Here are a couple images to serve as a refresher on where to place you arrow / bullet.
Having a rangefinder that you can set to compute the calculations for you makes it very easy.
The illustration below is of a Leupold Range finder that has the True Ballistic Range feature. There are a number of manufacturers that offer this feature.
The rangefinder in the illustration below is set for older bows with draw weights below 50 pounds. The deer is 40 yards away (Line of Sight), at a 40 degree angle from the archer. The range finder has calculated that effective range is 34 yards.
So what did we do before all these fancy rangefinders? What I did was the old fashioned, pick my tree stand location and pace off a two or three trees as distance guides, climb up the desired height and estimated where my sight pin would need to be based upon previous experience. For longer distance rifle shots, we would estimate ranges based upon experience and take the shot. In other words practice and experience is key. Spending time on the archery and rifle range is also key. Technology may not always be there for you.
Scent control in Florida is an oxymoron: "A combination of words that have opposite or very different meanings" - Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Ok, having made that pronouncement, and knowing we may have joined a serious debate. We will now go even go further, if you buy scent control sprays, etc., you are probably throwing your money away.
........Yes, we said it.......and now that the scent control industry is busy preparing concrete hunting boots for us, we would like to offer some additional information
We enter the following article into evidence:
Furthermore, it's my personal experience that often it's so f-ing hot during bow season that there is nothing known to mankind that can effectively mask your scent.
While the debate and marketing campaigns rage on, we will offer a few honest tips and techniques that have worked for us. Most of these are unrelated to the scent discussion but work.
1. Getting to you stand location: Yes, get there in the dark. It's better to sit in your tree stand of an hour or so in the dark then get all the game upset during daylight hours.
2. If you can stay off the game trials, do it. If you can walk through water, do it. If you can avoid touching trees and brush, do it.
3. When you climb the tree you're going to hunt from, climb at least 20 feet up. Higher is better.
4. When you get settled, check the wind direction and for thermals.
5. Deer scent and calls can work. Deer are curious.
So have our lessons been proven effective?
We have killed many deer and hogs that have walked close to or under our stands even when we wet with sweat. Why, because were high enough that our scent did not translate to ground level.
One final tip: When you are are hunting at high tree stand elevations,adjust your bow shots according to the trajectory of your arrow. Many range finders will do this automatically but don't take it for granted. If your high in tree, 35 yards from your target but only 25 yards line of sight, you should probably use your 25 yard pin!
The photos are of the skull of a wild hog killed in the Big Bend region of Florida during the 2015 muzzleloader season. What was the hog eating or rooting in that caused the black staining on his tusks?
He was large and Paul and I were a good distance from where we parked and completely off trail so we packed out the hams and shoulders by lashing them to a sapling that Paul cut with his survival knife. That meant we had to leave the carcass behind. We went back a couple months later and I found the wild hog's skull. Even though his carcass has ben picked clean and bones scattered or carried off, his tusks were still as black as the day he was shot and remain so almost a year later.
....more Late August Archery Season Scouting in Florida's Big Bend...or why would anyone do such a thing?
With less than three weeks before our first quota hunt, there is no the to waste. Yes it is hot, the mosquitos thick, snakes and gators abundant, tropical storms brewing, but also the early acorns are maturing and the bucks are beginning to rub and patterns beginning to emerge. And this is is very valuable time for archery hunters, especially on public lands where there are no feeders, food plots or high fences to ensure game patterns and movement.
This is difficult scouting with no assurance of success, or as my grandfather would say, "if was easy, everybody would be doing it".
The first acorns are falling from the Post Oaks or Iron Oaks as they are also called. with the swamps filled there are clear "edges" and hogs and deer moving along them.
Bucks are beginning too mark there territory with rubs and scrapes.
And yearlings are loosing their spots.
Even the young bucks seen to be acting more deliberate these days.
When you are hunting, camping, paddling, fishing, hiking in the backcountry what navigation tools do you take.....compass, handheld GPS unit, mobile phone, nothing??
My typical navigation gear set up is an old Silva compass, small Garmin handheld GPS unit and now an app on my mobile phone. Overkill...perhaps at least until you are in a dense fog, blown off course in a storm or needing to spend a moonless night making your way out.
I downloaded Gaia GPS for the iPhone and so far I have been satisfied.
One of the strengths of the app is the ability to sync waypoints and routs across devices such as an iPad and iPhone as well as accessing your maps and data on your desktop. This makes the app is a real field and scouting tool.
Below is a screen shot from my iPad with the USGS map layer turned on and with a couple waypoints I set.
When a waypoint is places a photo, and description / notes can be added.
So far my limited use in the field is positive. So far for me it looks like it is worth the $19.99 price tag. I will use the app through the fall hunting season and provide an update. There is both an android and iPhone app. Learn more at iTines.
Fred Bear (1902-1988) is an American legend and considered the father of bow hunting and founder of Bear Archery.
Bear Archery's manufacturing facility has a great archery range for those of us, like Hoginator and I that need lots of practice, enjoy shooting on a professionally set up range and having the occasional conversation with other archers.
We sincerely thank Bear Archery for allowing us to practice at their proving grounds range in Gainesville, Florida and encourage bow hunters and competition shooters to check out the high quality bows that Bear produces. I own a Bear long bow that is great quality and a pleasure to shoot.
Although Fred Bear didn't start bow hunting until he was in his late 20's he became an accomplshed archer and deadly bow hunter, killing small and big game including dangerous game around the world. Just about of us that bow hunt have been influenced by and benefitted from the talent and innovation that Fred Bear brought to our sport and industry.
One of the 40 yard shooting lanes at the Bear Archery Proving Grounds in Gainesville FL.
A weird grouping at the range...acceptable hunting group but I'm sure it can get tighter with more practice.
August is hot and the weather unpredictable but when you have an early AM rising tide, leave as early as possible and start working the backwater cuts and oyster bars with water flow over and around them.
Capt. Hoginator demonstrated how it was done. Bait used was Gulp or cut Mullet on a circle hook or 1/4 oz. jig head on 20 lb leader, under a popping cork or Cajun Thunder. Keeping the bait bouncing along the top pf the oysters or along the shell bottom will produce bites.
I've owned and used the Knives of Alaska Bush Craft Knife for a long enough to offer this review.
First the good: It is a versitle and reasonably priced, good quality American made knife with a full tang blade of D2 tool steel. The 6" drop point blade is a great shape and handles well for all the camp, scouting and hunting chores I have put its through so far.
The not as good: The fit and finish of the scales and the material of the scales is average. The non glare blade finish easily stains. Additionally, there are no sheath options except the standard leather but that is easily modified with an after market sheath.
The knife fits well in the standard sheath.
My knife after a few scouting trips. The stains did not wash off, even though I washed my knife within a couple hours of use.
UPDATE: After emailing customer service they requested I ship the knife back to them with the pre-paid label they provided. I was emailed back that the string is to be expected when certain species of wood is encountered. Specifically Pecan was mentioned. However, I was chopping through a number of species of typical Florida swamp and hammock brush and one or more of those species must have caused the staining. Bottom line is they shipped me back the knife as is. They did offer to refurbish the blade for $10 plus $10 shipping and handling but I declined.
Although the staining does not effect the functionality of the knife, the coating used on the blade is not the quality needed to hold up to typical scouting and hunting jobs without staining. However, I still like the knife and recommend it overall.
One of my requirements was a durable sheath that would hold the knife securely, adjustable and equipped with a fire steel, emergency light and some paracord.
After some homework it was an easy choice to select a kydex sheath from YELLOW HAWK CUSTOMS / OUTDOORS. Go to http://www.yellowhawkcustomkydex.com for more information and how to order.
It takes motivation and dedication to scout in Florida in July and August. Armed with enough water, insect repellent and snake boots, it's really not so bad...if you are accustomed to walking around dripping in sweat.
The rewards are many, and the effort will provide your best opportunity for success, especially on public lands.
Here in the Big Bend region of Florida, everything is growing rapidly. The gators, snakes deer, turkey and especially the insects are all doing very well this time of year. Both the animals caught on camera and their habitat seem to be doing well given the abundant food, enough rain and no man made pressures.
Our typical scouting takes place from early July right up to the start of archery season in September and included aerial, on the ground and game camera scouting. Our goals are to find deer and of course hogs, and to log GPS coordinates for promising setups.
When a funnel, edge or burned / cutover area is found the next steps are to set up a game camera, identify trees to climb and routes that will get us in with the wind in our favor and in the dark.
I also recommend taking a camera preferably equipped with GPS so you photos will be tagged with the coordinates off where they were taken. Finally, take your time, look and listen with appreciation.
I've now had the TZ-2220 pack out for three scouting trips. I've loaded it with between 12 and 20 lbs of gear and water on these trips. The July temps have been between 85 and 97 F (HOT!). The pack appears to be put together well with good quality materials. Strap, pockets, access are well thought out.
The Pack is comfortable and rides well on both shoulders and hip. The ventilated back panel does seem to work, at least as well as anything can in this heat. It does breath better than my ALPS pack or any pack I've had with maybe the exception of my around town Osprey day pack.
I have not hunted with the pack yet. I did strap my bow to it and it seems to carry it well but the the proof will be when I'm hunting and climbing with it.
Verdict so far: Highly recommended.