What's that? You didn't get a new compound bow for Christmas? Well buck up. You can still win Bowtech's brand-new 2014 flagship model, and this one is guaranteed to be newer than any that the other boys and girls got last week, because this one hasn't even been released yet. I will find out—and report to you—exactly what it is at next week's ATA Show. To win it, all you have to do, as usual, is score some bucks.
If you’re still hanging stands for this season, here’s a tip that will help you get set up more quickly and safely. Otherwise, put it in your memory bank for next fall.
As I say here, the most precarious part of hanging a lock-on stand, especially a heavy one, comes when you have to hold the weight of the stand with one hand while trying to secure the strap with the other. It’s an awkward, slow, and potentially dangerous process.
Check out this amazing antler Christmas “tree” made by Caleb Stewart, my guide on a recent whitetail hunt with Gobbler N Grunt outfitters (gobblengrunt.com) in northern Nebraska. He constructed it in pretty much the same way as shown in the video below, except that animals, I suspect, were harmed (and eaten) in the making a Caleb’s version. Also, he simply wraps string lights on his.
For the “trunk,” Caleb starts with 6-inch-diameter PVC, tapering to 4-inch and then 3-inch. He screws the antlers to the pipe in the same way as shown, drilling pilot holes through the antler and the PVC and securing with screws. Then it’s plumber’s putty and the same trompe-l’oeil technique to make it all look real.
Tis the season of wishing for certain things without any certainty of what you’ll actually get — of giddy suspense with a dose of mystery. So in keeping with the season, Bowtech is putting up their brand-new 2014 flagship bow for a prize — so new, in fact, that it has not yet been released. Which means you boys and girls will have to wait until after Christmas (and in fact after the ATA show during the first week of January) to find out exactly what’s under the red ribbon. Meanwhile, the fact that Bowtech’s last two flagship bows won back-to-back F&S Best of the Best Awards means you should be very excited.
As usual, all you have to do is score some bucks. But we’ve got a twist here, too: blacktails and muleys. Bowtech, after all, is headquarted in Oregon, and why should this be easy?
Both of my freezers are full. There’s no real need for me to take another deer, which is perfect this time of the season. It means I can head for the big woods, deep into the low conifers and the high beeches, where a northeastern hunter ought to be once there’s the promise of snow. It means I needn’t give a thought to what might walk under my treestand down on the farm. It means I can take my muzzleloader for a long, quite walk in the timber, and probably not see deer, and not care one way or another.
So that’s what I did. On the morning of the season’s first snowfall, which had started as sleet in the middle the night but turned into big wet flakes by dawn, I walked a straight mile toward the first bedding ridge where hemlocks rise to a granite knob. If you’re very lucky, you can sit here and watch deer below as they filter in to bed against rock’s south-facing base.
ThermaCELL's electronically heated insoles ($130; thermacell.com) aren't perfect, but they are the best cure I've found for my biggest late-season deer hunting problem: cold feet. When temperatures drop into the teens, my toes burn with the cold unless I'm wearing heavy felt-lined boots. If I have to hike to my stand or want to do some still-hunting, however, pac boots make my feet sweat, which guarantees my toes will be cold when I stop.
Frankly, I was getting worried. The 2013 deer season is winding down, and to date we have not entertained one rumor—nary a hint—of a world-record whitetail. But that’s all changed. Last week, my friend, veteran B&C scorer, and Heartland Outdoors blogger Tim Walmsley sent several photos (including this blurry one) of this colossal buck. Rumor has it that the buck was arrowed in northeastern Iowa and scores in the neighborhood of 206 inches, which mean this buck could (assuming the measurement is accurate and holds up) threaten one of the most iconic trophies of all time.
Kentucky outfitter Carl Doran gets reports from dozens of hunters in the field every day of the Kentucky gun season. Over the years of analyzing that compiled data, Doran believes certain weather conditions are virtually guaranteed to make deer move – or not. Watch the video interview and learn why not all cold, frosty mornings in mid-November are created equal when it comes to seeing deer.
Did you hear that? Was that the sound of your doorbell ringing only days from now—the sound of the deliveryman on the stoop, waiting to hand you a brand new G5 Prime Alloy compound bow? Well, lets find out.
I have a confession: I don't shoot my bow as much as I should. When we are testing new bows in the spring, I shoot a ton and get pretty dialed in, even at long range. But during the rest of the year, like many of you I assume, work and family (and work and work and work) make it pretty much impossible to regularly hit the range. And so while Will Brantley's recent video advice to practice shooting your bow from your knees is totally valid, I admit I don't do it that much.