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  • October 16, 2013

    Legendary Tracker Larry Benoit Dies, 89

    By Dave Hurteau


    Photo by Marius Bugge

    I was away last week, bowhunting in South Dakota, when I heard that the great Vermont whitetail tracker Larry Benoit had passed away.

    Having grown up in the Northeastern big woods, nothing in hunting stirs me more than the prospect of dogging a track deep into the wilderness and dragging home the buck that made it. And like so many other North Woods hunters, I have mostly Larry Benoit to thank for that. I'm sorry to say that I never had a chance to meet the man, but F&S contributing editor Lawrence Pyne visited Larry The Legend in the Benoit living room, interviewed the master tracker several times, and has filmed and hunted with his well-known sons. And so, I asked Lawrence to write Benoit's obituary for this space. Here it is:

    The man once hailed as the country's best deer hunter will not be on the track of a big buck this fall. Larry Benoit passed away peacefully Oct. 8 in the comfort of his home and family in Duxbury, Vermont. He was 89.

  • October 11, 2013

    Be Your Own Bow Tech, Part 6: Cam Timing, Explained

    By Dave Hurteau

    And now for Part 6 of our 8-part series on how to set up your own bow. If you missed any of the previoius videos, click on any of the following: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. So far we’ve covered proper draw length and weigh, how to install a capture rest and a peep, adding a D-loop to the string, and installing a bowsight. Now, Nick Droback with Bowtech explains cam timing.

  • October 10, 2013

    Finding Lost Deer: It’s Time For Tracking Dogs To Go National

    By Scott Bestul

    On opening weekend of the Wisconsin archery season, Matt Serwa arrowed a giant whitetail. The hit was fatal, but the blood trail poor. Things got worse when, shortly after dusk, the rain came and lasted all night. Fortunately, Matt knew Kasey Morgan, a member of the United Blood Trackers (http://www.unitedbloodtrackers.org), a national organization whose members own dogs trained to find deer just like Serwa’s buck. Serwa described his buck, the hit, and the situation to Morgan on the phone that evening. The pair decided to wait until morning, then take up the trail with Boomer, Morgan’s bloodhound.

  • October 9, 2013

    Deer-Hunting Relativity

    By Dave Hurteau

    Let me put my home-area deer hunting in a nutshell for you: Last night, from a climbing stand just off a hidden greenfield, I watched a group of deer filter into the freshly mowed meadow to nibble on upstart forbs. Among them was a bachelor group of bucks that perfectly captured the state of deer hunting on many properties around here: two spikes, a 3-pointer, and a forkhorn. And if that doesn’t tell you all you need to know, I’ll add that the forkhorn was (a) the only buck there that wasn’t led to the field by its mother, and (b) clearly the area’s dominant male, running other deer off his little patch of greenery and instigating sparring matches with the smaller guys.

  • October 7, 2013

    Be Your Own Bow Tech, Part 5: How to Install a Bowsight

    By Dave Hurteau

    Judging by the first comment on the last video, you guys are more than ready for Part 5. (Here are the links for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.) Because this one is so basic and short, we’ll put up another shortly. And so, without further run-up, here is Bowtech’s Nick Droback on how to correctly install your bowsight.

  • October 2, 2013

    Scouting Tip: Go For the Green Beans

    By Scott Bestul

    We talk a lot about transitions during this phase of the whitetail season, and the bean field pictured above is a perfect example. As any farm-country deer hunter knows, whitetails are nuts for soybeans. Early in the season, they eat the foliage, but that attraction fades as soon as the leaves on the bean plant start to yellow, like the majority of those in the pictured field. Once this change occurs, whitetails typically shun beans until much later in the season when they'll return to the brown, dried-up plants to eat the pods and beans.

  • October 2, 2013

    Cross Off: Conventional Compound Vs. Crossbow

    By Will Brantley


    Photo by Will Brantley

    With so many states now allowing or considering the use of crossbows during archery season, the big debate is whether a crossbow offers significant hunting advantages over a standard compound bow. For the October issue's Field Test section, I recently tested six brand-new crossbows. It was the perfect opportunity to answer the crossbow-vs.-conventional compound question once and for all. I put my Hoyt Spyder Turbo head-to-head against the latest crossbows in the following categories.

    Efficiency: My compound bow has an IBO speed of 340 fps, which translates to about 90 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. That's comparatively fast, but most hunting setups, mine included, fall way short of IBO specs. And even if they didn't, the slowest crossbow I tested throws a 437-grain arrow at 307 fps for 91 foot-lb. of kinetic energy and significantly more momentum. The rest of the crossbows simply blew my compound away in this category. Edge: Crossbow.

  • October 1, 2013

    Be Your Own Bow Tech, Part 4: Install a D-Loop

    By Dave Hurteau

    And now, the fourth video in our eight-part series on how to set up your own compound bow (Part 1Part 2Part 3). So far, we've covered proper draw length and weigh and how to install a capture rest and a peep. Now, Nick Droback with Bowtech explains how to add a D-loop to your string.

  • September 30, 2013

    Wisconsin Bowhunters Take Possible State Record and Velvet Booner

    By Scott Bestul

    The 2013 Badger State archery season is less than two weeks old, and bowhunters have already taken a pair of incredible bucks. While it's no secret that Wisconsin is one of the top trophy producers in the country (the Badger State ranks first in the Pope & Young listings with 8,478 total entries; Illinois is second with 6,372), the two whitetails pictured here are truly outstanding.

    Word on the street is that the huge nontypical was shot in Waukesha County and is rumored to green-score 244 inches. The hunter remains unnamed and details are few at this point. But if that score is legit, the buck could threaten the state record for nontypical bow kills, which was taken by Wayne Shumacher, who arrowed the 243-6/8-inch giant in Fond du Lac county during the 2009 season. 

  • September 26, 2013

    Cabela's New Colorphase: The Coolest Thing to Happen to Camo in Decades

    By Dave Hurteau

    As I have written recently in the magazine, I typically don't give a hoot about the latest camo patterns. All anyone need know on this topic is to wear something that breaks up the human form given the surroundings. The rest is just fashion. (I know some folks argue that fashion is art. But I have trouble believing there's anything profound about fashion when fashionistas are so dependably shallow.)