Bow Hunting Maniac » 2007 » July

Rain, Rain……..

We got a good rain yesterday here in Flagstaff, so i decided to go to the area I wrote about last week titled, “where’s the water”.
It was good to see that the rain had run down the 2 track dirt roads. I unloaded the 6 wheeler and headed for the main water catchment for this area.
The clouds were dark to the west and the breeze was cool but humid.
As I took the road that climbs the mountain, I noticed the grass was starting to turn green again. Seeing this added to my excitement, as I knew there would be good feed for the animals.
As I turned on the road that leads down a small hill to the drinker, I saw that someone had been here before me.
The road had brush and logs piled across it about every 150 yards. At first, I thought the storm may have done it, but then, it was obvious it was done by someone trying to discourage people from driving down the road. This went on about 1/4 mile to the drinker.
I try not to disturb what other hunters are doing in their quest, but knowing there is no hunt at this time, I stopped and decided to see what the other people were trying to accomplish.
I walked the area and found no treestands, blinds, or trail cameras. As I did this, I checked the drinker and saw it was about 1/2 full. I was glad to see this and also noticed an elk track in the dirt next to the drinker. It was since the rain, and was a nice size.
Next, I found a nice, small tree and put up my trail camera. I am really curious to see the size of the elk and that lone antelope buck.
I can’t get back there for 2 weeks as, I leave for Michigan on Sunday. But, I can already feel the anticipation of what I will see on the camera.
As I loaded the 6 wheeler onto the truck, another rain was coming in. A loud clap of thunder made me hurry a little more. As I drove onto the highway, I could look to the east and see the rain coming down to the area of the drinker, which brought a smile to my face.
Keep ‘em sharp,


We got a much needed rain today. The lightning and thunder went over the house and I looked to the north, the area I wrote about before, and it was completely black from rain.
The forest is nice and wet, which not only helps it out, but hopefully, there are a lot of water catchments that are filled for our animals.
I think the people that have elk tags will have an awesome year as, there should be some awesome bulls roaming around.
I will try to check out some area and tell you what I find.

A sheep tag?!

Wednesday evening I was staying at a hotel, as I was working out of town. I went to the lobby and decided to check in at to see what was posted lately.
One of our regulars, Desert Ram, posted that the AZ Game and Fish Department had posted the results of the big game draw.
I went to the game and fish department web site and entered the information, and it read;

Species Application: TURKEY

Species Application: JAVELINA

Species Application: DEER

Species Application: SHEEP
Drawn Hunt Number: 06001
Permit No: 000001 - Congratulations! Draw Successful.

I couldn’t believe my eyes………I am sure if anyone saw me at that time, I would have looked comatose, with my mouth hanging open and my eyes not blinking.
I reentered the information to make sure the computer wasn’t lying to me, and got the same results.
Now, I was frantic because I had no regulations with me to find out which hunt unit this was in. I tried to download the regulations, but the stinkin’ hotel computer was so slow, then it locked up…….GRRRRRRRRR.
The I went back to and found desert ram and txfirefighter in the chat room. I asked desert ram if she had any regulations and, to please look for me……….I was almost begging, I needed to know so bad, (I can be impatient at times).
She did and said she would be right back. As I waited, I wasn’t very talkative in the chat room as, I was focused on this so much.
You see, a sheep tag in Arizona is pretty much a once in a lifetime hunt, even though I drew this tag in only 10 years of applying, I have had friends that have applyed for over 30 years and still did not get a tag.
Also, you are allowed one Desert Bighorn in your lifetime in Arizona. You are also allowed one Rocky Mountain Bighorn but, you cannot apply for the 2 species separately, so all of your bonus points go for 1 or the other.
Desert ram returned and said the tag was for units 9 & 10. This left me kind of speechless as it was my second choice.
I have received a lot of information in the last few days that this is the hardest hunt in Arizona, and to be prepared to use a rifle if I need to. The sheep stay in a canyon that branches off of the Grand Canyon and, in some places is 1400 feet deep.
The season runs from October 1 to December 31, so it gives me plenty of time, but since it is in Northern Arizona, the weather can make the canyon inaccessible.
I have contacted the Wildlife manager and will meet with him next week, to start familiarizing myself with the canyon and the best ways to approach it.
I will keep you up to date on what the plans are.
keep ‘em sharp,

Where’s the water?

I just got back from an afternoon in the woods and, am absolutely dismayed.
I got on my 6 wheeler and drove dirt roads, covering about 35 miles of country. The woods in this area consist of Ponderosa Pine trees with Pinion and Juniper intermixed.
As I drove, I saw several elk tracks on the dirt roads and every dried up puddle of water had several elk, deer and antelope tracks in it.
About 20 minutes after I started my trek, I jumped 3 nice bull elk and watched them move into a group of trees.
Because of our lack of rain, I wanted to check waterholes and catchments and see if it would be worth placing a trail camera.
I love scouting areas and setting trail cameras. The pictures I get sometimes are priceless.
As I continued, I checked every water source I found and, every one was completely dry. The sad part was, to see the all of the animal tracks in the dried mud.
After a couple of hours, I was growing concerned at not finding any water anywhere. I know of a catchment that holds 20,000 gallons and thought that every animal must be pounding that one.
As I got close to this particular catchment, I saw a real nice antelope buck. He went over the hill and I continued. I was excited to see him so close to the water and, thought this was going to be a hot spot.
When I got to the catchment, I felt so bad, seeing it dry and, all of the wildlife tracks around it. I could tell the antelope had checked it several times to see if there was anything to drink.
Our monsoon is here, and it threatens to rain every day, but the most I have seen so far, is about 5 minutes of drizzle.
Hopefully, we will get a lot of rain very soon, the wildlife and forests really need it.

Javelina hunt

Ok you guys, (and ladies), don’t forget to get yourself entered into the free javelina hunt in AZ. It doesn’t matter if you shoot a bow, pistol, muzzy, or rifle. It is for 3 days fully guided and, also includes lodging and meals.
We will have a blast and we are 100% success on these things. We have taken javelina well into the 50 pound range, which is way above average for these critters.
If you tag out early, then we can go varmint hunting, so if you get drawn, don’t miss.
The deadline isn’t very far off, so don’t put it off any longer, get your entry in.
Go here to fill your entry out………


A day in the woods

I drew a spring bear tag a few months ago, and because of being self employed, have not had a chance to get away. During my turkey hunt I found a dirt waterhole that had a decent size bear track in the mud. The front paw print was about 4 1/2″ wide.
Finally, this past Friday I was able to get away for a day.
I left at 1:30 AM and set my Double Bull blind up at 5 AM. It was just getting light and was very peaceful out. As I sat there, I was surprised by not seeing any elk in the early hours.
Water is a precious resource right now as, we have been without rain for several months and what tanks that still have water, are very low. This particular tank is only about 15 yards across the water right now.
About 6 AM, I caught some movement, and saw a Coues Whitetail buck walking to the water. I looked at the buck at the water’s edge with my binoculars and saw that he had some great antlers already and knowing he had about 2 months left to grow, knew this was going to be a huge buck.
I watched as the buck fed by the tank and, took some pictures, then saw him walk into the forest. You might be able to imagine the thoughts going through my mind about being able to find this buck again during the archery hunt next month.
About an hour later, I heard a commotion and could tell it was turkeys having a spat. Either that or, something was trying to eat one.
About 15 minutes later, I saw a Tom come into view through the window of the blind. Pretty soon, there were 6 gobblers watering about 25 yards in front of me. They were calm and watered for a few minutes then fed along the edges on grasshoppers. Then they walked by me less than 10 yards in a single file. This was exciting because they all were mature birds, with one having about an 8″ beard.
Over the next few hours, I saw a small Coues buck and a lone gobbler, plus a couple of squirrels. I didn’t see the bear, but I had a great time and can’t wait to get back out there again.
Keep ‘em sharp,

What makes a hunter?

Have you ever thought of what makes a hunter? Is it for the thrill? Is it to get as close to nature as you possibly can? Is it to have a big drinking party?
I think the only person that can answer that question is the person asking it. But, what is it that is inside each one of us that causes us to yearn for true, unspoiled nature? The smell of the forest, and to hear the wind blow through the leaves. To be able to lie down on your back and see the trees tower to the sky. To actually take the time to see the stars at night.
What makes a bowhunter different than a rifle hunter? Why do each of a us choose the weapon we do? Is one better than the other?
Again, the only person that can answer is the one that asks.
Personally, gun hunting seemed to easy. But, that isn’t the whole reason. I had no real connection with the outdoors and with the animals I pursued.
Hunting with bow and arrow required me to get to know the animal. Each species has it’s unique characteristics and habits, it’s likes and dislikes. But, they all have a sense that is their shortcoming. To learn this weakness, means a bowhunter can be very successful, if he learns to capitalize on it. An example is antelope sense danger totally by eyesight. They do not use their sense of smell to detect a threat. If you can be undetected by their vision, the rest is easy……as long as you are accurate in your shot.
As I learned how to get close to animals, I learned more about each species. Their travel routes, their bedding sites and times.
Another example of what I have learned is elk like to bed on the northeast side of mountains and slopes.
The answer is no. One type of hunter is not better than the other. Each person has his own ambition and goals to achieve. For myself, I want to achieve my hunting goals with a bow. As it does not mean as much to me to take an animal with a firearm as it does with a bow.
Keep ‘em sharp,
What I don’t understand is, if it is so enjoyable for me, why don’t more people pick up a bow?

Archery Shops

Archery shops can be a great place to shop, get your bow worked on, and be a place for insightful conversation. But, it can also be a place where you can get bad advice, poor service, and mediocre workmanship.
The sad part is, depending on where you live, the archery shop may be your only local store to get what you need. And, I don’t have to mention buying supplies at the large chain stores. The employees have no clue what you are asking for, and the merchandise, in most cases are of inferior quality. So, the only alternative is to get quality merchandise is over the internet.
But, to order over the internet requires you to know exactly what you want to buy, as comparison shopping is very hard to do.
It is nice to be able to support the local archery stores but, when poor service is not uncommon, why do we continue to go back?
What I have seen most people do that are not sure what they should buy for the archery setup is, get information from seasoned archers and go online to bowhunting chat rooms. This enables them to get valuable information from several sources and find out what will be best for them.
Also, there are several websites that offer used equipment for sale by bowhunters that have no need for it any longer.
Remember, to do some comparisons on equipment before you buy. This will save you both time and money.
Keep ‘em sharp,