so search, I spotted small drops of blood. The track was on. I used the way marker feature on the ScoutLook app, using the GPS from the phone to indicate the blood trail. I proceeded to do this each time I lost the trail so I would have a reference point to come back to. This was extremely handy as I was in the thick brush and swamp, and light was non-existent except from my LED Lenser headlamp. After following the

trail approximately 150 yards, I lost the blood. It was now around 9pm and I was crawling on all fours in order to track the blood I did find for the last 30 minutes. I decided to resume the search in the morning, as the shadows from the brush limited my site lines. Using the satellite imagery feature of ScoutLook, I made my way back out. If not for that, this could have easily been one of those cases where the hunter gets stuck in the woods overnight. Again, limited vision, a low concealing canopy of trees, and not so much as a single star shining through offered no help in keeping my bearings. The next day, I worked my way back into the woods, following the blood trail markers I had placed on ScoutLook. This worked well, and I found the trail I needed to find. After a couple of more hours, I finally found the deer. This would never have taken place if I had not used ScoutLook for way markers the evening before. ScoutLook is not only good for the application I tested it for, but it offers a set-up style map for waterfowl hunting, it can be used for hiking and other outdoor activities, it has a drift-point for fishing, and even

has a golf mode to help with wind direction on the links. It provides a cache for photos while in the outdoors, and it will have a log book style feature in the future (according to the website).

only thing I could not test, and could not find a direct answer on, was if ScoutLook will save your location maps in areas where only GPS (no cellular) service worked on the smart phone. I know it will save your markers, just not sure if the maps must download through the cell service each time. I will continue to use ScoutLook and I look forward to using the log book feature in the future. BA Continued from page 6

From the Editor: Blood trail markers

One feature I did not have to use on ScoutLook is a radar map of your area. This is great for when inclement weather is in the forecast. It will allow you the opportunity to enjoy your activity until the very last moment. Overall, ScoutLook appears to be a winner. ScoutLook is easy to use and figure out how to use (no manual-just help screens), is cheap ($1.99 over Android Marketplace, but is available on IOS also), and syncs automatically with the regular website so you can check your locations online and on your phone. Again, $1.99 for what some GPS systems would charge $199.00 for. The

In each issue we will have stories that are of your interest. We have assembled a good sized quarry of writers specializing in various aspects of bowhunting. We have separated the stories based on Traditional, Compounds, Bowfishing, Women Bowhunters, Target Archery, Bowhunting Life, Do-ItYourself and How-To, and even wild game recipes. We want you to have a tie to some aspect of this magazine each and every issue. Again, our goal for this issue was to get the answer to why you and I bowhunt. The mission for the magazine is to share why you and I bowhunt. We want this to be more than a hunting magazine; we want this to be BowAmerica. BA

Bogs Footwear is considered a leader in quality boots. For this reason, when they contacted me to do a review on a set, I jumped at the chance. Being from North Carolina, my hunting areas offer plenty of opportunities for human/snake encounters. Based on that, the Bogs Copperhead snake boots were the logical choice. Since this is a rubber boot, I felt this would be a good boot to deer hunt in. Rubber boots do not carry scent preventing the chance to leave my human odor on the trail to the tree stand. With the snake boot quality, I was hoping this would also work well for turkey hunting in the spring as well. According to Bogs, the Copperhead boot “offers a perfect fit that doesn't need breaking in.” So, I might as well take their word on it! I looked over the boots when they arrived at the house, but I did not even remove the cardboard liners from the inside. I wanted to hike in them from scratch. I woke up around 4am, took a shower, and then began dressing for the hunt. Sliding

my feet in the boot kind of reminded me of Iron Man. There is a long zipper in the back of the boot with a folded rubber liner. When my foot got past the snake lining, it „locked‟ into place. I was quite surprised at the light weight of the boot. Once zipped up, the boot seemed much lighter than just holding them in my hands. The real test would come in about 30 minutes. I drove with the boots on and I could tell there was limited movement in the ankle area. This was expected, after all, it is a snake boot.

Once at the entrance to the field, I grabbed my pack and bow and commenced to hike. After only a hundred yards or so, I could feel some fatigue

already on my right foot and ankle. My left ankle, however, was doing well. A little history; my left ankle was broken while in college while playing basketball. I made a steal on the opposition but as I headed in the other direction, my left ankle stepped on the side of his foot, rolling it completely over. From this injury, I have chronic pain and occasionally develop a limp. The support from the hard snake lining in the boot actually helped in this case. I rested a couple of minutes and thought about what was going on. I step differently with my left than I do my right, so I adjusted my walk. Problem solved! I proceeded to hike about a mile in to the stand with no leg, ankle or foot fatigue. They were actually quite comfortable for the hike after I adjusted my steps. It was a chilly morning (low in the mid 30s) and the 5mm of combined Neo-Tech and Airmesh insulation provided plenty of warmth. I did not test them in water, but this is a rubber boot and that is what they are made for. I have no

doubt they would handle the water well. The construction of this boot is noticeable from the moment you open the box, through the process of pulling the boot on, and to point where the boot is worn. They are advertised as not having to be broken in, and in my case the advertising was dead on. The comfort exceeded my hiking boots and the rubber shell does not carry scent. The

boot contains a 400 snakeguard for puncture protection and security when walking through snake infested waters or lands. The Bogs Copperhead snake boot lists at $190.00. I spent half that on a nice pair of 9mm chest waders. I have snake chaps that I may have spent $40 on. The point I am making here is they are expensive and I am a little cheap in regards to clothing and shoes. But...yes,

there is a but‌THESE BOOTS MAY BE THE HIGHEST QUALITY PRODUCT I HAVE REVIEWED. I am overly impressed. Bogs has made a believer out of me, and I can see myself paying this much for this same boot in the future if circumstances dictate it. They are worth it. BA

Special thanks to all that helped in this inaugural issue of BowAmerica.

Please visit

their websites and blogs between issues for more great stories, pictures, and information. Life and Longbows BowhuntQuest Scent Free Lip Gloss Bow Meets Girl SoCal Bowhunter LH Custom Archery Sole Adventure

Jason Baggett Bill Howard’s Outdoors Wild Kitchen Storm Dog Outdoors The Will To Hunt David L Samuel The Unlucky Hunter


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BowAmerica January 2012  

The e-Magazine for Bowhunters. BowAmerica asked bowhunters across the nation why they bowhunt and how it has influenced them. Book excerpt f...

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