Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekend Warriors... Unite!

Three weeks without bow hunting during deer season can drive a person insane. I know this from firsthand experience. During the past three weeks my priorities had changed and while I lived vicariously through many of you, it was still difficult not being out there. I could almost see my deer tag shriveling up as time passed. Even without being out there I remain positive. This Sunday will allow me a full day of hunting and I am beyond excited for many reasons.

First and foremost, I get to be in the great outdoors. I have been blessed to have traveled to Colorado and enjoyed some wonderful countryside. To say it is beautiful is one thing, but to see it firsthand is beyond words. I have been scouring new areas of public land this year and it yielded some great findings!

Colorado. Where dreams do come true.
 
Second, I get to hunt with one of my friends and hunting buddies. My other good hunting buddy is stuck working all weekend and while I am happy he has a job, I am bummed he cannot join us. Then again, he's been slaying ducks left and right. Can't wait to share one of his gear reviews next week!

Third, we get to go to one of my honey holes that I have left untouched all year. It's public land, a challenge to hunt and absolutely beautiful. I am hoping to see an abundance of wildlife. Plus, I am after this guy who only seems to come out in the late season with a couple of does. 

I took this pic with my camera phone through my binos in 2011.

The weather has finally turned around here and it's been raining all week. The temps have dropped (yes, I said dropped) to the mid-sixties. That alone makes me happy. We do have a full moon, but with all of the cloud cover and because I know this area well, I know there will be deer around. It's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Best of all, as much as I would like to take my first California animal, I would feel just as great if Brett was able to arrow his very first animal with a bow. That would be one heck of an experience. I was able to enjoy it last year when my friend Michael arrowed his first animal and I hope to repeat it this year!

All in all, the season has been chock full of shifting priorities, new events, spending more time with family and supporting others. While I haven't been able to get out as much as I wanted to, I have still been blessed with so very much. Blessed with a wonderful and supportive family, great friends, great company relationships, and new opportunities that I can't wait to share when the time is right. To all that will be hitting the woods this weekends, whether on the ground or in a tree, best of luck and be safe out there!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Family, Hunting, and the Memories Made

Ever since I can remember, Thanksgiving week was all about spending time with family and hunting. My dad, brother and I always looked forward to taking a few extra days off and hitting the woods together. Some years we would be hunting with my grandfather and uncles and some just the three of us. Eager anticipation filled the air as we drank our morning coffee and decided where to sit in hopes of filling a tag. Now living in California, I miss those times greatly. Don't get me wrong. I am thankful spending time with my family here and I wouldn't change a thing, but I do miss the tradition we created in New York. I miss the sights, smells, and landscape that New York offers. I can still hear the leaves scatter as a squirrel annoyingly skirts around my tree and I contemplate letting an arrow fly in his direction. 

Many deer have been taken during the week of Thanksgiving and normally we have had a few deer hanging in the barn. While I love the challenge of hunting in California, I love hearing news of when someone in my family is able to fill another tag and this year seems to be my brothers year of filling the freezer! On Wednesday morning, I received a text from my brother, Ben, that he had just killed a big 4-point buck with a 15" spread. I was ecstatic! It's the first deer my brother has ever taken with a rifle. (He's a very proficient bowhunter and a marksman with a shotgun, too.) A few hours later, I received this photo and what a nice looking buck!



My brother was happy to put some more meat in his freezer and to do his part in deer conservation. He's been very successful this year and he and my dad have been logging some long hours in preparation and in the stand. I am very proud of the time they put in and the care they take in the field.

This deer was taken out of a stand location that has produced many deer and is by far one of my favorite set ups. A few years ago, I was in the same area hunting with my brother when a buck walked right by us and without being able to get him to stop, I decided not to release my arrow.  Each time I hear about this particular location I can immediately picture it in my mind and I am eager to return!

Being far away from your family and the place your grew up is hard enough, but not being able to hunt like I used to is tough on the mind and soul. I won't lie. I miss the ribbing, the jokes, the focus,  the determination, and the tenderloins in the frying pan after a successful kill. That being said, I am thankful that I get to live vicariously through my family. The great thing about technology nowadays is that I can still get the ribbing from my family during hunting season. Whether it be through a video chat or through a text, I remain connected and enjoy the bond we have.

With a month left in the deer hunting season here in California and a few weeks left in NY, I hope there are a few more tags filled on both the East and West coast, but even if they remain blank I know that new memories will have been forged. Memories of highs and lows, new things, familiar things and best of all these memories will last a lifetime. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Spotting the Blaze Orange in California: A Recent Bow Hunt

It’s a rare event when I want to crawl back into bed on a hunt morning, but today was one of those days. I was just plain tired and the bed felt super comfortable, plus it was 2:00 AM on a Saturday. Fortunately, I snapped out of it quick because while it may have been early, it was time to bow hunt!

Brett and I made it to the trail head at 4:15 AM, which was exactly the time we wanted to arrive. There was a 3/4 moon, so we got to do something I have never done before; hike into our spot by moonlight. Our headlamps remained off on the nearly two mile journey into our destination. We were both happy that the temperature was 46 degrees as that made our hike in much more enjoyable. After dropping Brett off, I made my way to my glassing location, which was a ridge line that gave a spectacular view of the valley below. Sunrise wasn’t until 6:30 AM, but the moon was so bright that I was able to start glassing the ridges at 5:45 AM. It was amazing!

Sharing public land with rifle hunters is something every bow hunter must do. On this particular morning, the rifle hunters were out in full force. Around 7:00 AM, I received a text from Brett that he had spotted some does on a ridge. Quickly picking them out through my binoculars, I waited to see what they would do. As they walked down a trail, all they needed to do was turn right and they would be in bow range for Brett. They had other plans and turned left.



Hunter safety is something I am passionate about in my bow hunting seminars. In the state of California, it is not mandatory for any deer hunter to wear blaze orange. When archery and rifle seasons coincide, I am always wearing some sort of orange to let other hunters know where I am. Forty-five minutes after sunrise, Brett informed me that another hunter was near his location and had no idea he was there. Brett and I were both wearing blaze orange hats and this hunter had absolutely no orange on. I watched as the hunter took the ridge I was glassing from and started to hike it right toward me. I made the decision to stand right up and make sure he noticed me. Not only did I not want to be mistaken for a deer, but I also wanted him to know that I was hunting this ridge. He finally noticed me, turned around and stopped near Brett again. He then noticed Brett, waved and found another position. It was a tense situation because we didn’t want any confrontation nor did we want anyone shooting in our direction.


We glassed and waited patiently for a buck or a doe to walk into range. After two hours of waiting, a shot rang out in one of the canyons. I watched four doe take off from where the shot came from. Anticipating them running up the ridge I was on, I got ready. Like the two does from earlier, they went the other way. Within the next few minutes, we watched as four other hunters met up with the shooter. By his actions, we could tell he had a buck down. Brett made his way over to my location and we glassed the canyons as the hunter’s field dressed their deer. Seeing nothing, we hiked into an adjacent bowl.

We hiked and glassed and hike some more. We ran into more rifle hunters and still had smiles on our faces. Why? We were bow hunting and having a great time being in the great outdoors. As we made our way through drainage I spotted a forkie shed. It was a great reminder on why we were hiking our tails off.



The weather was perfect, but the deer were nowhere to be found. We did find another hunter taking a nap under a shaded bush. We chatted with him for a few minutes and then continued hiking. Beside the other hunters, we soon realized we were not the only predators in the forest. Right in the middle of the trail we found these mountain lion tracks that had been made that morning. It gave us an uneasy feeling, but the worst part was the cat had decided to head right into the area we were headed. Now all bets were off as we turned back to find a shaded spot to relax for a couple of hours.

The evening hunt was a bust, but on the hike out it was evident that both Brett and I enjoyed the day. Breathing in the fresh air, burning boot rubber, and seeing some beautiful country while bow hunting made it a great day. All in all, we encountered eleven rifle hunters throughout the day. Not a single one of them had a stitch of orange on. I encourage all of you bow hunters to be safe out there and to try to anticipate situations you will encounter. No matter what, have fun and be safe out there!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

California DFT Hunter Ed Program and Sportsmen's Expo Partner for Youth Essay Contest

One of the press releases I found in my inbox this morning is one I certainly want to share with the youth of California. There is an essay writing contest where one lucky winner gets a lifetime hunting license for California. Trust me kids, this is a BIG deal as some of us pay $150 a year for our license and tags. For all you moms and dads who have kids hunting, share this with them and encourage them to write something. Not only will it give them an opportunity, but it can also help your wallet in the future!

_________________________________________________________

"Our hunter education program is dedicated to passing on this time-honored tradition for generations to come," said Capt. Roy Griffith, DFG's Hunter Education Program Administrator. "With 21,000 students passing through our program each year, we felt it was more important than ever to reward one individual with a lifetime California hunting license, valued at over $600."

Holders of a junior hunting license and youth under 16 who have valid 2012 hunter education certificate are eligible. To enter, contestants need to submit an essay, 500 words or less, on what "Passing on the Tradition" means to them. Participants are encouraged to write about conservation, sportsmanship and ethics.

APPLYING:
Submissions must include name, date of birth, and a contact number. Entries must be received on or before Dec. 20, 2012 and sent to:

Lt. John Nores
P.O. Box #1
San Martin, CA 95046

JUDGING:
Essays will be reviewed and scored by the stars of National Geographic's Wild Justice TV show.

AWARD CEREMONY: The winner will be notified by phone and must be present with his or her parents/guardians for the grand prize at the ISE show - Hall A, Sacramento's Adventure Theater stage on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.

For additional information contact Lt. John Nores at: (408) 591-5174.

To find out more information on becoming a Hunter Education Instructor and help "Pass on the Tradition" visit: www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered.
 

Contact:
John Nores, DFG Law Enforcement Division, (408) 591-5174

Media Contact: Janice Mackey, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8908

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Choosing the Proper Target Practice Scenario

Practice for the extreme if you want to down an animal with one clean shot. What do I mean by that? A few years ago, I was out scouting a month before the season and at 6:00 AM it was 89 degrees. At 6:00 AM!! Imagine what it would be like at 2:00 PM. Here the temperatures during hunting season can easily reach 100 degrees midday. It gets hot, you get sweaty and uncomfortable and you need to prepare yourself for it. Also, you really should practice at ranges you aren’t so comfortable with. Shoot out further and you’ll be surprised at how your accuracy will change at closer range. Here are steps I continually work on throughout the year when I am practicing to prepare myself for the extremes.

In the early part of the year you will find me practicing in shorts, a t-shirt and sneakers when I am at the range. It helps me loosen up and it’s comfortable! The same should go for you. Start off the year practicing in your comfortable clothes, no matter where you are. Make it enjoyable. As the weeks tick by, I will add more clothing during select sessions at the archery range. On some hot days (80+ degrees), I’ll clothe myself in my long-sleeve, long pant gear. I’ll wear my hunting boots, too. Why do I torture myself like this? Hunting in the high desert could mean shooting a deer when it’s 90 degrees. You really should practice in those extreme situations. I have also had clothing get tangled into my bow string and throw off my shot. Wear what you plan to hunt in from time to time and you’ll find instances like this that can be corrected early on.

Sometime during the next few weeks I will add in a 3D target to the mix. While you can start with a regular target with dots to shoot at, in the field you won’t have a bulls eye to focus on. Buy a 3D target and practice with it as much as you can. For me, I shoot at a small javelina target. Have I ever hunted javelina? No, but the target area is very small and it leaves little room for error. I could try to pick up a moose target, but I want my shots tight and my confidence level as high as it can be. If you hunt deer exclusively, pick up a quality deer target. My shots greatly improved when I started shooting a 3D target.


Want to add some more fun to your target practice? Take an old sock and fill it with rags or more old socks. Prior washing optional! The more you stuff in the better the result will be. Once you have six or eight in, tie off the end with a knot. Success! Now you have yourself a small rabbit target to use at the range. Then, tip one of your arrows with a judo point made for small game hunting. Start shooting at the rabbit a few times during each session. Keep track of your range and how you improve over time. You might surprise yourself how confident you will become and how far out you can hit that small bundle of socks.


Keep in mind that you must also prepare yourself for failure. Without failure there can be no improvement. Even after 28 years of experience with archery I still miss my mark once in a while. I am not perfect and I have bad days at the range, too. Just a few weeks ago, I was shooting with my friends and we were shooting at sixty yards with deadly accuracy. During our round of six arrows each, I drew my bow, settled my pin, and let the arrow fly. Immediately I knew it was off the mark as I felt he bow torque in my hand just as I released. My arrow went right over the 3D target and buried itself in the thick grass behind it. Was I dejected? You bet I was! How had I missed? No matter what I thought, I had to stay positive. It was what I did next that mattered most. Instead of beating myself up for missing, I went back to shooting and focused. I found my anchor point, settled the pin, squeezed the trigger on my release and buried an arrow deep into the vitals of the javelina. My practice session ended where it should have – on a successful shot.

In closing I have one very important tip to ensure continued success. Once your arm gets tired, stop practicing. You can make bad judgments followed by avoidable mistakes if you continue to push yourself. Instead, go rest or pack up and prepare yourself to come back another day. I had to learn the hard way and now whenever my arm gets tired I am done. Remember that when shooting at an animal it is the first arrow that is the most important, not the last.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Product Review: Schnee's Wilderness Boot

Some of the best hunting advice I have ever received was that in preparation for any hunt, I should always take care of my feet. Hunting should be fun and full of adventure, and not worrying about constant foot anguish. In preparation for my Colorado archery elk hunt, I began a rigorous search for a quality boot. More than once, Schnee's out of Bozeman, Montana came up in conversation or forum post.

When I spoke with Schnee's CEO Jon Edwards about hunting boots in regards to hunting in California and in Colorado, he not only was super helpful, but he listened to what I was looking for and offered his advice. He gave me some pointers and along the way we shared a few hunting stories with one another. He then surprised me by offering a pair of the Wilderness Boots for review. He mentioned they were a shorter, lightweight boot that offered more maneuverability and should perform well on my Colorado hunt.

Within a couple of weeks I had a new pair of the Wilderness Boots on my doorstep. Without hesitation I put them on and right out of the box they felt super comfortable. Knowing I would have to break them in, I started wearing them around the house. I also started walking in them on asphalt while carrying 100# of sand in my backpack. I figured level ground would offer good support and it would get the leather broken in. The boots were very flexible, but not overly so as they still had plenty of support.


I then started hiking at one of the local parks that is full of hills and steep edges. I hiked this route a few times when I thought about the waterproofing characteristics of the boot. I knew they were supposed to be waterproof out of the box, but I also wanted these boots to last a long time. A quick call to Schnee's and the waterproofing capabilities of the boot were shared with me. I felt very confident knowing they boots were waterproof, but as I wanted them around a while Schnee's said I should use a conditioner. They recommended the NIKWAX paste and sent me some to try out. Once it came in the mail, I dusted off the boots and applied it. It changed the color of the boots to be a bit darker, but that was of no consequence. The deer and elk aren't going to care what color they are! The natural color of the boot comes back in a few days.


FROM THE WEBSITE:
The Wilderness™ is the lightest weight model of the Schnee's Mountain Boot Series. Modeled after the Beartooth™ boot, the Wilderness™ boasts all of the same great features in a shorter 6" 2.6 mm thick nubuck leather version. Perfect for rugged day hikes, weekend backpack trips or as an early season archery boot. Brown. Italy. (3.1lb/pair).

Schnee's Wilderness™ Boot Product Details:

  • Premium Vibram® 'Tsavo' outsole featuring our signature rubber compound for maximum traction and durability
  • 100% waterproof, breathable eVent® Membrane
  • Polyurethane midsoles for lasting support and incredible shock absorption
  • Fully reinforced rubber rand protects against rock cuts and abrasion
  • Triple and Double stitched in key areas
  • Handcrafted in Italy exclusively for Schnee's

The true test of the Wilderness boots came when I wore them out hunting. I put them through the paces in Colorado while climbing mountains, scaling deadfalls, and descending down some of the steepest terrain I have ever encountered. The boots supported my ankles, were comfortable, and held up surprisingly well. I really beat them up, or so I thought, by going over rocks, trees, through rough country, but the boots hardly showed a scratch. Wanting to test out the waterproofing capabilities, I wandered right through a stream and then a waterhole. My socks stayed completely dry! I was truly amazed and ever so happy. I had finally found a pair of boots I wanted to wear all the time. The only issue I had was that the boots loosened up on me countless times, due to the steep climbs and coming down the mountains sideways. That caused severe torque and they simply loosened up, but that is not the manufacturers fault. I just re-tightened them and they were ready to go!

Putting the Wilderness boots to the test in Colorado.

Then I started hunting in the high desert of Southern California. Normally, I would wear my snake boots, but I really wanted to wear the Wilderness boots. I was able to score some snake gaiters through a trade and was able to utilize the boots here, too. Even in the high temperatures they felt comfortable. Combined with a good set of wool socks (even in 90 degrees) my feet felt awesome. Testing them in the cooler temps of 35-45 degrees, my feet felt warm and protected from the elements. I also hit some steep rocky slopes in SoCal and the boots took a beating. They also gripped the rock ledges well and protected my feet from cactus spines and sharp rocks. They are super flexible and move with you.

On a recent Southern California hunt, even after three months of abuse the boots are in great shape.

The soles are solid rubber and protect your feet extremely well. The inside sole has little cushion for the bottom of your feet and that's the only issue I had with the boots. By the time I was done hauling out my elk, my big toes were numb and stayed that way for two weeks. That is not an exaggeration. When I came back to California, I put a cushioned sole inside each boot to test the comfort level. I found that I didn't like that one bit. Not only did they rub a little more on the heel, they also heated up my feet to where they were very uncomfortable. Halfway through the day hunt, I took them out of my boots and they felt instantly better.

Always take are of your feet. Remember that because at $319.00 a pair, the Wilderness boots are not inexpensive. They are also not cheap. They are made in Italy, have superior construction, are tough, waterproof, and insanely comfortable. I would recommend these boots to any bow hunter looking for a pair of all-terrain boots that will last them for years.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Product Review: JackKnife - Smartphone Bowmount

Whether it is to film for you to show your friends or to try to get it noticed by someone, getting a hunt on video seems to be the biggest craze. I have tried filming my hunts using different video, but some of the cameras are bulky and expensive for most of the budget conscious hunters I know. This is where I think S4Gear came up with a solution that fits almost every compound bow hunter I know. Most of us have a Smartphone  and S4Gear jumped on that. They came up with a bow mount for your Smartphone called the JackKnife and I've been testing it out over the past couple months with good results.
 

My first impressions of the JackKnife were very good. The product looked very easy to use. Right out of the box I was impressed with how small it was, but I was cautious when I saw all of the knobs and moving parts. There is no sheen to the mount as it is black plastic and it is also very lightweight. Any bowhunter will tell you that having lightweight gear is a must, especially when it’s mounted to your bow.

It installs very easily to a sight mount or the side of a compound bow with one of two sets of provided screws. You can actually relax the tension on the knob and move the JackKnife frame away from the mounting bolt holes to allow easier and faster installation. It only took me about a minute to get it installed.


The product features shown on the S4Gear website explain it rather well.

  • Universal Design fits all bows with AMO standard sight mount, right or left handed -- even with quiver & sight installed.
  • Highly Adjustable cradle mount fits virtually any Smart Phone with or without protective case.
  • Compact Design folds flush against the riser when not in use and still fits in most bow cases.
  • Quick Detach to easily remove your phone for storage.
  • Oversize Knobs for easy adjustments even when wearing gloves.
  • Protective Foam Lining holds your phone securely in place while guarding against shock and vibration.

After you get the JackKnife mounted to your bow it’s time to fit it to your camera phone. Again, this was very easy by using the knobs to open the grip and sliding the phone in. The orange you see is soft foam that holds your phone in place. You lock that down and then it’s on to the back of the Jackknife for fine tuning.


One of the features I really liked was the ball joint knob on the back that allows you to position the camera at virtually any angle exactly where you want it. I tried it many ways and it was great! You can position it horizontal or vertical. I did it both ways to see if there was any difference in video quality, noise, or difficulty in getting it set up how I wanted it. I found no differences and was rather pleased at how easy it was to set up.



I have been testing the mount with an iPhone inside a Lifeproof case. (I also tried my old Android and the JackKnife adjusted down to that, too.) The mount does indeed hold the iPhone, case and all, firmly and it is easily adjustable on the fly. You can rotate left/right with the larger knobs very easily, even with gloves on your hands.

With the ability to view and share their footage filmed right from their bow, its social media live in the woods!

  • View your shot placement before you track your animal. 
  • Use your Smartphone as a training device.
  • Sight mounting bracket placement records video from the "hunter's eyes".
  • Use in addition to other cameras to incorporate split screens in final video pieces.



This is good for short yardage shots only. I can’t fault the JackKnife because these are limitations of the phone itself, but I don’t want anyone feeling mislead. Videoing from under 30 yards is acceptable, but after that most camera phones don't capture good video beyond that. I tried a few shots out at 6o yards and you couldn't see the shot, or the impact of the hit. Once I moved in closer to 30 yards it got better. It was even better at 20 yards. I normally practice between 40-60 yards and move out to 80 as well. I could not video from my phone well at those distances. I attempted to, but it was a waste of time as you couldn’t view the target well enough.

Here I was set up at 100 yards.
 
The one thing I did notice, which I have found with many camera mounts for your bow, is that you can see some degree of vibration in the video while filming. If you want to video your hunt it is something you will have to make peace with because it happens often.

Something very cool to try that isn’t actually videoing your hunt is to Skype with someone while hunting. The person you are Skyping with can view whatever you are shooting at, or if you reverse the camera they can view your reaction while you are hunting. I understand you want it to be quiet and the person on the other end would have to be quiet, but it’s an interesting idea. My dad and I have discussed it and we are going to try it at some point for fun. Have any of you tried it? What were your results?


The cost of the JackKnife is $44.99 retail. In my opinion that is very high. The entire mount is plastic and while it has moving parts that certainly have to be put together at the factory, I think this should retail more toward the $25.00 range.  I think more bowhunters would consider something like this if the price were lower.
__________________________________________________________________


This review ran in the Fall 2o12 Issue of Bow Adventures emagazine.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Teaching Our Children About Bowhunting

When my dad taught me how to shoot a bow I felt like I was on top of the world. I was able to take part in something I knew he loved and I got to learn from him. From shooting at straw bales in the backyard to hunting whitetails on the farm, you could almost always find us with a bow in our hands. He was an excellent teacher and to this day is very encouraging when it comes to bow hunting. Now I am in that role of being a father. As parents, my wife and I have the responsibility of guiding our daughter and molding her into the woman she’ll become. We can teach her things together as parents, and we can also share our own individual gifts with her. It goes without saying that what I share most with her, on an individual level, is bow hunting. Just as I won’t hide from anyone who asks me about hunting, I will not hide what I do and love from her. By sharing my side of life she will learn about her dad, but also learn more about herself as she grows.

Giving my daughter a lesson in proper hand placement.
 
As my dad taught me the ways of the bow, I have begun teaching my daughter, Riley. It’s not only the archery that I share with her though. When I turn on an outdoor television show about bow hunting, I take note of what’s happening and also what my daughter is doing. Explaining what is happening during the shows is easy. She follows right along, but the hard part is making sure she understands it. When an animal is shot with an arrow, I don’t cover her eyes and I don’t tell her they ‘caught’ the animal as I have heard other parents do. This father is sure to tell his daughter that the animal was shot and killed. It died. Stopping there would make no sense and I explain that the person is going to eat the animal or share it with someone else who will eat it. She may not understand it all now, but as time progresses it will all begin to make sense.

Showing my daughter a good example of how to shoot properly.
 
On almost any Saturday (hunting season excluded) the early hours usually have a typical storyline. I wake up and make some coffee. Riley wakes up shortly thereafter and we get a few hours to do what we’d like. Her eyes light up when I ask her if she’d like to head down to our garage to play. The great thing about my relationship with my daughter is that even at 3 1/2 she knows that if we are heading out to the garage she can always shoot her bow. For the past couple months, when we get down there she nearly always ask if she can shoot her bow and arrows. As a bow hunter and father, this makes me a very proud papa! Every time she asks my answer is a resounding YES! The bow she is using is just a little shooter with suction cup tipped arrows and I am trying to instill safety in her, so we always shoot outside the house. She doesn’t seem to mind if we are shooting at a piece of cardboard, she just enjoys it! The first few times she wanted my help, but anyone with kids knows they want to do it themselves very quickly.

The thrill I get when Riley walks around the house and mimics shooting a bow is undeniable. She will pretend to draw her bow and tell me she is shooting an elk. (I guess I have been talking a lot about elk hunting lately.) She even asks me about my trips to the archery range, shooting with my friends and if I had fun doing it. Now THAT will make any bow hunting dad proud. It makes my day when I hear her ask me things like that. She listens intently and hopefully will keep a few tips from dear-old dad tucked away for future use.


Wanting to do it herself, Riley nocks another arrow
 
I want to encourage all of you bow hunters who are also parents to share the details of hunting with your kids. Don’t shelter them and hide the truth of what happens when we hunt. If you are honest with them, they will appreciate what bow hunting is more than you’ll ever know. The phrase has been repeated over and over, but I feel it speaks the truth – bowhunting is my passion. I am not expecting Riley to have that same passion. The only thing I can expect is for her to choose her passion for herself. Whatever she chooses to be her passion, you can bet that her mother and I will support her in every way we can.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bow Adventures: Fall 2012 Issue

It's here! The 2012 Fall issue of Bow Adventures e-magazine. This month there are many great articles on hunts, a book review, gear reviews and 20 questions with hunter/author Steven Rinella. 

My article is Part 1 of 2 describing the process of a game carrier build that I am working on with my buddy, Brett Bumgarner. I also have a gear review on the S4Gear JackKnife iPhone Camera Mount.
___________________________________

Road Closed. Those were the signs we encountered on many of our scouting trips. A quick phone call to the Forest Service and we found out we could hike them or utilize a mountain bike to travel on them. They were closed to motorized vehicle traffic.

'Necessity breeds invention.' ~ Author unknown

At one of the trailheads, we opened the map and saw that the spot we were looking to get to was a good three hour hike in. After discussing it, we packed up and headed home. It was middle of the day and well over 90 degrees. No, we were not dejected or giving up. On the contrary, we had devised a plan to get to the spot easier, faster and it was going to be fun doing it.

Our plan was simple, let's mountain bike in. Plenty of hunters do it, so why not us? Only problem was I sold my bike a couple years ago and had not replaced it yet. we wanted to have a tow cart to cart around our backpacks and carry out any wild game we killed.

One of our goals was to do it for as little expense as possible. We would try to only use...


You can read the rest of the article here.