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However You Do It…Do It Right by Paul Brown
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

However You Do It…
Do It Right

By Paul Brown

What type of hunting do you have available?  Is it private land with landowner permission, public land DIY, hunting your own managed property or a guided pay hunt.  Whatever you have it can be productive and enjoyable if you do as much mental and physical legwork prior to the hunt as you would during. 

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a rural area with neighbors who were pretty cordial in letting people hunt on their property.  Through the years a lot of this has changed due to transfers in ownership and/or the fact that hunting leases have become as much of a cash crop as agriculture.  I am still extremely thankful for and to the landowners who for many years allowed me to roam their property and gain the hands-on hunting experience that fueled my passion.  We never forget those who took the time to teach us to shoot, hunt, fish, read game sign, use a call or point us in the direction of the “big-un” they saw on their place.  Thanks to these people I gained a wealth of knowledge that came from listening and sometimes NOT LISTENING to them and the latter of which I usually came to regret.  If you have places like this to hunt listen to the landowner, use consideration when hunting or scouting and most of all never let your appreciation for his kindness go unknown.

My first public land DIY hunts started with me moving from my home stomping grounds and having to learn the ins and outs of the public lands close to where I was living.  It was too far from my native area to make short one day hunts and unless I could stay a full weekend or more it just did not warrant the trip.  I had pretty good success on these lands but it didn’t take long to figure out it was nothing like hunting those patches of private land that did not get the hunting pressure these places did.  I guess common sense told me to hunt the places nobody else wanted to walk to, places so far in or so thick others didn’t want to bother looking.  I would try to do most of my hunts on short weekday morning or afternoon hunts and if public ground was my only option on weekends or holidays I would look for escape routes in the nasty areas so the other hunters would push game to me.  Although the terrain has varied from swampland, pine thickets, hardwood bottoms and mountains, this tactic has worked well in my home area as well as other public lands I have hunted across the country through the years.  Even when away from home you would be surprised at the number of shop owners, residents or conservation officers that will share information on general areas where game is spotted or taken so it never hurts to ask.  With the information available today through the internet, it is nearly as good as walking the ground itself.  Most of the states conservation departments have harvest reports, peak breeding time charts and buck to doe ratios available for individual areas.  Most either have or have links to interactive maps with  options available to overlay with topographic, aerial views and sometimes even game migration routes.  Experimenting with these can tell you a lot about a piece of ground you have never physically laid eyes on.  I currently subscribe to a popular western magazine that gives a lot of stats on harvest, draw odds and number of Boone & Crockett animals taken in individual units of each western state.  This saves the subscriber a lot of research time and wasted tag applications.  Even with all the information available there is still nothing better than good old fashioned scouting but they at least give you a head start on where to begin.

You always hear that it takes larger tracts of land to manage game but there are always exceptions.  Between myself and my family we have scattered small patches of acreage on which we hunt.  If we need meat we take does, otherwise we try to let bucks reach full potential and leave them undisturbed as much as possible.  Even on one place that’s as small as 20 acres I have developed a pretty decent pattern of deer traffic because I leave it quiet until I want to hunt and have managed the timber as well as planted food sources.  Prior to this all it resulted in was a pass through corridor and if your timing was off you missed seeing the game altogether.  With timber thinning, planting forage and game cam placement I have begun to see more activity that can actually be patterned.  Another slightly larger place is an open hayfield with thickets around the edges and surrounding properties being thick.  Between the hardwood mast, grasses and clovers of the hayfield it has become a quiet sanctuary that has proved productive for good racks consistently.  So if you have a patch of land with potential, manage it wisely no matter how small and it could pay off in the long run.  I also have friends scattered across the country and we constantly host each other to hunts on our respective home grounds.  This is a great way to see new country and share more time with your friends as well.

For those who do not have access to private hunting areas, decent public ground or the availability of a particular game species close by sometimes the only option is a guided or semi-guided hunt.  Some areas require guides for nonresidents to hunt in specific wildernesses or provinces, most often this is to prevent getting lost or the presence of a dangerous game animal.  I for one would not care to be awakened by a Grizzly without the reassurance of a competent individual close by as backup. In fact I’m still not sure that even with backup my sleeping bag would ever smell the same again.  Regardless of the danger factor there sometimes just is not enough time to travel half way across the country, scout to find animals and then hunt.  Reputable guides know their animals and know their patterns.  When considering a guided hunt never be afraid to ask things like how many animals are they seeing and approximate quality of these animals.  Nobody wants to squander hard earned dollars following a guide around who is trying fruitlessly to locate animals.  So far I have been lucky, the guides I have used made the experience memorable, exciting and I would not hesitate to use them again.  Always ask for references and ask any questions you may have on the front side, this may save you from having a less than enjoyable costly trip.

In conclusion use whatever resources are available because you won’t score an animal if you’re not out hunting.  Be courteous, appreciative and above all ethical whenever and wherever you go and you’ll get a lot more repeat invites.  Don’t just remember a landowner only when it’s time to prepare for hunting season, check with him through the year to see if he needs help with fencing or chores and take him meat from your harvests.  Never take the permission granted to you lightly.  Be safe, stay ethical and good hunting.

First Trip to the Range by Fincop
Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

First trip to the range, aka. “D-day”..

Ok.. So I got the bow from the proshop. It was “tuned in” with factory settings, meaning that all sights, arrow rests and so on were “in the middle”.

First I must admit that I did “chicken” a little bit.. I started shooting at 15 yards, just to see where the arrows are going. This due to the fact that our shooting range is a little bit short of ceiling height..

On this range I’ve been shooting a 36# competition class recurve with “all” accessories installed. I managed to hit about 4 inch groups from 20 yards with that old racehorse, time after time. So I was pretty confident that my brand new Deerhunter (with release compared to finger shooting the recurve) would be dead on.. I was in for a “slight” surprise! This surprise has a lot to do with basic mistakes found in any shooting form..

First Shots (pictured below)

All of you can check where the first 3 shots went from the picture attached to my story. But arrow number four did still go a little higher! As you can see in the previous picture, there is a steel plate covering the range lamps.. And it is just “a little higher” than the trajectory of my third arrow! So I fired a 2216 alloy arrow at a steel plate (1/12 inch thick) from a distance of 5 yards with 65 pounds of force. A truly memorable experience.. With a BIG bang the arrow hit the steel plate and smashed into pieces flying back at my direction! 

All of that confidence I’ve managed to build up with the recurve under 3 training session where totally gone.. I mean totally! I was literally scared of firing the next arrow. So I did a basic mistake, which I’ve known to be a mistake for over a decade, with my pistol shooting experience. I started to “chase the bulls eye”. Which means adjusting your sight all to often. First I adjusted my sights up half way on the scale AND aimed 2″ under the target. I was still getting arrows in the upper corner of the target. So I pushed the sights as high you can get them.. And still hitting the wooden target stand.. After 20 minutes of carving tight wood with my Leatherman Wave, trashing the targethead of the arrow in the process, I decided to take a break.

Which is the wrong “projectile” in the picture below?

So out into the fresh air for a smoke and a humble call to my proshop owner.. At this point I’d destroyed 2 arrows and lost almost all of my confidence in any shooting skills, that I thought that I might have.. Well Mr. T answered my truly worried question about taking the bow back and figuring out what the heck is wrong with it, in a slightly amused (but still 100% professional!!) tone. He just asked me if I was still anchoring at the same spot as I did with the recurve.. Yes siree.. Nobody (or no book for that matter!) told me that I should anchor somehow different with a release than with finger shooting? Well, back to the range (this time with only 4 arrows) and looking for a new “higher” anchoring point. Any one know how much difference an ½ inch in “anchoring point” height means in the arrow grouping on 20 yards.. I know! OVER 1 YARD!!!

So having a little control over the groupings I started to turn back the sights. Eventually I almost got back to factory settings!! After 2 hours and 4 minutes on the range (a lot of this time either turning sights or cutting wood) and only 1/12″ from the factory settings and I was shredding the target paper..!

Lessons learned on this trip?
1. Do believe the more experienced folks saying you should not try to tune your bow alone as a novice.
2. TAKE CARE of YOUR SAFETY while shooting alone!!!

To be continued…

To discuss this article, CLICK HERE

Review of the MINI 29 (99% Let-off) Bow by Concept Archery
Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Review of the MINI 29 (99% Let-off) Bow by Concept Archery


Specs (As advertised):
Axle to Axle: 29 – 1/8″
Brace Height: 7 “
IBO Speed: 318 fps
Adjustable Let-Off: 80 or 99%
Draw Lengths: 23 – 30″
Draw Weights: 30 – 70lbs
Bow Weight: 4.1 lbs
MSRP: $659.99

When we were sent the Mini 29 to Review I didn’t know much about the company or the bows they produced. I had spoken to Sales and Marketing Director Kurt Wille on a few occassions about thecompany, the bows they produced and the whole idea of 99% let-off. I probably should preclude that if you’re reading this and you fancy yourself a staunch advocate of the Pope and Young Let-off rule (65% Let-off with anything exceeding that receiving an asterick) than you may want to stop reading. Then again, this site’s free so why not continue! Most compound bows produced today offer a let-off between 65% – 80%. To our knowledge (and we scour the market daily for such knowledge) Concept Archery is the only exception to this rule. Not 10% more, but a full 19% more let-off than your “average” compound bow. Needless to say, we were very anxious to try this bow and see what it could do!

As with every product that comes to us to test, I like to give it the visual once over and check for “First Impressions”. We’ll get to that in a second. When the bow arrived, my wife received the box. The delivery guy said to her “Is this a bow?” to which my wife provided her usual “Umm, I’m not sure”. He then exclaims, “I’ve never heard of a 99% Let-off bow before!” (After seeing the sticker that they so cleverly stuck on the box). Now I probably would have stood in the doorway discussing FPS, handshock and hunting stories for a while with this dude but my wife didn’t exactly signup for that sort of stuff so I’ll overlook it. After all, I wasn’t there so I guess the moral of that story is to keep putting those stickers on the boxes Mr. Wille, you never know who’s going to notice them! On to my first impressions I removed the bow from the box and the size of this bow blew me away. This thing is small, “Mini” to be exact, so cudos on the name guys! I’ve never shot anything below a 30″ Axle to Axle before so at 29 & 1/8″ A to A, the bow appeared to be a toy in my hands. That was until I shot it!

Riser: The Mini 29 has a solid billet machined riser made from aircraft grade aluminum. It starts out at around 38 lbs of aluminum block and ends up as the 2 lb riser after machining. This one-piece construction cuts down on noise and vibration associated with the bolting together of multiple parts. The riser is covered from top to bottom in the new G1 “Next Generation” camo. We’ve reviewed bows with this camo on them before and it’s definitely a sweet pattern. The G1 camo does an excellent job of breaking the bow up in any hunting situation. We are well aware that a Whitetail is not going to notice what brand of camo you have on your bow, but when you’re spending over 6 bills, you want good looking camo and this bow has it! Other than being so small (29 1/8″ A to A) the coolest feature about this riser is the “Arrow Head” cut-outs on the top and bottom. Not only do they look cool, it’s just one more outward expression of what you’re trying to accomplish with this bow. These cut-outs scream “Hey, I’m a bowhunter, and I’m going to kill something with this here bow!” We like that attitude and make no apologies for the fact that we’re predators. Neither should your bow!

Grip: The hardwood grip on this bow looks great, despite the fact that it was a little beefy for our tastes. Kurt, at Concept Archery told us that they do have slimmer grips available however.

Limbs and Limb Pockets: The Gordon composite diamond-sanded fiberglass limbs appear to have a precision fit with the riser. Concept markets this bow as a “Parallel-limb” bow and although the limbs may not exactly appear it before the draw, they definitely end up parallel at full draw (as you can see in the picture below)

Cams: The cam design is a singular cam with a small idler wheel up top. The needle bearings allow the axle to draw on a wider surface, providing what we felt was a smooth draw. The most unique feature on this bow revolves around the cam design and it’s ability to achieve 99% let-off When drawing most bows back, you have to get over that hump of the peak draw force before you enter the “valley” and finally “settle” into the back wall. With this bow, the hump of the peak draw force is there, but there is almost no valley (in our opinion) due to the rock solid draw stop and huge let-off. Once the peak weight “drops into” or “breaks over” into the 99% let-off range, there is not very much play between back wall and peak weight. This drop-off from peak weight to 99% let-off took us a few shots to get used to. Once we did however, we felt very comfortable holding steady and releasing the arrow. In fact, it felt a little strange going back to our regular let-off bows after the Mini29. We got so used to the drop at full draw, that our regular bows seem to have more “creep” than ever before!

As mentioned, the back wall is rock solid and if anything, it’s letting the draw down that feels the most strange at first. The “break-over’ from 1% to 100% is quite abrupt so you need to be aware of that on the let-down. Since all of Concept Archery’s bows come equipped with the 99% let-off cam, you probably won’t need to let the draw down all that often. As seen in the video, I was able to hold this bow for almost 3 minutes under full draw and that was without the added adrenaline of a Whitetail standing in your sights!
All in all, once accustomed to this type of draw cycle (which doesn’t take that many shots), you’ll start to appreciate the let-off and drill those X’s.

NOTE: The let-off can be adjusted by putting the bow in a bow press, and rotating the bottom axle (in the cam). The V notch would then be facing out/away from the riser and it would be at 80% let-off.

Speed: We got pretty good speed out of this bow (Set at 70lb Max and 29 inch draw) with our 400 grain hunting arrows. The bow comes standard with only 1 Limbsaver string leech on the top portion of the string. Kurt at Concept Archery told us that the reason they sell the bow like this is to preserve some speed. Sure enough, when we tested the bow with 1 vs. 2 string leeches, we got the following results:

Speed of Mini 29 with 1 string Leech = 278/279 fps
Speed of Mini 29 with 2 string Leeches = 275 fps

* You can make your own determination as to whether you value speed over some perceived string noise for 3 or 4 fps, but we could not discern any noise difference between shots with 1 or 2 string leeches.

Handshock / Vibration / and Noise at the shot: The Mini 29 comes with a set of Limbsaver Ultras on the Limbs, 1 string leech at the top of the string (which we’ve already covered), a virgin Teflon cable slide and a Limbsaver cable guard dampener. These features significantly cut down the vibration that comes from the shot but we threw on the S-Coil Stabilizer to round out the Limbsaver accessories on this bow. As you can see (and hear) in our video, this bow is pretty quiet on the shot and we would not hesitate to take this bow into the woods this fall.

Future Offerrings: Concept is working on a new for 2009. It’s called “The Believer” and will be targeted towards Christian archers. The riser will feature Christian fish symbols as cut outs, 3 crosses engraved above the shelf, and will also be decorated in God’s Country Camo. This bow will also be available in G1 Camo as well as with and without the religious style riser cut-outs. The bow is similiar to the Mini29, but will be at a longer ATA (somewhere around 33-34″). I would say that this bow company is living up to its name since this new bow idea is definitely a great “Concept”.

LIFETIME WARRANTY: All Concept Archery bows come with a lifetime warranty to the original owner on non-wearable parts. It’s been our experience from speaking to Kurt and the boys at Concept that they will indeed take care of you if you encounter any issues with your bow; something that we hold in high regard here at Heritage Hunters.

Summary: If you do a lot of your hunting from a ground blind or hike the mountains on those long stalks, you’ll want to take a look at this bow. It’s compact nature makes the Mini 29 extremely maneuverable in the blind and treestand as well as easy to carry on those long hikes to and from the stand. The grip of this bow could be a little slimmer but that’s our personal preference. Furthermore, if your shoulder is giving you trouble at full draw, you may want to consider the let-off capabilities of Concept Archery. What it all boils down to with us is the question of “Would we hunt with this bow?” The answer is a definite YES and we thank the guys at Concept Archery for allowing us to test this unique piece of equipment.

Our Marks on the Mini 29 by Concept Archery

Workmanship: 4.5 out of 5
The quality components (solid piece riser and needle bearings for example) put this bow in the “Top of the Line” category.

Balance: 4.5 out of 5
The bow balances well in the hand even with the slightly chunky grip. We’d still like to test it out with the slimmer wood grip however.

Draw Cycle: 4.5 out of 5
I actually got accustomed to the draw on this Little dude. The draw is very smooth for letting off a full 99%. Once you get it back, the wall is extremely solid and your other shoulder will give out before your draw shoulder will on this bow.

Noise / Handshock: 4.5 out of 5
I actually thought this bow was going to have more handshock than it did. After coming off of testing the Limbsaver zone (which had zero handshock), this bow held it’s own and then some.

Speed: 4 out of 5
When you take into account the fact that you’re holding 1% of the draw weight at full draw, the speed we got out of this bow was very good with a relatively heavy hunting arrow!

Overall Value: 4.5 out of 5
As we’ve stated before, the 2 attributes of this bow that is going to make it hard to beat are the Let-off value and the size (29 1/8″ ATA). If I was going on a spot and stalk hunt, or doing some ground blind hunting this fall, this is the first bow I’d consider.

For more pictures on this bow and some forum discussion: CLICK HERE

For More information on this bow or others from Concept Archery, visit: www.conceptarchery.com�

“Till next time, get out there and practice….We all know you need it!”

Accessories Used in Testing:
HHA 1 Pin Brushfire Sight: http://www.hhasports.com/sights/brushfire.htm
S-coil stabilizer www.simsvibrationlab.com/Products/Archery/S_Coil_Stabilizer.aspx
G5 Meta Peep www.g5outdoors.com/#sec_metaline
Firenock Lighted Nocks www.firenock.com/index.htm
ProChrono Digital PAL Chronograph
Ozcrest Custom Wraps: www.ozarchery.com
Victory Arrows: http://www.victoryarchery.com/
Covert Hunting Blinds: http://www.coverthunting.com/

Brush Rifles: Fact or Myth by Hollister DeLong
Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Brush Rifles: Fact or Myth

By Hollister DeLong

For many years the debate has raged about which caliber is best in the brush. Equally debated is if any caliber is good in the brush. When most writers refer to the brush, generally they refer to Northern Tier states and whitetail deer. Brush, however covers a good deal of the Country. Brush is defined as bushes and young trees densely packed in a particular geographic area. For this topic, I am going to stick with Northern states, as their topography is covered with more brushy areas, on average.

In the past couple of decades, gun and ammo folk have tried to develop the quintessential brush rifle test. While some had a basis of merit, most have been dismal inconclusive events. The problem is staging a test where all calibers pass through the exact same amount of brush enroute to a target. Then what is the correct distance from the brush to the target? Distances as much as 20 yards from the brush have been used. Arguably, to more equate to our brush situations, the target should be , if not in the brush,  directly beside the brush. What we face is a whitetail standing up in a patch of juniper or prickly ash at a distance of less than fifty yards. Here is the real test.

As for the staged tests, probably one of the better was conducted by the late Jack O’Connor in 1962. Having hunted the brushy draws of the Southwest and evergreen mazes in Maine, he was uniquely qualified to do the test, although he mentioned the inequality in the amount of brush encountered by various rounds. After all the rounds were fired, a characteristic of a brush-penetrating rifle became prominent. Heavy blunt bullets deflect less. Odd to me that all of the various experts did not arrive at that realization without the shallow tests that were run, except then they would noit have gotten to shoot up all that ammo…hmmm. Yes, the 12 gauge was the overall winner in the majority of tests done with the 45/70 (405 Govt) and 35 Remington (200 Grain) finishing at the top of rifles.

Basic physics tells us that a cone-shaped object traveling at a rapid rate will deflect in the opposite direction from whatever part of the cone contacts an obstruction. While a round or blunt object will exert more energy into moving the obstruction out of the way. See, all us rural, agricultural, earthy folks already realized that. Had we been able to afford fancy weapons, we would have still reached for the Savage 99, Winchester 94 or Marlin 336 (yeah I know there some Winchester 88’s there, too) in 30/30, 35 Remington, 32 Special, 38-55, and 32-40. We did that because these calibers have filled larders for 150 years.

Now for the Ron Spomers out there that claim no bullet is any better than any other in the brush…I understand somebody has declared him an expert. Opinionated yes…expert is up for debate. The same guy that says a fixed 6 power scope is the ideal heavy cover optic says pointed bullets enjoy as much success going through brush as any other bullet. According to Spomer it is a matter of luck in getting past brush. O’Connor would have a field day with him. O’Connor, the proponent of very light magnification scopes with wide fields-of-views, came up with a new round to be chambered in a quick handling lever or pump action rifle. He proposed taking the 8X57 and necking it up to 338 cal. Loaded with 225 or 250 grain round nose bullets. Writer Jim Carmichael, O’Connor’s long time friend and colleague, dubbed the round the 338X57 O’Connor. If only someone had built it. The round would have tooted along at 2500FPS and destroyed anything in its way.

We have a version of what O’Connor envisioned in the 338 Federal, although not widely chambered yet. The round is too fast for O’Connor’s taste, causing more recoil than necessary, but does it produce! If a good pump or Marlin lever gets chambered in 338 Federal I will be at the front of the line.

When you head outside – take a youngster with you and pass it forward. God Bless.

Member Profile – October 2008
Thursday, October 9th, 2008

This Month’s Member Profile is on Bud Fields from Galveston Indiana.  Bud is an outdoor writer / columnist who has hunted a variety of different states and loves going after Whitetails.  Let’s see what Bud had to say about his hunting heritage.

HH: Tell us a little about yourself and hunting background.

BF: I got my love for the outdoors from my parents.Before I was old enough to go to school, my parents owned a cottage on the river and I spent many hours of my youth running up and down the river banks fishing. I started rabbit and squirrel hunting with my father and fishing as often as possible. I just NEVER OUT GREW that love for outdoor activities.

HH: How did you happen upon Heritage Hunters and TheHeritageHunters.com?

BF: I frequent MANY outdoor websites and I was posting messages at another forum and I was invited to visit the heritage.com forum and I was REALLY impressed with what I saw here. IT IS FANTASTIC!!! Such GREAT friendship and information are here for inerested people.

HH: What is your favorite type of hunting and why?

BF: I LOVE all forms of hunting including rabbit, squirrel, quail, pheasant, raccoon, fox, coyote, etc. but I probably enjoy hunting whitetail deer the most. I started bow deer in 1964. I started out with a recurve bow, then when the compound bow came on the scene, I switched and throughout my career as a bowhunter, I have been extremely fortunate to harvest 238 deer. I also hunt with shotgun and muzzleloader. I have taken 93 with muzzleloader and just recently, I started hunting with a crossbow.

HH: What is the biggest piece of advice you would give our members about hunting those animals?

BF: I have the HIGHEST RESPECT for the whitetail deer and, in my opinion, they DESERVE OUR RESPECT. I believe ANY deer taken with archery equipment should be considered a trophy regardless of size or antlers. I suggest the aspiring deer hunter study as much information available about a whitetail deer and get to be very familiar with their habits and familiarize themselves with the area they are hunting. Have confidence in your hunting area, your equipment, your shooting ability and when the opportunity presents itself that confidence often pays huge dividends in success.

HH: You are an Outdoor Columnist.  What is that like?

BF: Being an outdoor columnist is the BEST JOB AVAILABLE. I am afforded the opportunity to participate in hunting, fishing, camping, trapping and public speaking engagements and then I get to go home, pour a cup of coffee and sit at my computer and write articles and share my experiences with other people. I am often greeted at the mall and someone will say, “Hey Bud, I read your articles and they are GREAT! That is always rewarding but on the other side of the coin, I often get chastised, especially by women, when it comes to hunting. I had a situation on a call in radio show. The lady host was as “ANTI-HUNTING” as they come. She mentioned the fact. ” NO ONE IN MY FAMILY OWNS A GUN OR BOW THAT WOULD KILL A DEER.” I asked her how many vehicles were parked in the garage of her $300,000 home and she replied, “FOUR CARS..” I told her, “You have 4 weapons in your garage that is responsible for killing more deer annually than ALL the bowhunters and firearm hunters COMBINED in the state of Indiana..Are you going to protest and outlaw driving cars??? I don’t think so…

HH: If you could hunt any animal in the world, what would you hunt and where?

BF: I would love to hunt black bear, mule deer or even elk before I am called to that “Treestand in the Sky” but since I retired and no longer make all those “7 days a week-12 hours a day” checks from Chrysler Corporation, I will be content to hunt whitetail deer around the Midwest. I have hunted Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio. Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. I am NOT getting any younger and as long as GOD grants me the health and an “understanding wife” that tolerates my bass fishing and deer hunting, I can’t expect anything else.

HH: How are you passing on the Hunting Heritage?

BF: I lost my father at a very young age. He was only 41 years old and I had just turned 16. I consider I was “cheated” out of so many hunting and fishing memories. I am thankful for the memories I have. When I became a father, I wanted my daughter and son to enjoy the outdoor life. My wife asked me, “What if they don’t like it?” Well, that would be THEIR choice, not mine. I wanted to make it available to them. My daughter LOVED camping and fishing. My son loved camping, fishing and hunting. Now, I have six grandchildren. They ALL love riding in my bass boat and they ALL love fishing. The three grandson like hunting.

I also pass the hunting heritage on to others by conducting a series of “DEER HUNTING SEMINARS” every year. I have a list of area Walmarts, KMarts, Rural King Stores, Dunham’s Sporting Goods Store, Dick’s Sporting Goods Stores and Sportsman’s Warehouse Stores that have me come in to their Sporting Goods departments on Saturday and Sunday and I conduct demonstrations and discuss topics of deer hunting. This has been GREATLY accepted  by the public.

HH: You have recently taken up Crossbow hunting.  Tell us a little about that and how it’s going for you.

BF: I always said, “As long as I could pull a bowstring back and shoot, I would NEVER use a crossbow.” I had NOTHING against a crossbow or the people that used them. I guess it was merely an EGO-statement because I always considered myself as “Bullet-Proof” and NOTHING could happen to make me surrender bowhunting. Well, I guess GOD had other plans. In 1991, I had a lower back injury that required MAJOR surgery. then I had to have my right shoulder completely re-constructed then last October, I had to have surgery on my lower neck. They removed four disks and installed Teflon disks, removed a bunch of bone spurs and installed a 4″ titanium sleeve.

Needless to say, arthritis has now set in and I was experiencing much pain. After shooting maybe four arrows, I could hardly turn my head. After discussing the situation with my doctors, I was told IF I wanted to continue my archery hunting, I was urged to seriously consider switching to a crossbow. I was DEVASTATED!! I talked with other archers that faced the same decision and with their recommendations, I decided I would give it a try.

I purchased an Excalibur Phoenix crossbow and after a few days of practice, I was shooting really well and with NO PAIN. Just this past Saturday morning, I was fortunate enough to “be in the right place at the right time” and I harvested my FIRST deer using a crossbow. Let me tell you, a 30 yard shot completely through the right shoulder, angled down slicing the heart and exiting the lower left front leg and the arrow/bolt stuck in the ground. TALK ABOUT POWER!!! IF anyone is struggling to shoot a recurve or compound bow, I HIGHLY urge you to consider using a crossbow. It is FUN and it helped me STAY ACTIVE IN ARCHERY!!

HH: What’s the best thing you like about TheHeritageHunters.com?

BF: While visiting another website, I mentioned in their forum the fact that I had recently started using a crossbow and I was informed CROSSBOW ARCHERS ARE NOT CONSIDERED BOWHUNTERS.. Whoa, I must have “struck a nerve.” Anytime I visited there, I was referred to as “the NUT shooting a crossbow.” Well, I admit to having a sense of humor but I also have feelings and they were somewhat hurt. When I visited the forum here, I asked about crossbows and I immediately ducked my head but I was ASTONISHED when I was welcomed and the people really make my visits here SPECIAL. I feel like I “fit in” and than means alot to me. I have spoken very highly of the site to my hunting buddies, I feel like I have “FOUND A HOME” and I hope to be a quality member and hopefully, I can share some of my 44 years of hunting experience with others.

Ethics Check – October 2008
Saturday, October 4th, 2008

The Outdoor Supermarket

by Bob Peck 10.03.08

A number of years ago I hunted with a man I met through my church.  We hit it off big time from the moment we met. It takes me some time to get to a point where I’m comfortable inviting people to hunt with me but that’s eventually what I did.  I took my church friend to some private land and some highly confidential public land.  I say “highly confidential” because while it was public land, it was virtually impossible to get to unless you knew the circuitous route over land and rivers to get to.  I’m pretty sure at the time I was one of the only people who knew this route.  My friend and I killed a number of deer over the 2+ years of our hunting adventures.  Nothing unusual ever happened with one exception.  Every time we dismantled a deer this friend took the deer carcass down to the a point where there was not one single scrap of meat left on the carcass.  I mean it. Not one single scrap.  Maybe I shouldn’t admit this but I quarter my deer, debone it, take the back straps of course and surgically remove the tenderloins on the inner most area of the spinal column.  I can’t be bothered with neck and inter-rib meat.  Too much hassle.  I get the animal apart and into the grinder as quickly as possible and leave the rest for the coyotes.  Not this friend.  He spent a ton of time on each deer he took and I’m not exaggerating when I say the deer he butchered were surgically dismantled.  I guess in a direct way, I completely respected his skills and ultimately thought nothing of it. I was a mere hacker and he was the skilled surgeon.

On the third year of our hunting friendship I began to enter his family inner circle.  He hadn’t worked since I first met him.  Uh oh. There was a disability you couldn’t see if you met this friend.  He suffered from depression which at various times incapacitated him.  He lost jobs and no one understood him. He was a loser who couldn’t keep down a decent job but yet, he wasn’t a loser at all. He loved his children very much and spent hours doing what all Dads do.  He loved his wife and did what he could to remind her she was special. He struggled like we all struggle but with an extra brick in his backpack.The family income wouldn’t support medication he needed or a therapist that might help him weave his way back to normalcy.  His family (3 kids and a wife of 20 years) lived paycheck to paycheck.  Little did I know at the time but winter always meant deciding between heat and food.  I learned through the harsh reality of coffee table dialog that the venison we collected over the years literally was the essential sustenance of his family. The venison wasn’t a luxury, a nicety for the grill … without it they had more problems than any of us could imagine. I did my best to not let my friends pride get in the way but he wouldn’t have any of my compassion or charity.  He would buy his own arrows, his own ammo, his own knives, etc.  Once in a while my friend accepted a small gift of used camo I’d grown out of or a tree stand that had seen better days but he held his own.  I grew to respect his approach.

It was year three that I realized we had a problem.  It was the dead of summer and one of those sweltering hot days of mid-July.  I decided today was the day to get out into the “highly confidential” public land location I spoke about earlier.  I had a habit of picking the hottest/nastiest day of mid-summer to scout and investigate potential stand locations for the fall.  The strategy worked.  There was no way you’d see a single deer in that kind of heat.  A shot rang out loud and clear as I crested a ridge heading for a river bottom area where I hoped to check look for deer escaping the summer heat.  “Great!”  I thought.  I’ve just ruined someone’s hunt.  In the back of my mind I thought 30-30, yep that sure sounded like a 30-30.  What’s a varmit hunter doing with that caliber?  I hunkered down on a tree fall and got out the binoculars.  Scanning the river bottom I spotted movement and tried to get my binocs into focus.  Some guy in a yellow sweatshirt was entering the edge of the river bottom swail.

He bent over and it was clear he was about to gut a buck in velvet.  At the end of the experience, viewed entirely through the small eye relief of my binoculars, the yellow sweatshirt was stained red but more importantly was a realization this was my church friend.  “What in the hell is he doing?”  I remember asking myself.  It seemed like hours but actually it was less than 30 minutes. My friend had quartered the velvet buck, shuffled the parts into a double lined garbage bag and then disappeared into the wood line.  The meticulous butchering my friend was known for was out the window today. The head, neck and torso were almost fully intact by the time I reached the scene.  My friend was long gone, unaware I had witnessed his summertime poaching experience.  “Now what?” I thought to myself.  Had I not shown this man this area he would likely not ever have found it himself and I’d have a “protected” albeit public hunting ground. I definitely would have protected the wildlife from poaching.  Or so I thought.

Months went by and fall was fast approaching.  Once or twice I’d seen my friend at church but that July mental image of him gutting a deer and stuffing the parts into a garbage bag never left me. No explanation was necessary.  He was killing deer out of season and I had a hunch as to why.

If you were me what would you have done?  What do you think the outcome was?

Book Review – “Bowhunter’s Guide to Accurate Shooting”
Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Review on Bowhunters guide to accurate shooting by Lon E. Lauber

If you don’t shoot tennis ball sized groups from 60 yards and don’t always down your prey with one single shot, BUY this book! If you shoot tennis ball sized groups from 60 yards and always down your prey with one single shot, you either have read this book or if not, should anyway consider reading it!

 

Why?

 

First of all the author is a top competition class archer with multiple state level championships in archery, he has downed more record class game than most of us will ever see in real life, he’s been shooting and hunting with bows for decades, his writings have been published in various medias and foremost, he is a humble man who is ready to tell about his own mistakes in public!

 

Another good reason to buy this book is that it is published in a very “reader friendly” way! There is a Ton of good advice in the book, but it is also a visually easy book to read. The lessons in the book are topped with stories from Mr. Laubers own experience, many times he tells about the mistakes he have done in various situations due to not following his own advice! Of course there is some “success stories” as well, but the honest way (the mistakes) of telling about his own way to learn bowhunting is something one very seldom find in a book written by an expert! This is actually a distinctive feature of any truly self-confident professional, i.e. the kind of man I want advice from! There are also some really tempting pictures with Lon smiling next to huge animals he has downed. This if anything makes you want to know more about his “secret”..

 

So what does the book provide?

 

The book starts of with the basics, which are the bow and its components. Lon has a positive way of approaching each of the books chapter with some lessons for the novice, but also some advice to the more experienced archer! The book goes through the whole scale of archery from choosing archery equipment that suits you to the most demanding aspects of bowhunting trophy class game, which is the mental side of hunting. In the books different chapters Lon describes quite widely and in deep detail how to achieve that “tennis ball sized group at 60 yards” and down your game with one arrow.  In the book Lon takes the reader on an interesting journey where he opens up on personal thoughts and ideas on hunting and archery. If you, during reading this book, forget that the man who is sharing his experience is a competition class archer, the pictures with Lon next to HUGE downed animals keep you focused on the topics in the book.

 

Ok, now we have to remember that I am a novice in archery and bowhunting, but I seriously think that there are some really good “basic” advice on bows equipment, archery and bowhunting for the novice reader, but as well quite far reaching ideas and theories for the more experienced archer and bowhunters! So the book has a little “for all” readers.

 

I can only find one downside to the book after reading it two times. Having it on your nightstand will reduce your sleeping time to dangerously low levels.. J

 

Yours truly,

Fincop

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