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Contributing Writers

BowAmerica The e-Magazine for Bowhunters

Emily Anderson Bernie Barringer Tony Catalde

A monthly online publication. Publisher/Editor BillHoward Contributing Editor

Bill Howard Mark Huelsing Will Jenkins

BritneyStarr Art and Cover Design AlbertQuackenbush Advertising/Marketing BillHoward

Darren Johnson Amanda MacDonald

Circulation BillHoward

Albert Quackenbush Ryan Shoemaker Britney Starr

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

Gretchen Steele

BillHowardOutdoors@gmail.com

Nick Viau

BowAmerica is a Bill Howard Outdoors Publication.

Tony West

Any reproduction of copy or images without prior permission from BowAmerica or its contributors is strictly forbidden. ŠBowAmerica 2012


COMPOUND Dream Hunt Collaboration 16 - The 4 S’s MarkHuelsing

19 – Get Fit for the Dream AlbertQuackenbush

21 – Do It Yourself! RyanShoemaker

24 – Research From Afar TonyCatalde

26 – Pick the Draw EmilyAnderson

31 – How to Pick a Guide/Outfitter TonyWest

TRADITIONAL 45 – Traditional Gear Review: Rasher Custom Quivers NickViau

BOWFISHING 35 – Prep Your Gear! Bowfishing is Near! GretchenSteele

On the Cover: Michele Leqve, first female bowhunter to take polar bear. Michele Leqve This page: Bison by bow. Bill Howard w


WOMEN IN BOWHUNTING Trials, Trails, and Trophy - 8 BernieBarringer

TARGET NFAA World Archery Festival - 51 AmandaMacDonald

BOWHUNTING LIFE Archer’s Shoulder: Part 2 - 33 WillJenkins

WILD KITCHEN Camp Dog’s Catfish Courtbouillon - 38

PapaScott

Spicy Buffalo Sauerbraten - 49 WildKitchen.net

HABITAT & GAME MANAGEMENT Habitat Management - 47 DarrenJohnson

PREVIEW Badlands Clothing - 41 RyanShoemaker


The trophy shows are in full swing throughout America. What better time to discuss how to plan and do your dream hunts! As you walk down the aisles of the shows, looking at the different mounts and pictures of exotic game animals in exotic locales, you feel that urge. But your brain tells you it is nothing but a dream. Well, our staff with BowAmerica will hopefully fuel that fire within you and set you on course for that once in a lifetime hunt. On the table of contents page, you see a bison I took by bow. That was the first big game animal I ever harvested with archery equipment. Through practice, determination, and research I was able to make not only a dream come true, but I was also able to do it with equipment that I would come to love to use. That made the hunt even more special. We changed up the way the articles would flow this month, figuring the both the traditional and compound archers would need the same information on planning and executing that dream hunt. So you will see a section on dream hunts, with 6 different authors. They share information on how they are planning their dream hunts in order to show you how to plan yours. But, leading off, is a story you MUST read! Bernie Barringer of BowHuntingRoad.com shares Michele Leqve‘s quest for the largest bear in the world. Not only is it the largest bear, but the hunt must be taken in the harshest conditions. I spoke with Michele by phone while planning this issue and her story really is remarkable. She shows the essence of dedication to a dream as well as stick-to-itiveness. Despite hurdles along the way, Michele and her husband Jim stayed the path, and the result was extraordinary. Other stories include Part 2 on Archer‘s Shoulder by Will Jenkins. Last month he laid the basic biology behind the shoulder and muscles and how they work together. This month he gets a little more specific on how archer‘s shoulder and rotator cuff injuries may come about. We have a preview of Badlands new clothing line, and for you traditional archers, a review of Rasher Quivers. We also have Gretchen Steele joining us reminding us that bowfishing season is right around the corner, so you had better get that equipment ready! Amanda MacDonald covers our target and competition shooters with her experience from Vegas. You know the saying, ‗what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas‘. Well Amanda did not listen and brings the NFAA World Archery Festival to you here in BowAmerica magazine. Darren Johnson continues his now monthly column on habitat management. If you are planning on managing your own land for optimum hunting experiences, this column will become a must read each month. Darren does a great job of explaining the little things that most will not think of while not getting too technical. If you missed last month‘s first installment of Habitat Management, be sure to read it and print it, and do the same with this issue and future issues.


Speaking of printing it, you can download the magazine into a pdf file and print the articles you want to save and refer back to at anytime. Of course, our past issues will remain online as well at BowAmerica.com. There will be a short description of what is in each issue for you to refer back to. Now, go out there, set the goals, and make those dreams a reality! BA

The e-Magazine for Bowhunters BowAmerica Association and Business Program BowAmerica can help keep your members and customers involved each month with our Association and Business Program. We produce our national online magazine and then format the front for your group. You can use up to 8 pages for ads, messages, calendar of events, and/or member/customer photo gallery. Then on the 5th of each month, the magazine can either be sent to your group by BowAmerica or we can email the link to you for you to forward to your email list. If we send out the magazine for you, your email list will remain secure and not be shared, sold, or ‘rented’ to any other company or individual. We will also include a banner at the bottom of the cover displaying your association or business. BowAmerica will also place links on your facebook, Google+, or twitter pages as well. If you produce your own quarterly newsletter or magazine, we can incorporate it into BowAmerica so you will have an online version as well as any print versions you produce yourself AT NO ADDITIONAL COST. For less than the cost of a small advertisement in a local newspaper, BowAmerica offers you a chance to sell ad space for your association for additional income each month, or if you are a business, a chance to showcase specials and events and have the opportunity for any coop monies offered by various manufacturers and vendors. Contact Bill Howard today to sign up so you can start right away at 252-205-7681 or by email atBillHowardOutdoors@gmail.com . We are happy to answer any questions you may have as well.


The polar bear is the largest carnivore on the planet. A lot of bears have a bad reputation, and certainly all of them could kill you and eat you; though cases of such are rare. This is not the case with the polar bear, however. More people have been killed and eaten by polar bears than any other bear. This monstrous bear, commonly weighing over half a ton, spends its life roaming the vast wastelands of the north and the frozen sea ice looking for food. And anything that moves, it sees as food. That includes people. A lot of big game animals have a reputation for being dangerous. The polar bear has the goods. So what would cause a woman to want to go out onto the frozen sea ice near the North Pole and try to shoot one with a bow and arrow? ―It‘s all about the adventure,‖ says Michele Leqve. The whole thing is so dramatic, she says; so difficult, and so surrounded by amazing sights and amazing people. She fell in love with the Inuit people, and gained a lot of respect for their everyday lives. But before we get too far into this, let‘s begin at the beginning. Michele is a very accomplished archer and has taken more than a dozen species of big game animals with her Mathews bow. She has bagged several remarkable specimens that qualify for the Pope & Young record book. This flight attendant became hooked on archery when her husband introduced her to it. To say she fell and fell hard would be an understatement… she‘s got it bad. She loves her bear hunting, and has taken several with a bow, so it was not a big leap to start thinking about the largest and most dangerous bear of all. When she discovered that there was no record of a woman ever killing a polar bear with a bow, the seed was planted. Over the next few months and years, it would take root and grow until it would not be denied. Michele and Jim Leqve are not wealthy people. They work hard and prioritize their hunting; and they are comfortable, but a polar

bear hunt can cost between $30,000 and $50,000. They had to figure out a way to pull it off, and they did. They booked the hunt through Bowhunting Safari Consultants. Jim would go along to film the adventure and shoot photos and Michele would release her arrow, when the time came. But the trip almost didn‘t happen. Michele was a flight attendant at the time for Northwest Airlines. About the time the trip was going to take place, Northwest filed for bankruptcy and Michele‘s future became very uncertain. They considered bagging the whole grand thing, but in the end they decided life was too short to live in fear of the future, and they stayed the course. A hunt like this is not a one-on-one deal. In all about a dozen people from the small town of Pond Inlet contributed to the hunt and most of them were along for the entire trip. This included a family of Inuit that guided them, along with other camp help. Pond Inlet is in Nunavut Territory in North central Canada, but its name is not a fitting description of the area. It is a small town covered in ice almost the entire year, a jumping off point for the northern peoples who spend much of their time out on the sea ice trying to scratch out a living from a very harsh land. From there, Michele and Jim ventured farther north into the barren white. It was mid-April, yet the temperatures were still averaging -30 to -40 during the day. The hardships encountered on such an adventure have to be experienced in order to fully realize how difficult of a task this is. Imagine, as a female, having to go to the bathroom when you are in a flat barren land of white, it is 40 below zero, and you have seven heavy layers of clothing on. And that is just the beginning. Just staying alive and avoiding frostbite is tough enough under these conditions. Plus you eat what they eat, which includes raw fish. Interestingly,


Michele claims it isn‘t that bad… if you are hungry enough. According to the law, you cannot pursue a polar bear with a motorized vehicle. So Michele rode in a large, partially-enclosed dogsled called a ―Kamotik.‖ The dogs pulled it at a pretty good pace, but the support crews rode snowmobiles and they often had to wait for the sled to catch up. They ventured north for a day to where they came to a cabin to spend the night before going out on the sea ice. That‘s when the first storm hit. They were all jammed into that cabin for that day and most of the next. This was a 14-day hunt and time was wasting. Michele and Jim enjoyed talking to the people about their lives, playing games, and watching one of the boys do his school work. One of the guide‘s helpers, Titus, admired Michele‘s Mathews bow. He said he had been looking at one similar to it on eBay! She gave the bow to him before she left and he was thrilled. When the weather broke they were heading out to the north once again. After some long hours banging along in the sled, they stopped to make camp about 5:00 pm. They were about half way through the laborious task of setting up a camp when a friend of the family pulled up on a snowmobile and greeted them. When he discovered that they were polar bear hunting, he offered some great news. He had cut a big bear track not too far back. Suddenly, camp was being broken down in a frenzy, and Michele was amazed that they were going to go after the bear right then, instead of camping for the night. Michele, her guide Omik, and the dogsled took off right away while the rest of the crew would follow with the camp on snow machines as soon as they could get everything together. If she got the bear, the plan was to camp right there where she shot it. Things were about to get a little hairy. They caught up with the bear after about three hours and the sun was getting low in the sky. It

Despite the fact that this was a legal hunt, Michele cannot bring her polar bear hide back into the United States. The US has made it illegal to bring even legally taken bear hides across the border, in part due to politicized global warming hype. Michele has had to endure some criticism from people who do not understand sound wildlife management and have yielded to the fear that the bears are dying off. Nothing could be further from the truth, she says, the bears are abundant as ever and in fact, the natives are harvesting more of them to keep the population in check as pressure from the states is reduced by stricter regulations. Michele‘s bear is mounted and on display in a large sporting goods store in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She is not sure if she will ever be able to bring her bear home, but she doesn‘t dwell on this seeming injustice. She has the memories, the photos, and some amazing video footage to remember it by.

Michele and Jim produced an excellent video of the hunt, and included four bonus hunts of Michele shooting a black bear, a caribou, a whitetail and an elk. It is available at their website: www.bowrusoutdoors.com was a big male; a definite shooter. Days are long that far north in April, but no one wants to be on the ice with the world‘s largest predator after dark, with no camping gear. The rest of the crew was nowhere in sight.


The technique they use to slow the bear down for a shot is to let one of the dogs loose. You could never catch a polar bear on foot, but a dog that knows what he is doing will bring the bear to a standstill by harassing him. By the time the dog had the bear bayed, Omik was expecting Michele to shoot, and indicated so with a sense of urgency. But Michele did not come all this way to shoot a bear without her husband present and filming it! Omik could not understand why she wouldn‘t shoot; there was a communication gap for some very tense moments before the snowmobiles appeared on the horizon. By that time, Omik had turned more dogs loose and they were surrounding the bear, making a shot difficult. It was mass chaos, and this normally nerves-of-steel extreme huntress began to feel like she was going to panic! She got her bow

drawn and tried to settle the pin on the churning mass of dogs and bear. Her shot was a clean miss. Flight attendants are trained to remain calm when emergencies arise. But this was an extreme situation. The bear was moving around, Jim was getting into a position to film the shot, dogs were yammering, the guide was urging her to shoot, and her heart was pounding. Michele forced herself to settle down, and took a deep breath. She calmly sent the second arrow right through the bear‘s heart at 40 yards. Within seconds the bear was lying in a heap. Jim got it all on film; and Michele Leqve was the first female on record to kill the world‘s largest land carnivore with a bow and arrow. No one else can ever make that claim. There was quite a celebration and lots of photo shooting as camp was set up and the bear was dressed. The Inuits use every scrap of the bear including the guts. She has mixed feelings about shooting the bear on the third day of a 14-day hunt. On one hand the hardships were so extreme that it was a blessing. On the other hand, shared hardships create close bonds between people, and the feelings she has for the natives who accompanied her are strong. She would have liked to have more time with them. What other things might she have seen and done if she was out there longer? She may never know. When asked if she would do it again, she was quite adamant. ―Once is enough,‖ she replied. ―I wouldn‘t do it again. It was a once-in a lifetime experience.‖ The income from the polar bear hunts has a remarkable affect on the native people. There are 32 bear tags issued for that large area in most years, and without it, the people would not be able to have the comforts that they have today. And they love the byproducts of a bear hunt too. The day Michele and her crew arrived back in town, there was an announcement on the radio


that a bear had been shot, and the location where people could go to get a share of the bear meat was announced over the air. The natives also know how important the hunt is to the health of the species as a whole. They understand that it is important to keep the numbers of male bears in check because the males kill bear cubs and often eat the females too. Plus, a population of too many bears takes a toll on the seals and other animals that the people depend on for food. There‘s an important balance to be maintained and hunters are a vital part of that balance. Michele is grateful for the opportunity to do this and remains humble about it, despite the fact that she made hunting history. The hardships, and the triumphs, will be etched in her memory forever and no one can take them away from her. She says the one thing that sticks with her most is the constant unknown attached to the adventure.

―I just never knew what to expect or what was going to happen next! It is not like a whitetail hunt where you kind of know what things to look for. This was all new, all the time.‖ BA

Editor’s note: You can purchase the DVD ‘Hunting Nanuq with Xtreme Bowhuntress Michele Leqve’ at www.bowsrusoutdoors.com featuring Michele’s Polar Bear hunt as well as four other trophy hunts.


I knew in the moment, that what I was experiencing was special, but I didn‘t realize at the time just how life changing it would prove to be. We were sitting on the shore of his pond, lazily fishing, but more importantly talking. My Grandpa didn‘t really open up much, especially after my Grandma passed away in a tragic accident years prior. On the exterior he was a hard man, but anyone that knew him well could see that he had a heart of gold. On that day, he talked about the years after her accident and how his life had changed. He realized for the first time just how short life can be; he decided to start living life and pursuing what he had always wanted to do. One of his dreams had always been to hunt elk out west, which was a dream that we had in common. Unfortunately it was too late for him. Years of manual labor, arthritis, and ultimately cancer, kept him from pursuing that dream. Me on the other hand, I was fully capable of making that dream a reality. He told me earnestly and directly to not just dream about that hunt, he told me to make it happen. I can think of dozens of obstacles, circumstances, and situations that could keep my dream hunt from becoming a reality. It is easy to convince myself that I don‘t have enough time, money, or knowledge to pull off this hunt anytime soon. It is easy to dream. It is easy to say ―one day I will make that happen.‖

What if that “one day” never comes? Every hunter has a hunt that they dream of taking one day. Most of us have several. You may dream, as I do, of chasing the mighty bull elk through the Rockies. Maybe you dream of that 30‖ high country mule deer or a record book Midwestern whitetail. Or, maybe you dream of pursuing big game in Alaska, Africa, or even New Zealand. I want you to think long and hard about that dream and ask yourself one question...Do you really want it? I think you can make that dream come true. It may cost you a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of effort, but if you want it bad enough, you can embark on your dream hunt. As I recall my conversations with Grandpa, and think about making our dream a reality, I have realized four things which are helping me make that dream come true. I‘ll call them the ―Four S‘s…

Study, Schedule, Save, and Sweat

Study – Turning your dream hunt into a reality starts with studying. Many don‘t actually know what it will take to pull off the hunt of our dreams. Studying involves getting a concrete grasp of what will be involved on making our dream hunt come true. How much will it cost?


How can I draw the tag? When is the best time to go? What equipment will I need? There are a lot of questions, but thankfully we live in a day and age in which the answers are accessible. The internet contains a vast amount of information in blogs, forums, magazines (ahem), and even state wildlife department websites. In addition to searching online, don‘t overlook picking up the phone. Helpful game officers and conservation agents are usually just a call away. There are a lot of things you probably don‘t know about your dream hunt, but you have no excuse to stay that way. The information is available, but you must study!

mean booking a guide, buying plane tickets, or locking yourself into a specific day. What I mean is setting an honest timeframe of when you can make the hunt happen. Your goal may be one year, or it may be in twenty. The point is, schedule the hunt so you know what you need and how much time you have to get it done. Don‘t keep saying ―one day‖. Instead say, ―In the Fall of 20xx, I will go on this hunt.‖ I decided last fall that I would be hunting elk in the Rockies in two years. I had been studying, and now I set my date. I am well on my way to making my dream hunt a reality. Now I just need to…

Save (and Spend!) – I think the biggest Schedule – Now that you have studied your hunt, you should have a good idea of what it will take to pull it off. The most important thing you can do next is schedule your hunt. No, I don‘t

excuse that most hunters make for not pursuing their dream hunts is the lack of funds. And, quite honestly, that is a legitimate hurdle for the majority of us. I am a young guy with young kids.


I get that money is tight. Saving, just like scheduling, is something that will remain an excuse, unless we choose to do something about it. If I don‘t start saving today, then I will never just have the money for my hunt. That is, unless I win the lottery. In addition to chasing elk in the Rockies, another one of my dream hunts is to pursue Bighorn Sheep with my bow in British Columbia. That will not be a cheap trip by any means. I can keep dreaming, or I can start saving. A little bit here, and a little bit there, will certainly add up to something. It may take me 10, 15, or even 20 years, but I will get there. In addition to saving, one of the best things we can do to make our dream hunts possible is to spend wisely. If you are like me then some of the gear you use now may work for your dream hunt, but some of it may have to be replaced or upgraded. I am filtering every hunting-related purchase I make through the long-term goal of my dream hunt(s). Maybe product X will be fine for my hunting now, but if I would go with product Y I will be much better off in the long run. I don‘t hunt elk yet, but I bought my new bow with backcountry elk hunting in mind. The same can be said of my sight, arrows, backpack, tent, etc. Don‘t just save smart. Spend smart. It is better to buy once.

Sweat – It is going to take a lot of hard work to make your dream hunt come true. It may mean extra hours of work to save the money, or it may mean extra time spent researching and planning. It will also often mean literal buckets of sweat. Most of us dream of chasing elusive game in terrain that we are not adapted to or physically prepared for. If we want to be successful and hunt our quarry in their home turf, then we are going to need to prepare for that physically. We must condition our bodies and raise our hunting and shooting skills to the next level. There isn‘t enough hours in the day, I can agree with you on that one. But, if you really want to make your dream hunt come true then you are going to need to find the time – maybe even skip some sleep. I am squeezing every extra minute I can to train myself physically, prepare myself mentally, and learn as much as I can about the animals I am after, and the terrain in which they reside – all while working hard and loving my family well. It is difficult, but it can be done. Stop dreaming and start hunting! It will take some studying, you will need to schedule it out, you will need to make some financial sacrifice, and you must be willing to put in the work. You can get there, if you really want it. Do you? BA


My ears ring from the bellowing screams. They are getting closer. I have hiked mile after mile and gained elevation with each step. The air is so thin that I have trouble breathing, but I am determined. My heart is now racing. Suddenly, the mountain comes to life as he majestically appears in an opening in the forest. I draw my compound bow, settle the pin, focus...and then I wake up! It was just a dream. An incredible, exciting, adrenaline-fueled dream! Bowhunting the Wapiti in the high country of Colorado has been a dream hunt of mine since I was young. Actually, it was more of a pipedream. When I lived in New York State, I had an abundance of whitetails to hunt and was living paycheck-to-paycheck, so I stuck with bowhunting what I knew – whitetail deer. I figured bowhunting elk was out of the realm of possibility. As I have grown as a man, as a bowhunter, I know that hard work, a little research, and focused determination can get you that dream. The first order of business was devising a game plan; a ‗How-to-attain-my-goal‘ list, if you will. When I sat down and put pencil to paper, I sat there in a hazy stupor. Where was I going to start? The task was powerfully overwhelming. I put the pencil down and jumped on bowhunting forums like DIYbowhunter.com and posed a question about elk hunting and where to begin. It turns out there are many hunters out there willing to share information; you just have to ask the questions! The assistance I was offered by my fellow bowhunters was incredible. It was rather humbling to find people willing to share this priceless information. In no time, I had information on where to start and everyone insisted I take my time with planning. It wasn‘t

going to happen overnight, so I listened and absorbed all of the information. I burned a few lunch hours researching the tags and areas to hunt as I was so focused on reading the material offered by the Colorado Fish and Game Dept. I had no idea that you could get an over-the-counter elk tag in Colorado! Not only was it over-the-counter, but you can choose between an OTC archery cow or either-sex tag (the latter cost a little more). I then decided I needed more information. By joining the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation I was rewarded with great information like “Secrets to Better Elk Hunting”. Talk about abundant information! This is packed with it! If you are looking to hunt elk and are not a member, join and you‘ll be rewarded with invaluable wisdom. Mental and physical training are two key elements I needed to work on to have an enjoyable, successful OTC DIY Colorado elk hunt. When I lived back East, my training was limited to rugby practice. I didn‘t have a need to train hard for hunting out of a tree stand 100 yards from the road. Hunting an elk isn‘t going to be easy and having them walk right under a tree stand is not very likely, so I will have to train my body for this hunt. Sure, I could probably wing it. I could show up with my gear and go hunting. Then the altitude would strangle me, the hiking would drag me down, and I wouldn‘t enjoy the hunt. Then, if and when I am successful, the downed elk isn‘t going to walk itself out of the forest. Physical training is a must! My physical training began with cardio in the gym. I exercised, ate better, and I dropped some weight. Then I got to thinking. If I kill an elk, I am going to have to pack out a hundred pounds of meat at a time over rough country and quite possibly have to do it many times. I needed to replicate that feat. So, I broke out the Badlands


2200 and loaded it with sandbags. I am hiking 34 miles with a combined weight of 70 lbs right now. By the time September rolls around I aim to be lugging 100+ pounds on my back and hiking more than 5 miles at a time. Living just above sea level is going to be a major challenge as the altitude is going to be my enemy. Even still, I will be taking it slow. I don‘t want any headaches or lightheaded hikes. Training in the Southern California foothills will help some. I‘ll be able to gain some elevation and to run some hills, but the true test will come when I am climbing that first Colorado mountain in search of elk. Mentally, I am focusing on shot placement. Consistent archery practice is also going to be essential to my success. Not only will I have to hit the archery range more often, I will also have to practice out further. My goal was to regularly

Randy R. Mabe

practice out to 80 yards so that my 40-50 yard shots are chip shots. With the addition of a 7-pin sight, I have begun practicing out to 80 yards. I am now becoming accustomed to that distance and when I creep in to 50 yards it almost seems too close. Another major item is hitting the target right where I want to. Practicing out to 80 yards is all well and good, but I have to do it AND hit the sweet spot on the target. Once I feel comfortable on a level surface I plan on practicing on hill sides. Shooting up, down, sideways, out of breath, crouched, and I could go on, but you get the picture. I want to be ready for any situation. Another form of practice is sharpening my cow calls. A great way to learn has been to practice in my car on my way to work in the morning. I figure if I have to be stuck in traffic, but it doesn‘t mean I can‘t accomplish something! I listen to proper calling, practice, listen some more and practice again. If you record what you are doing it really helps you fine tune your calling. My work is cut out for me, but with my dream in sight, 2012 will be the year I make it to Colorado for a DIY elk hunt with an OTC tag. I will be ready. My body will be fit, my skills honed, and the air clean. My dream hunt WILL happen in 2012. What about yours? BA

(336)908-0699

HuntRMabe@aol.com

www.BroadheadKennels.com


Getting Started

Right out of the gate, I‘m going to apologize. I‘m sorry if I offend anyone with this story, but as a guy that feels he has earned the right to say what I‘m about to say, I feel you should know up front what you‘re getting into. No misconceptions, no confusion, no soft selling, I‘m talking full disclosure. As your writer, I feel it is my duty to be upfront and honest and tell you what I have told anyone else that has asked me, including my dad. If you have a dream to head west in pursuit of the mighty Wapiti, then I feel it my obligation to warn you elk hunting with a bow and arrow on your own is hard. Downright brutal with the potential to chew you up and spit you out. Do It Yourself (DIY) backcountry elk hunting takes no prisoners and it doesn‘t give one iota how much time and effort you‘ve put in. Nothing is given and success is earned one inch at a time. So if we know DIY elk hunting is hard, then that must mean DIY elk hunting when you‘re from the east is somewhere close to impossible. If you answered yes, then you are correct. DIY Elk hunting when you‘re from the east is a hard that‘s harder than the first hard. Please don‘t take this the wrong way, but if you‘re soft, lazy, or just in general don‘t seem to have ―toughness‖ about you, then I suggest you stop reading right now and move on to something different. I won‘t be offended, I will not judge, and what is good for one is not always good for another. If however you‘re still with me, then I invite you to saddle up as we embark on discussing what I feel are the first steps in becoming a DIY Elk hunter from the east. ----

Keeping in mind this is a magazine article not a book, there are a few basic topics that I feel need to be answered when considering a first timer hunting the west.  Step 1: Setting the Tone.  Step 2: Who are you going with?  Step 3: Where are you going?  Step 4: Devise a plan. Step 1: Setting the Tone. I‘m a quote guy. I love them. I have a quote on my phone screen, “He who suffers, remembers”, I have a quote on my bow limb, “Failure is Not an Option‖. These quotes, strategically placed, remind me to not only stay focused day in and day out, but also help motivate me. When thinking about Step 1: Setting the Tone, the quote that says it all to me is from Bryan Tracy, a renowned author and motivational speaker, when he says… “Between you and every goal you wish to achieve there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, and have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else.” For me it doesn‘t get much simpler than that. If I want something, then I need to do something. It‘s that simple. I don‘t mean to sound all Johnny hardcore with this, but if your dream is to go elk hunting, then go elk hunting. Stand up, look yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself you‘re going elk hunting. The biggest obstacle in this entire process is not where to go, what equipment you‘ll need, or what tag you need to draw, the biggest obstacle in the entire process is you.


Make the commitment. Be bold and give your heart and soul to the journey. Step 2: Who are you going with? Once you decide you‘re going, the next move is to decide who you‘re going with. Please be forewarned this is a step not be taken lightly. Whoever you are considering asking, my advice is to really think it through before you actually make the decision. Just because a friend is fun to hang out with at a 3D shoot doesn‘t mean they‘ll be fun to hang out with when the going gets tough in the backcountry. I once had a good friend tell me (when talking about running a 100 mile ultramarathon) “If you have a weakness, a 100 miler will find it.” Trust me when I tell you the mountains are no different. They will find your weakness and exploit it. The last situation you want to be in is to find yourself 6 miles deep into the backcountry with the wrong person in the wrong situation. Whether you pick 1, 2, 3, or 6 people, I encourage you to choose wisely and make sure that your goals are aligned with those in your party. Step 3: Where are you going?

This is one that is going to take some serious time and energy. When deciding where to go there are a number of variables to consider with the most important in my opinion being tag availability vs. quality of animal. Your best bet is to start reading and researching through magazine publications such as Western Hunter, Eastman’s Hunting & Bowhunting Journal, and Elk Hunter Magazine, just to name a few. There is also a wealth of books available on this topic. The second option when considering where to go is the internet. There literally has not been an easier time in history to find and access information on hunting in other states. Take for example the access we have to individual state Division and Department of Wildlife web sites. Hunting regulations, tag information, drawing odds, hunt planners, harvest information, biologists and ranger phone numbers, can all be found by a click of the mouse. This, along with other resources such as Google searches, hunting forums, blogs, and mapping software like Google Earth and DeLorme Topo make it pretty darn simple to obtain some serious hardcore information about a hunting area if you want it. Start digging, stay diligent, and ask a lot of questions. Eventually through all of your research, a spot will emerge. Step 4: Devise a plan. I‘m not going to lie; devising a plan encompasses a lot. From logistics of getting from your house to camp, to equipment including archery gear, camping gear, clothing, food, etc.,


to breaking down an animal and getting it out, to putting yourself into mountain conquering, elk killing shape, step 4 of devising a plan is all about the details, and lots of them. Cutting my teeth I‘ve missed details that directly cost me shots at filling my tag and I found out the hard way how important the little things are. My best advice for step 4 is to look at things through the eyes of the Nth degree. Always err on the side of caution and over-prepare for

what you expect. In future issues of BowAmerica I will do my best to break down subject areas in this step such as logistics, equipment, backcountry nutrition, physical preparation, etc., and share with you what I feel has worked for me. By no means do I claim to be the expert, I‘m just a simple guy that wanted to go elk hunting so bad he found a way to make it happen while living and growing up in the east. BA


We all have been caught day dreaming at work of far off places in which we fulfill our childhood dreams of taking a trophy animal on a species not native or our normal hunting grounds. Wildebeest on the African plains, a 7x7 Rocky Mountain Elk in Montana, Dall Sheep in Alaska or a Big Mature Whitetail in South Texas, but for me it is the fastest land mammal in North America, the North American Pronghorn or Speed Goats as I'd like to call them. I have spent countless hours scouring videos, articles, blogs, BLM maps, Google Earth and hunting stories of others taking their trophies on the plains of North American. A lot of people take them with a rifle and sit 200+ yards away while the goat stares at them, but my dreams are a little closer than that. I want to be able to see my reflection in their eyes as I lift my range finder up to verify the yardage of my then equal. Game and hunter facing each other at 30 paces, lime old west gun slingers, me the drifter and he the salty country folk locked in a battle of wits and wills. The drawing of his last breath and the exhale of mine, a symphony of power and grace, that results in a well placed arrow just behind his shoulder at the intersection of white and brown. A short yet vigorous run from the goat results in the most monumental event in my hunting career up to this point, my first Speed Goat. The crowd stands in applause as the curtain falls and I win an Emmy for my film on hunting in Idaho. Well at least that is how it plays out within my mind, or something like that. Fast forward a few years and insert an opportunity hunt public land in the great state of Idaho and more specifically South East Idaho. Top that off with a friend who is a local who has endless connections and the ability to

give much needed support on the ground, and I am poised to embark an adventure that will for me at least, be forever remembered. So now that I have the pie in the sky plans laid out in front of me where do I go from here? To start, my hunt is all public land and though from what I have heard from others and what I have seen from pictures there are big goats out there, it is really still just hear-say and promises. But, I do believe I can do a lot of scouting from my office in California of the land and topography in South East Idaho. Here is a basic rundown of my normal routine.  A simple Google search can do wonders for providing information on an area. Articles, a guides notes, and details from past hunters on a general area. You will find restaurants, archery shops, motels and endless information and possible contacts on an area that you have never even see. It is a daunting task at this point, but you need to start somewhere.  During the search, click on the Images tab and start the endless hours of looking at pictures that have been posted by people and websites. It is amazing what pride will do to a hunter, with all the advancements in technology our bar room boasting has only moved to the computer for everyone to see. People tend to give way to much information on who, what, when, where and why's of the hunt, especially when they harvest something. Also take note of key geographical features in the background to help you get your bearings when in the field.  In my case with Pronghorn, water during August and September is the best way to hunt them. Find water on public land and you most likely find antelope smacking their lips for a refreshing drink. So I


looked up pictures of windmills, watering holes, hay fields and photo blogs. Photographers may not pursue game in the sense that you or I, but they hunt game with a lens and share it freely. You'd be amazed of the quality of information you can get from hikers, geocachers and wildlife photographers. Now that the basic information has been found it is time to get specific and look at maps and more specifically aerial photographs of watering holes and hopefully game trails. Last year I hunted a new area and by only searching

Google Earth and my other best friend, Cabelas Recon, I set myself up on a spot that had a 250+ pound pig trotting right at me within 15 minutes of being set up. Look for programs and information on the web to help you set up what you can from your home. Lastly don‘t be afraid to call up shops for information on the area you are targeting, search content and ask questions on regionally specific forums. The worst they can say is nothing or no, at the least they may give you some info and maybe, just maybe, they will invite you over for a drink and tell you to bring your map when you get to town. BA


Submitting for out of state tags can sometimes be a daunting task. After years of hunting your own state and becoming familiar with all of the local application processes, fees, deadlines, etc., if you decide to venture outside of your state lines, the application process quickly becomes an adventure of its own. Living in Colorado, I‘m pretty familiar with how things work in my state, but as soon as Troy and I decided to start submitting for big game tags in other Western states, we quickly realized that it is necessary to do your homework and plan ahead. It is not as simple as buying your tag a month before your hunt. You must plan ahead and submit for your tag well in advance. Each state has their own application process, and most get started around the first of the year. The deadline to submit for 2012 big game tags has already past for several of the western states; however, if you are still wanting to plan a trip out west this fall for big game, there is still time. But you will need to act fast! The best recommendation I have if you are planning on hunting out west in the near future, is to start doing your research now! Changes to the application process often occur from year to year, but the more familiar you are with how a state works, the better off you will be. Something else to consider, even if you are not planning on hunting a western state this year or even next year, is the option to begin building your preference points. By having additional points, when you submit for a tag in an area that limits the tags or ―permits‖ allowed for a unit, the greater chance you have on drawing a tag in a preferred unit. Many states will even allow you to purchase these points even if you are not planning on hunting that year. Keep in mind that some states will only allow you to be considered

for the draw after accumulating a certain amount of points. You can receive your points by either being unsuccessful in the draw, or by simply purchasing a bonus point for that species as mentioned previously. The below sections, separated out by state, give a high-level glance at the some of the more popular big game tags, along with the 2012 nonresident pricing structure. The application deadlines and hunting regulations were obtained through each state‘s Division of Wildlife (DOW) site. Your best bet is to access each DOW directly for the most accurate information. Most of these states now have Big Game Application Guidebooks that can be downloaded directly from their websites. Another great feature that proves very helpful when trying to determine where to hunt is the Drawing Odds. E.g., Wyoming has the 2011 Drawing Odds listed for each species drawn. All prices listed below are for nonresident and male species animals. Refer to individual DOW hunting regulations for other pricing options, resident, youth, antlerless, etc. Once you select a state for your next DIY big game adventure, begin planning well in advance and make sure you read through and be familiar with all the hunting regulations prior to your hunt. Remember that each state is different and it is your responsibility to ensure that you follow and respect their laws. COLORADO In Colorado, if you are unsuccessful in the draw process, there are still opportunities to purchase a left over draw tag or over-the-counter (OTC) unit tag for some species, e.g., elk and antelope. The big game regulations brochure details all of the draw and over-the-counter units. The only down side to hunting in an OTC area is


potential hunting pressure and lower animal populations. Another thing to consider if coming to CO is the bow regulations. Scopes, electronic or battery-powered devices cannot be incorporated into or attached to bow or arrow. Yes, that includes lighted nocks. In addition, there are regulations on the broadheads allowed, e.g., a minimum of 7/8inch outside diameter or width and minimum two steel cutting edges. Each edge must be in the same plane for the entire length of the cutting surface. Many broadheads now days have a helical design, which is not allowed in CO. I‘ve said it several times already, but this is another great example of why it is important to read through the regulations for each state. Preference Points Available? Yes. CO offers the opportunity to acquire / buy preference points. Application Process: Online / Mail *Nonresidents must use paper applications if applying for moose hunts. Additional Fees? Yes. A $10.00 Habitat Stamp is required when purchasing a license. Proclamations: Sheep & Goat; Elk, Deer, Pronghorn, Moose, Bear COLORADO www.wildlife.state.co.us

APPLICATION DEADLINE

COST

ANTELOPE

Apr 3, 2012

$349 - adult $103.75 - youth

BIG HORN SHEEP

Apr 3, 2012

$1,919

DEER

Apr 3, 2012

$349 - adult $103.75 - youth

ELK

Apr 3, 2012

$579 - adult $103.75 - youth

*MOOSE

Apr 3, 2012

$1,919

MOUNTAIN GOAT

Apr 3, 2012

$1,919

UTAH The big change for Utah this year is the general season deer hunt now takes place in 30 units instead of five regions. Due to this change, the buck / bull combo hunt is being discontinued in the Northern Region. Preference / Bonus Points Available? Yes. UT offers the opportunity to buy bonus points for $10.00; however, a license must be purchased first in order to qualify. Another thing to keep in mind, is that if you are building bonus points, you must apply at least once in a consecutive three-year period in order to not lose points accrued. Deadline this year is March 8, 2012 Application Process: Online / Mail Additional Fees? Yes. Before applying for a hunting tag in UT, a hunting license must be purchased first. A nonresident basic hunting license costs $65.00.


Proclamations: 2012 Application Guidebook; Regulations *Once-in-a-lifetime species UTAH www.wildlife.utah.gov

APPLICATION DEADLINE

COST

ANTELOPE

Mar 1, 2012

$288 (limited-entry)

*BIG HORN SHEEP

Mar 1, 2012

$1,513

DEER

Mar 1, 2012

$263 (general) $463 (limited-entry)

ELK

Mar 1, 2012

$388 (general) $795 (limited-entry)

*MOOSE

Mar 1, 2012

$1,513

*MOUNTAIN GOAT

Mar 1, 2012

$1,513

WYOMING Wyoming also offers the opportunity to purchase leftover licenses if you are unsuccessful in a draw. They are available to purchase this year on July 10, 2012 and it is a first come, first serve basis. Keep in mind; if you acquire a tag in WY and will be hunting within a game management unit that has a wilderness boundary, it is mandatory that you have a guide with you at all times. This is a state law. There are several areas that are not wilderness within a game management unit, but it is still up to you to be familiar with the area you are hunting. Know your maps! Preference Points Available? Yes. Preference points can be purchased online July 1 - Sept 30 for deer, elk, antelope, moose, or Bighorn sheep Application Process: Online / Mail Additional Fees? Yes. Wyoming has a $14.00 nonrefundable application fee for each tag submitted. Proclamations: 2012 Big Game Regulations WYOMING www.gf.state.wy.us

APPLICATION DEADLINE

COST

ANTELOPE

Mar 15, 2012

$272

BIG HORN SHEEP

Feb 29, 2012

$2,252

DEER

Mar 15, 2012

$312

ELK

Jan 31, 2012

$577

MOOSE

Feb 29, 2012

$1,402

MOUNTAIN GOAT

Feb 29, 2012

$2,152


MONTANA Montana offers combination licenses which include a fishing license, bird license, conservation license and hunting access enhancement fee. This seems to be a good option considering all of the additional fees required when purchasing a license in MT. New this year for nonresident applications is the option to purchase your additional elk / deer permit at the same time as your license. The deadline for both permit and license is now March 15th. In the past, the permit deadline was June 1st. By changing the deadline to the same date, the draw results will be available by the end of April for both, which provides additional time to plan your hunt. In order to purchase a MT bow and arrow license, it is necessary to provide a National Bowhunter Education Foundation certificate. Preference / Bonus Points Available? Yes. Preference points can be purchased for a $50 fee. Bonus points can also be purchased for a $20 fee. Both preference and bonus points are lost if not used for two consecutive years. More detailed explanation of Preference vs. Bonus points can be found here. Application Process: Online / Mail Additional Fees? Yes. There are several. A $10.00 conservation license is a prerequisite for all licenses. A $10.00 Hunting Access Enhancement Fee assessed at the time of license purchase. And, for bowhunters a $10.00 Archery license must be purchased after obtaining a hunting license. Permits may also be purchased for each license which allows the hunter to expand the area they are hunting in. Proclamations: 2012 Deer and Elk MONTANA www.fwp.mt.gov/hunting

APPLICATION DEADLINE

COST

ANTELOPE

Jun 1, 2012

$205

BIG HORN SHEEP

May 1, 2012

$755

DEER

Mar 15, 2012

$561

ELK

Mar 15, 2012

$794

MOOSE

May 1, 2012

$755

MOUNTAIN GOAT

May 1, 2012

$755

IDAHO Idaho offers great big game hunting opportunities, and licenses can be purchased for either general or controlled hunts. Their controlled hunt permits are issued by a random drawing, and if you are fortunate to draw a tag, you will want to take advantage of the Idaho Hunt Planner which is a great resource for planning a DIY hunt. Maps and information on Idaho‘s rules, dates, harvest information, drawing odds, etc. are available through this online resource.


Preference / Bonus Points Available? No Application Process: Online, Mail (Nonresident Application), or phone (1-800-554 - 8685) Additional Fees? Yes. The state of Idaho requires a hunting license of $154.75 to be purchased in order to qualify for a tag or permit. If applying for a controlled (limited) hunt, an additional $14.75 fee is added for each application. Proclamations: 2011 - 2012 Bighorn Sheep & Mountain Goat; 2011 Big Game NOTE: As of Feb 2012, ID does not have updated proclamations available. Be sure to check the ID website for the most current information for the 2012 - 2013 season. IDAHO www.fishandgame.idaho.gov

APPLICATION DEADLINE

COST

ANTELOPE

Jun 5, 2012

$311.75

BIGHORN SHEEP

Apr 30, 2012

$2,101.75

DEER

Jun 5, 2012

$301.75

ELK

Jun 5, 2012

$416.75

MOOSE

Apr 30, 2012

$2,101.75

MOUNTAIN GOAT

Apr 30, 2012

$2,101.75

So, there you have it - a brief, high-level comparison on prices and applications for hunting big game species in a few of the Western states. And, if you aren‘t up for the challenge of navigating through the application process, there is always the option of going through a full service licensing program, e.g., Cabela‘s T.A.G.S. BA


Guide and Outfitter Checklist All hunters and outdoorsman have some sort of dream hunt they would like to do. In making this hunt happen you need to have access to public or private land. Some hunters just don‘t have that luxury, leaving them to rely on guides and outfitters. Prior to bookingvthe hunt there are some questions hunters may want to ask to ensure that they are getting their money‘s worth while talking to guides and outfitters. Are licenses and tags included in the price or do they have to be bought separately and does the price include lodging and meals, for instance. With most guides and outfitters lodging and meals are included, but be sure before booking your hunt. If there is a need to fly, will there be transport from the airport? What about processing of the harvest and preparation of the meat for transport? Processing of the harvest and preparation for transport can be expensive and different states have laws and regulations concerning transport or the harvest. Many states do not allow deer and other cervid carcasses to cross the state line due to the threat of CWD. How will you get to where you are going to hunt? Some outfitters use horseback and not atv‘s. If you are going to ride a horse and have never ridden one, well you better go to a riding stable for practice. If atv‘s are to be used, find out if the outfitter and guide provide them, or if you must bring your own. What is the success rate for kills with the outfitter? If the answer to this question is ―I don‘t know for sure‖ or ―Pretty good,‖ be alert to this question. What constitutes a kill? For example, does that mean if an animal is wounded and not retrieved are you charged for that? This is an important question to ask, especially if you are

Licensing and Tag Requirements Lottery Draws Priority Points Areas to Apply For Guide/Outfitter/Landowner Tags Non-Resident Costs Additional Permits Needed WMA Permits Habitat Permits Archery Permits Game Specific Permits 3-day / 5-day Permits Education Requirements Hunter Safety Bowhunter Education Over The Counter Permits Places to Purchase Outfitter Transportation State Agency Website  Hunting Success Rates Kill Success Rates Archery Kill Success Rates What is Considered a Kill Blood Hair Actual Recovery Shot Opportunity Rates What is Considered Shot Opportunity  Lodging / Meals Type of Lodging Campsite Resort Style Hotel How Far From Hunting Area Special Rates Type of Meals Brown Bag Style Lunches Full Breakfast / Supper Make Your Own Special Meal Accomodations  Transportation From / To Airport To / From Hunting Area To / From Game Processors Outfitter Supplied ATV / APV Bring Your Own ATV -next page-


Guide / Outfitter Checklist continued 

 

  

Hunting Habitat and Climate Typical Weather Habitat River Bottom Swamp Desert Forest / Hard Woods Mountains Field / Pasture Terrain Grassy Rocky Wet Special Clothing / Equipment Layered Bug / Tick / Snake Gear GPS or Google Earth / Maps Location Hunt Areas Food Plots Baited Areas Natural Funnels / Corridors Trail Camera Locations Tracking Use of Dogs Shooting Facilities Target / Sighting in Equipment Guided Fully Guided Semi-Guided Self-Guided Game Tracking / Recovery Assistance Quartering / Skinning Assistance Typical Opportunity Average Shot Distance Guide with Firearm Backup Before / After Come Early to Scout? Early Success-What About Remainder of Time? Last Hour Success-Does Guide Continue Recovery/Tracking of Downed Game? Trophy Fees / Other Fees Trophy Class Fee if Large Animal? Size Requirements-Fee for smaller size? Add-Ons Small Game Opportunity Other In-Season Big Game Combo Hunts Other Services Game Processing Taxidermy Services

hunting exotic animals on a preserve. The outfitter pays for these animals since they are not native. Does the outfitter only accept payment once the animal is harvested? Some outfitters provide wild boar hunts guarantee a kill or you don‘t have to pay. I have seen outfitters that charge different prices for whitetail deer that score 130-140 class and the price increases as the score of the buck increases. Several outfitters I have talked to charge a flat fee for the hunt. The same is true for upland bird hunting on a shooting preserve. The hunt may be sold all inclusive or you may be charged by the bird. It is very important not to choose the first outfitter you talk. Do your research and ask questions. Check references by talking to previous hunters that have hunted with the outfitter. Guides and outfitters love positive feedback and most want to ensure your hunt is a memorable experience. They also want return business, so a negative response will most likely show up if you ask the right questions. I chose Silver Creek Outfitters in Cadiz, KY this past deer season. I was a little reserved prior to scheduling my hunt mainly because I didn‘t know what to expect. I was greeted with a smile and given full run of the farms. Scouting opportunities were made available to me for both morning and evening hunts. Stand locations were wide open with the choice of using my own stand or pre-hung stands. I had game camera pictures along with scouting opportunities to help me decide where I was going to hunt while there. After my hunt was over I knew I had gotten my money‘s worth and was well pleased with my hunt making my experience a memorable one. Asking questions and learning from previous hunters experiences helped to make my hunt a success and the memories great. BA


Last month in part one of this segment, we got a quick and basic understanding of the major anatomy of the shoulder and a very general understanding of how the shoulder works. As you recall, one of the main things to remember is that the rotator cuff plays a significant role in stabilizing the shoulder for virtually every movement. Also, keep in mind that while it is a ball in socket joint the socket made by the glenoid fossa is shallow and the Labrum (ring of cartilage) makes it a little deeper but is still relatively unstable. Now you can imagine the two most commonly injured areas, in my experience, are first the rotator cuff, and secondly the labrum. While there is some pathology specific to archers those conditions are somewhat rare and most of you reading this aren‘t injuring your shoulder with archery but are aggravating injuries sustained in other manners. I will focus on the injuries you are most likely to encounter that will give you trouble when shooting. By far the most common shoulder injury is some sort of trauma or overuse injury of the Rotator Cuff. The Rotator Cuff is made up of the tendons from four relatively small muscles that originate on the scapula and attach to the head of the humerus. Such an important structure is prone to overuse. One condition is called Impingement Syndrome which is caused by a narrowing of the space between the

Humeral head and the Acromion Process of the Scapula (See Illustration; red circle). It can often be treated with rest and physical therapy. Otherwise the main injury is a sprain or tear of the muscle or tendon. This is caused by trauma, poor form, or various other mechanisms. Minor sprains can be treated conservatively while major tears are usually treated surgically. Keeping your shoulder healthy (which we will cover shortly) can be key in preventing most of these injuries. Labral injuries are a little trickier and can be caused by trauma, dislocation or subluxation. Dislocation is when the head of the humerus is moved out of the socket and get stuck there. The labrum can be injured during the dislocation or during the reduction (putting it back in place). A Subluxation is a dislocation that spontaneously reduces itself. In other words it pops out and then pops right back in on its own. Because several ligaments attach to the labrum it can also be torn by some forceful movements of the shoulder in various directions without the humeral head leaving the joint socket. Lastly, I‘m sure some of you have heard of a SLAP tear. It is one of the most common injuries to the labrum. I‘ve heard all kinds of crazy ideas people come up with as to why it‘s called a SLAP tear but what it really means is Superior Labral tear Anterior to Posterior. So basically the top part of the


cartilage is torn from front to back usually be falling on an outstretched arm, bracing yourself or repetitive overhead movements. Unfortunately most of the time SLAP requires surgery, and is somewhat difficult to prevent as it‘s usually caused by trauma. Now that we know the most common injuries we‘ll review how we can prevent them, by simply keeping your shoulder healthy. I will start of by saying if you currently have shoulder pain see a physcian! This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any injuries. While some injuries can be treated with the exercises we use to prevent them, if done improperly they can make an injury worse. Alright, now that we covered that we can move on to prevention. The main thing that prevents injury is strengthening which if done properly also increases stability. We can promote shoulder strength by targeting those small rotator cuff muscles as well as larger stabilizer muscles. A couple of simple exercises you can do are Internal and External Rotation. If you put your elbow at your side then put your hand on your belly button and swing your hand out away from your stomach by rotating your upper arm that is external rotation and internal is just the opposite. By using some sort of resistance in each direction like a resistance band or cable machine you can strengthen those rotator cuff muscles. You can also use resistance with your elbow out at a 45 or 90 degree angle from your body. The key with this exercise is to start with embarrassingly light weight and slowly work your way up paying close attention to muscle fatigue. Only move out to 45 and 90 degrees once you have developed strength at your side. Also, when doing the motion with resistance with your arm at your side, don‘t keep your elbow tucked against your body. You should have a small gap. If you need help maintaining that gap role up a small towel and put it between your ribs and your upper arm to create and maintain that small gap.

The next motions that can really help with functional shoulder stability are called D1 and D2 Flexion and Extension which are really 4 total motions. They are diagonal patterns of movement that build on a technique therapists use called Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. We won‘t dive into that concept but this is taking a manual physical therapy technique and turning it into a resistance exercise. The D1 movement is somewhat like throwing a Frisbee, but more of a direct downward movement. You start with your hand on the opposite shoulder and move your hand down and across your body to your hip. That is called D1 extension and D1flexion is just the exact opposite. Starting at your hip and moving your hand up and across your body to the opposite shoulder. D2 is a little different and is like drawing a sword. Extension starts with your hand on the opposite hip, move your hand up and across your body in a diagonal motion until your arm is outstretched above your head. Again D2 flexion is just the opposite starting with your arm outstretched above your head like the statue of liberty, move your hand and down across your body to the opposite hip. Again, free motion cable cross over machines or resistance bands can add resistance to these motions for great functional shoulder stability. Lastly you can use a resistance band and pull it back just to like you would your bow string to help condition the muscles used in your draw cycle but that will only keep one plane of movement strong and stable. Before you go out and try any of these exercises do your research online and consider each source. Try to stick with sports medicine university programs for advice on the Internet or consult a fitness professional. I can‘t caution you enough to start with incredibly little weight or resistance and stop at any sign of pain or discomfort outside of minor muscle fatigue. BA


All the signs of spring are starting; the trees are beginning to bud, the waterfowl have all left for their northern homes, and the antlers are dropping. Bowfishing season and the carp spawn are just around the corner. That means it‘s time to get your equipment that has sat idle all winter and get it ready to roll. It‘s time to stash the equipment in the car, have it at the ready, and even pack along when shed hunting for those first rough fish coming out of the winter depths. My bows have hung quietly on their racks in the bedroom for several months now, and I can see that perhaps, just perhaps, I was so ready for waterfowl hunting that I just sort of pulled them from their stash in the truck and threw them up there, minus any winterization or preventative maintenance. Yikes! Is there really mud and blood still on the recurve? Lordy, do they need some attention before heading out to the backwaters! Getting your bowfishing equipment ready isn‘t a tough or time consuming task, and these last few gray, ugly, damp, cold days of winter that are hanging on are the perfect opportunity to spend a little time inside preparing for the spring spawn and rush that‘s ever so close. I feel obligated to interject here that one really should retire their equipment properly at the end of the season; it will not only save your bow, but it will save you time come spring when you hear that first fish flop and go racing to water‘s edge! However, if you are like me and segue quickly from bowfishing season to other cold weather

pursuits and just swapped out your bowfishing tote in the truck for your deer hunting tote, here are few guidelines for getting that equipment in top operating shape for the season ahead. First I do an overall visual inspection, and quick clean up, so that any problems can be noted and listed. If I‘m going to have to make a trip to my local archery shop, I might as well have a list ready and not traipse over there forty seven different times. After I do the initial once over, I start in earnest. First check the strings for any frays or damage that would require them to be replaced. If you note that the string has stretched; traipse over to your favorite bow shop and have them add twists to tighten the string back up. Stop to consider the huge number of fibers that make up a bow string, factor in the added twist that they endure and this leads us to the next step in my spring clean up – those strings need lubricated! Water proof wax, in my opinion, is still the best material for this. The wax also protects the string from the abuse bowfishing puts bows through. For those new to bowfishing, it‘s a dirty, messy, wet faced, fast-paced, shoot, shoot, and shoot again business. Not at all like a quiet autumn sit in a tree stand. Water, sand, mud, blood, and the occasional submersion will eventually ruin your string if not enough wax is present. Use a good soft wax and apply it to the string, rub it in with your fingers, and wipe off any excess. Whatever


you do, DO NOT heat the wax or strings; that‘s rotation on the handle equals ½ yard of line. So, instant recipe for disaster. if you have 50 rotations on the handle that equals Next on the list; check your cams, idler 25 yards of line. If you pull all the line out of bushing, and limbs. Also inspect the outer edge of your bottle and you retrieve 45 rotations or less, your cams for any sign of damage, dings, bends, you should put new line in the reel. Suppose you or snags. Any of these could use a large bottle style retriever; cause the string to slip off or in that case 50 yards of line is …these last few gray, cause damage to the string more acceptable. Using the one ugly, damp, cold days itself. If the cam is damaged; crank-½ yard trick... the larger add that to list of items to be bottle retrievers need 100 of winter that are addressed when you visit your cranks. This formula works for hanging on are the local archery shop. both 200lb Braided Dacron and Visually inspect the limbs, 400lb Fast Flight line. Trust me, perfect opportunity to look for cracks, finish damage, there's nothing worse than unusual bends/twists, and falling just short of that big gar spend a little time anything that seems out of the because you forgot to check the inside preparing for the ordinary. During the rush of length of line in your retriever. carp spawn is no time to have Once I‘m satisfied that the spring spawn… limb explode or crack. If bows are in good working order there‘s an issue with a limb, and set to go, I turn to my arrow correct it now. Once again, put it on that list for stash. A quick and inexpensive way to store the archery shop. bowfishing arrows is to use a length of PVC pipe One of the most important parts of your with a secure cap on one end. I drill a couple of bowfishing set up is your retriever and line. I holes in the end cap to help with water drainage, recommend using a little hot soapy water clean and they are at the ready and easy to transport or up your retriever, get out all the tiny bits and strap to the boat. Inspect all your arrows and pieces of dirt, grit, and carp scales that always points. Is the arrow cracked? Warped? Does it seem to wind up in them. Add a bit of fresh just plain look out of whack? Toss it. Toss it now. grease to the gears, and your retriever will be set Use it to stake up your tomato plant if you want, for that giant grassy hanging out in the weeds but do not fling it at a fish. waiting for you. Take a look at the tips. Are they rusty, bent, It‘s crucial to inspect your line for fraying, and and dull? Replace any that look past their prime length of line in the bottle. Over the course of a or look as if they aren‘t salvageable. Grab a can busy bowfishing season you can cut off a lot of of WD40 or similar lubricant and give the tip line; lots more than you probably realize. If you threads a little squirt. This will make for faster have a standard retriever bottle check the easier fish removal when the action is hot and manufactures recommendations for the correct you are shooting what seems like a fish a minute. amount of line. A general rule of thumb is 25 Now that your bow and arrows are ready to yards in a regular sized bottle and 50 yards in a roll, don‘t forget all your accessories. Are your larger bottle retriever. A quick and easy way to sunglasses holding up okay? No scratches? Still check this is by pulling all the line out of the reel fitting well? Did your bowfishing partner step on and cranking it back in. As rough guide, one them late in the season? If they aren‘t in excellent


condition then add them to list of items to pick up. A good set of polarized sunglasses is vital to your success in daytime bowfishing. So much that I sometimes am of the opinion that they play a bigger part in bowfishing success than your bow and arrows. Check your lights if you have them attached to your bow or in your tote full of equipment. Make sure you don‘t need to replace the batteries and clean the contacts, if necessary. Do it now, not in fit of frustration during the dark on a riverbank. If you primarily use a boat for your bowfishing excursions, now is a good time to give it a once over as well. Have a gander at the welds on the shooting deck and rail. Safety first! Repair or replace anything that could result in an accident. Is the matting on the floor of boat intact? We don‘t want loose edges to catch a slimy foot and send someone into the water.

Visually inspect the wiring and use a tester to check for any loose connections or bare spots from pesky mice snacking or transport vibrations that you may have encountered at the end of the season. Double check the batteries and generator. Give the batteries a fresh charge. It won‘t be long and the carp will be moving into the warm back waters, the days will be long and the nights longer, as us bowfishers do our part in taking out the exotic invasive carp and other rough fish. Follow these simple guidelines and you‘ll be ready to rock and roll when you get that longed for spring phone call saying, ―Holy Moly! … There‘s carp everywhere! You have to get here fast!‖ Think big, aim low, and see you in the backwater! BA


Wild Game Recipes presented by Papa Scott’s Camp Dog

Catfish Courtbouillon Ingredients:          

4 to 5 lbs. of Catfish, cleaned & cut into steaks 2 tbl spoons of vegetable oil to coat bottom of pot (I like to use cast iron black pot) 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped ½ cup of green onion chopped 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped ¼ cup of parsley flakes 1 8oz. can tomato sauce 2 tbl spoons of flour Cajun Seasoning to taste (I use Camp Dog Cajun Seasoning) original blend 1/2 cup of water to mix with flour to use as a thickener.

How to cook:   

 

Season fish with Cajun Seasonings only Pour oil into pot and heat on medium setting Once oil is hot stir in cut onions and sauté for a few minutes then add green onions and cook slow for about 15 minutes, once onions get transparent add tomato sauce, garlic and parsley and cook slow for about another 30 minutes stirring often, add just a little water to keep from sticking. Now you are ready to lay your fish steaks in, try not to double steak if possible. Reduce heat cover and let cook very slow, do not stir but shake the pot often to keep from sticking. If the fish is fresh it should produce its own water (you may add just a little if needed). Cook for about 30 minutes then mix the flour and water and pour over the fish. Shake, cover and continue to cook for another 20 to 30 minutes until fish is cooked and sauce is just covering the fish. Serve over a bed of hot rice with sides: ENJOY!


Emily Anderson

Colorado

My hunting journey began shortly after I got married. That fall as opening season for deer was drawing near, my sweet husband asked if it was okay if he went hunting over the weekend. I quickly responded with, "Sure! As long as I can come with." Ever since then, we have been enjoying our passion for the outdoors / hunting / fishing, and all that comes with that... together as a husband and wife team. I enjoy sharing our stories of the times spent in the woods. They can be quite interesting at times. As a female hunter, I've learned a few lessons of how to keep up with the guys in camp. Because when you are hunting, it is not about looking good and smelling pretty for those elk. Instead you learn to not be seen or smelt at all. I also write the blog Scent Free Lip Gloss.

Bernie Barringer

Tony Catalde

California

I am a California born country boy that grew up with a gun in one hand and a fishing pole in the other. I have been able to turn my passions of bowhunting and fishing into my day job where I am the Southwest Sale rep for Elite Outdoor Sport. Western big game is my passion, but I am not opposed to bow fishing for carp either.

Bill Howard

North Carolina

Bill is a hunter education (IHEA) and bowhunter education (IBEP) instructor, lifetime member of North Carolina Bowhunters Association, associate member of Pope and Young, and official measurer for both. He writes a weekly outdoors column for several newspapers in North Carolina, is a regular contributor to North Carolina Bowhunter magazine, and writes the blog BillHowardOutdoors and is publisher of this magazine.

Minnesota

Bernie began bowhunting in 1973 as a 14-year-old. This became a lifelong addiction. For more than 35 years, he has pursued small game, whitetails and bears across the Midwest, but he is expanding his experiences to include other species in other parts of North America. After a few years in the 1980‟s as a professional fur trapper, Bernie has worked as an outdoor writer in fishing and hunting, plus in promotions and marketing in the fishing business for more than 20 years. He has written more than 300 magazine feature articles and nine books. The Bowhunting Road web log is a response to the request of people who are fascinated by his passion for bowhunting and his ability to tell a story in a compelling way. Bernie is “living the dream” as he chases game with stick and string each year.

Mark Huelsing

Missouri

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 SoleAdventure.com, or say hello on twitter @SoleAdventure.

Will Jenkins

Virginia

Will Jenkins runs TheWilltoHunt.com Hunting Blog where he recently started the „Harnesses for Hunters‟ Program. He also writes for Maryland Whitetail Magazine.

Darren Johnson

Indiana

Darren Johnson is the author of Taking a Walk on the Wild Side, a blog


born out of his personal love of nature and his desire to help youth and adults improve their lives through higher self-esteem, good decision making and strengthening family bonds by building a relationship with nature. He lives in central Indiana and spends as much time as possible in nature activities such as hiking, photography, archery, hunting, fishing, food plot and habitat development, as well as other conservation projects.

Amanda MacDonald

New York

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.

Albert Quackenbush

California

Al writes the bow-hunting blog site SoCalBowhunter. He is a graphic designer, photographer, life member of the North American Hunting Club, and a pro staffer and primary gear reviewer for DIYBowhunter.com.

Ryan Shoemaker

Ohio

Ryan Shoemaker maintains Bowhuntquest.com and is a Solo DIY backcountry hunter, ultra-marathoner, and pro-staffer for Badlands, Bowtech Archery, Trophy Taker, Victory Archery, and Wilderness Athlete.

Britney Starr

Michigan

Britney Starr is a native of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She is currently part owner, client services representative, and social media manager of Starr & Bodill African

Safaris. Britney enjoys working side by side with her father and licensed Professional Hunter, Dwaine Starr, to provide their clients a worry-free safari. She also writes gear reviews for The Women's Outdoor News, an online resource for news, reviews, and stories about women in the outdoors.

Gretchen Steele

Illinois

Wild Woman, Medicine Mama, Dancin Arrow Diva - Proud member of the The Outdoor Sisterhood...just spending my days walking the woods and waters, the forests and the fields...Gretchen writes the blog Walking with the Wild Woman.

Nick Viau

Michigan

Nick Viau authors the traditional archery blog longbowblogger.com and is a frequent contributor to the stickandstring.com website and publication. He is also a member of the Michigan Traditional Bowhunters (MTB) and Michigan Longbow Association (MLA).

Tony West

Kentucky

Tony is 39 years old and married to his best friend and biggest supporter. He is a father of 2 amazing children. Tony has been bow hunting since he was 10 and has never looked back. He is a trial and error hunter who just loves the challenge. He is the founder of Hunters for Christ, pro-staff with Whitefield Outdoors and Field Staff with Following Ghost. He really enjoys the outdoors and sharing his experiences with others.

Thanks to ALL of our contributors and writers and be sure to check out their blogs and websites between issues!


Ryan Shoemaker with Badlands previews Badlands 2012 Clothing Editor’s Note: Ryan serves as pro-staff for Badlands Seventeen years after producing their first backpack, the folks at Badlands have pushed the envelope to chart a new course for 2012 with the release of their new Performance Apparel System. The system uses new concepts and in-house technology to design a three part Performance Apparel System. A Base layer for optimal in core body temperature regulation, a Mid layer designed to hold on to the body‘s heat, and an Outer layer that completes the system by keeping out wind, rain, and cold while still allowing moisture to vapor out through high performance microporus membranes. Each layer was designed to work with the other and is highlighted by seven main technology features:

 Scent Reduction System™ - The ultimate antimicrobial treatment impregnated deep into the fabric allowing it to kill odor causing microbes.  Hex-Lite™ Fleece – A honeycomb proprietary fleece design that increases heat retention by trapping warm air into a multitude of interlocking channels leading to an increase in heat retention while at the same time reducing bulk.  Bio-Shell™ - A proprietary composite fabric designed with a custom treated fleece. In a nut shell, it keeps the core warm and dry.  DuPont Teflon DWR® - DuPont Teflon is simply the highest quality water repellent money can buy.  Mammoth Fleece™ - Performance fibers that have been blended together to create the optimal in heat retention.  Dry-Vent™ - A high performance, highly efficient, Hydro-folic coated membrane that draws moisture to the surface.


 Variable Motion Seams – Designed to enhance the body‘s natural range of motion, each seam is tailored and articulated to perfection insuring comfort at all levels. The Base The core of the Badlands apparel system starts with the Bio-Thermic™ Base layer. The base layer pulls moisture away from the body helping to regulate core temperature while at the same time eliminating your scent through the antimicrobial Scent Reduction System™. The Element Top and Element Bottom headline the base layer and are made of multi-stretch polyester allowing for a full range of motion, and nonchafing multi panel flat lock stitch construction. Sizes range from M-XXL and are available in Realtree AP™. (See Below)

The Mid The Spectre Top and Spectre Bottom, Ion Pants, Kinetic Vest, Impact Jacket, and Inferno Jacket all make up the Badlands Mid layer system and provide for a variety of layering options. Each piece features Badlands BioThermic™ technology, articulated shoulders, knees, and elbows, and range in size from MXXL are available in Realtree AP.

Getting into specifics, the Spectre Top and Spectre Bottom is a heavier weight base layer when compared to that of its close counterpart the Element. The Spectre Top features a laser welded shoulder pocket, articulated elbows, and an integrated thumb hole for easily layering. Both top and bottom also incorporate antimicrobial SRS™ and DuPont Teflon DWR®. (See Below)

At the corner stone of any clothing system is a solid, tough as nails six pocket pant and the Ion Pants are committed to filling that roll. Featuring six pockets, welded water proof zips, non-wear Hypalon cuffs for increased durability, articulated knees, nylon re-enforced belt loops, antimicrobial SRS™ and Hex-Lite™ technology the Ion Pants have arrived and are prone to seize their throne at the top. Sizes range from M-XXL and are available in Realtree AP. (Right)


Taking advantage of the incredible opportunity to improve on current fleece jackets, the Impact Jacket and Kinetic Vest feature Fusion Fleece at the core of their design. Joining multiple layers and densities of materials and placing them strategically around the body, allows for a new way to build a light weight while at the same time maximizing insulation. The Impact Jacket and Kinetic Vest also incorporate Bio-Map™ construction, DuPont Teflon DWR®, antimicrobial SRS™, articulated shoulders and elbows, urethane base tape, and fusion fleece technology in their design. Sizes range from M-XXL and are available in Realtree AP. (See Below)

The Inferno Jacket is all about sustainability using less materials to do more. The jacket features a super lightweight design and is composed of advanced materials making it great for packability while at the same time keeping you as warm as its insulating layer weighing twice much. The Inferno jacket also incorporates antimicrobial SRS™, insulation filled heat channels, a Hex-Lite™ Fleece liner, waterproof zippers, DuPont Teflon DWR®, and articulated shoulders and elbows. Sizes range from M-XXL and is available in Realtree AP. (Left)

The Outer The Momentum Pants were designed with tough in mind allowing them to withstand what could be ten years of use in a single weekend. The pants feature Hypalon cuffs for increased durability, articulated knees for a wide range of motion, nylon reinforced belt loops, antimicrobial SRS™, a built in removable gator, BioShell™ construction, a Hex-Lite™ Fleece liner, and DuPont Teflon DWR®. The Momentum Pants range in size from M-XXL and can be found in Realtree AP. (Above Right) The benefits and performance of soft shell materials are no secret when it comes to the outdoors. Soft, durable, quiet...how do you improve on that? Well, the folks at Badlands made an attempt with the Velocity Jacket. The jacket features Hex-Lite™ Fleece, antimicrobial SRS™, adjustable sleeve cuff, articulated elbows, Bio-Shell™ construction, urethane base tape, and zipper garages. Sizes range from M-XXL and can be found in Realtree AP. (Right) Whether you‘re sitting on stand for hours on end, or humping your way through extreme conditions and two feet of snow,


Badlands designed the Convection Bibs with a goal of not wasting a single unit of heat that your body produces. The bibs feature insulated filled heat channels, Hex-Lite™ fleece, antimicrobial SRS™, articulated knees for a wide range of motion, DuPont Teflon DWR®, high lift side zippers, and an integrated waist belt. Sizes range from M-XXL and is available in RealtreeAP. (Upper Left)

material has been laminated to a three layer breathable membrane that features 100% water proof construction. The Alpha Jacket also features all seams sealed and taped, Dry-Vent™ high performance membrane, DuPont Teflon DWR®, magnetically closed zipper guards, water proof zippers, adjustable cuffs, articulated elbows, and a removable hood. Sizes range from M-XXL and is available in Realtree AP. (Upper Right)

The Badlands Alpha Jacket is designed with one thought in mind, keeping you dry no matter what the conditions. The proprietary Bio-Shell™

For more information on Badlands Performance Apparel and Back Packs, please visit www.badlandspacks.com. BA


Company: Rasher Quivers Model: Canyon Quiver Type: Tubular sling (side) quiver Price: $174 (special introductory offer)+ shipping Where to buy: www.rasherquivers.com

The Company Rasher Quivers is a family-owned business specializing in custom, hand-tooled leather archery equipment. Owned and operated by Jason Albert and his son Gabriel, Rasher is the most creative and innovative quiver company I‘ve encountered to date. They make a quiver for every application, whether it is hunting, competitive target archery, or Tolkien-esque medieval roleplaying. My introduction to Rasher was pure coincidence. We are all members of the Stick and String traditional archery forum and Jason is one our most active members. After checking out his site and admiring his work for several months, I approached him with a conundrum and asked him and Gabriel to solve it. The Problem Any quiver can handle field points. Most quivers can handle broadheads. Yet, only a handful of quivers can handle small game points. This is primarily due to their design, which utilizes spring-loaded arms, blades, or a large contact surface to stop the arrow from digging into trees and stumps, or burrowing into the ground. It is this same design that makes transporting them securely and drawing them from the nock a nightmare. I knew that a tube-style quiver with an opening on the side allowingpoint-first drawing would be the most functional solution. Several companies were making similar quivers, but none of them had the vibe I was looking for. I wanted


something made out of leather with buckles, and rivets, and attitude — something straight out of the dark ages. The Product Rasher was happy to comply, and the ―Canyon‖ model was born. The Canyon is a tubestyle sling (side) quiver with a twist — the opening from which you draw your arrows is actually located on your draw-hand side near the oblique. I was surprised to see this alteration but the functionality won me over. My lasting complaint with tube quivers is the awkward way in which they are shifted from a vertical position along the back to a horizontal position beneath the armpit in order to draw. The Canyon is designed to wear like a back quiver and draw the arrow out and away from the body with little adjustment; a concept any hunter will appreciate. The Canyon‘s leather construction is expertly cut, stitched, and finished with a mahogany grain akin to an antique wooden desk. Rashers are also available in black, brown, and saddle tan, but I‘m glad to have chosen the mahogany. It has a natural camouflage quality I find immensely appealing. At 3‖ across, the diameter of the quiver is perfect, holding eight of my 23/64‖ woods, or twelve of my 5/16‖ aluminums securely. At 35‖ in length, it is plenty long enough to conceal my 31‖ arrows from point to nock with room to spare (though I would order a shorter version if you shoot a shorter arrow). Other features include a reinforced bottom with a foam pad and fur lining to protect your points and limit noise, a utility pocket for a stringer or folding knife, and a pigskin flap with drawstring to protect your fletching from the elements.All of which make useful additions in the field.

The Bottom Line At an introductory rate of $174 the Canyon isn‘t cheap, but it isn‘t cheaply built either. Leather archery quivers are a commodity these days, and you‘ll be hard pressed to find anything below $200, let alone something customized to your unique measurements and vision. The truly remarkable part of the Canyon‘s inception is that it wasn‘t a part of the Rasher catalog until I asked the Alberts to create it. Through their Custom Corner program Rasher was able to make my dream a reality, and the experience was worth every penny. I even had Jason tool an armguard with my blog logo to match. The traditional archery community is blessed with a plethora of craftsmen building exceptional handmade products in their own backyard. The folks at Rasher quivers are a fine example and a pleasure to work with. You can purchase your own Canyon Quiver or custom armguard on the Rasher website www.rasherquivers.com. If you would like to customize your own quiver or armguard, contact them at (702) 501-1680. BA


with Darren Johnson In last month‘s column, I discussed the concept of wildlife habitat management and laid out the six-step foundation of a successful plan. To help you visualize how this plan can work on your property, I will recap how some friends and I started a wildlife habitat management plan on some land in central Indiana. The first step of the plan is to determine what you want out of the property. Wildlife habitat management is often thought of as a tool for whitetail deer only, but it can be used for any single species or group of species. In this case, our plan had two components. First, the property had an excess of whitetail deer. We felt the population was currently above the carrying capacity of the land and as a result, the deer were individually not very healthy. While we enjoyed seeing them virtually every day, we felt that we might be one harsh winter away from a massive starve-off. Also, the deer weren‘t staying on our property. Due to a shortage of food at times, they were travelling to other properties as the food sources changed throughout the year. We wanted a healthy, sustainable population to remain on the property throughout the year. Secondly, we wanted to increase the wild turkey population. We had seen turkey nearby and very occasionally on the property, but like deer, we wanted a permanent healthy population. We even were considering reintroduction efforts in order to boost the population quickly. Lucky for us, the habitat needs of turkey and deer are similar and so much of our efforts would help both species.

Our plan consisted of educating the hunters about what we were doing, and how it would benefit them. This discussion led to the commitment from all that they would focus on harvesting does until the deer population returned to sustainable levels. Harvesting a buck was still allowed, but the emphasis was placed on killing a doe instead of an immature buck. An exception was made for youth or new hunters, who were encouraged to take the first deer that presented an ethical shot opportunity. As a result, the doe to buck kill ratio was approximately four to one, and the population was reduced quickly over the first couple of years. As a side note, the next fawning season we began to see more twins and triplets being born, which was probably due to better nutrition for the mother. This emphasis on killing does over immature bucks continues to this day, and we are seeing more and larger bucks as a result. In addition, the deer are much healthier and we are killing more deer on the property each year. We also required all hunters to report all turkey sightings, but none are allowed to be killed until the population reaches target levels. Part two of the foundation is to complete a species inventory on the property. Ours showed far too many coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and opossums. The coyote kill a lot of fawns and small game each year so we increased our predator hunting on the property. We have taken numerous coyote, but they are proficient breeders and therefore, a perpetual focus is necessary. Many of us see this as just another opportunity to go hunting. Raccoons, skunks, and opossums are voracious egg eaters, especially those of ground


nesting birds such as the turkey. We increased year two, we planted forage soy beans only in our our hunting of these species but also implemented biggest plots. These plants produce larger leaves a trapping program to reduce the populations. and fewer beans that the standard commercial While we have taken many raccoons and an varieties of soy beans. They are not harvested in unbelievable amount of skunk, we must continue the fall but remain all year long to provide food to focus on this so that the turkey population has for the deer and turkey. Also, they are Round Up a chance to grow. We are considering opening ready so we could spray every couple of months the property to professional trappers who are to control weeds. An additional benefit is that much better at it than we are. due to their short height, we could see the animals Taking soil using the plot very easily, yet samples on animals still felt safe enough in the areas them to bed down. where you Part four of the plan was to intend to plant learn all we could about our target food sources animals. We had quite a bit of is the third collective knowledge about part of the whitetail deer but found out that plan. This we didn‘t know as much about was turkeys as we thought we did. To completed and combat this, we talked to our local Food Plot: End of First Season the proper chapter officer of the Wild Turkey nutrients and soil amendments Federation. were purchased. Additionally, we As a result of Food Plot: Now talked to experts about what food our sources would be best for our plan. discussions, We had many plant options to we dropped choose from, so as a result, we the idea of chose many and created a ―mix‖ to reintroducing plant. In hindsight, this turkeys and overcomplicated the process just focused greatly in our first year. Not only on the did it make planting more difficult, turkeys‘ but some of the plants were not nutritional ―Round Up‖ ready, meaning they and shelter couldn‘t be sprayed with herbicides to control requirements. Almost immediately, we began weeds. As luck would have it, we had an seeing more turkey on the property. invasive weed take over in many sections of our Aerial photography was the keynote of the food plots so the weed killer had to be applied by plan‘s fifth part. Knowing the property well hand, a very laborious task. enough that we could intelligently pick the areas Additionally, many of the shorter plants were to plant, mow or build habitat was the key. We crowded out by those plant species that grew spent hours looking at the maps, selecting areas, taller. We learned from our rookie year and in and then walking them to make sure that we were Continued on page 50


working in the areas that made sense. These generally were areas that weren‘t in the animals‘ bedding areas but close enough so that the animals could find these food sources and shelter areas. The result was almost immediate increases in sighting of deer and turkey. We also designed these areas so that animals could travel to them by ways other than crossing roads so that our efforts didn‘t result in higher road kill. We also picked areas for food plots and trails that allowed

the hunters the easiest access to and from the areas. A major water source, such as a creek or pond, was nearby each selected site so that the animals‘ food and water requirements could be easily met. The final component of the plan was to inventory equipment and labor so that we would understand what we had to work with and what we needed to obtain from somewhere else. Several of us mowed and sprayed areas. Then, a local Pheasants Forever chapter loaned us a seed drill and then we hired a local farmer to disc the ground and plant the seed. Collectively, we called in enough friends and family members to cut trees, pull fences, and do other manual labor as needed. All told, it cost us very little and was a good way to build camaraderie and commitment to what we were doing. In next month‘s column, we will discuss plants and food options for each region/species, along with more details about what went well and not so well with my first wildlife habitat management plant. Until then, go enjoy the great outdoors! BA


What do you get when you put all the current major archers in the world, archery manufacturers, gambling, prime rib, and beer under one roof for a week in Vegas? A great time, that‘s what! Held back-to-back with the World Archery Indoor Championships, the NFAA Vegas Shoot offered the opportunity to watch and compete against almost 2,000 archers from the USA, Mexico, and Europe and shoot next to people with accents from as far away as South Africa and Australia. Most of the teams stayed on to compete at the NFAA shoot and mixed up the action in both the Championship and nonchampionship flights. Bows, bows, and more bows. It was a bit unreal to see bows moving through the casino, on the elevator, escalator, arena, and generally everywhere except maybe in the pool. The folks that were not there for the shoot had lots of wide eyed questions when riding up on the elevator along with strung bows with monster stabilizers attached. The elevator was the place to be. We ran into almost every ―name‖ and their spouses, parents, coaches, and kids on the elevator. I did my share of elbowing Matt while mouthing, ―OMG, do you know who that is?!‖ Yeah, I‘m secretly still ten. My favorite elevator moment however, was when a west coast guy sporting cigarette jeans, seriously pointy shoes, and giant Elvis pompadour along with his equally stylish gal stepped on after a camo‘d midwestern teenager and his mom. I so wish I could have whipped out my camera to capture the expression on that kid‘s face. Classic! On the floor, it was a fantastic culture clash, with the typical American traditional barebow guy sharing a bale next to a Russian Olympic

recurve archer. Ladies and men competed against each other, no separation in the flights. There were no points for style given, but maybe there should have been. Texas sized bling with head-to-


toe pink accessories were spotted along with 3 inch heels on the ladies compound line. Hey, when you look good, you shoot good, right? Shooting styles varied tremendously. Everything from flamboyant French releases with the continental double kiss for good arrows, to the

quiet, ultra-controlled USA team machine style that continued to win medals. I spent an unforgettable hour watching Miranda Leek, Holly Stover, and Jennifer Nichols before going to shoot my final day. Having those correct mental impressions actually helped my release later on. Para archers were out in numbers, including an exceptional blind woman whose guide dog napped patiently off the line between ends. Yes, I said blind. To see these guys and gals shoot and shoot well mind you, is amazing to watch. Plus, they were lumped in with everyone else for scores, no special treatment there. Impressive final shootouts beginning the night we arrived under spotlights, rock music, and live online coverage set the tone for the week. I have no idea how you prepare for shooting under those crazy conditions. It‘s critical to have nerves of steel to have the announcer holler, ―NINE!‖ and keep it together for the next shot for a ten. I tend to turn fire engine red while shooting anonymously in a crowd without the benefit of an announcer when I hit a bad shot. Most of the guys and gals at that level are used to it, but getting to that point is pretty extraordinary. YouTube posted the shoots live all day and a great overview of the venue and all the team and individual finals can be found here. We had a great time and would definitely go back again. If you haven‘t been yet, I would highly recommend it. BA


Anticipating the next issue of BowAmerica already? Make sure you subscribe either by logging in with your facebook account on ISSUU.com or by entering your email at BowAmerica.com! Our April issue carries us straight into Gobbler Season! Our feature story will cover the Wild Turkey Grand Slam with Randy Mabe. And of course, as always, we will have articles on traditional, compound, bowfishing, women bowhunters, habitat management, life and exercise, gear reviews, how-to, and more. Also, feel free to drop questions or comments to our contributors anytime by clicking one of the social media buttons on our contributors’ page. See you next month!

BowAmerica March 2012  

Here is issue number 3 of BowAmerica. This issue features Michele Leqve and her quest to become the first female bowhunter to take a polar b...

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