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  • November 26, 2013

    Range-Compensating Reticles Vs. Plain Old Crosshairs

    By Dave Hurteau

    The former, of course, are all the rage, have been for a while, and although I've hunted with a variety of scopes sporting a range-compensating reticle, I've been stingy with my praise.

  • November 22, 2013

    Update: Baker Buck is New Wisconsin State Record Nontypical Bowkill

    By Scott Bestul

    Well, it’s official. The monstrous buck shot by Wisconsin bowhunter Jim Baker on Sept. 18 has been recognized as the largest nontypical buck ever taken on Badger State soil by an archer. As noted by Hurteau last week, the Baker Buck was panel-scored on Nov. 17 by six official scorers at the Richfield, Wis., Cabela’s store. That panel awarded the buck an official gross score of 260-5/8 inches B&C, and an official net score of 249-5/8 inches. The net score surpasses the reigning archery state record nontypical, a 243-6/8-inch giant shot by Wayne Schumacher in 2009.

  • November 22, 2013

    Win this Bow: Buck-Scoring Contest, Round 2

    By Dave Hurteau

    Here is the second buck in our latest scoring contest. If you were too busy hunting last week to catch Round One, you should know that you are playing for a new Prime Alloy bow, G5’s 2014 flagship model, a prize worth over $900.

    To recap: I will post a picture of a hunter-killed whitetail buck once a week here for four weeks. You guess the gross antler score of each buck (fractionals count) and keep track of your totals. When I post the photo of Buck Number Four, I’ll ask you to add up your grand total and submit it. If your guess is closest to the actual total score of the four bucks, you win the bow. 

  • November 20, 2013

    Wow! Outdoor TV Sucks—Except When It Doesn't

    By Dave Hurteau

    The easiest thing in the world is to bash outdoor TV; it's such a fat pitch that a kind person should really try not to clobber it too often. So I promise not to do it again for a while. Anyway, after a long stint without watching any, I recently tried to sit down to a few shows.

  • November 19, 2013

    Best Sit Ever: 70-Plus Deer, All in Bow Range

    By Dave Hurteau

    I just returned from my second trip out to northwestern South Dakota to hunt with Western Ranch Outfitters and the folks at Bowtech. On my first visit, the freak October 4 storm that dumped 50 inches of snow in areas surrounding Rapid City—that uprooted trees and collapsed roofs with near-hurricane-force winds, and buried horses and cattle by the hundreds, leaving them strewn and frozen on the landscape—also kind of messed up the hunting.

    The guides, as guides do, had the deer pretty well figured out before the storm, but by the time we showed up, that was all out the window. As a result none of the writers on the first trip killed a buck, so Bowtech and the outfitter generously offered to have us back out.

  • November 15, 2013

    Score Some Bucks, Win a New Prime Alloy Bow

    By Dave Hurteau

    What’s this? You haven’t arrowed your buck yet. Must be the bow. But hey, it’s not too late to switch out—especially when all you need to do to get yourself a brand spanking new Prime Alloy bow, G5’s 2014 flagship model, a prize worth over $900, is score a few bucks.*
    Most of you know how this works. For anyone who doesn’t: I will post a picture of a hunter-killed whitetail buck once a week here for four weeks. You guess the gross antler score of each buck (fractionals count) and keep track of your totals.

  • November 13, 2013

    What If You Could Never Hunt Deer Again?

    By Dave Hurteau

    While I was bowhunting in South Dakota last week, the heartrending story of a paralyzed deer hunter’s decision to end life support made national news. In case you missed it, after falling 16 feet from his treestand on Nov. 2, Indiana hunter Tim Bowers was left paralyzed from the shoulders down and potentially in need of a ventilator for life. 

    According the AP report:
    His family had a unique request: Could he be brought out of sedation to hear his prognosis and decide what he wanted to do?

    “Doctors said yes, and Bowers chose to take no extra measures to stay alive. He died Sunday, hours after his breathing tube was removed.

    "We just asked him, 'Do you want this?' And he shook his head emphatically no," his sister, Jenny Shultz, said….

  • November 8, 2013

    Trail Cams, and the Saga of the 10-Pointer

    By Dave Hurteau

    Back on October 22nd I told you about how I missed a near-P&Y 10-pointer—a real good buck for this area. He was, however, right back in that same field on the following evening and the one after that.

    I came real close on his last visit, but he slipped behind me and got my wind. I decided to rest the field the next night, and from a stand on the opposite side of the farm, maybe a half hour before last light, I heard somebody shooting up the field with what sounded like a .22. I don’t know if he was after squirrels or tin cans or, God forbid, deer, but after that, the 10-pointer and every other deer I'd been seeing stopped showing up in the field.
    I scouted the nearby woods, but they were pretty much devoid of buck sign—until, after several days, a scrape opened up. So I went home and dusted off one of my trail cameras.

  • November 5, 2013

    I Am Not an A-Hole!

    By Dave Hurteau

    A guy I knew in college used to say, “Everyone you don’t know is an a-hole.” The idea was pretty novel to me then, but as I wade deeper into the manure pit of life, I’m learning that this is pretty much the guiding principle for some people and, I’m sorry to say, some hunters.

    I bring this up because when I got to my stand tree this morning, there was no stand. Gone, stolen over the weekend. This is the second stand I’ve had swiped this year, along with a trail camera. I know the landowner didn’t take it. And so, as I stood there, staring at the bare tree trunk, mumbling, “Who does that? What kind of rotten person does that?” The only answer left was, and is…my fellow hunters.

  • November 1, 2013

    Scouting Tip: Back Off That Buck Sign

    By Scott Bestul

    I’ve been doing a bunch of scouting over the last few weeks and, like everyone else, I’m keying in on rubs and scrapes. This buck sign is not only the easiest to spot, it can also reveal something about the size of its maker and, when found in good concentrations, can prove that a deer is spending a good deal of his time in a particular spot.

    But there’s a hitch. While finding a bonanza of buck sign in a certain spot is exciting, that immediate area may not be the best place to kill the deer that made it. In fact, it can be among the worst.