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April Feature- “The Stalkers Tackle Box “ – By OzHuntsman
Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Heritage Hunters welcomes OzHuntsman as a regular contributor to our Article Section.  Oz comes to us from Australia and will give our members insight into a series of articles entitled:                  

“The Stalkers Tackle Box”

oz-for-articles.jpg

Article 1 – Last Minute Yardage…….”ranging on the fly”

By OzHuntsman

……… using the laser pointer in low light

While in the stand one has time to pre-range landmarks around the ambush area and put these distances to memory, giving the hunter a good sense of distance judgement when the time comes to let it fly, but as we switch up to a Spot and Stalk predator, we will face some new hurdles when it comes to ranging targets, and as our eyes grow older, our need to ground game does not. Squinting and straining the eyes into focus in the low light to form the accurate map of meters, can take its toll and after a long day in the field, the last minutes of light can make or break  the moment of confidence, costing you and your quarry a clean shot. Distance is often the culprit of misjudgement.

In this article we will focus on a technique I picked up a few years back while experimenting with laser-point bow-mounted sighting.  For this exercise, we will mount a pistol-laser point to a mounted bracket on our stabilizer, and use the ascending angle, along with our multi pin sight, to gauge and adjust yardage while at full draw.  All too often one ranges a target, just on dark,  only to reach anchor and have the quarry change mind and move off just enough to leave the big question, how far is he now?  I found this neat little trick to be very helpful in conjunction with my Leupold RX series range finders. Although a laser point night shooting is fun, having this set up for real hunting situations can be very handy on occasion. (Note: Please check your area’s hunting regulations on use of bow mounted laser point systems)

……………….understanding the concept

 With the line of sight on a decline from the bow-sight, and the arrow forming an arc flight pattern, the stabilizer is probably not the obvious choice for accurate point targeting, but, for ranging this is perfect. By mounting the laser below both the line of sight, and the arrows trajectory, we form an incline in the laser point line to reach the point of impact on your first sight pin.  Fig 1 demonstrates these angles converging upon the chosen point of impact. Although this will give a perfect shot at 20 yds, we will use the laser in a manner that will maximize the ability to take full advantage of these angles, and use the converging lines as a dictionary of distance.

 Fig 1 –

OA pic 1

*As you can see from Fig 1, any distance greater than 20 yds will put the laser point above the 20yrd pin.  If we now lower that laser point we can make full use of both the laser, and our pins, to get a better idea of our final yardage, rather than having the laser hit an unmeasurable  point above all the pins.  Now that you have a better idea of where we are headed with this excercise….

 ……………………let’s get started

First we need to set up our equipment and for this we will use the red-zone pistol laser point which retails in Australia for around $50 ( More expensive units tend to come with mounting bracket and extras, but for this exercise we will use only what is necessary) and a home-made mounting bracket. For the sensor switch I have chosen to seat this underneath the squish grip, so when I draw the bow, the pressure sets the switch and it will automatically turn on.

 Fig 1b
OA1 pic2

……….tuning your laser laterally

All laser pointers that are designed for accurate sighting have a lateral and vertical alignment adjusting feature, which you will find in the supplied user guide when you purchase your laser. Usually two small screws which are turned in or out to adjust the alignment. First step is getting the laser in the same vertical line as your pins, so adjust your lateral screw and test at 10-20-30 yds to ensure alignment down range.

……………….first step

We have our pins in this exercise set at 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 50 yards.  We will set our maximum comfortable kill distance at 50 yds and that is the last pin.  So, now we line up our target which we have set up at 20 yards down range, and draw the bow, settling our top 20yd pin on our X.  While anchored we need to pay attention to where our laser is settled. Now we want to adjust this up or down so that when we are settled at 20 yds with our top pin, the laser is hitting and aligning with the bottom pin downrange. (fig2)              *( If you set your laser as first point of impact aligned with the top pin, then any distance greater than your perceptual flat flight, will put the red dot above all your pins and become difficult to gauge)

 Fig 2 –

OA1 pic 3Now if we draw the bow and line up a questionable distance, we can see if it is more or less than 20yds, just by checking the position of the “red dot” down range. If the dot is higher than our bottom pin, the lasers light has travelled further than 20yds, if the point sits underneath our pin,  the distance is less. Now we can adjust our point of aim accordingly, judging from what we have observed in  the lasers downrange position. This will show up the tiniest last minute variation of distance that we are willing to pay attention to, simply because the line is continuous, rather than incremental.

 

 

Fig 2b (below) demonstrates a distance greater than 20 yds with the laser point settling on the 40 pin. On my rig this tells me the distance is now 35yds. So I would adjust and use my 35 pin to make the shot, all without relaxing the bow.

 Fig 2b –

OA 1 pic 4               ……………………moving on

  We will now step back to 50yds and line up on the target (using your top pin first as a point of reference), and check the corresponding difference of the red laser dot down range. All set-ups are different in tuning, stabilizer height and length, line of sight, and velocity so this is where others measurements will vary depending on the mentioned factors. Take notes of where the laser point has settled and memorise it. This is your exact 50. Again, anything above this point, is a greater distance than 50yds, anything under is less.  I find that starting a diagram for reference at this point in time, is a good idea. Once you have finished this exercise and dialled in your laser, I’d recommend  taping  your diagram to the inside of your bow-case with some clear OzCrest SP-vinyl over the top for longevity. You can refer to this diagram before each field trip to refresh your memory or retune the equipment.

Let’s go out and experiment at different distances now, taking notes on where the laser settles at any given yardage. Unlike our arrows trajectory, the lasers path is straight, so increments between our chosen noted distances will be almost identical except for perspective variations. For example, if we set our pins at 5yd increments, and we want to read our laser in 5yd increments, then the laser points will all be distanced almost equally, where-as our pins follow an noticeable descending arc as the arrow loses energy and gravity takes over. So our pins would have larger gaps as the distance downrange increases.

Fig 3 –

OA 1 pic 5

Fig 3 demonstrates a complete range of distance mapped out at 5yd increments using the laser point and line of sight.  This will allow our column of pins to be used as secondary markers for ranging, as well as for picking a spot to drop string.

…………signing out

So there you have it  fellow Stalkers………….  A way to keep your confidence in those last fleeting moments that might bring upon you that dreaded indecision, giving you a better chance at bringing home the bacon in low light conditions that could otherwise have your eyes fooled.

 Happy and Safe Hunting to all,                                                                                                      Oz

*Stay tuned for article 2,   “The steady hand”………………..We will be focussing on the laser points ability to show up unwanted torque and unsteadiness, and some simple ways to tame your grip.!!

*For answers to questions regarding this article, CLICK HERE!

*Equipment featured in this article can be sourced from                                                           “ The Shooters Shop – Mandurah, WA , phone- 08 9581 8920“.

 

 

Member Profile – April 2008
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

April’s Member Spotlight is on:
Daniel Ruffino
from North Carolina.  Daniel is serving in the United States Air Force and currently stationed in Afghanistan.  On behalf of Heritage Hunters, Thank You Daniel, for your service to our Country!  Here’s what Daniel had to say about his hunting heritage.

HH: How did you get started hunting ?ruffino pic
DR:
I went deer hunting in upstate NY with a friend of my Dads a few times but never saw anything. When I was around 17 or so an older friend of my brother’s started taking me small game hunting and I really got into squirrel and rabbit hunting. Later, when I went to AZ, I bought my first shotgun and got into Quail hunting and dove. From there I just expanded what I hunted depending on where I was.

HH: Do you have any hunting mentors? and if so, What would you like to say about them?
DR:
The friend of my brother, his name was Paul, really inspired me to learn more about hunting.  Even though my Dad wasn’t really into small game my parents let me hunt what I wanted, so they encouraged my hunting experience as well. Paul really helped me to enjoy hunting and to see deer hunting wasn’t all there was and my parents just wanted me to enjoy what
I was doing even though it wasn’t their thing.

HH: What is your favorite type of hunting and why?
DR:
I do really enjoy deer hunting but I have to say Rabbit and Duck are my favorites because I can involve my kids more. When we rabbit hunt with our dogs my son and I talk and enjoy our time together. Duck hunting is a lot of fun for us because my son can call and also keep an eye out for ducks. I guess the bottom line is that with duck and rabbit we work as a team and it is lot of fun for us. Next year my son will be starting to carry a gun if we can get him through the gun safety course this summer.

HH: What is your biggest piece of hunting advice to our members?
DR:
I would say my best advice is that if there is a type of hunting you want do but have never done it, do some good research, buy some books, watch some videos, talk to other hunters and then give it a try.  I had never turkey hunted in my life so when I got to Missouri I did as much research as I could and even though I had a lot to learn, I really
enjoyed the first year. The second year I turkey hunted a shot a good size Jake and the third year I shot a 23 pound, 10 1/2 inch bearded gobbler with 1 3/4 inch spurs. I did the same thing with duck hunting as well. So like I said, my advice would be don’t be discouraged by lack of experience, just get in the books and you can hunt anything.  Online Forums like the one on THEHERITAGEHUNTERS.COM are also good learning tools.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions on them because maybe a more experienced hunter can help you out.

HH: If you had an opportunity to hunt anything, anywhere, what would it be and where?
DR:
  At some point I would like to go on a big elk hunt. I am not much for having a guide but if I never live anywhere where there’s elk I wouldn’t mind trying it once, I wouldn’t really care where it was although the western states are pretty, so that would be a possibility.  An elk is a big animal to take down and I think if I did it just once it
would be something I would always cherish.

HH: How are you passing on your hunting heritage?
DR:
I think the biggest thing I do to pass on my hunting heritage is talking to my son about my knowledge and taking him with me at every opportunity. I always tell him that hunting isn’t always about the killing. Its about the experience of being outdoors. We hunters see things that other people never see, like a sunrise on a snowy morning, a
coyote chasing a rabbit for example. I think teaching my kids about respecting nature and the moral code of hunting benefits them in many other ways. When we are hunting an animal I always show my son the best way to kill the animal quickly and humanely. I stress proficiency with the weapon you are using to ensure this. I hope that by going by this, hunting can seem less barbaric to others so they can understand hunting doesn’t have to be cruel or violent. My children, I believe will further this idea. My son was turned off to hunting for a while because while fishing we found 4 deer carcasses dumped off with their antlers cut off. My son was horrified to think people would do such a thing and waste an animal like that. I have shown him by only taking what we eat and only making ethical shots that we can be the ones to turn the opinion of hunting around. This way we can reverse the damage others do to the reputation of hunters. I know it’s a long answer but I feel pretty passionate about this, as I am sure you do and every true “hunter” does.

Pictured Above: Daniel and his son with a deer taken while home for the weekend attending the NCO Academy in Tennessee.  “We live in NC so I just drove home and
went out the next morning with the boy. This was the first deer my son has actually seen killed. It ran from our right and I whispered at it and it stopped at 20 yards. After I shot I had my son track the deer (it only went 25 yards) and he found it pretty easily. He was very excited about the whole experience.”

 Congrats Daniel! 

Trout Fishing in the “Burbs”
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Trout Fishing in the Burbs

By Dale Smith

OK so this story isn’t really a “Hunt” but since it is April and Trout Season has just begun in my home State of NY, I thought I’d reminisce a little.

I have a great memory involving Trout fishing (April 1996).  I was newly married and my wife and I were living in an apartment in the “burbs” outside of Utica, NY.  I needed a break from my work schedule at the time so I called my father and asked if he’d like to try out the stream in back of the apartment complex on the April 1st, Trout opener.  Being retired, he jumped at the chance.  After work, I met him out in the parking lot and we walked to the back of the apartment complex.  I remember thinking that something was askew with this scene as two grown men traipsed across the pavement with hip waders and fishing poles.  My experiences with Trout Fishing growing up had always
found us in some secluded stream where the only noises were produced from wildlife or the brook itself.  Although skeptical about our chances on this outing, my thoughts turned to the old adage “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work!”  After all, I was sharing yet another outdoor experience with Dad and at that point, catching fish didn’t really matter.
The stream was of the type where you look at it and say to yourself “Is there going to be fish in here?”  We eventually found a decent sized pool and sat there trying 2 different style lures.  Dad was using a worm and I tried a silver phoebe. We sat there as we tossed our first casts into the pool with the not too faint sounds of the highway drowning out any
whispered conversations we might have considered having.  About the time we threw out our 3rd cast, a young kid slid over the bank and positioned himself on the opposite side of the pool.  Dad and I looked at each other thinking, “Hey, maybe this kid knows something we don’t about this pool”. My next cast produced a hit on the phoebe that sent my drag screaming.  After what seemed like a 5 minute battle with my ultralite, I finally got
my hands on a huge Brook Trout.  Dad and I looked at each other in amazement as this dude must have topped the scales at over 2 lbs.  Dad promptly switched to a bronze phoebe and threw back in.  As it turned out, the kid on the other side of the stream had seen the local hatchery truck dump these Brookies over the bridge a few days ago.  Dad and I ended up catching 3 more out of that hole and if memory serves, the boy caught a few as well.  I would have felt bad if he hadn’t since we unknowingly had commandeered
his “honey hole”.
I ended up going back the following weekend and walking much further down the steam, crossing under the highway and trying out pools behind several car dealerships.  That experience produced my limit but was not quite as enjoyable as the time spent with Dad a few short days before.  In fact, my recollection about the day I fished alone are not nearly as clear.   I learned two lessons from this experience.  One is not to overlook any pool of water just because it’s not “out in the country” (the same can be related to deer hunting by the way, but that’s a story for another time) and the other is that my outdoor memories seem to be more vivid when shared with loved ones or friends.
With my schedule these days, I don’t hit the streams as much as I’d like.
If any of you make it out to do some trout fishing this April, snap a few
pictures of your experience (and your fish) and post them on our forum.  We’d love to see
them and hear how you’re making out with the Brookies!

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