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FATHERS DAY BOWHUNTING MEMORIES

Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2018/06/fathers-day-bowhunting-memories/

Memories of Father’s Day: Hunting with Dad

Fathers teach us countless life lessons during our time together. They tie our shoes, help with homework, and take us hunting to pass along their traditions.

With Father’s Day approaching, some Archery Trade Association staff members agreed to share inside looks at their hunting experiences with their fathers and children. We hope these stories warm your heart and inspire you to hunt with your dad or children this fall.

Nicole

Nicole Nash recounts the time when, “My dad watched me take my first deer, a doe, during gun season. The pride he had for his little girl still drives me today to educate and mentor others.” Photo Credit: John Hafner.

Nicole Nash, ATA member-outreach manager, said hunting with her dad has long been important to her. “Hunting with my dad will always be special to me,” she said. “He worked second shift so I didn’t get much time with him during the week. When hunting seasons came around, he and my older brother would go hunting.  I was curious about what they did and how they did it. Mom was hesitant at first. She didn’t know how I would react to dead animals being cleaned or hung on my swing-set. I once asked Dad why he shot Bambi. His response is something I still use today. He said, ‘Daddy didn’t shoot Bambi. See that tongue sticking out? That was a bad deer, and daddy had to shoot him because he was so bad.’ That improved my chances of tagging along. I wanted to shoot the bad deer, too. That also helped me start understanding how conservation works. Mom didn’t hunt, but she always cooked what my dad and brother harvested. I wanted to help put food on the table.”

Nash recalled some of her first father-daughter hunts. “I knocked around the cornstalks as we walked the field to jump doves,” she said. “I sat in an old climber seat as my dad sat on the platform waiting for deer. From there, I started to hunt small game like frogs, rabbits and squirrels to gain experience and show responsibility. When we hunted rabbits and squirrels, we walked the fields together and talked. We bonded. To this day, frog gigging is one of my favorite times with my dad. I couldn’t wait for him to get home at night so we could go out for a couple of hours! We didn’t have land to hunt, so we hunted property where we had permission. This taught me respect for the land and to always obtain permission first. My dad watched me take my first deer, a doe, during gun season. The pride he had for his little girl still drives me today to educate and mentor others.”

Nash said those experiences helped shape her for life. “Hunting with my dad paved the way to understanding conservation, and grew my interest into who I am as a hunter and educator. It created an experience and bond I’ll never forget. I’m grateful my dad instilled hunting in me.”

Kayla

Kayla Becker, ATA marketing manager, said her dad always made sure she stayed warm when they went hunting in Minnesota. Photo Courtesy: Kayla Becker.

Kayla Becker, ATA marketing manager, said her dad always made sure she stayed warm when they went hunting in Minnesota. “My dad was always super sweet and made sure I never got cold,” she said. “He knew that when you start to get cold, it’s a lot less fun. He would get me the warmest clothes on the market and made sure I had enough layers on every time we went out. He said he used to shove newspaper into his boots as a kid to help insulate his feet. I was sure happy he didn’t make me do that! I’m now 13 years into hunting, and he still worries if I get cold in the treestand.”

Cassie

No wonder my dad didn’t shoot a deer that day. Later in life I realized those trips to the woods were never about shooting deer. They were about making memories and spending time together. Photo Courtesy: Cassie Scott.

Cassie Scott, ATA’s digital content specialist, said she was about 12 years old when her “Papa Bear” took her turkey hunting. “He set up a blind a few weeks before our hunt,” she said. “The same day, he wanted me shoot his 12-gauge 870 Remington shotgun for the first time. He wanted me to practice shooting and feel confident holding a firearm. He set up an aluminum can 20 yards away. Before handing me the gun with the safety on, he reviewed the five gun-safety rules, and how to hold and aim the gun. I accepted the firearm, ready to prove myself and my skills. Using every muscle in my upper body, I took aim and practiced taking deep breaths as my heart beat uncontrollably. Meanwhile, my gun slid down my arm and rested on my small bicep.

“Unaware of the mistake I was about to make, I focused on my target, took a deep breath, held it for a moment and s-l-o-w-l-y squeezed the trigger. The pellets raced toward the target and the recoil pushed me in the opposite direction. Then the pain set in. I started crying and my dad came to comfort me. He held my hand as we walked to the target. He picked up the can and held it out while exclaiming, ‘You got it! You creamed the can! This would be a dead bird!’ I peered through my tears to look at the can. After seeing the mutilated can and hearing the excitement in my father’s voice, I forgot all about my bruised arm. Two weeks later I shot my first turkey. Had my dad not focused on the can and bragged to everyone he knew about my shot, I’d probably still be afraid of guns and hunting. But, I’m not. I love hunting and, most of all, I love my dad.”

Scott also remembers tagging along on hunts simply to watch and learn. “When I was 8, my father took me out for an afternoon hunt,” she said. “I remember stepping in each of his footprints in the snow on the way to our treestands. It was like a game. When we reached the stand, he told me to climb up the tree and assured me he’d be right behind. He followed me up and helped strap me in. It was cold and I was wearing several of his wool sweatshirts. He brought along a blaze-orange sleeping bag and zipped me inside it to stay warm.

“I nestled into the oversize sleeping bag while he climbed back down. I watched him walk to his treestand 20 yards away. When he got settled, he gave me a thumbs-up. I signaled back. I was excited and full of energy to be out in the woods with my dad. I’d scan the area for deer. I pointed at birds and bunnies. I waved to him regularly so he didn’t forget I was there. I was a terrible hunting partner. I squirmed, wiggled, waved and scared away practically anything that moved. No wonder my dad didn’t shoot a deer that day. Later in life I realized those trips to the woods were never about shooting deer. They were about making memories and spending time together. They were my dad’s way of sharing his love and knowledge of the outdoors, and it also ensured he would have access to venison when he got older.”

Dan

We originally discussed a father-daughter hunting trip to celebrate her high-school graduation, but then we were intrigued by a do-it-yourself black bear hunt on Kupreanof Island in Alaska. Photo Courtesy: Dan Forster.

Dan Forster, ATA vice president and chief conservation officer, said he’s proud his two children share his love for nature. “My wife, Jennifer, and I are blessed to have two children who grew up with a deep respect and love for the outdoors. I’m pleased and proud. Our time together hunting has bonded all of us in special ways.”

Forster’s daughter, Lanier, is an aspiring wildlife biologist who has joined him on many hunts. “Her interest in pursuing an expanding variety of game species grew,” Forster said. “Her favorite type of hunting as a teenager was alligators, so we weren’t surprised when she announced she wanted to harvest a black bear! We originally discussed a father-daughter hunting trip to celebrate her high-school graduation, but then we were intrigued by a do-it-yourself black bear hunt on Kupreanof Island in Alaska. That required lengthy planning and some luck to draw permits. We had to defer her ‘senior trip’ longer than anticipated. We shifted our expectations and, along with four family friends, obtained permits for a May 2017 hunt.

“After months of anticipation, and apprehension from Lanier’s mom, we piloted our rental boats to an isolated cove in southeastern Alaska, and made a U.S. Forest Service cabin our home for the week. The weather finally cooperated, and hungry bears started roaming the greening banks of the island’s coastline. Lanier enjoyed an exciting stalk on the beach, and was the first in our group to harvest a bear.

“She and I had an almost magical experience. Before the week was out, our group filled five of six tags, and made memories that will last a lifetime.”

Patrick

Forgive me the sentimentality, but I couldn’t help but wonder how many times I tied Leah’s shoes and boots 20 years before when she was a toddler, incapable of the task. Now, here we were bowhunting elk in Idaho, and she realized a renewed use for my shoe-tying skills. Photo Courtesy: Patrick Durkin.

Patrick Durkin, ATA’s contributing editor and writer, has written for decades about hunting with his oldest daughter, Leah, who’s now 33 and a lieutenant-commander in the U.S. Navy. He recalls the first deer she ever arrowed. “We didn’t see a deer on her first bowhunt, but returned on Tuesday evening in September 1997 after school and work. I climbed up, hung a portable seat astride the top of her ladder stand, and helped Leah settle in. An hour later, she stood to stretch her legs. Shortly after, she whispered, ‘Deer!’ I followed her eyes and saw two whitetails walking and feeding on acorns along the woods edge. As they headed our way, I told Leah to get positioned for a shot. After that, she was on her own.

“I long wondered how Leah would handle the pressure and decisions of pulling off a shot. Would she know when to draw the bow to avoid the deer’s notice? Would she even be able to draw it in all the excitement? Would she pick a spot on the deer’s lower chest for her entire focus? Would she wait for the broadside or quartering-away shot? Would she squeeze, not jerk, the release’s trigger? Would she follow through with her string hand, and not drop her bow arm? Within minutes, I would know,” he recalled.

“Finally, when the first deer walked into an opening at 14 yards to eat some acorns, I grunted. The deer paused, lifted its head, and seconds later Leah’s arrow pierced its lungs. Leah’s knees and shoulders shook uncontrollably as the deer made its short, final run. ‘I have to sit down,’ she said, and plunked onto her seat. Minutes later, she tagged her first deer, which turned out to be a large buck fawn. I shook my head in amazement. It had all looked so easy, so effortless. Nine years of field experience and three years of shooting practice told Leah otherwise.”

Durkin also recounts a bowhunting trip they took 10 years ago while Leah was on leave from the Navy. “Heavy laces dug into my fingers as I pulled them tightly across the instep of my daughter’s hunting boots, doing my best to ensure her foot wouldn’t slide forward and jam her toes when we descended the mountain. Forgive me the sentimentality, but I couldn’t help but wonder how many times I tied Leah’s shoes and boots 20 years before when she was a toddler, incapable of the task. Now, here we were bowhunting elk in Idaho, and she realized a renewed use for my shoe-tying skills.

“The day before, we encountered four local bowhunters deboning a 4-point bull elk one of them arrowed with his homemade longbow,” Durkin continued. “We had assumed we were alone on the ridge, having scaled its face in a grinding predawn ascent. But four hours later, we heard loud voices below an aspen meadow, and found the men cutting and packaging elk meat. Even though they did their best to ignore Leah, they took turns glancing at her in mild surprise. Maybe they figured we were tolerable, maybe even OK, for nonresidents. Finally, I broke the barrier. ‘When’s the last time you saw a girl up here bowhunting?’ I asked. The group’s leader, a man in his early 60s, smiled and said: ‘Well, she’s the first one I’ve seen up here today, and before today I can’t say I ever saw one, so I guess she’s the first.’”

Later, they took a break to regroup and refuel. “Leah then removed her socks to apply fresh moleskin to hotspots on her toes and heels,” Durkin continued. “I studied her toenails and said, ‘Now those are the first red toenails I’ve seen up here today, and before today I can’t say I ever saw red toenails on an elk hunter, so I guess yours are the first.’ Leah just smirked and pulled her socks back on. ‘They’re not red, they’re pink. Just tie my boots, OK?’”

Memories created while hunting are held dear by fathers as well as their children. It’s wonderful to see these two perspectives: children reflecting on hunts with dads who helped shape their future, and fathers watching children with pride while they grow up.

On Father’s Day, spend time outdoors with your family and create memories that inspire everyone for a lifetime.

By: Taylor Walston, courtesy of Bowhunting 360 and ArcheryTrade.org.

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Published

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Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2018/06/fathers-day-bowhunting-memories/

Memories of Father’s Day: Hunting with Dad

Fathers teach us countless life lessons during our time together. They tie our shoes, help with homework, and take us hunting to pass along their traditions.

With Father’s Day approaching, some Archery Trade Association staff members agreed to share inside looks at their hunting experiences with their fathers and children. We hope these stories warm your heart and inspire you to hunt with your dad or children this fall.

Nicole

Nicole Nash recounts the time when, “My dad watched me take my first deer, a doe, during gun season. The pride he had for his little girl still drives me today to educate and mentor others.” Photo Credit: John Hafner.

Nicole Nash, ATA member-outreach manager, said hunting with her dad has long been important to her. “Hunting with my dad will always be special to me,” she said. “He worked second shift so I didn’t get much time with him during the week. When hunting seasons came around, he and my older brother would go hunting.  I was curious about what they did and how they did it. Mom was hesitant at first. She didn’t know how I would react to dead animals being cleaned or hung on my swing-set. I once asked Dad why he shot Bambi. His response is something I still use today. He said, ‘Daddy didn’t shoot Bambi. See that tongue sticking out? That was a bad deer, and daddy had to shoot him because he was so bad.’ That improved my chances of tagging along. I wanted to shoot the bad deer, too. That also helped me start understanding how conservation works. Mom didn’t hunt, but she always cooked what my dad and brother harvested. I wanted to help put food on the table.”

Nash recalled some of her first father-daughter hunts. “I knocked around the cornstalks as we walked the field to jump doves,” she said. “I sat in an old climber seat as my dad sat on the platform waiting for deer. From there, I started to hunt small game like frogs, rabbits and squirrels to gain experience and show responsibility. When we hunted rabbits and squirrels, we walked the fields together and talked. We bonded. To this day, frog gigging is one of my favorite times with my dad. I couldn’t wait for him to get home at night so we could go out for a couple of hours! We didn’t have land to hunt, so we hunted property where we had permission. This taught me respect for the land and to always obtain permission first. My dad watched me take my first deer, a doe, during gun season. The pride he had for his little girl still drives me today to educate and mentor others.”

Nash said those experiences helped shape her for life. “Hunting with my dad paved the way to understanding conservation, and grew my interest into who I am as a hunter and educator. It created an experience and bond I’ll never forget. I’m grateful my dad instilled hunting in me.”

Kayla

Kayla Becker, ATA marketing manager, said her dad always made sure she stayed warm when they went hunting in Minnesota. Photo Courtesy: Kayla Becker.

Kayla Becker, ATA marketing manager, said her dad always made sure she stayed warm when they went hunting in Minnesota. “My dad was always super sweet and made sure I never got cold,” she said. “He knew that when you start to get cold, it’s a lot less fun. He would get me the warmest clothes on the market and made sure I had enough layers on every time we went out. He said he used to shove newspaper into his boots as a kid to help insulate his feet. I was sure happy he didn’t make me do that! I’m now 13 years into hunting, and he still worries if I get cold in the treestand.”

Cassie

No wonder my dad didn’t shoot a deer that day. Later in life I realized those trips to the woods were never about shooting deer. They were about making memories and spending time together. Photo Courtesy: Cassie Scott.

Cassie Scott, ATA’s digital content specialist, said she was about 12 years old when her “Papa Bear” took her turkey hunting. “He set up a blind a few weeks before our hunt,” she said. “The same day, he wanted me shoot his 12-gauge 870 Remington shotgun for the first time. He wanted me to practice shooting and feel confident holding a firearm. He set up an aluminum can 20 yards away. Before handing me the gun with the safety on, he reviewed the five gun-safety rules, and how to hold and aim the gun. I accepted the firearm, ready to prove myself and my skills. Using every muscle in my upper body, I took aim and practiced taking deep breaths as my heart beat uncontrollably. Meanwhile, my gun slid down my arm and rested on my small bicep.

“Unaware of the mistake I was about to make, I focused on my target, took a deep breath, held it for a moment and s-l-o-w-l-y squeezed the trigger. The pellets raced toward the target and the recoil pushed me in the opposite direction. Then the pain set in. I started crying and my dad came to comfort me. He held my hand as we walked to the target. He picked up the can and held it out while exclaiming, ‘You got it! You creamed the can! This would be a dead bird!’ I peered through my tears to look at the can. After seeing the mutilated can and hearing the excitement in my father’s voice, I forgot all about my bruised arm. Two weeks later I shot my first turkey. Had my dad not focused on the can and bragged to everyone he knew about my shot, I’d probably still be afraid of guns and hunting. But, I’m not. I love hunting and, most of all, I love my dad.”

Scott also remembers tagging along on hunts simply to watch and learn. “When I was 8, my father took me out for an afternoon hunt,” she said. “I remember stepping in each of his footprints in the snow on the way to our treestands. It was like a game. When we reached the stand, he told me to climb up the tree and assured me he’d be right behind. He followed me up and helped strap me in. It was cold and I was wearing several of his wool sweatshirts. He brought along a blaze-orange sleeping bag and zipped me inside it to stay warm.

“I nestled into the oversize sleeping bag while he climbed back down. I watched him walk to his treestand 20 yards away. When he got settled, he gave me a thumbs-up. I signaled back. I was excited and full of energy to be out in the woods with my dad. I’d scan the area for deer. I pointed at birds and bunnies. I waved to him regularly so he didn’t forget I was there. I was a terrible hunting partner. I squirmed, wiggled, waved and scared away practically anything that moved. No wonder my dad didn’t shoot a deer that day. Later in life I realized those trips to the woods were never about shooting deer. They were about making memories and spending time together. They were my dad’s way of sharing his love and knowledge of the outdoors, and it also ensured he would have access to venison when he got older.”

Dan

We originally discussed a father-daughter hunting trip to celebrate her high-school graduation, but then we were intrigued by a do-it-yourself black bear hunt on Kupreanof Island in Alaska. Photo Courtesy: Dan Forster.

Dan Forster, ATA vice president and chief conservation officer, said he’s proud his two children share his love for nature. “My wife, Jennifer, and I are blessed to have two children who grew up with a deep respect and love for the outdoors. I’m pleased and proud. Our time together hunting has bonded all of us in special ways.”

Forster’s daughter, Lanier, is an aspiring wildlife biologist who has joined him on many hunts. “Her interest in pursuing an expanding variety of game species grew,” Forster said. “Her favorite type of hunting as a teenager was alligators, so we weren’t surprised when she announced she wanted to harvest a black bear! We originally discussed a father-daughter hunting trip to celebrate her high-school graduation, but then we were intrigued by a do-it-yourself black bear hunt on Kupreanof Island in Alaska. That required lengthy planning and some luck to draw permits. We had to defer her ‘senior trip’ longer than anticipated. We shifted our expectations and, along with four family friends, obtained permits for a May 2017 hunt.

“After months of anticipation, and apprehension from Lanier’s mom, we piloted our rental boats to an isolated cove in southeastern Alaska, and made a U.S. Forest Service cabin our home for the week. The weather finally cooperated, and hungry bears started roaming the greening banks of the island’s coastline. Lanier enjoyed an exciting stalk on the beach, and was the first in our group to harvest a bear.

“She and I had an almost magical experience. Before the week was out, our group filled five of six tags, and made memories that will last a lifetime.”

Patrick

Forgive me the sentimentality, but I couldn’t help but wonder how many times I tied Leah’s shoes and boots 20 years before when she was a toddler, incapable of the task. Now, here we were bowhunting elk in Idaho, and she realized a renewed use for my shoe-tying skills. Photo Courtesy: Patrick Durkin.

Patrick Durkin, ATA’s contributing editor and writer, has written for decades about hunting with his oldest daughter, Leah, who’s now 33 and a lieutenant-commander in the U.S. Navy. He recalls the first deer she ever arrowed. “We didn’t see a deer on her first bowhunt, but returned on Tuesday evening in September 1997 after school and work. I climbed up, hung a portable seat astride the top of her ladder stand, and helped Leah settle in. An hour later, she stood to stretch her legs. Shortly after, she whispered, ‘Deer!’ I followed her eyes and saw two whitetails walking and feeding on acorns along the woods edge. As they headed our way, I told Leah to get positioned for a shot. After that, she was on her own.

“I long wondered how Leah would handle the pressure and decisions of pulling off a shot. Would she know when to draw the bow to avoid the deer’s notice? Would she even be able to draw it in all the excitement? Would she pick a spot on the deer’s lower chest for her entire focus? Would she wait for the broadside or quartering-away shot? Would she squeeze, not jerk, the release’s trigger? Would she follow through with her string hand, and not drop her bow arm? Within minutes, I would know,” he recalled.

“Finally, when the first deer walked into an opening at 14 yards to eat some acorns, I grunted. The deer paused, lifted its head, and seconds later Leah’s arrow pierced its lungs. Leah’s knees and shoulders shook uncontrollably as the deer made its short, final run. ‘I have to sit down,’ she said, and plunked onto her seat. Minutes later, she tagged her first deer, which turned out to be a large buck fawn. I shook my head in amazement. It had all looked so easy, so effortless. Nine years of field experience and three years of shooting practice told Leah otherwise.”

Durkin also recounts a bowhunting trip they took 10 years ago while Leah was on leave from the Navy. “Heavy laces dug into my fingers as I pulled them tightly across the instep of my daughter’s hunting boots, doing my best to ensure her foot wouldn’t slide forward and jam her toes when we descended the mountain. Forgive me the sentimentality, but I couldn’t help but wonder how many times I tied Leah’s shoes and boots 20 years before when she was a toddler, incapable of the task. Now, here we were bowhunting elk in Idaho, and she realized a renewed use for my shoe-tying skills.

“The day before, we encountered four local bowhunters deboning a 4-point bull elk one of them arrowed with his homemade longbow,” Durkin continued. “We had assumed we were alone on the ridge, having scaled its face in a grinding predawn ascent. But four hours later, we heard loud voices below an aspen meadow, and found the men cutting and packaging elk meat. Even though they did their best to ignore Leah, they took turns glancing at her in mild surprise. Maybe they figured we were tolerable, maybe even OK, for nonresidents. Finally, I broke the barrier. ‘When’s the last time you saw a girl up here bowhunting?’ I asked. The group’s leader, a man in his early 60s, smiled and said: ‘Well, she’s the first one I’ve seen up here today, and before today I can’t say I ever saw one, so I guess she’s the first.’”

Later, they took a break to regroup and refuel. “Leah then removed her socks to apply fresh moleskin to hotspots on her toes and heels,” Durkin continued. “I studied her toenails and said, ‘Now those are the first red toenails I’ve seen up here today, and before today I can’t say I ever saw red toenails on an elk hunter, so I guess yours are the first.’ Leah just smirked and pulled her socks back on. ‘They’re not red, they’re pink. Just tie my boots, OK?’”

Memories created while hunting are held dear by fathers as well as their children. It’s wonderful to see these two perspectives: children reflecting on hunts with dads who helped shape their future, and fathers watching children with pride while they grow up.

On Father’s Day, spend time outdoors with your family and create memories that inspire everyone for a lifetime.

By: Taylor Walston, courtesy of Bowhunting 360 and ArcheryTrade.org.

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

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Hunting

N.F.C. – Maps & Scouting Lead To Success with Kevin Vanderploeg

Posted from: https://audio.simplecast.com/1ee470f6.mp3

On this episode, Dan talks with Kevin Vanderploeg of Michigan about his 2018 deer hunting season. Actually, the story really starts in 2017 where was able to harvest a 156 10 point buck on public land in Ohio.

During the summer months of 2018 he identified two shooter bucks in a 10 acre woodlot that made him focus on the area a little more. Knocking on doors to gain permission he picked up an additional 30 acres. During a scouting mission before the season started he found a buck bed and some old sign that got him excited for the upcoming archery season. The scouting paid off, he was able to harvest one of the shooters early in October.

Then, later in the month and in to November he took two out of state trips to hunt public ground. Using digital maps that showed terrain feature, he was able to find some really good tree stand locations that resulted in him sealing the deal.

I love talking to guys like Kevin who put in the time to locate the best possible locations and ultimately get the job done.

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Published

on

Posted from: https://audio.simplecast.com/1ee470f6.mp3

On this episode, Dan talks with Kevin Vanderploeg of Michigan about his 2018 deer hunting season. Actually, the story really starts in 2017 where was able to harvest a 156 10 point buck on public land in Ohio.

During the summer months of 2018 he identified two shooter bucks in a 10 acre woodlot that made him focus on the area a little more. Knocking on doors to gain permission he picked up an additional 30 acres. During a scouting mission before the season started he found a buck bed and some old sign that got him excited for the upcoming archery season. The scouting paid off, he was able to harvest one of the shooters early in October.

Then, later in the month and in to November he took two out of state trips to hunt public ground. Using digital maps that showed terrain feature, he was able to find some really good tree stand locations that resulted in him sealing the deal.

I love talking to guys like Kevin who put in the time to locate the best possible locations and ultimately get the job done.

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Continue Reading

Hunting

Hunting the Easy Way? Part 2

Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2019/04/hunting-the-easy-way-part-2/

Archery tradition of “Hunting the Hard Way” dying or is it already dead?

MARQSCOUT
Sponsored by: The Archery Hall of Fame

By: M.R. James

          IN MY LAST COLUMN I briefly examined the positive and negative effects that modern technology has had on the ancient sport of archery and 21st century bowhunters. For those of us with lots of gray in our whiskers, folks who began shooting arrows at targets and game animals in the 1950s and 1960s, can likely recall crafting or buying our first longbows and recurves. We mostly used tapered cedar or metal shafts with glue-on feather fletching and field points for shooting paper or hand-sharpened, store-bought, cut-on-contact broadheads for hunting deer and other woodland game.

            Back then, drawing an arrow the average 28 inches or so
before releasing it took a bit of doing with heavier-pulling hunting bows. For
example, if your bow’s draw weight was 60 or 65 pounds, it was no different
than using your index, middle, and ring fingers to lift that total weight slightly
more than two feet off the floor, hold it steady while aiming, and then
relaxing your fingers to make the shot. States established minimum draw weights
for hunting, typically in the 35 to 45-pound range, give or take a little, to
help achieve necessary penetration for quick, clean kills.

            Kinetic energy was something you’d find referenced in a
physics book. Compound bows and minimal draw weight let-offs were, until the
late 1960s and early ‘70s, known only to H. W. Allen and Tom Jennings and their
small group of followers. By the way, the let-off on my initial Jennings bow, the
one used to take my first compound-killed buck, was around 10 or 12%. In 1971,
when the very first copies of Bowhunter Magazine
rolled off the presses, only one compound bow ad could be found. But by the end
of that same decade, most of the major North American bow companies were
building, advertising, and selling fast, flat-shooting wheeled bows for hunters
and target shooters alike.

            Arguably, the compound bow had just changed archery and
bowhunting forever. Using wheeled bows with their cables and pulleys, made bows
shoot faster and bowhunting easier than using stickbows.

This wild, free-ranging British Columbia bison fell to well-placed arrows after I’d stalked within 40 yards before raising my Mathews compound bow The one-ton giant is one of several bison I’ve taken over my 60-year bowhunting career and proof that broadheads can quickly drop even the largest beasts found on the North American continent.

            THE LEGENDRY ARCHER/BOWHUNTER HOWARD HILL wrote Hunting the Hard Way in 1953, rightfully
noting in his book that using firearms was easier and more woodcraft and
stalking ability was necessary for archers to get close to wary game before
making the killing shot. He also said of bowhunting, “I know of no greater
measure of game conservation than using the bow as a weapon in hunting game.” That’s
because of its low overall impact on game populations. That was true in Hill’s
heyday and in the 1960s when I got serious about bowhunting (with only 3 or 4 of
every 100 bowhunters tagging a deer).

            Now, half a century later, bowhunting success shows decades of growth. Much of that improvement is because of the population explosion in North America’s whitetail deer herds, better bowhunting tackle, and more knowledgeable, experienced hunters. From an average success rate of 3 to 4% in the ‘60s, bowhunters in at least 10 states and provinces now enjoy 30 to 40% success putting venison in the family freezer. Only Nova Scotia’s 6%, Maine’s 10%, and California’s 11% fail to hit seasonal deer kill averages in the teens or better. (Note: All figures cited are from the 2018 Bowhunter Magazine Deer Forecast.)

I killed this young Michigan buck with one arrow from my Pearson recurve in the late 1960s. Since treestands were illegal in the state back then, I was still-hunting with the 25 yard shot presented itself. Gotta love what Howard Hill called “Hunting the hard way.”

            Such success has not gone unnoticed by game departments
and deer biologists, as well as critics of bowhunting’s lengthy seasons, which
often include the annual rut when bucks are most visible and vulnerable.
Combined with diseases like EHD or CWD, that can take a heavy toll on deer in
any given area, plus increased road kills and overharvesting does by issuing
too many antlerless licenses, complaints about deer sightings are becoming
increasingly commonplace.

            My adopted state of Indiana is a good example. Nearly
one-third of Hoosierland’s 75,000+ bowhunters fill their tags annually without
adversely impacting the herd. However, an overly long firearms season, including
an arbitrary antlerless late season that takes a heavy toll on pregnant does, has
transformed the state into counties with pockets of plenty and adjoining
counties, which formerly supported good numbers of whitetails, into areas with comparatively
few if any deer. Not surprisingly, this has caused growing numbers of unhappy Indiana
deer hunters to grow increasingly restless.

            Compounding the mounting unrest (no pun intended), is the
fact that in recent years certain high-powered rifles and crossbows have been
legalized for hunting Hoosier deer. Throw in the annual road kills and the crop-raiding
deer legally blown away and left to rot by farmers during summer months, plus fears
the Indiana herd is dwindling, may be true. Making killing deer easier is an
issue in Indiana and elsewhere. Calls for protecting does by reducing
antlerless permits and eliminating the late season are increasing.

I’ve frequently shared hunting camps with rifle hunters where wearing blaze orange was the law. Caribou, like this Quebec P&Y bull, are a favorite challenge. I stalked him as he fed across the rolling tundra and stopped him with one arrow at no more than 30 yards. Challenge faced, challenge met.
 

            I HAVE NO DOUBTS that the modern crossbow is already
having a major impact on bowhunting. When in 1976 neighboring Ohio legalized
the use of crossbows during archery seasons – and Arkansas followed suit – it
took only a few years for crossbow usage during deer season to exceed the use
of vertical bows. More recently, after Wisconsin okayed crossbow use in 2013,
the identical thing happened. In 2018, Badger State “bowhunters” registered
46,750 deer by shooting crossbows, while 40,055 tagged their deer with
compounds and traditional bows held and shot vertically.

                                                                      

Modern crossbows equipped with telescopic sights are gaining in popularity with more and more deer hunters. They’re easier to use, require minimal practice once zeroed in, and account for a higher number of deer kills than conventional bows in some states where they’re legal. Archery purists say they are not for hunters who want the challenge of “hunting the hard way” with conventional bowhunting tackle.

            The reason is obvious? Crossbows are easier to use.
They’re pre-cocked, frequently equipped with telescopic sights, and ready to
shoot with minimal movement when a deer appears. They are, in fact, the
antithesis of Hill’s “hunting the hard way.” The claim that compound bows are
simply vertical crossbows doesn’t hold water for any objective hunter.

            Based on my 60+ years in archery and big game hunting, I
can state unequivocally that I can hunt effectively with longbows and recurves
shot instinctively, but I’m a better shot at longer ranges using a compound bow
with sights. Likewise, I can shoot even better at longer ranges using a
crossbow with a telescopic sight and bipod than hand-holding either a stickbow
or compound. I suspect this is generally true with a majority of folks.

            The popularity of crossbows is not surprising, really.
This is the age of busy, results-oriented folks who often have multiple
interests and obligations with little spare time. The crossbow doesn’t require
the strength necessary to draw and hold conventional bows, making crossbows
appealing to youngsters and women. Once legally used only during archery
seasons by physically challenged bowhunters, today’s crossbows typically
account for the only area of growth of hunting license sales in some states.
Deer hunters like them because of the long archery season, increased odds of
tagging a deer, and the minimal amount of practice time required once the
weapon is sighted in.

            Based on the limited research I’ve conducted, it seems that increased crossbow license sales do not result in more hunters showing up in the woods and more revenue for Fish and Game Department coffers. The state of Wisconsin cites a trend that indicates many “new” crossbow shooters are in fact gun hunters who like the longer season and better weather, or they are former bowhunters wanting better odds to fill a deer tag than conventional bows and arrows offer.

Why bowhunt? “To face the challenge of doing something difficult in hopes of beating the odds and savoring the satisfaction of achieving a personal goal.”
 

            What’s my personal take on crossbows? They are a fine
weapon and deserve a season and record book of their own. Crossbow kills should
never be allowed in the Pope and Young bowhunting record book. Moreover, since
I love bowhunting for the challenge it offers, I would never hunt with a
crossbow during archery season any more than I would use a firearm, if legal. However,
I do frequently hunt with my compound or recurve during a firearms season – often
wearing the required blaze orange over my camo clothing – and I’ve been
successful tagging every big game animal from deer to moose and caribou and
mountain goats and muskoxen to black bears and cougars. Crossbow hunters easily
could enjoy similar success competing with gun hunters, if willing to accept
the challenge.

            I oppose the use of crossbows during archery seasons except by physically challenged hunters. Why? Because they distort numbers of actual bow kills and thereby threaten the future of “hunting the hard way.” That’s the way I’ve hunted for six decades and will continue to hunt for as long as I have the strength to draw a bow and release an arrow.

For Hunting the Easy Way? Part 1
For more please go to: Thoughts and Tips with M.R. James

                                                                       

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Published

on

Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2019/04/hunting-the-easy-way-part-2/

Archery tradition of “Hunting the Hard Way” dying or is it already dead?

MARQSCOUT
Sponsored by: The Archery Hall of Fame

hunting
By: M.R. James

          IN MY LAST COLUMN I briefly examined the positive and negative effects that modern technology has had on the ancient sport of archery and 21st century bowhunters. For those of us with lots of gray in our whiskers, folks who began shooting arrows at targets and game animals in the 1950s and 1960s, can likely recall crafting or buying our first longbows and recurves. We mostly used tapered cedar or metal shafts with glue-on feather fletching and field points for shooting paper or hand-sharpened, store-bought, cut-on-contact broadheads for hunting deer and other woodland game.

            Back then, drawing an arrow the average 28 inches or so
before releasing it took a bit of doing with heavier-pulling hunting bows. For
example, if your bow’s draw weight was 60 or 65 pounds, it was no different
than using your index, middle, and ring fingers to lift that total weight slightly
more than two feet off the floor, hold it steady while aiming, and then
relaxing your fingers to make the shot. States established minimum draw weights
for hunting, typically in the 35 to 45-pound range, give or take a little, to
help achieve necessary penetration for quick, clean kills.

            Kinetic energy was something you’d find referenced in a
physics book. Compound bows and minimal draw weight let-offs were, until the
late 1960s and early ‘70s, known only to H. W. Allen and Tom Jennings and their
small group of followers. By the way, the let-off on my initial Jennings bow, the
one used to take my first compound-killed buck, was around 10 or 12%. In 1971,
when the very first copies of Bowhunter Magazine
rolled off the presses, only one compound bow ad could be found. But by the end
of that same decade, most of the major North American bow companies were
building, advertising, and selling fast, flat-shooting wheeled bows for hunters
and target shooters alike.

            Arguably, the compound bow had just changed archery and
bowhunting forever. Using wheeled bows with their cables and pulleys, made bows
shoot faster and bowhunting easier than using stickbows.

hunting articles
This wild, free-ranging British Columbia bison fell to well-placed arrows after I’d stalked within 40 yards before raising my Mathews compound bow The one-ton giant is one of several bison I’ve taken over my 60-year bowhunting career and proof that broadheads can quickly drop even the largest beasts found on the North American continent.

            THE LEGENDRY ARCHER/BOWHUNTER HOWARD HILL wrote Hunting the Hard Way in 1953, rightfully
noting in his book that using firearms was easier and more woodcraft and
stalking ability was necessary for archers to get close to wary game before
making the killing shot. He also said of bowhunting, “I know of no greater
measure of game conservation than using the bow as a weapon in hunting game.” That’s
because of its low overall impact on game populations. That was true in Hill’s
heyday and in the 1960s when I got serious about bowhunting (with only 3 or 4 of
every 100 bowhunters tagging a deer).

            Now, half a century later, bowhunting success shows decades of growth. Much of that improvement is because of the population explosion in North America’s whitetail deer herds, better bowhunting tackle, and more knowledgeable, experienced hunters. From an average success rate of 3 to 4% in the ‘60s, bowhunters in at least 10 states and provinces now enjoy 30 to 40% success putting venison in the family freezer. Only Nova Scotia’s 6%, Maine’s 10%, and California’s 11% fail to hit seasonal deer kill averages in the teens or better. (Note: All figures cited are from the 2018 Bowhunter Magazine Deer Forecast.)

hunting website
I killed this young Michigan buck with one arrow from my Pearson recurve in the late 1960s. Since treestands were illegal in the state back then, I was still-hunting with the 25 yard shot presented itself. Gotta love what Howard Hill called “Hunting the hard way.”

            Such success has not gone unnoticed by game departments
and deer biologists, as well as critics of bowhunting’s lengthy seasons, which
often include the annual rut when bucks are most visible and vulnerable.
Combined with diseases like EHD or CWD, that can take a heavy toll on deer in
any given area, plus increased road kills and overharvesting does by issuing
too many antlerless licenses, complaints about deer sightings are becoming
increasingly commonplace.

            My adopted state of Indiana is a good example. Nearly
one-third of Hoosierland’s 75,000+ bowhunters fill their tags annually without
adversely impacting the herd. However, an overly long firearms season, including
an arbitrary antlerless late season that takes a heavy toll on pregnant does, has
transformed the state into counties with pockets of plenty and adjoining
counties, which formerly supported good numbers of whitetails, into areas with comparatively
few if any deer. Not surprisingly, this has caused growing numbers of unhappy Indiana
deer hunters to grow increasingly restless.

            Compounding the mounting unrest (no pun intended), is the
fact that in recent years certain high-powered rifles and crossbows have been
legalized for hunting Hoosier deer. Throw in the annual road kills and the crop-raiding
deer legally blown away and left to rot by farmers during summer months, plus fears
the Indiana herd is dwindling, may be true. Making killing deer easier is an
issue in Indiana and elsewhere. Calls for protecting does by reducing
antlerless permits and eliminating the late season are increasing.

metal shafts
I’ve frequently shared hunting camps with rifle hunters where wearing blaze orange was the law. Caribou, like this Quebec P&Y bull, are a favorite challenge. I stalked him as he fed across the rolling tundra and stopped him with one arrow at no more than 30 yards. Challenge faced, challenge met.
 

            I HAVE NO DOUBTS that the modern crossbow is already
having a major impact on bowhunting. When in 1976 neighboring Ohio legalized
the use of crossbows during archery seasons – and Arkansas followed suit – it
took only a few years for crossbow usage during deer season to exceed the use
of vertical bows. More recently, after Wisconsin okayed crossbow use in 2013,
the identical thing happened. In 2018, Badger State “bowhunters” registered
46,750 deer by shooting crossbows, while 40,055 tagged their deer with
compounds and traditional bows held and shot vertically.

                                                                      

Ohio
Modern crossbows equipped with telescopic sights are gaining in popularity with more and more deer hunters. They’re easier to use, require minimal practice once zeroed in, and account for a higher number of deer kills than conventional bows in some states where they’re legal. Archery purists say they are not for hunters who want the challenge of “hunting the hard way” with conventional bowhunting tackle.

            The reason is obvious? Crossbows are easier to use.
They’re pre-cocked, frequently equipped with telescopic sights, and ready to
shoot with minimal movement when a deer appears. They are, in fact, the
antithesis of Hill’s “hunting the hard way.” The claim that compound bows are
simply vertical crossbows doesn’t hold water for any objective hunter.

            Based on my 60+ years in archery and big game hunting, I
can state unequivocally that I can hunt effectively with longbows and recurves
shot instinctively, but I’m a better shot at longer ranges using a compound bow
with sights. Likewise, I can shoot even better at longer ranges using a
crossbow with a telescopic sight and bipod than hand-holding either a stickbow
or compound. I suspect this is generally true with a majority of folks.

            The popularity of crossbows is not surprising, really.
This is the age of busy, results-oriented folks who often have multiple
interests and obligations with little spare time. The crossbow doesn’t require
the strength necessary to draw and hold conventional bows, making crossbows
appealing to youngsters and women. Once legally used only during archery
seasons by physically challenged bowhunters, today’s crossbows typically
account for the only area of growth of hunting license sales in some states.
Deer hunters like them because of the long archery season, increased odds of
tagging a deer, and the minimal amount of practice time required once the
weapon is sighted in.

            Based on the limited research I’ve conducted, it seems that increased crossbow license sales do not result in more hunters showing up in the woods and more revenue for Fish and Game Department coffers. The state of Wisconsin cites a trend that indicates many “new” crossbow shooters are in fact gun hunters who like the longer season and better weather, or they are former bowhunters wanting better odds to fill a deer tag than conventional bows and arrows offer.

Tom Jennings
Why bowhunt? “To face the challenge of doing something difficult in hopes of beating the odds and savoring the satisfaction of achieving a personal goal.”
 

            What’s my personal take on crossbows? They are a fine
weapon and deserve a season and record book of their own. Crossbow kills should
never be allowed in the Pope and Young bowhunting record book. Moreover, since
I love bowhunting for the challenge it offers, I would never hunt with a
crossbow during archery season any more than I would use a firearm, if legal. However,
I do frequently hunt with my compound or recurve during a firearms season – often
wearing the required blaze orange over my camo clothing – and I’ve been
successful tagging every big game animal from deer to moose and caribou and
mountain goats and muskoxen to black bears and cougars. Crossbow hunters easily
could enjoy similar success competing with gun hunters, if willing to accept
the challenge.

            I oppose the use of crossbows during archery seasons except by physically challenged hunters. Why? Because they distort numbers of actual bow kills and thereby threaten the future of “hunting the hard way.” That’s the way I’ve hunted for six decades and will continue to hunt for as long as I have the strength to draw a bow and release an arrow.

For Hunting the Easy Way? Part 1
For more please go to: Thoughts and Tips with M.R. James

                                                                       

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Continue Reading

Hunting

Time To Talk (Wild) Turkey

Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2019/04/time-to-talk-wild-turkey/

By Erik Barber from Bowhunting360.com.

In the Spring, April and May bring warmer weather, chirping birds, green grass and, of course, gobbling wild turkeys. Most states offer a spring turkey-hunting season that provides ample opportunities to get into the woods during beautiful weather to bowhunt wild turkey gobblers.

Before getting started, check your state and local regulations regarding season dates, approved bowhunting equipment, and license and tag requirements.

Why Hunt Wild Turkeys?

Wild Turkeys offer some of the most action-packed bowhunting opportunities you’ll ever know. If turkeys are nearby, you’ll hear a tom gobbling to attract springtime mates. This heart-pounding call will make your bowhunt memorable by itself. Meanwhile, spring’s pleasant weather, blooming flowers, budding leaves and chirping birds will keep you enthralled as you wait in your blind for that gobbling tom.

A gobbling tom in full strut is arguably one of nature’s most beautiful sights. A strutting gobbler drops its wings so the tips drag the ground, and puffs out its breast while locking its tail feathers into a full upright position to form a magnificent fan. Photo Credit: John Hafner

What do you need to know?

Whether you’re a seasoned bowhunter or are just getting started bowhunting, turkey season can quickly become your favorite spring pastime. Hunters can shoot only adult males, called “toms,” and juvenile males, called “jakes,” during spring hunting seasons.

The wild turkey’s breeding season runs through April and May, and causes males to strut and gobble repeatedly to attract females, called “hens.” A gobbling tom in full strut is arguably one of nature’s most beautiful sights. A strutting gobbler drops its wings so the tips drag the ground, and puffs out its breast while locking its tail feathers into a full upright position to form a magnificent fan.

A box call is a type of friction call. Hunters slide its lid against the top of the box to make turkey sounds that attract adult males, called “toms,” and juvenile males, called “jakes.” Photo Credit: John Hafner

Turkey Calls

Because male turkeys are vocal and aggressive during the breeding season, they’ll often respond to calling. Turkey calls come in many models, including diaphragm calls, which are mouth-blown calls that require much practice but are deadly because they can be used hands-free.

Another popular model is friction calls, which include slate calls and box calls. Friction calls are user-friendly. You make the sound yourself using a wooden peg, called a “striker,” to stroke the call’s slate or similar surface. With a box call, you slide its lid against the top of the box to make turkey sounds. In most cases, calls mimic a hen yelp, which is the sound female turkeys make while searching for a tom. However, some seasoned turkey hunters use a gobble call to provoke an aggressive response from toms. That call can lure in a gobbler that won’t respond to hen yelps.

Decoys can sometimes help bring gobblers into bow range. For example, jake (juvenile male) and tom (adult male) decoys can coax in aggressive gobblers that want to drive competitors from their turf. Photo Credit: John Hafner

Turkey Decoys

When calling to turkeys, you’re urging them to search for the source of the sound. Decoys can sometimes help bring gobblers into bow range. Decoys are available in several options. The most common are hen decoys, which are what gobbling toms desire. In addition, jake and tom decoys can coax in aggressive gobblers that want to drive competitors from their turf. Experiment with different decoy setups to find one that matches the turkey’s mood. Passive toms tend to be attracted to a lone hen decoy, while aggressive toms often rush in to a hen and jake/tom combination.

Pop-up blinds help conceal bowhunters’ movements and, for that reason, are ideal for bowhunting turkeys, which have keen eyesight and can detect the slightest movements. Photo Credit: John Hafner

Hunting Blinds

Turkeys have keen eyesight, and detect the slightest movements. Pop-up blinds are useful for bowhunting turkeys. Bows require lots of motion when pulling them to full draw and settling on your target. A blind’s added concealment can make a big difference.

Turkeys have a relatively small vital zone, roughly the size of your fist, so it’s important to get the tom within a safe shooting range – about 30 yards, depending on the bowhunter – before shooting. Whenever possible, use a blind to conceal your moves, and a decoy to hold the tom’s attention while it approaches. Most pop-up blinds are portable, and easily set up and taken down. Those features let bowhunters move to different locations with little effort.

Turkeys offer some of the most action-packed bowhunting opportunities you’ll ever know. They’re one of the most difficult animals to hunt with a bow, and the breast, legs, wings and thighs taste delicious when cooked properly. Get out there and bring home the (turkey) bacon! Photo Credit: John Hafner

To start your turkey hunting adventure, check your state wildlife agency’s website for laws and season dates. Then visit your local archery shop to get the gear you need to take on this challenge.

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Published

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Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2019/04/time-to-talk-wild-turkey/

By Erik Barber from Bowhunting360.com.

In the Spring, April and May bring warmer weather, chirping birds, green grass and, of course, gobbling wild turkeys. Most states offer a spring turkey-hunting season that provides ample opportunities to get into the woods during beautiful weather to bowhunt wild turkey gobblers.

Before getting started, check your state and local regulations regarding season dates, approved bowhunting equipment, and license and tag requirements.

Why Hunt Wild Turkeys?

Wild Turkeys offer some of the most action-packed bowhunting opportunities you’ll ever know. If turkeys are nearby, you’ll hear a tom gobbling to attract springtime mates. This heart-pounding call will make your bowhunt memorable by itself. Meanwhile, spring’s pleasant weather, blooming flowers, budding leaves and chirping birds will keep you enthralled as you wait in your blind for that gobbling tom.

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A gobbling tom in full strut is arguably one of nature’s most beautiful sights. A strutting gobbler drops its wings so the tips drag the ground, and puffs out its breast while locking its tail feathers into a full upright position to form a magnificent fan. Photo Credit: John Hafner

What do you need to know?

Whether you’re a seasoned bowhunter or are just getting started bowhunting, turkey season can quickly become your favorite spring pastime. Hunters can shoot only adult males, called “toms,” and juvenile males, called “jakes,” during spring hunting seasons.

The wild turkey’s breeding season runs through April and May, and causes males to strut and gobble repeatedly to attract females, called “hens.” A gobbling tom in full strut is arguably one of nature’s most beautiful sights. A strutting gobbler drops its wings so the tips drag the ground, and puffs out its breast while locking its tail feathers into a full upright position to form a magnificent fan.

http://twitter.com/freaknhunting

A box call is a type of friction call. Hunters slide its lid against the top of the box to make turkey sounds that attract adult males, called “toms,” and juvenile males, called “jakes.” Photo Credit: John Hafner

Turkey Calls

Because male turkeys are vocal and aggressive during the breeding season, they’ll often respond to calling. Turkey calls come in many models, including diaphragm calls, which are mouth-blown calls that require much practice but are deadly because they can be used hands-free.

Another popular model is friction calls, which include slate calls and box calls. Friction calls are user-friendly. You make the sound yourself using a wooden peg, called a “striker,” to stroke the call’s slate or similar surface. With a box call, you slide its lid against the top of the box to make turkey sounds. In most cases, calls mimic a hen yelp, which is the sound female turkeys make while searching for a tom. However, some seasoned turkey hunters use a gobble call to provoke an aggressive response from toms. That call can lure in a gobbler that won’t respond to hen yelps.

hunting

Decoys can sometimes help bring gobblers into bow range. For example, jake (juvenile male) and tom (adult male) decoys can coax in aggressive gobblers that want to drive competitors from their turf. Photo Credit: John Hafner

Turkey Decoys

When calling to turkeys, you’re urging them to search for the source of the sound. Decoys can sometimes help bring gobblers into bow range. Decoys are available in several options. The most common are hen decoys, which are what gobbling toms desire. In addition, jake and tom decoys can coax in aggressive gobblers that want to drive competitors from their turf. Experiment with different decoy setups to find one that matches the turkey’s mood. Passive toms tend to be attracted to a lone hen decoy, while aggressive toms often rush in to a hen and jake/tom combination.

hunting articles

Pop-up blinds help conceal bowhunters’ movements and, for that reason, are ideal for bowhunting turkeys, which have keen eyesight and can detect the slightest movements. Photo Credit: John Hafner

Hunting Blinds

Turkeys have keen eyesight, and detect the slightest movements. Pop-up blinds are useful for bowhunting turkeys. Bows require lots of motion when pulling them to full draw and settling on your target. A blind’s added concealment can make a big difference.

Turkeys have a relatively small vital zone, roughly the size of your fist, so it’s important to get the tom within a safe shooting range – about 30 yards, depending on the bowhunter – before shooting. Whenever possible, use a blind to conceal your moves, and a decoy to hold the tom’s attention while it approaches. Most pop-up blinds are portable, and easily set up and taken down. Those features let bowhunters move to different locations with little effort.

hunting website

Turkeys offer some of the most action-packed bowhunting opportunities you’ll ever know. They’re one of the most difficult animals to hunt with a bow, and the breast, legs, wings and thighs taste delicious when cooked properly. Get out there and bring home the (turkey) bacon! Photo Credit: John Hafner

To start your turkey hunting adventure, check your state wildlife agency’s website for laws and season dates. Then visit your local archery shop to get the gear you need to take on this challenge.

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Continue Reading

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