Archive for November, 2008

A New Approach to Black Bear
Saturday, November 29th, 2008

A New Approach to Black Bear

By Dylan Ainsworth

Growing up in a state where its illegal, baiting has never felt like an ethical practice for taking game, to me. I’ve been on a few hound hunts and have no desire of bagging my quarry with their aid. These being the two major methods of hunting black bear my ethics make the pursuit a challenge.

I’ve tried spending hours watching cornfields in brisk early autumn. Ursus Americanus is notorious for destroying farmers crops and most landowners are more than willing to allow hunters to take them off of their property. Personally I’ve always had a hard time sitting and watching. I tend to get so comfortably immersed in the serenity of nature that I doze off. Not a particularly effective hunting technique.

One late summer evening my father and I were targeting coyotes. After what had been a half hour of blowing on a cottontail distress call, we were about to change location when a rather large thrashing sound came from the brush beyond a small knoll. We waited, firearms ready. The ol’ man pumped a small bulb, imitating a mouse squeak in hopes of enticing the predator closer. Moments later something in my peripheral caught my attention. An ominous black figure weaved in and out of the berry bushes a football field’s length away.  Had this bear investigated my calling?

While doing some research on the species I read a sentence that  sparked a new flame in the fire that is my obsession for the outdoors. Black Bear are the most predatory of all bear. I’m not sure if it’s a fact. I can’t even cite the source, but upon reading this my mind processed the info, Black bear …. Predator? …. Bear calling! Over the course of the next year I researched the method of bear hunting in anticipation of the coming fall season. I found a very informative DVD by Wayne Carlton which I purchased in a kit with an open reed call. This is the most effective call I have used.

The first time using it a coyote came within ten yards, but was passed on in hopes that a bear would be so curious.  The next outing was even more eventful. As my ol’ man and I slinked along a field edge where bear had visibly demolished a stand of corn, he froze and said one word “Bear.”  Fifty yards ahead the creature moved through the tall brush. Only equipped with a bow my ol’ man urged me to shoot. I was reluctant, wanting to ensure it was not a sow with cubs. We backed off as my ol’ man cursed me under his breath. I quietly set up my video equipment an pulled Carlton’s call from my pocket.

By this time it seemed my opportunity had passed as the bear had crossed a fence line into an adjacent field. I gave my best squalling but with each moment that passed  the situation looked bleaker. Suddenly out of the woods opposite where were focused  came a bounding bear. I swang the camera around  and attempted to get the running bear in the frame. Headed in our direction the seven-footer stood up straight to get a better look. He must have spotted us because as he dropped down he changed direction offering his broad side. I raised the .30-06 and silenced the call in hopes of stopping the boar.  He stopped,  but as he looked back at me I made eye contact through the scope. Something happened to me that I can’t quite explain. I froze. “Bear Fever” perhaps, all I could hear was my pounding heart, drowning out the ol’ man’s pleas for me to shoot before it was to late. My throat tightened and breathing became difficult. As I gazed into the boars eyes he seemed to mesmerize me with his stare. A second later he broke his hold on me an vanished into the forest.
In less than an hour I had two opportunities and honestly, I choked both times.  However it is hard to be disappointed in myself. I had just experienced the most exciting hunt of my life. I can’t say it wouldn’t have been nice to have a bear roast in the crock pot as I’m writing this, but I’m confident that my experiences with calling bear have just begun.

Nite Hawk Archery’s Portable Bow Press
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008


When we received the Nite Hawk Archery  Bow Press, we were very anxious to give it a try.  Not only did we need to set up a few bows for other reviews, we were curious as to how this apparatus worked. The Press came in a two-pocket carrying pouch (sold separately) and upon inspection looked extremely simple to operate.  Looks can be deceiving so I decided to read the instruction manual that came with it, just to make sure I was placing the thing correctly on the bow.  After pressing 6 different types of bows with this press, I can safely say that www.nitehawkarchery.com is a website that you’ll want to visit in the near future. 

Here are the specs of the Nite Hawk Archery Bow Press:
*Presses bows up to 95 pounds.
*Weighs less than 25 ounces. Very portable
*Has over 7 inches of travel so you can change limbs.
*Carry pouch available.
*Bow Press Price: $98.95
*Black Carry Pouch: $ 12.95
*No separate small parts to get lost (rubber pegs attached by nylon cord)

This press can handle all bows no matter what its limb configuration because it attaches from the outside of the bow onto the ends of the limbs and not from the middle like many other presses

All of the points of contact between the bow and the press are rubber coated so as not to slip or scratch your bow finish. The clear rubber stoppers are placed on the end of the limb while the black rubber stoppers are placed on the outer portion of the limb just beneath the clear ones (SEE ABOVE PIC)  Once you’ve positioned the 4 rubber contact points, slide the rubber coated metal bar (attached to the frame with a cord so as not the lose them;great idea Nite Hawk!) through the hole in the frame that positions the frame snug against the limbs. 

After attaching the ends of the bow press to your limbs in this manner, you simply pull the red nylon strap taught and double check to make sure the ends are even on each limb.

When you’re satisfied with the placement of the metal frames on each limb, just rotate the turnbuckle. It is interesting to note that since this press attaches at the end of each limb, it meets the requirements of many of the newer style bows manufactured today (PSE for example requires their X-Force to be pressed in this manner).  Because of this attachment on the end of the limbs,the force is distributed down the center, thereby pressing the entire limb.  This actually uses less force to achieve the same results of other presses that press only one area of the limb. We didn’t use any sophisticated force gizmos on this press, but we did notice that we could very easily rotate the black turnbuckle with one hand and not feel like we were training for an arm wrestling match.  We pressed the following bows with ease and did not notice any issues other than the fact that we had to reposition the rubber contact points with a simple allen wrench (due to various cam, limb and axle configurations)

Bows We Pressed with Nite Hawk Bow Press:
Hoyt Xtec (35.5 ATA)
PSE Nova (35.5 ATA)
PSE Beast (38 ATA)
PSE Deer Hunter (38 ATA)
Limbsaver Deadzone (32 ATA)
Concept Archery Mini29 (29 1/8 ATA)
Concept Archery C32 (31.5 ATA)
Bear Archery Done Deal (32.25 ATA)

When Nite Hawk Archery states that this press is simple and quick to use, they’re not kidding.  We have had an Apple Bow Press in the basement since 2004 and have pressed many different bows with it.  After trying the Nite Hawk press, we honestly do not even use the big old Apple press any more.  Another nice thing about this press is the fact that you can leave the stabilizer and sights attached as you press the bow. 

Not only will this press handle any of the new parallel limb bow configurations (Eliminating the concern for uneven limb stress caused by many presses on the market), it packs up nicely in a little black carrying pouch (sold separately).  Here’s an anecdote on how easy and portable this press is.  While attending the Adirondack Outdoorsman’s Show this past September, Dan and I decided to get a bow set-up for one of our Field Testing reviews on the site.  We needed to set up a drop-away rest and serve in a peep site.  As the Sunday crowd started to diminish, I simply walked back to the truck, grabbed the black carrying pouch and bow and slid back behind our booth.  For the next 10 minutes, we worked away on the bow right there at the booth.  As it turns out, this little action got plenty of attention from nearby booths and it took a little longer to finish the job because we were explaining this new contraption to 5 or 6 onlookers. 

If seeing is believing for you, take a look at this video of the press in action.

If that video doesn’t do it for you, you can try this one produced by Nite Hawk Archery:

If you would like to start doing some bow maintenance without spending the gas money for a trip to the pro-shop, you may want to check out the Nite Hawk Archery Bow Press.  It is easily the best press we’ve ever used and quite possibly the last!

Our marks on the Nite Hawk Bow Press

Workmanship:  5 out of 5 
The aluminum frames are ultra strong and we did not find any flaws with any components of this press

Design: 5 out of 5
The approach of pressing evenly down the center of the limbs coupled with easy and quick attachment points makes this press very hard to beat.  Also the fact that there are no separate parts to lose makes this press an all-in-one option to include on your list of items to bring on your next outfitted hunt.  Think of it as a First Aid kit for your bow!

Function / Effectiveness: 5 out of 5
We pressed a variety of bows with this press and had zero issues or malfunctions from the press.  The fact that we no longer have use for any other press says it all on this one.

Adjustability: 5 out of 5
Adjusting this press is as easy as turning the allen screws on the rubber contacts points or taking up the slack on the red nylon strap. 

Price: 4.5 out of 5
We have no idea how much this product costs to produce but the simplicity of the design kind of throws you off as to how much it should cost.  We went primarily on the basis of how many times an average archer / bowhunter might use this thing and the portability of the press in the field.  By that standard, it’s worth every penny.

Special thanks to Ken at Nite Hawk Archery for allowing Heritage Hunters to give away one of these presses on our forum.  Click Here to Enter the Giveaway

If you’d like to order one of these presses from Nite Hawk Archery to experience the ease and simplicity for yourself, click here:

Member Profile – November 2008
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

This Month’s Member Profile is on Matthew Radewitz of East Greenbush NY.  Matt is an avid Deer Hunter who accomplished a first in his hunting career this year (Harvesting a Buck with bow archery tackle and firearm in the same year).  Here’s what Matt had to say about his hunting heritage.

HH:  Tell us a little about yourself and hunting background

MR: I’m 25 years old and have been hunting on my own since the age of 12. My father took me out deer hunting at a young age and I’ve been addicted ever since. My wife says I’m obsessed and I agree with her. There is no arguing that. I’ve been deer hunting hard every year since my 16th birthday. I try to spend as many hours in the woods as possible when it is open season. My biggest buck to date is a 239lb 8 pointer that I shot with my Browning A-bolt 30’06. I went into the woods alone the day after thanksgiving, 2001 at 1:00pm in the middle of a snowstorm and took a seat at the bottom of a large pine tree facing a heavy thicket that had one trail entering the thick brambles and 10 yards in that trail was a trail that ran across the trail I was looking down. Basically all I could see was this trail from where I was sitting. I was about 45 yards away looking down the trail through the heavy snow and I saw brown in the cross section of the trails at 1:25 pm. I pulled up the gun and wiped the snow away from the scope. Looked through and saw what I thought was a spike. All I had in view was the neck and I could see some antler. I put the crosshairs on the center of the neck and dropped him in his tracks. I was so excited about this deer ( that I thought was a spike). I said a quick prayer thanking the lord for blessing my hunt and then went to retrieve my deer. I had to crawl in on my hands and knees on the trail I was looking down and when I got to him I couldn’t believe the size of him. I had never seen a deer this big in my LIFE!!!! It took me about 1.5 hours to drag him out with help from my brother. Then I weighed him and he weighed 239lbs undressed!! This was one of my best days in the deer woods.

HH: Can you tell us the story behind your HH forum screen name?

MR: MooseJuice – I chose this name for 2 reasons:

1.) The Moose is my favorite animal.
2.) My Favorite Restaurant Bugaboo Steakhouse served a Drink called MOOSEJUICE – and I really liked it a lot. So the name just seemed to fit.

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

MR: My favorite type of hunting is Whitetail Deer hunting. I really enjoy hunting with Bow. I like this method more than the others because you have to put in a lot of time and practice to succeed. It requires a lot of patience, determination and skill. I love the fact that you mainly have one shot to take and you better make it count. That’s why I also enjoy hunting with a muzzleloader. I like the idea of making that one shot count. I like getting close to the deer and waiting for just the right opportunity to draw back and then release the arrow when the perfect shot presents itself. I’ve hit 2 bucks in the last 2 years but I was unable to find both of them. This year I was finally able to close the deal on  nice 4 pointer. Not my biggest deer but one I’m really proud of.

 I also really enjoy Turkey hunting. I love being able to interact with the animal and call those Big Toms. It’s a rush to hear that gobble light up the woods after you lay out a few clucks -n- purrs!

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

MR: My best advice towards hunting the Whitetail would be to hunt as much as possible and choose stands that will give you the best opportunity to be successful. The more time and effort you put into preparing for the hunt, I believe the more successful you will be. Try to learn as much as you can from your hunting buddies, peers and from websites such as this one. Also I’ve learned that Im more successful when I go for a walk in the woods with my gun. I really enjoy the hunt more this way. When I was younger I used to concentrate so hard on the killing aspect of the hunt. Id get so mad when Id go out everyday and not harvest an animal, but my friend could go out once sit for an hour and shoot a big deer. Then I realized it more about the experiences I encounter while in the woods. So now it’s not all about the kill or the size of the animal but it’s about all the little things that lead up to it.

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

MR: I’d love to go on a Moose and Whitetail combo hunt in Saskatchewan. I’d love to hunt the Moose because I am so impressed with its massive size and the power that it seems to possess, and I’d just love to have a nice Moose mount hanging over the mantle someday. I’d also like to Hunt the Whitetail in that part of the world because of the huge deer that inhabit that area. Deer just don’t get that big around here. Id also just like to experience the cold weather conditions that would make the hunt all that much more worth while.

HH: How are you passing on / or intend to pass on the Hunting Heritage?

MR: I pass on the heritage by getting my friends and family involved in the world of the outdoors. I take them hunting, fishing and hiking. I also plan on getting my children (when I have them) a lifetime license and not pressure them but encourage them to hunt. I’m sure that as long as I take the same approach my father did with me my kids will have the same passion for the outdoors as I do. I’d also like to be part of or start a program where hunters who are interested could take out kids who have never hunted or fished before. I feel that the modern world is consuming the lives of the younger generations and if something isn’t done about it there will be less and less hunters in the future. I feel that in order for the Hunting Heritage to be preserved we as hunters need to take action in getting the youth involved.

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

MR: What I like best about the HeritageHunters.com is that there are so many friendly, knowledgeable members here. I also enjoy how a lot of the members are so close to home for me. And even the ones that are from other states seem like they could be right over in the next county. This is very different from other online Hunting forums because there it seems like all the people from NY communicate with each other and all the people from PA communicate with each other. Here everyone communicates with everyone. I feel that the atmosphere is very user friendly and welcoming to all members and guests. I also really like all the ethics discussion with Mr. Peck. This is a real treat for me as it opens up great dialog between the members. It also helps to prepare us for future encounters we may personally run into. I’ve never had the opportunity to partake in a discussion quite like these before and it’s something I really have come to enjoy. And Lastly the Product reviews that Dale and Dan conduct are priceless.

I’d like to close this by stating that I’ve only been a part of this forum for a few months and I couldn’t have asked to be welcomed into a friendlier environment. Dan, Dale and all the members here are great. I’ve already learned so much from the discussion on this forum. I hope this site continues to grow as quickly as it has. THANK you Dan and Dale for all the hard work you’ve put into this and for creating this Awesome way for us to Preserve our hunting heritage 

You’re very welcome Matt, and thanks for the kind words about HH

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