STICK AND STRING GOBBLERS

February 18th, 2013

Cally Morris and his wife after a successful turkey hunt.If you are an avid turkey hunter, you have probably thought about bowhunting turkeys or tried it.  If you have spent much time bowhunting turkeys, you have probably struck out a fair amount.  When I bow hunt turkeys, I spend more time chasing than I do flinging arrows.  Between a turkey’s keen sense of hearing and eyesight, tagging a turkey with a stick and string can be incredibly difficult.  In Michigan, the success rate for turkey hunters who use archery equipment is less than 10%.  Killing a turkey with a bow is a tall task; however, it is not impossible.

Cally Morris from Hazel Creek Taxidermy knows about killing turkeys with a bow.  Morris is a well-known taxidermist who specializes in turkey mounts.  Each spring, Morris can be found turkey hunting in numerous states and often hunts with a bow.  According to Morris, his key to success often boils down to using a good decoy.  Hazel Creek sells real hen decoys.  Using a real decoy can help tip the odds in the hunters’ favor but there are a number of good decoys on the market that work.  Regardless of which brand you choose, make sure you use one.  A decoy will often make or break a hunt.  “Decoy placement when bowhunting turkeys is extremely important.  If a decoy isn’t placed properly, it can be tough getting a good shot.  I always place my decoy about 15-17 yards away and make sure the decoy is quartering away from me.  When the tom approaches the decoy and walks up to it and bumps into the side of the decoy like they do, it gives me a perfect quartering or broadside shot,” Morris said.

A decoy can help bring a tom in those last few yards which is necessary to get them close for a shot.  Decoys help you know how far away the turkey is when you are ready to take the shot.  “I always know exactly how far away my decoy is from where I am set up so when he comes in and approaches the decoy, I don’t have to worry about using my rangefinder or making extra movements.  All I have to do is worry about taking the shot,” Morris added.

Another way to increase the odds of bagging a bird with a bow is using a mechanical broadhead.  Many bowhunters go home empty-handed when turkey hunting because they wound a bird and the bird runs off and dies without being found.  Some bowhunters don’t like mechanical heads when hunting big game but they work well on turkeys.  The vital area on a turkey is small and if you don’t hit it just right, you might cripple the bird.  A two-inch mechanical broadhead will quickly bring a gobbler down even when the shot isn’t perfect.  Since a mechanical head creates such a large wound, it is not uncommon for a bird to drop in its track after being shot.  This is a bonus; often birds that run away are never recovered.

Bowhunting turkeys can be challenging and rewarding.  If you are up to the task, get a good decoy use a mechanical broadhead and practice shooting with your Hot Shot release. If all goes well, you will have a fresh butterball very soon.

To find out more about the author visit www.tracybreen.com

Dave White shows off Hot Shot at the Mathews Show

January 3rd, 2012

Dave White of Hot Shot Manufacturing and Cajun Archery recently attended the Mathews Retailer Business Show. White showed off several of his new release aids that can be purchased with a Lost Camo strap.

Stan Potts Hunting Tips

November 2nd, 2011

Many people think that all TV show hosts on the outdoor networks simply drive to an outfitters’ headquarters, step out of the truck and get led by the hand to a premium treestand location where they sit until a monster buck steps into bow range. Although that might be the case with many TV shows, that is not how Stan Potts hunts whitetails. “When I was younger, I spent a lot of time trapping furbearers. As a result, I quickly learned how to look for the travel patterns of game animals. Trapping taught me a lot about how animals use the woods to get from Point A to Point B. Now I use those tactics to hunt whitetails,” Potts explained.
Stan often prefers hunting with outfitters he has hunted with before and when he arrives at a place to hunt, instead of climbing into a stand the outfitter has hung, Potts does some scouting of his own. “I have hunted with many of the outfitters I’m currently hunting with so I know the lay of the land a little bit,” explained Potts. “When I arrive, I often walk around with my camera man and we do a little scouting and look for areas where we think bucks may travel. We look for funnels between food sources, bedding areas and look for sign that indicates deer are heavily using a certain area.”
When trapping animals including fox, coyote, and bobcat, knowing how to read sign is extremely important. Knowing where to set traps often puts a lot of fur in the freezer. The same can be said about whitetail hunting. “Treestand placement is critical when hunting big bucks just like trap placement is critical when trapping. “I spend many hours scouting for the perfect area to hunt and then I spend a lot of time looking for the perfect tree for my camera man and I to hang stands in,” Potts noted. “Over the years, I have tagged many bucks by reading the lay of the land and hanging a stand in just the right spot like I would if I was trapping.”
Want to kill big bucks like Stan Potts? Learn to read the lay of the land and use Hot Shot releases.

KENTUCKY VELVET By Stan Potts

September 28th, 2011

My cameraman, Barry Greenhaw and I arrived at the farm in western Kentucky a few days before the opening o f the bow season. Just prior to our trip I had signed the papers to lease hunting rights on this farm. Finding a good place to hunt on private property gets harder and harder, but it is key to getting a chance at a big buck. We had not had much chance to scout the ground, but the trail camera pictures revealed the caliber of some of the bucks on the place.
A big 6×6 typical and a non-typical buck were photographed together a couple times at the same camera location. This is where we decided to start. I wanted a chance at that non-typical.
Barry and I scouted the property and put up four different double set treestand locations for filming the hunt. The bow season opened on Saturday, September 3rd, to 95-100 degree temperatures. We decided not to hunt that first day. In fact, we had decided to only hunt afternoons, believing our chances were better when the bucks got up to feed later in the day. We hadn’t had much time to scout the property so we focused mainly on afternoon situations, trying not to disturb the deer before we knew the property better.
On Sunday, we went to the stand in the afternoon. We saw a doe and 2 fawns. The temperature was still really warm.
The weather cooled off on Monday and our hopes improved. I studied the topo map and aerial photos even more carefully to try and figure out where the non-typical would go. The trail cameras had him positioned near the top of a drainage. We though he bedded on a bench not far from the camera and moved down the drainage in the afternoon to a hidden food plot back in the timber. Our stand was nearly half a mile from the trail camera, but it looked like the most logical thing for the deer to do, so we decided to hunt that food plot on Monday afternoon.
My wife, Brenda had arrived in camp and was able to drive us right to the stand set in a UTV. When we pulled into the food plot there were already a few does out feeding. We scattered the deer as we pulled into the field. She kept the motor running as Barry and I climbed into the tree. When we were set, she drove away. It was only about 10 minutes later that the does began to filter back into the food plot. They hung around for quite awhile until one of them finally got down wind of us in the timber and spooked the whole bunch.
About 45 minutes later Barry said, “There’s a buck.” He turned the camera on and I reached for my Mathews bow. The big non-typical stepped into the food plot. He was one of the most cautious bucks I had ever seen, moving one step at a time, ears turning, watching in every direction. Finally he progressed to within range, but I couldn’t shoot. A second buck a 150 class 10 pointer was with him. This deer was broadside at 20 yards for about 10 minutes but it felt like an eternity, but the non-typical did not present a good shot. He was either quartering toward or behind or in front of the other buck.
With every passing second the chance for something to go wrong increased. Anything could spook the buck or he could simply walk out of range without presenting a good shot angle. Finally, another smaller buck walked toward the non-typical and he turned to face the deer, giving me the shot angle I had been waiting for. The Muzzy zipped through the deer’s vitals at 20 yards and he took off into the timber out of sight.
Barry and I could hardly believe our luck. We had just shot the buck we were after in a spot almost half a mile away from where we had him on trail camera pictures!
He is a giant non-typical, still in velvet, with 16 scorable points, grossing 197 4/8 inches. His typical frame is 7 x 5 with 4 stickers. He looks typical in the main frame but the shape of his rack is odd enough that he looks non-typical overall. His velvet was already beginning to shed. A day later and I would have missed my opportunity at tagging my first velvet buck. Either way, he is a great deer!

RMEF Commits $150K to Arizona Wildfire Measures

June 29th, 2011

MISSOULA, Mont.-Drawing funds from local as well as national coffers, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has committed $150,000 in support for wildfire mitigation measures in Arizona.

The RMEF funding is a response to two emergency proposals from the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD).

One project will supply livestock feed and hay to private landowners whose cattle, sheep and horse pastures are now being grazed by unusual concentrations of displaced elk. Separating and feeding the livestock will reduce conflicts with wildlife. Soon, summer monsoons should allow burned forestlands to green up and elk to naturally disperse back to native habitat.

A second project will supplement an initiative to re-seed native grasses in severely burned areas. RMEF funding will ensure that seed stocks include native browse plants used by deer and other wildlife. Re-seeding will speed recovery of the habitat.

RMEF Chairman of the Board John Caid, who manages conservation and hunt programs at White Mountain Apache Reservation, said, “The good news is, much of this region’s elk habitat, with assistance from all of us, will be well on the way to recovery in a few weeks. Within three years, Arizonans can expect very good forage quality and, in turn, elk calf production.”

Caid said local RMEF chapters in Arizona raised and committed $75,000, which has been matched by funds from RMEF national.

In e-mailing the mitigation proposals, AZGFD region manager Jon Cooley wrote, “Working through both local and national representatives, RMEF has been providing constant coordination, support and encouragement as we address the myriad of community and wildlife resource challenges that we now confront. The leadership and engagement of RMEF, and the energy and commitment of the RMEF people that have coordinated with us from the start, has proven to be very beneficial and productive.”

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.9 million acres-a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.

Pennsylvania Board Adopts Resolution To Support Sunday Hunting

June 29th, 2011

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has approved a resolution to support repeal of the statutory prohibition on Sunday hunting. The vote on the resolution, which was proposed by Game Commissioner Jay Delaney Jr. and seconded by Game Commissioner Ralph A. Martone, was four in support, three opposed and one abstention. Those voting in support of the resolution were Game Commissioners Delaney, Martone, David J. Putnam and Robert W. Schlemmer. Those voting in opposition were Game Commissioners Thomas E. Boop, David W. Schreffler and Ronald A. Weaner. Game Commissioner Gregory J. Isabella abstained.

Game Commission staff will present the resolution to the House Game and Fisheries Committee, which has been holding public hearings on the topic of Sunday hunting. The text of the resolution is as follows:

“The Board of Commissioners for the Pennsylvania Game Commission declares its support for a repeal of prohibitions on Sunday hunting by the amending of Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statues in Hunting and Trapping.

“Whereas, Pennsylvania has experienced consistent declines in hunting participation by both resident and non-resident hunters over the past several decades, with both the number of license sold and revenues generated experiencing steady declines, and

“Whereas, youth participation is vital to maintaining the long-standing tradition of hunting in Pennsylvania, we can effectively double the number of hunting days for youths during the school year by offering Sunday hunting, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting is an effective means of recruiting new hunters and retaining current hunters by increasing the value of the hunting license through offering additional opportunities to spend time in the field, and

“Whereas, many Pennsylvania residents seek hunting opportunities and hunting leases in neighboring states that offer Sunday hunting; Sunday hunting will keep Pennsylvania hunters in Pennsylvania, and

“Whereas Pennsylvania has a long-standing tradition of hunting camps and clubs, Sunday hunting will effectively double the number of hunting days for camp owners and club members, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting is expected to generate a substantial increase in out-of-state license sales and the accompanying revenue for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and

“Whereas, hunting license sales and their associated federal matching funds are the primary revenue source for the Pennsylvania Game Commission in carrying out its mission, including maintaining 1.5 million acres of state game lands and acquisition of additional public lands, research and management of wildlife and providing information and education to the public, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting will provide substantial economic benefits to rural areas and businesses by increasing money spent by hunters on lodging, food, gas and other incidental items, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting is expected to generate $629 million in additional spending and create 5,300 new jobs, resulting in $18 million in additional sales and income tax, and

“Whereas, the mission of the Pennsylvania Game Commission is to manage wildlife and its habitat for current and future generations, and

“Whereas, Sunday hunting, which is currently permitted to control a growing population of coyotes, will provide the biologists of the Pennsylvania Game Commission a new tool to manage wildlife populations, and

“Whereas, the forty-three states that currently permit Sunday hunting have not experienced any discernable impact on the health or vibrancy of game populations, and

“Whereas, the Board of Commissioners recognizes the authority to permit Sunday hunting lies entirely with the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, and

“Whereas, if the General Assembly repeals the restrictions on Sunday hunting thus giving authority to regulate Sunday hunting to the Board of Commissioners, the Board recognizes the many stakeholder groups any action on Sunday hunting will effect and will endeavor to engage these stakeholders before passing any new regulations in regard to Sunday hunting.

“NOW, THEREFOR, we the Board of Commissioners for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, do hereby urge the General Assembly of Pennsylvania to REPEAL the PROHIBITION ON SUNDAY HUNTING IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA.”

The Infinity Strikes Again!- By Tony J. Peterson

September 23rd, 2010

 

The author shot this beautiful 140-inch, eight-pointer while using a Hot Shot Infinity release in western-North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Grasslands.

 

       Kicking off the fall while hunting out-of-state is a tradition amongst many bowhunters and I’m certainly no exception. The last four years have found me, along with three of my buddies roaming the river-bottoms, coulees and vast expanse of the Theodore Roosevelt National Grassland in Western North Dakota. The public land, DIY trip we embark on every year over Labor Day Weekend is the official start to our bow season and we chase antelope, mule deer and whitetails with enthusiasm.            

       This year, amongst many careful gear choices I faithfully carried my Hot Shot Infinity release. After using it last fall and this spring for turkeys, it was my go-to choice when the long, tricky shots of the West came calling. Previous experience had taught me that shot opportunities would be hard-won and trophy caliber animals would settle for a tag only if everything came together perfectly.              

       After acting on a hunch about the whitetails in our area I drove 10 hours to scout for a few days before the rest of the crew would show up on the opener. The whitetails cooperated better than I would have ever guessed, and along the way I was fortunate to observe quite a few mule deer on their natural patterns.            

       A hastily built ground blind covered me while I sat along the Little Missouri River the first evening. Splashing alerted me to the first deer approaching my ambush, and soon enough I watched a young velvet-antlered buck feeding. I knew from my scouting forays that he hung out with an older, much bigger buck that happened to show up within a few minutes. I watched both deer feed and then split up as the young seven-pointer crossed the river with five does and fawns. They passed harmlessly behind me and I knew it was time to focus on the bigger deer.            

       He took his time before crossing the river and then he disappeared. Not being immune to buck fever I started to panic a little as the daylight faded. His stark-white throat patch tipped me off to the fact that he had fed directly to me. At 20 yards I drew and shot while he walked past. Immediately I knew the shot was too far back, but that it was a mortal hit none-the-less.            

       The big eight pointer ran into the river and stopped with the muddy water rushing past him. With diminishing shooting light I made the decision to sneak within shooting range and try to get another shot into him. As I approached the riverbank, I saw that the buck had bedded in the river, nearly on the far bank. My rangefinder said 66 yards but I was confident to 80 so I settled in and drew my bow. When I tripped the trigger of my Infinity the arrow flew true and the he stood up for a few seconds before his legs gave out and he tipped over in the river. The result was a beautiful 140-inch deer, with good friends to help drag him out and butcher him around the campfire. Two mule deer would join that buck in clean packages of nature’s finest bounty in our coolers before the week ended, capping off another amazing trip.

Very Early Buck down for Team Aim Low, by Robin Parks

August 23rd, 2010

On August 9, Aim Low Productions field staffer Chet Maxcy took advantage of the new regulations in FL that would allow him to hunt during the very early south FL rut for the first time ever.  With Charlie Peck behind the camera, enounters with a nice buck out of range two mornings in a row prompted them to move in closer with a ground blind.  The plan payed off the next morning when the buck chased does in the march in front of their blind and then came to within 30 yards.  Chet used his Hot Shot Infinity release to make a perfect shot on the nice buck that weighed an impressive 155 lbs.  Congrats to Chet and Charlie for a nice buck and some great video footage long before most of us are still dreaming of whitetail hunting!

Chet's nice FL buck

Bowhunt America Great New Gear Feature

August 5th, 2010

Check it out!  We were lucky enough to get another Infinity feature in the Bowhunt America, Whitetail Special issue.  A huge thanks to Travis, Bill and Sherry for honoring us with this editorial.  If you have a chance stop in your local Pro Shop to ask for the New Hot Shot Infinity release and your FREE copy of Bowhunt America.   This issue is jam-packed with all things whitetail.  Don’t miss out.  Great New Gear Sept 10

Uncooperative Quebec Black Bears, By Tony J. Peterson

July 27th, 2010

 

Sharpening our Skills on the LaGriffe Dours Range

 

An invitation to hunt any animal in June is not something I will likely turn down, and when Tim Kent of Theory 13 Creative called me up to see if I would be interested in chasing black bears in Quebec I eagerly accepted. Tim and I, along with Hot Shot Manufacturing owner Dave White and his hunting buddy Mark Hancey, Robin Parks and Keith Riehn of Aim Low Productions and their good friend Rob Hancey, Bowhunting World Magazine Publisher Jared Pfiefer, and Charlie Rehor of Bowsite.com all got together at La Griffe d’Ours (www.griffedours.com) in Quebec.

Charlie Rehor of Bowsite.com shooting with his Infinity buckle strap release. Charlie and Keith Reihn of Aim Low Productions shot at balloons for hours nailing almost every shot with boradheads at 30+ yards.

 

      Our guides for the week were Yvon Champagne and his son Phillippe. To say that the father and son team know bears and their habits would be a serious understatement. They run 70 to 80 baits a year while catering to both firearm and archery hunters. It became evident shortly after our arrival that La Griffe d’Ours was a quality operation and that all of us were in no danger of starving to death. It also became abundantly clear that Yvon and Phillippe were going to work hard to get us all a chance to arrow a bear.

Bowhunting World Publisher, Jared Pfeifer with a great sow he shot not even an hour into his hunt only to have a monster boar come to the bait minutes later and taunt him for the next 2o minutes eating cookies.

 

         Unfortunately, the bears didn’t think that was such a great plan. Whether it was the full moon, the humid weather, or some other factor that kept the bear movement to a minimum we will never know. What we do know is that despite the arguments that guided hunts are too easy, or that baiting makes the whole endeavor seem like a “slam dunk”, you certainly couldn’t prove those statements by our results.

            While each day someone in our group passed up smaller bears, the big boars didn’t show. On day one Jared made a perfect shot on a decent bear and silently many of us questioned his decision to shoot the first one that walked in. As the week progressed Jared quickly went from potentially being an over-eager hunter who had jumped the gun to a genius bear expert that understood his window of opportunity was a small one and the need for capitalization was at hand. His bear was the only one that our group connected on.

A close up of Jared's bear's head, which was huge for a female.

 

But, the fact that we went 1 for 9 doesn’t do the hunt justice. It would seem that we were wildly unsuccessful, but I can personally say I’ve been on hunts where the meat pole was sagging under the weight of harvested game that weren’t nearly as enjoyable as our time spent at La Griffe d’Ours. The accommodations were perfect even for a large group, Phillippe and Yvon worked with each hunter to put us in comfortable stand sites for solo and filming situations, and the camaraderie was top-notch.

            While we didn’t all end up with 300 pound bruins at the end of the trip we did get to see bear, moose, deer, raccoons and assorted game birds. We also had the privilege of shooting our bows each day at La Griffe d’Ours range while testing out Hot Shot’s Tempest, Infinity, and a top-secret prototype of a release that certainly isn’t going to disappoint hardcore bowhunters. It seemed that most days our hardest decision was whether to carry the thumb-trigger Tempest into stand or go with the wrist-strap Infinity.

            As the week came to a close we were all carrying a few extra pounds, had seen plenty of critters, and survived the first earthquake to hit Quebec in a long, long time. After trading business cards and contact info we all went our separate ways with the wheels in motion for a new hunt. Next year we’ll head North during a cold front, while the moon is just a sliver…