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Competitive target archers are sponsored by bow companies and ultimately influence bowhunters. After all, it’s hard to argue with a guy who can consistently hit a bull’s-eye at 120 yards. But target shooting and hunting differ. Murphy’s Law haunts the woods. Wild animals and weather are unpredictable, so hunters should simplify their rigs.
1) With all things being equal, fast bows are superior. But things aren’t equal. Competition bans rangefinders, so speed mitigates errors in range estimation. But hunters can use rangefinders. Therefore, a hunting bow’s quietness and ease of drawing trump speed.
2) A meat bow wears a large-diameter peep sight for low-light shooting and has tough and simple sights. Multiple or single pins are fine with practice, but hunters have problems when they feel they must manipulate their “dial-in” sight for every 5-yard increment. Deer often move.
3) Wrist slings are designed to improve an archer’s grip. But for hunters who shoot the same bow all season, they degrade accuracy when you add gloves to the equation.
4) Stabilizers? Some dampen vibration, but all change the bow’s balance. Get used to your bow without it, and lug around less weight. Target archers use 4-foot stabilizers just as bench-rest shooters use 12-pound rifles. But at the relatively shorter ranges hunters commonly face, a 5-inch stabilizer isn’t worth its weight.
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Char-cloth is an essential ingredient for starting a flint and steel fire, but it's also easy and fun to make. All you need is an old tee-shirt (or similar thin all-cotton material), a tin of some sort, and a fire or camp stove. Here’s how to do it.
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If my food plots fail it probably won't be from a lack of rain.
As this is written, southern Michigan is “enjoying” its third straight day of rain. The timing is good even if the soggy conditions are a tad annoying for those looking to play baseball.
Two weeks or so ago, I planted about ¾ of an acre in soybeans and added another couple of acres of screening cover throughout Noah's Farm.
The soybeans are intended to serve as a late-season food source. Thus I need to keep the deer out of them as best I can until mid- to late-November. Which is fairly easy to do if I'm willing to spend a chunk of change on a fence. But with less than $750 left of my $1,500 budget, that's a chunk I'm not willing to part with.
Thus it was time for a little DIY work. Good ole American Redneck ingenuity. [ Read Full Post ]
Photo by John Hafner
I have a couple of gorgeous mule deer on my wall that I never would have tagged had it not been for shooting sticks. The same goes for my best elk and a laundry list of game taken in Africa.
Shooting sticks come in many varieties, but the common denominator is that all sticks provide an added measure of stability in the field and can dramatically increase the effective range of any hunter when they’re used the right way. [ Read Full Post ]
After this spring’s census efforts indicated breeding sage-grouse were at unprecedented low numbers, the state of Montana’s Wildlife Commission contemplated a recommendation from the wildlife agency to close the 2014 sage-grouse hunting season state-wide. This action should concern all sportsmen whether they hunt sage-grouse or not. It also begs the question: Is hunting part of the problem of declining grouse numbers – or part of the solution?
The fact is that no scientific evidence indicates hunting is a major cause of declines in populations of sage-grouse or a major threat relative to other factors. Even the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicated that hunting mortality is not a major threat to the overall persistence of populations. That said, sage-grouse are a different beast. They are relatively long-lived and have lower reproduction compared to many other game birds. As such, they must be managed more conservatively than, say, pheasants, or quail or ruffed grouse. [ Read Full Post ]
Reader Project submitted by Chris Holdbrooks from Guntersville, AL
Photo courtesy of Chris Holdbrooks
“The width of the carrier is the same as the factory rack on my ATV [40 inches]. The basket is 12 inches off the ground, allowing plenty of clearance for steep approach angles, and the 22-inch-deep basket accommodates two climbing stands.
“The trusses [horizontal members] that run from front to back have a 3/16-inch plate welded to them for bolting to the factory rack. Two horizontal members extending from the front of the basket insert into 1 ¼-inch square tube receivers welded to the ATV’s frame and support the majority of the weight of the carrier and cargo. [ Read Full Post ]