This week I introduce myself. Talk a little about what shootthelatestbow is and what I did in archery this week all getting ready for opening day.
Hello and welcome to the podcast. This is a beginners step into the world of bowhunting.
My name is marc and I will be your host for the show. I’ve been hunting for over 20 years, but just recently stepped into the sport of archery and bowhunting.
Just to be clear and upfront my 20 years of experience was taken from a casual approach of weekend hunting on family land. So my experiences although I think they’re valuable and have some insight they are rather limited.
My interest in the sport started very early. I remember going to the book store and thumbing through the hunting books and magazines. I bought this one book, I can’t remember the name of it but I think it was just called deer hunting. It had all these images of old hunting camps. Of men standing around and deer hanging in rows. Huge deer one after another.
Kind of like the deer you see on the tv shows now. I soon found out that I would never see those size deer in the woods I was hunting, but it did not discourage me.
I started off gun hunting. I would sit on the ground in the woods or off a road at the farm and wait. Just sit patiently for nothing to come by. I did this for several seasons then finally decided to buy a ladder stand. Thinking back I should have made one but this was the days before internet so my research was limited.
My dad and I picked a spot off the road. It was a small clearing area with a hardwood on the back side of the clearing. I have no idea how or why we picked this spot. I think we were driving and my dad just said how about right there. the tree looked nice.
So we pulled the truck over, dropped the tailgate and started clanking away. Looking back, I would have assembled this metal ladder stand at the house and just brought it out there to raise. But we just stared to open the box. Turned some music on and off we went.
We were at the tree finally hanging the stand when all of a sudden a rustle came from the woods about 20 yards off to our left. Out trotted a huge doe. This was one of the largest does I had and will ever see on the farm. She was full of muscle. I was around 13 or 14, and I looked at my dad and said this is going to be a great spot.
I never saw another deer sitting in that stand.
But I was dedicated. I would hunt in the rain, in the cold, on days it was warm. Whenever I had the time and the transportation I was off.
The first years were slow and unsuccessful. It’s funny how even then being unsuccessful in the woods was better than a day sitting at school. In high-school I made friends with an adjacent property owner. He was an older gentleman and knew everything you could know about hunting.
I was lucky, he took my brother and me under his wing. He mentored us and taught us everything he knew. The proper way to skin a deer. How and where to plant food plots. Ways to cover scents and how to improve our shooting.
We would work on the farm together building stands and creating food plots for the deer. My successes started to improve. I went from nothing to 1-2 deer a year. Although my skill increase my available time went down. As high-school rolled around more and more of my time was misplaced. I could have been in the woods, but my friends were not hunters. None of them were. I was the only one that hunted, so my time was decreasing.
Eventually, I went off to college. Growing up in Alabama, I headed off to colorado. I spent 6 years in colorado getting a degree in architecture. each winter I would come home for christmas and new years, each time spending only a couple of days in the woods.
After moving back to the south, I started to get back into hunting, the time was still a factor with a new job and career. 10 years goes by and I have a 5 year old girl and a wife. My priorities are shifting and I find that it is time to make time. Or at lease schedule it. I have learned that if you don’t schedule your time, you will never have the time.
I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Three years ago, I found that my time was limited and hunting only during gun season seemed to short. I wanted to extend my season. Bow season would do that by a whole month or so. I looked into what it would take to start bowhunting.
I searched around for a bow and eventually landed on a used Hoyt Alphamax32. I bought it used from ebay. The bow was in great shape, but the draw length was way off from what was described. So I took it to the local shop and they installed new cams (it was that far off) and a new string. Adjusted the weight and got me set up on target.
Keep in mind I had not shot a bow since I was a child shooting those small longbows with wooden arrows. So I draw back. Get some pointers from the local guy. Find my sweet spot with my rest. Look through the peep at the target about 15 yards away. Take a breath and tapped the release.
The arrow flew. I thought it was fast. It was on the rest then on the target instantly. Dead center. I was a little surprised. Wow, bullseye on the first shot. I thought that was lucky. Then I get another arrow and pull it back. Get some form tips from the local at full draw. I put it on the target and release. Thud. Arrow touching arrow. Both crammed in the same hole.
The local guy said, I forgot to tell you to aim at a different spot. So of course I’m now hooked. Still, I decided to practice for a year before I take it into the woods. I want to be sure that I have a good handle on it before I try to get a deer with it.
I test several broad-heads. They fly all over the place. I try some different arrows. They do the same. Then this year I went back to my original arrows from the archery shop and added NAP Killzones. They were hitting within and inch of my field points.
So basically that is me from childhood to last weekend.
Now about shoot the latest bow. This was an idea that I had when I was searching for a bow three years ago. I found that when doing all the research, I wanted to get a well made dependable bow that would shoot well. I did not want a cheap bow that felt horrible to draw.
So, as you know, they can be fairly expensive. The higher end are over a grand. And that is a bare bow. I ended up buying my used from ebay. After all the tuning, new cams and string it was just under $800 all loaded.
But, before I found it. I looked online to see if there were any places that would rent a bow to you. Something you could rent for a week or maybe the season. You can do this with snow ski’s and while I was in school this is what I did.
I would go to the shop and find some of the latest models and rent them for the year. It was affordable, I was getting a great set of ski’s and if they did not work for me, I could return them.
I thought, we could do the same model but with Bows and Archery gear. So this is where the idea came from and currently we are working on getting it up and running. We are only renting to people who special request like friends and family. Working out all the kinks.
I do hope to get the store open in the future, because I believe it has good potential to bring a lot to the sport. It will allow those people that want to learn on a good bow, enter the sport with little initial investment and determine if it is right for them. You would also be able to test out all the latest bows from the comfort of your backyard or tree-stand without having to worry about not liking the $1800.00 bow you just purchased. If you do like it maybe there is an option to purchase or something. Those are all the details that we are working on.
I don’t want to spend too much time on this but if it sounds like something that you would be interested in. There is a signup form on the website to be notified when the store is open for new applicants. I can guarantee that when it does open there will be a limited amount of applications accepted in the first several years. If you are on the list you will be considered first.
What did I do with archery this week?
Shot some and verified flight of my broad-heads
Got my recording studio set up. I do have another podcast as well
When is hunting season?
For me season starts in a month. One month. I know for several of you, your season has already started. If you have been able to get out, let me know. I would like to hear about how things are going for you in the field.
This is the question I had for myself. What am I doing to get ready for the season?
Late hanging stands
Bought another stand to hang on my ladder (Blackhawk) Drury
What Bow are you Shooting?
Like I mentioned earlier I am shooting the Hoyt Alphamax 32. I would like to hear about what model you are shooting and how long you have been shooting your bow? What you like about it and what you might not? You can get in touch with me on twitter @shootlatestbow
Bowhunting in the News
I found several articles that I thought would be worth mentioning here. These are from various sources around the internet. My goal with these article and my goal with the podcast in general is to learn more about bowhunting and hunting in general. So each time that I talk about articles or books I am reading on the subject, I learn more about it.
This first article is on hunting deer in Urban areas.
The article is titled – Urban Deer Hunting
This is an article from the Leader-Telegram.
written by Chuck Rupnow
Out of Wisconsin and the article reads
Commission Ok’s Urban deer hunting plan.
The area of Putnam Park where one resident lives, Sharon Hildebrand calls the deer overload “an epidemic”. They estimate the park to have 103 deer per square mile and according to a DNR biologist John Dunn, the optimal number is between 25 to 30.
Dunn sent a report to the city council to recommend the park be open for bowhunting and winter sharpshooting.
According to this article one man claims to chase 5 to 10 deer out of his yard each day. He said that he has lost thousands of dollars in plants and paid thousands more in medical bills because his son contracted lyme’s disease.
Apparently they have had some hunts in the past in other areas trying to thin the herd of deer that Dunn says can increase by 25-50% each year.
One neighbor Joyce Simmons said she was disturbed to find a hunter near her lot line bowhunting. She said, “We might not know who that stranger is next door to us with a bow and arrow.”
The article ends to say that the city has put a ban on deer feeding after discovering some cases of chronic wasting disease and will use enforcement if education alone does not end the deer feeding.
I’m sure the city can’t wait to start profiting from ticketing and arresting people for feeding animals. That’s a whole other story or topic.
The article has a photo of a 5 or 6 year old girl opening a screen door to look at bambi in her front yard. So What do you think of this article. Do you believe they should allow bowhunting in populated areas?
This is something that always kind of freaks me out. When I hear about diseases passing through the population of deer and wiping out large numbers, it kind of weirds me out. Makes me wonder what is going on. I guess I relate it to people and if the same thing were to happen to us how awful that would be. Then I wonder if some of the things we are doing are causing the problem. Maybe concentrating food areas, or pesticides on crops, who knows. But this article is on the Population decrease in South Carolina.
The article is titled – SC Deer Population Dropping
The last article mentioned this at the end but this article calls more attention to it. This is from ABCNews4. Looks like an article taken from the associated press.
It’s titled DNR holding public meetings on new deer hunting proposal.
South Carolina wildlife officials meet to get input on proposed legislation that would limit deer hunting in the state. Senator Chip Campsen proposed bill in the state would limit harvest to four antlered bucks per year. As well as introduce tagging system. This is because the deer population has decreased in recent years.
This really falls into the category of conservation. I think it is important to limit the amount of harvest to keep the population in balance. When you look at the Wisconsin article before and this article here you see what the extreme scenarios can do. If there is no hunting you get over population and if things might be over hunted as in South Carolina the population decreases. It really is a careful balance. And the tagging i would imagine allows the records to be kept more closely. I know in Alabama, we do not have to tag deer but they recommend that you call in the deer after it is shot to report it. You do have to write down the date and size on your license before you move him or her.
It’s all about conservation. I can get mad sometimes with all the regulation and rules out there especially the price of the license I have to buy. Mine is over $300. How much is your license? I would like to hear from you to see what you think about the DNR’s efforts on controlling populations and fees involved with hunting. Send me a tweet @shootlatestbow
I have two more articles real quick. This one is on prepping your archery gear for the season. What you need to do in the preseason to get ready. So this is quickly approaching, and passed for some of you, but I wanted to go over the article here to see if this is something that I should be doing or exploring.
The article is titled – Preseason Prep for your archery gear
This article is from the Anniston Star.
They call themselves a Home-owned newspaper in Anniston Alabama since 1883
The article is called Preseason prep for archery gear and written by Charles Johnson
I like the way he starts this article. Charles says, “There is only one more calendar page to turn until archers are looking at bow season for deer.”
That is right it’s getting here fast and there are little more to preparing than that during rifle season. He writes about inspecting all the gear. Checking the sights, the pulleys, cams and string. He goes on to say that with season approaching the archery shops are getting slammed with bow tune-ups, repairs etc…
He says that there is a lot we can do as bowhunters without the archery shop. Arlie Fortner, a bow shop manager says, “Bowhunters should inspect the strings, cables, cams and serving. Look for fraying on the string around the cams and at the nock point.” According to Fortner the strings need to be replaced every 3-4 years. They can stretch over time throwing off the timing.
Bow strings should be waxed regularly throughout the season. It will increase the life of the string and prevent excess moisture and wear. Fortner says that this time of year bowhunters start wanting to tweak their bows and change sights, rests and releases, but to make sure that adjustments you make still give you adequate time to practice based on the new setup.
He mentions to not forget about the arrows and your release. Look for any damage to your arrows from shooting in too tight of groups. I mentioned this was my first experience with shooting my bow at the shop.
Charles goes on to mention that practice should begin at least a few weeks before the season. I know some of you practice all year long. Let me know how often you practice? He says, “Start with shorter distance” and work up from there. Once you feel comfortable with your shooting switch over to the broad-heads you plan on using. They can fly differently than your field points. And I found that to be very true. I had to do some adjusting to get mine hitting the same.
He says that hunters should practice at distances they feel most comfortable and don’t try to take a deer at a distance you have not practiced and feel confident with taking.
His last comment is to practice with judging distances. Good range estimates make all the difference in the field.
This is the last article I wanted to touch on today. This is a program that sounded interesting and something that was promoting the sport in a positive way. There are many times when it feels like hunting is getting a bad rap by the media mostly. but social media has its problems as well. Before I get into this article I just wanted to quickly say that if you are going to be taking photos of your harvest and posting them. Try your damnedest to take photos that show the animal in a respected position. This will make for a better photo and just look better overall. If you throw up a photo of a bloody deer bleeding out in the bed of your truck, nobody cares. If you position the deer and take the time to clean him or her up and take a shot that includes you and the deer in a better light you are going to get a better social response. I can guarantee it. Try it. First post the truck bed picture then post the composed well lit respectful photo and see which one gets more likes. If its the truck bed then I was wrong.
So sorry about that little photo rant. This next article is titled – Learn to hunt program
The article is titled Hunting programs prepare rookie well in 1st hunt
Its written by Patrick Durkin
The article begins by Elizabeth heading into the woods at the age of 14. She climbed into her stand around 3pm. She settles in and hangs her bow ready for a black bear to enter her area. She waits patiently for a little over an hour when her bear walks in. She draws her bow and takes the shot. The bear runs 80 yards and collapses.
Sounds like the perfect hunt right? Easy?
The article goes on to give the countless hours she spent training and learning about bear management, hunting regulations, shot placement, and safety. She was learning it all in a program called Learn to Hunt. It is a program with very limited accepted applicant. After writing an essay and applying for the program very few children from ages 10 and older are accepted for these special tagged hunts.
The program gives children the chance to go on hunts that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to do. This is what Elizabeth said about the experience.
“It came in really slow and took its time, but then it walked away without giving me a good shot, so we kept waiting. Then it came back in a second time. I was extremely excited. My heart was pounding. Coach Matt helped by telling me when to stand up, when to draw the bow and shoot. He guided me through it. We knew right away that I made a good hit. It let out a huge roar and ran off, and then we heard it go down. It all happened so fast that I hardly remember anything about it. I was shaking afterward. It was unbelievably shocking and exciting.”
Sounds like an awesome experience and something that she will remember forever. I think that the moral to this story is that we should be taking others hunting, teaching the skill and educating the younger generations. That is kind of what I would like to do with this podcast.
Give what little knowledge I have to others. I saw a tweet the other day that had an image attached to it. The image was of a young boy walking through some tall grasses dressed in camo. he was carrying his bow up above the grass as he was walking through it. The caption said, “He will never remember his best day of watching tv.”
I thought that was awesome. You never remember sitting on the couch but you always remember the experiences you have in the woods. Introduce someone to the sport.
Next week I want to talk more about getting ready for the season and deliberate practice. What should I be doing with my bow to get in the best shape for the hunting season?
If you want to find me online you can at shootthelatestbow.com or on twitter @shootlatestbow.
Since you have made it this far into the episode and you have not left yet. I want to thank you for listening to the first ever show. We are going to be having a giveaway soon so please be sure to subscribe to the podcast using your iTunes app or podcast app on your phone. This will automatically download the new episodes to your phone. But, the secret is that I am going to be giving away something soon. You will not be disappointed. You will have to be signed up for the newsletter. Go to shootthelatestbow.com and click on the button that says giveaway. That will take you to the signup page.
On the page I have a click to tweet and if you tweet it you will get one additional entry into the drawing. If you post something online or tell a friend about the podcast, send me a screenshot and you will get an additional entry. Basically every time you share the show you will get an entry into the drawing. Although if you do some crazy twitter spam auto-posting thing, you will be disqualified and your entries will not be entered in the drawing.
In the next episode I am going to be announcing the giveaway, so be sure to subscribe to the podcast.
If you write an honest review for the show, good or bad you will get an entry for each star you leave. No I’m just kidding. If you leave a review of any kind you will get 5 extra entries in the drawing.
Any reviews given before then will still go towards your entry. * If you leave a review for the show simply go to the giveaway page and let us know you left a review for the show and how we can get in touch with you. Unfortunately because of what I plan on giving away. I do not want to send it out of the country, so US contestants only. I will have something internationally next.
Thanks for listening. Now get out there and draw your bow.