Bow Hunting Maniac » 2007 » May


Have you ever been to a hunting spot that doesn’t have a name on the map? And, instead of telling your buddies, “remember that spot off of the old logging road?”, you decide to name it after something significant.
My best friend, Mark, and I have done this for a very long time and, for several reasons. We can talk to each other about a spot in front of other people and, they have no idea where we are talking about and, does not give the area away.
Because we grew up in the desert in Arizona, we have hunted waterholes alot, especially during the summer for coyotes, rabbits, and whatever was legal.
Because water is a valuable resource here, we have seen every type of animal imaginable come to drink without noticing us.
Names such as Banana tank, The Flume, The Square, Playboy Tank, Rock tank, Cedar Tank. Turkey Ridge, Dogleg Tank, Hidden tank, The Groves, Middle Mountain Tank, all got named by us as a great reference for us without giving our spot away to others.
Even though these names will never be on a map, they have special meaning to Mark and I, and after several years of neither of us visiting a certain spot, we know immediately where the other is referring to when it is mentioned.
The photo included was taken by Mark at Coyote Tank during the month of June many years ago, and shows an example of what you can see when sitting a tank in 115 degree heat. Incidentally, this tank was named after Mark and I killed several coyotes with bow and arrow from it. It was a favorite of ours as you could count on seeing several species of game including coyote, bobcat, javelina, mule deer, literally hundreds of quail, and 1 time I counted 46 cottontail and jackrabbits in about 3 1/2 hours.
If you ever want to see what is in the area you hunt, check waterholes during the summer, and the tracks will give away some secrets. Then, find a nice tree to get under downwind, and enjoy nature at it’s best.
keep em sharp,

Where do we go from here?

Posted in General

The other day I received a phone call from Dick Tone. For those of you that have no idea who I am talking about, I will fill you in.
Dick, who owned Cavalier Archery Products and recently sold the business to Arizona Archery Enterprises, has had a rich life in archery and bowhunting.
He was the U.S. Olympic archery coach the year the Olympic torch was lit by a flaming arrow. He taught archery and bowhunting to anyone that took the time to listen to him, but he has the personality that he doesn’t show off or always give his opinion.
Well, Dick and I talked business a little, then we started talking about elk hunting, and bowhunting.
We reminisced a little about days gone by and how much archery has evolved in less than 40 years, since the first compound bow was invented in 1969.
While we talked, I wondered how far archery will go and if there will be a limit to it. I think we were both thinking about times when there was no such thing as compound bows.
Shooting was so much simpler. Draw the recurve or longbow, point, anchor, and shoot. Since for me, it was not as accurate, it required more skill, not just in shooting, but also in stalking and ambushing.
Dick commented about how much equipment people carry with them in their backpack now, and how much it is worth. I did a quick calculation and figured between the Swarovski 10×42’s, the 15×56’s, the tripod, camera, and rangefinder, I carry about $4500 with me in pursuit of game.
After Dick and I hung the phone up, I realized why archery shooting is not as much fun as it used to be for me. The passion to shoot, for me, has been lost in technology.
This, in no way, means I have lost the excitement to bowhunt, but, I feel it means I actually yearn for the simpler way of hunting.
I guess that is something we shall see in the near future.
Keep ‘em sharp,

Estimating Yardage

Posted in General

In this day of rangefinders, a few people will think there is no need to know how to estimate yardage. But, there are times when the hunter will be caught in a situation that he should know how to estimate distance for accuracy.
If you treestand or blind hunt, then you can get the rangefinder out and get yardages of different trees and rocks for reference when that big ol’ buck walks by.
But, more often than not, if you are playing the spot and stalk game, you may have to make a shot before the opportunity is gone. Quickly estimating yardage will be the difference between shooting and watching the animal walk away.
Because the trajectory of an arrow is relatively slow compared to a gun, it is important to be able to know the yardage of your target. If you are 5 yards off on your estimate, it can mean a complete miss or, worse, a bad hit. Because of this, it is very important to try to be as accurate as you can in your estimation.
The way I have learned to estimate with the most accuracy is, to look at your target where it touches the ground. If it is an elk or any live animal, look at his legs or what ever is the lowest point you can see.
This does several things for you. It takes your eyes off of the antlers or horns, and makes you focus and, it forces you to not concentrate on body size. Elk and moose are very hard to estimate distance if you can only see their body, because they are so large, which will make them appear closer than they really are.
Once you are looking at the animals’ legs, count 10 yard increments from them to you. If you cant see the legs, find a tree or rock that is about the same distance away as they are and estimate from that point.
A good way to practice estimation is to take your bow stump shooting. Get some rubber blunts and put them in place of your target points. Then, take a walk in the woods. Look for targets such as old stumps, tufts of grass, or a mole hill, and let ‘er fly. Afterward, step the distance off and see how close you were in your estimation.
You will be amazed at how fast you will learn to be accurate. Then, when you have that figured out, it is time to estimate across gullys and ravines.

Keep ‘em sharp,

Javelina Hunt

Posted in General

One lucky person will win a Javelina hunt in Arizona……..don’t forget to sign up, it’s free!!
The hunt will take place in the winter of 2008, the exact date depending on what weapon the winner chooses to hunt with. It will be a great hunt and if the person happens to kill early, then it will be off to some varmint hunting. A deer hunt can also be added at regular price.
Also, the winner gets to bring another hunter with them for 1/2 the usual price.
If you have any questions about this or any other hunt, please ask.
Tell all of your hunting buddies to get in on this.


Posted in General

I just received this link in an email. Believe me, it is worth watching. It doesn’t matter your position on the war in Iraq, It matters to those people, all of them, that are over there fighting for us, that we continue to support them.
As we approach Memorial Day, it is important for us to honor our military and country by flying our flag, and if you believe, say a prayer for our country, the friends and relatives that are in a foreign country and our leaders.

Another Turkey huntin’ story

Posted in General

I went back on my turkey hunt on Wednesday afternoon. I got there early enough to try to roost some birds. All was quiet with no wind, but I didn’t hear 1 gobble.
It had been a long day so, I was in the sleeping bag before 9 pm. I awoke just before 4 am and got eveything together and was hoping to get into the spot I wanted to hunt before daylight.
I left the truck at about 4:30 and hiked into the area.
I got to the spot as dawn was breaking and sat down to listen….all of a sudden a gobble broke the silence, then another in response. The first gobble was only about 400 yards away and as I got ready to head that way, I heard a peacock call……..then a few minutes later it sounded again.
I sat back down as I realized there was another hunter trying to get the Tom to gobble to his call.
Everytime the hunter blew the call, the Tom gobbled right back.
Alot of things went through my mind as I sat there and listened………”is this guy hunting with a shotgun?”, “is he sneaking in on the old Tom now?”, “Man, I wish I was down there.”
This went on for over an hour, well after the Tom had flown down from his roost, as I listened to the peacock call and the Tom responding.
Pretty soon the Tom quit gobbling and the hunter quit calling, and I never heard a shotgun blast.
After a while, I had worked a ridge and listened, when I heard a gobble about 200 yards away. I stood still waiting for another, to figure which direction he was headed so I could get ahead of him and try to set up an ambush.
There it was, he gobbled and actually was headed my way….”Allright!!”, I thought. I started searching for a spot to hide me and still be able to get a shot with my bow.
As I set up, he gobbled again……..I was hurrying to get ready and he gobbled again….now he was less than 100 yards away and I was trying to get my arrow nocked.
Finally, I was set and just in time. I saw the Tom through the tree limbs as he was looking all around. He stopped under a Juniper tree and stood there, less than 20 yards away and I could not get an arrow through the limbs. I waited as he stood there and thought, “he will continue his walk and I can draw my bow when he goes behind the pine tree and shoot when he comes from behind it”.
I continued to watch and tried not to move a muscle, the excitement was building and I was starting to shake in anticipation. Then I could not believe my eyes. The Tom turned and walked away from me! I tired to reason a way to get an arrow through the branches, but knew there was no way to do it.
I tried to call but got no response. After about 30 seconds he gobbled and I could tell he was already 100 yards away.
I thought, ” man, so close and still not able to put it together”.
I continued to hunt throughout the day but, as warm as it is, the turkeys were done giving away their locations.
I don’t know if I will get back before season closes and, if I don’t, there is always archery turkey in August to look forward to.
Keep ‘em sharp,

I’m back!!

Posted in General

Well, I had to go to Minneapolis for business for the past week, and am really glad to be home.
Because my turkey season is a split hunt, my hunt doesn’t start again until this Friday. I have been worried other hunters would find my area, but I think I am ok, because the wind has been so bad here the last couple of days, there is no way they would hear the gobbles in the mornings.
I am leaving Thursday to go back on the hunt and cant wait to get back out there and even the score.
It’s a Tom with a bow or nothing!!