Friday, March 18, 2016

Old Bowhunter Learns a New Trick

A couple years ago, after some long research, I talked with Mark from Sole Adventure, about using a thumb release vs. my wrist release. We discussed the pros and cons, but he recommended I give it a shot. Despite my reluctance, I tried a thumb release and didn't care for it. I couldn't get comfortable with the release I was using, so I simply went back to my wrist release. Last year, I spoke with him again and he encouraged me to give it another shot, but this time I chose a different release. I have been using the Scott Archery releases for years, so I purchased a Scott Exxus, the same that Mark uses, and began shooting with it. He had much success with it and this time I decided I wouldn't give up so easily this time.

Over the course of a few days, I felt myself falling into the same drab style of frustration and irritation. I could not get comfortable shooting it. What was I doing wrong? Why was this so difficult? I went back and adjusted the trigger, rotated the thumb piece to fit my hand perfectly and tried again. After a dozen shots, I was shooting left by 2-3 inches every time. I knew my anchor was off and that I needed adjustment in my form. Back to the drawing board I went. I videoed my form, release, and then made some adjustments. Same result. Over, and over, and over. Back to the wrist release I went for a week or so.

A few weeks ago, I started shooting with the Exxus again and loved the feel and accuracy, even if I was three inches left. It was a consistent three inches left. I studied my form and found that was fine, but the consistency in my arrows showed me I was being repetitive, which was good. It meant I could fix it. I double checked my stance and that was fine, too. Then came the moment when I shot over the weekend and robin hooded an arrow. Eureka! So I tested what I thought was my issue and shot another round at 5 different targets. I hit every one of them. Low-and-behold I found the issue!

It turns out I was holding the release wrong! So I found the proper grip, anchored properly, and shot some more. It worked like a charm. I am not out of the woods yet though. Now the key will be to find that same point over and over for the next few weeks until it becomes second nature. It's a challenge for sure. We older bow hunters are far from perfect. Take the time to learn something new and work hard at it. You might surprise yourself like I did.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Random Drawing for Alaska Dall Sheep Hunt!

Reposted with permission from the CA WSF.
The California Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation is having a Random Drawing for Alaska Dall Sheep Hunt!

I have been thinking about hunting sheep for about a year now. 
In fact, one of my bucket list items is to hunt Dall Sheep in Alaska. 
Now is a perfect opportunity to buy some raffle tickets! ~ Al Q.

Whether you love hunting Dall sheep -- or you need a Dall sheep to complete your "FNAWS" (Four North American Wild Sheep) -- don't miss your chance to participate in this random drawing for a 2017 exclusive Wrangell-St Elias National Preserve 10-day guided hunt for Alaska Dall Sheep.

Drawing will be held April 30, 2016. You do NOT need to be present to win. GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY! $20 FOR 1 CHANCE; $100 FOR 6 CHANCES.

This hunt is donated by Paul and Donna Claus of Ultima Thule Outfitters and will be personally guided by Alaskan Guide/Outfitter Donald C. Martin, a CA WSF Director.

Grand prize in this random drawing is a 1x1, fully guided 10-day hunt for Dall sheep with Ultima Thule Outfitters (UTO). The hunt will take place on Ultima Thule's exclusive federal concession within Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve, bordered on one side by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and on the other by world famous Kluane National Reserve in the Yukon.

The drawing does not include commercial flights to/from Anchorage. The winner is responsible for the nonresident license (85.00) and sheep tag (about $510) and available in advance on the internet. You can add black bear tag and wolf tag as well since there is some overlap in areas. Also not included are the standard processing, shipping, taxidermy, personal items, and gratuities. It does include transportation to and from Anchorage to the lodge, all meals and lodging, and field dressing plus guiding. 

Paul and Donna Claus have built a strong reputation based not only on success, but also on quality. Thanks to strict management of the resource, the Dall sheep of the Wrangells are allowed to reach their true trophy potential.

This hunt is an excellent opportunity to experience one of the most spectacular regions in Alaska while in pursuit of one of North America's most majestic big-game animals, the Dall sheep. Special thanks to Paul and Donna Claus for their continued support of wild sheep.

There is no limit to how many tickets you can buy! Proceeds will go to support CA WSF's outstanding work on behalf of California's Desert Bighorn Sheep as we continue PUTTING AND KEEPING SHEEP ON THE MOUNTAINS.

You do NOT need to be present to win!

13th Annual Fundraiser and Banquet 
April 30, 2016 
3pm - 11pm 
Marriott Rancho Cordova 
11211 Point East Drive 
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742

Buy your raffle tickets and then get super pumped for sheep hunting by watching the videos on the Sheep Shape Facebook page. I've watched a couple and I am indeed stoked!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Improving the Odds and Increasing Opportunity

This blog has been dedicated to hunting ever since I started it. The main focus was bow hunting and getting more people involved. As I have lived in California now for ten years and learned many of the ways of the people, the laws, and the areas to hunt, I decided last year I would start hunting with a firearm again. There are many reasons why I wanted to focus on bow hunting for six years, but it was a personal choice. Late last year, I decided I wanted to purchase a new rifle. It had to have knock-down power, longer range capability, and needed to be something I would really enjoy shooting. After much research, I realized the only way I could accomplish this was to put together my own rifle.

My rifle build has become an interesting one. I found the base rifle online that I wanted to purchase, but my local Bass Pro didn't have it in stock. I sent some emails and the fine folks at BPS had it in before I knew it! Last Saturday, the family and I went to Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga to pick up my new weapon. The girls were nearly as excited as was. Not for me picking up my rifle, but for the boats, the toys, the food, and the atmosphere. I wanted to pick up my rifle, but also sit in on Steven Lenoir's Trail Camera Seminar. Traffic was crazy on the way up and we made it just in time for the seminar to start. Lucky for me, no one had sat down yet, so I introduced myself to Steven and we began talking about everything hunting. After his seminar and swapping stories for a while, I made my way over to the firearms counter.

I waited in line to pick up my rifle and spent some time checking out ammunition, gadgets, and sidearms. When my number was called, I sauntered to the counter and proceeded to have a great conversation with Larry, who had helped me with my initial paperwork a few weeks prior. He has great customer service skills and is quite a jokester. Plus, he is efficient and makes the process go smooth. Thanks for the great conversation and service Larry!

Once the rifle was home, I weighed my options and reveled in my new purchase. Now starts the breakdown and build of my new hunting rifle. What did I get? Well, I'll be sharing that in due time, but I am videoing the process and making some modifications to allow this rifle to accommodate me. I have done plenty of research on stocks, mods, scopes, etc. Now comes the fun part!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sad News: Archery Outpost is Closing - For Good

Very sad news out of Artesia, CA today as I just heard that Archery Outpost is closing for good this Sunday. This is from their Facebook page. Please stop over and leave them a message. Also, stop in this weekend and say hi, buy some things, and shoot a few arrows before 6 PM Sunday.

I would personally like to thank Laura and Connor for everything over the last seven years. You have been great to talk with, work with, and just get to know. Thank you for allowing me to shoot there, do some reviews there, and for taking care of my archery equipment! I wish you all the best!
Dear Fellow Archers, Friends, Customers, and the rest,

I am very sad to announce the Archery Outpost will close its doors at 6pm on Sunday, March 6th, 2016. 

Our hearts are broken. Since October, 2009 we have worked hard to build and nurture this wonderful place and pinned our hopes and dreams on it. We have been blessed with wonderful customers and friends. We have made awesome memories. 

I looked forward to you each of you coming in. I enjoyed having you here . I loved opening up the shop every day and sharing my life with you. I don’t know what I will do without you. I wish I had space here to name you all and hug you. 

Some things in life are just outside of your control. No matter how good your intentions, or how hard you work and plan there are bound to be some random terrible very unpleasant things that happen that you can’t the song says- sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.

I love my crew; the best bunch that ever could have been brought together. They are all amazing archers, passionate about the sport, trustworthy and smart, computer savvy, funny and diligent. My staff picked up the slack where they saw it. They seemed to forgive whenever necessary. Everyone stuck together and was loyal. Thanks to you all : Maddie, Andrew, Connor, Graeme, Dale, Ripley, Mark, Kalie, Faith, Rachael, Mo, Drew, Nick, Larry and Joe. I love you.

Everything is on sale until the doors close on Sunday. Please stop by and toss a few arrows with us...and some hugs.