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Deer Blog


July 15, 2018

Hey everybody. Hot and dry this week. Been super tuning the Hoyts. Best that I can anyway with some target anxiety that gets in the way. Learned some new stuff this week. Installed a new QAD MXT on the Ultra. Micro-adjustability is nice! Just not sure the rest is worth the price. We will see?

Cameras produced a bit better this week even with the heat. Maybe the heat was the reason. Not sure. Had the new Recon Force set to video. Captured some really neat video. The Hawk continues to capture some high quality photos. Main challenges I have with that camera are the micro SD card, blue tooth connectivity and sensitive PIR. I get a fair amount of false triggers during the heat of the day.

Settled on my color and fletching configuration for one bow yesterday. Fletched some arrows. Need to do some sight adjusting with that bow before I can say it is ready. Been doing a fair amount of bare shaft shooting. After lots of reading that seems to be a fairly effective way of fine tuning the rest. It is mainly a check on the spine of the arrow which a lot of tuning is. Most of my adjustments right now are around one thirty second of an inch. Small. Thought about some torque tuning but I think I will leave that to the target archers.

Hunting shows started this week. Watched some good stuff and some not so good stuff yesterday. Some red necks just do not belong on TV. And most elitists do not belong on TV either. Do you ever wonder if City folk have ever truly been more than 10 minutes outside a City? I've had some contacts in my the job the last couple of years that lead me to believe that is the case. Some people have absolutely no clue what life is like outside their City job. That's OK until they are in a decision making position that affects people outside the limits of "The City". Anyway, another debate for another day.

Only two-and-a-half months until go-time. Wow! Big bucks look big now. Let's just hope they walk through one of our shooting lanes in about 3 months.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


July 8, 2018

Just got back from Estes after a week of relaxation. Dry air. Nice mountain vistas. Just can't picture myself chasing critters in that terrain. You have to be in top shape to do it. I am NOT!

My cell camera stopped sending me pictures on July 3rd. Figured it was batteries again. Oh no! Ants had shut down my camera. That takes a lot of ants! Damn. That will be a mess to clean up. Did what I could to clean it up in the field. Double bagged in zip lock bags. Put it in the freezer. My bride wasn't too thrilled about putting ants in the freezer but I convinced her it would be fine. I sure hope it will be fine??? Have not opened the freezer door as of this writing. Have only had to do this once before and it was a wet year. We have had a lot of rain.

I usually treat my cameras with some sort of ant killing gel or liquid in the field. I will usually place it on the top of the camera or in the bark crevices. Forgot to treat this camera for some reason. My bad. The other cameras are fine. Nick at Trailcampro told me to put crushed/powdered moth balls in the latches/doors. I've done that before. It works.

The cameras seem to be working well. I forgot to check a camera yesterday (hell to get old) and the date is off by a month on my new Recon Force but otherwise they seem to be working well. The hot weather has many of them capturing swaying grass photos but I expect that due to some of my setups. Hope to achieve full deployment sometime in August. For now, just working in easy access areas. Need to move my new Browning Strike Force to see if my concerns are valid regarding picture quality. Just have not gotten around to it.

Learned something with my bow setups a couple of weeks ago regarding center shot. My assumption was that the power path of the bow would travel through the limb bolts. In fact had read that and seen that in some YouTube videos. However, I also had read in a few on-line articles that center shot on Hoyt bows is around 13/16 inches from the riser face at the Berger hole. The manuals actually give a dimension plus a tolerance. Most technicians seem to start around 3/4 inches (12/16 inches) from the riser face (not the rubber pad) and then yoke tune. I checked mine. They were all much less than 13/16 or 3/4 inches. My Carbon Spyder 34 had been giving me fits so it volunteered as the guinea pig. Wow! After a couple of yoke cable twists a bullet hole! I checked paper with a bare shaft, a 400 spine and a 340 spine. All good. Did the same with all of them! Easy peasy! Paper tuned easily. I modify French tuned (3 and 9 yards) to check. Check. Needed to adjust sight pin windage again but it seems good to go. Final check is some bare shaft tuning. My main reason for NOT spending more time with bare shaft tuning is the target anxiety. It's easier to paper tune and focus on the shot execution at 6 feet, 3 yards and 9 yards.

Put some B-mods on my Carbon Spyder 34 to reduce the draw length by half-an-inch. Felt a little short but I know in the fall my draw length shortens with all my clothes so I have been setting them a smidge short of a good summertime feel. Next, paper tuned. Horrible vertical tear. Couldn't move the rest far enough down to change the tear. WTH!! Knew something wasn't right. Then I figured out my brain fart. Forgot to move the draw stop peg. Moved it. Retimed the cams. Got it! Think I'm still foggy from the drive to Estes Park and back.

Learning a lot as a DIYer. Love my press. Added a bow vise to my bow vise bench last week. Added some string and sight levels to the inventory this week. Cannot believe how far out of whack most of my stuff was and I spend more time than most tinkering with my bows and arrows. You guys and gals that don't check your stuff need to check your stuff. Crazy how far out of sync or out of level stuff gets and all we do is move the sight pins. Tinkering with my bows is fun but also frustrating at times. Finding dependable levels to attach to the string, the sights, etc. is challenging. In other words, make sure when the level says it is level that it is actually level.

Understanding the 1st, 2nd and 3rd axis of a site is interesting to this engineer but how YouTubers describe them is confusing at times. For those of you that have a level bubble on your sight housing (2nd axis), hold the bow to where it feels level, if the bubble vial shows level then I probably wouldn't change it or have it checked. If it seems way off, you need to have it checked unless you don't plan to shoot over 15-20 yards. For you guys that want to reach out to 40 or 50 yards (or longer), the sight needs leveled up in all three axis'.

For those of you that watch a lot of hunting shows, do you watch the arrow flight when they slo-mo the video. Most of the time it is bad! I would call it horrible. It's more than the typical arrow bending around the riser we all know about. With drop-away rests that should be significantly less. You can tell the guys that spend time with their equipment. I laugh at the TV stars with perplexed look and wonder as to why they don't get good arrow penetration or miss their mark. Good grief! Check your bows! You change oil in your trucks don't you? When T-Bone shoots a critter his arrows seem to always hit the mark with a complete pass-through. He knows what he is doing! The time of the animal demise is short. He is a bow technician! His bows work like they are supposed to and he is a very articulate instructor in his YouTube videos.

Time is getting closer. Lots of stuff to do yet and most of it is fun stuff!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


June 24, 2018

Interesting week. Traversed the torn up farm lane back to the farm. No way I make it back even one day earlier. Farmer has the advantage of tractors. I do not. My cell camera sent me some photos last Sunday afternoon that looked like a squirrel was mauling the front of the camera or somebody's palm was over the front of the camera. Couldn't tell. Too dark and blurry. About 17 minutes after the first blurry close encounter I get another photo in which my camera has been rotated but not tilted. Dang it! That means I have to visit the cell camera site. My intent is not to visit the cell camera site. As I walked up to the camera yesterday it all made sense. Whether it was a squirrel or raccoon, one of them had opened the latch on the Spartan and the open camera was rotated about 20 degrees. And it rained like crazy on that farm all of last week! Lucky the camera still worked. Camera has some small padlocks on it now to keep it closed. Just need to remember the keys. Checked the rest of the cameras but limited buck photos this week. No soybeans on this farm but have some top notch alfalfa and corn. The corn had a big growth spurt this week with all of the rain. My guess is the bucks are on the beans on another farm. Summer pasture.

It was calm in the morning so I loaded up the range target, the RX 1 Ultra, my 340 Full Metal Jackets, may range finder and began the process of setting my 20 and 60 yard marks on the the one-pin slider. Did some walk back and modified French tuning first to confirm my rest windage. Got that set and started launching arrows. I thought I had figured out what my fletching configuration was going to be prior to yesterday. My shooting told me a different story. I had assumed an AAE Max Hunter, 3-fletch with right helical set about 1-3/4" from the nock groove but my best groupings were with the AAE Max Hunter 4-fletch, noticeably better and with limited elevation drop at 60 yards...if any. Usually my Hoyt's have liked the AAE Max Stealth vanes but this bow seem to like the Max Hunter vanes. I like them too but they are taller vanes than most thus requiring that you make sure of the cable clearance. It's tight on my bow. Have the rest set in line with the limb bolts for center shot. I knew the AAE max Hunters would make more noise than the Max Stealth vanes and they do. Definitely do. I'll take the accuracy over the noise any day due to the limited distances that I shoot. The fletching configurations included 3-fletch AAE Max Hunters, 4-fletch AAE Max Hunters, 4-fletch AAE Pro Max vanes and 3-flecth AAE Max Stealth vanes. Dudley has always said that different bows like different fletching configurations. They definitely do. What surprised me was with my relatively low draw weight of 58 pounds and the heavy arrow that the drag on the 4-fletch Max Hunters really didn't exhibit significant drop at 60 yards. Can You say MOMENTUM!? I shot a lot of arrows. My back muscles were spent by about 11 but it was fun. Started picking up some minor cross-wind of a few miles per hour. It makes a difference. Went home.

Unloaded my stuff and immediately paper tested my 4-fletch Max Hunter. Bullet hole. Yippee! Think I have a plan. The 4-fletch Max Hunter should do the best job of steering my fixed blade broadheads too. I might try some bare shaft tuning but my trigger punching anticipation is at an all time high right now. Need to get that under control. I still plan to try some 4-fletch AAE Max Stealth (they are much quieter). I left those arrows at home yesterday. Stupid me! They are what I shoot out of the Carbon Defiant 34. Yes! I am addicted to archery and the dreams of 170 class Iowa whitetails!

Prior to my pin setting shooting yesterday, I checked my cameras. Checked one and it was set to OFF (the new Browning Strike Force). All a guy can do is laugh. How many of you have forgot to turn a camera on? That's why I try not to hurry when checking cameras. It's easy to forget something. I can't count all the times I have swapped cards, closed the latch, left and then walked back to the camera to make sure that I turned it on! More than 10 and less than a hundred but a lot! Forgot one last time. Darn it!

The new Reconyx Hyperfire 2 is setup in a better place now. I didn't give it a fair chance before. Hopefully capture some decent photos in the next few weeks. Still don't like the menu navigation on this camera. The Hawk camera timed me out again. Had to connect in the field. Camera takes good enough photos but the this whole connectivity thing is getting somewhat annoying. It is the smallest camera by far. Should be able to hide it well. Oh and one last thing. I deployed lots of ant killer yesterday. Don't forget to take some with you.

It was an eventful week.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


June 17, 2018

Hey everybody! Whew is it hot. Was in the deer woods well before any heat arrived yesterday checking cameras. Struggling a bit finding a location that is fair to the cameras. Grass is growing rapidly and creates a lot of false triggers. Also struggling to capture consistent buck photos. Trying to maintain a small footprint the last couple of years. Camera locations not always the most desirable but easy access. 

So far I have two cameras that seem like very nice cameras, the Browning Recon Force and the Moultrie M50. Both capture good videos and pictures. The Hawk Ghost could be a nice little camera. Stealthy. But you have to remember your login info to bluetooth connect with your camera in the field. IMHO, that's a king size pain in the behind. They need to change that. I assume it's done for security but still a king size pain in the behind. Don't like it at all. Don't mind the app just don't like the login requirement.

I do believe my bows are close to tuned. Need to set some pins next. Communicated with the guys at ABB this week. My Carbon Defiant 34 was just a little bit far out of specs for me after the new sting set install. Started over. Then I really created a mess. I took a deep breath, pulled the buss cable off the bow, twisted as per Tim's recommendation, put it back on and within 30 minutes I was close. My A-A is still a bit long but have accepted the fact I can't quite get there. My draw length and max weight are good but my A-A just will not cooperate and my buss cable is twisted up quite a bit now. I love that bow. Favorite bow of all time. Might need to acquire another one someday.

Spent a good amount of time working on my daughter's and wife's bows yesterday. Center shot and and arrow level. Also installed a Whisker Biscuit on my wife's bow with both windage and elevation micro adjustment capability. Now just hope when they shoot the tuning is close. Not quite sure how to time these bows as they don't have cable stop pegs. Need to do more research. Trimmed about an inch off my daughter's 500 FMJs. They were too long. Setting up the WB on those Hoyt Ignites moves the rest pretty close to the riser so need to be cautious with vane clearance. It was tight with the high profile Blazer vanes. Installed some Bohning Heat vanes and AAE Pro Max (4 fletch) on sets of 4 arrows. Need her to shoot to see what works the best. I'm hoping they all work.

Finished my bow vise bench last week. Now need a bow vise. 

Thinking about starting some glassing. Should be some decent bucks around but no gaggers that I'm aware of. Maybe I'll get lucky and stumble into a B & C in the quiet part of farm country. Maybe I will setup in a grassy draw in the middle of the planted forest we call cornfields. And maybe I'll get a 25 yard shot at the buck of a just never know. Wink! Wink!

And don't forget to checkout TCP and their new Rewards Program. Yes!

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


June 10, 2018

Hey everybody! Second week of June already. A little over 3.5 months and we will be back at it. I Have some arrows to build and sights to set. Time to

Cameras have produced some pictures of bucks with potential but nothing out of the ordinary. Much like last year. Deployed a new Reconyx and new Hawk camera last week. The Hawk is very compact and runs by an app on your phone. Only wrinkles I've had so far is the Hawk website logged me out and I forgot my login info. Could not connect in the field. And the 30 foot of distance for the bluetooth is more like 15. Pictures are decent. Still hard for my fat fingers to deal with micro SD cards in the field. Small! The Reconyx is typical for a Reconyx. I'm trying to decide if the menu system is like the older models. Not sure. Haven't used it enough. I'm mainly focused on pictures and video. My setup isn't the best with this camera. Will most likely move it. Need to give it a fair shake.

Went to the farm to check cameras yesterday. Saw a half dozen vultures sitting on six fence posts in a row. Mother Nature doing her thing. Must have been something dead. New fawn maybe? It's that time. Captured pictures of a little tyke that must have only been a day or two old. Little! The one camera that seems to have separated itself from the others so far is the new Browning Recon Force. Great video and pictures. Keeper! You need to buy one. I do like the Moultrie M50 also.

Purchased some new custom arrow wraps. Anxious to get them on my arrows. Once they are on, I can finish the sight setup and fine tuning of the bow. Then the RX-1 is ready.

A word to all of you archery addicts like me. If you need new strings and cables. Get on it. I had a less than desirable experience the last two months in timeliness from a past manufacturer. I tried two new manufacturers because of this un-timeliness and am very pleased with the quality of the strings and the timeliness. I received strings in less than a week. I tried America's Best Bowstrings and 60X Bowstrings. Very happy. The ABB Platinum series is a top notch set of strings and cables.

I'm still learning the proper procedure to change the strings and cables but getting faster. The first go was a big cluster for me but I got it done. Getting the strings and cables on and off was simple but getting the bow back to spec AND shooting bullet holes was the challenge. Now it is fairly simple. I know how the bow responds to twists and untwists. I have watched a lot of YouTube and read a lot of AT and Rokslide info that zeros in on tuning. Fantastic info. If you get a chance do an internet search and look for the Nuts and Bolts of Archery. Great stuff. A little old but info still applies. I know more about cam lean than I ever knew before. Good stuff!

For all you fishermen and fisherwomen out there, deer season is close. Yes it's hot but in today's world with all the distractions it's hard to be ready on time. You need to focus. October 1 is 112 days away....if I did my math right. If not, so be-it, I will blame it on architects.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out!


May 28, 2018

I do believe I may finally get into a rhythm checking cameras. However, this heat is for the birds. Wish it would migrate back south. Captured my first fawn photo on May 19. Earliest I remember. Don't really know if it means anything. First time I have put a camera at the location.

I have a unique set of cameras deployed so far. The menu interface is different on all of them. It takes some getting used to and definitely an understanding how each manufacturer works. The Moultrie M50 is a nice camera. It takes nice pictures and videos. The Browning Recon Force, 2018 version, surprised me by it's very nice photos. Videos have always been outstanding on this camera but the photos are above average now. Disappointed with my my 2018 Strike Force. Quality I have seen in the past with this camera isn't there. Videos were below average and pictures were average or below. I did have three pictures

Finally have my bows back. I could go on and on about my bad experience(s) the last 6 weeks but lets just say that I'm not sure I'm a fan of bow manufacturer business models that require you to use a dealer. Hell, I know I'm not. I was quite pushy the last two weeks but my dealers hung in there and got their assigned (paid) tasks done. I thank them for that. I wasn't easy to deal with especially when the issues were not their issues. They were supplier issues.

That's why I bought a bow press with an attached draw board. More DIY stuff. Still lots of stuff to learn with control cable and buss cable adjustments but I'm getting there. What my literature says and how the bow reacts are two different things it seems. I do have two bows shooting bullet holes. And talk about peep rolls. OMG! If a guy isn't careful a half turn with the bow string and the peep might walk all over the place. I bought some new strings from a new supplier a couple of weeks ago. So far so good with the string and customer service. High quality string. Love the clear serving on the end loops. Anyway, Tim was gracious enough to talk with me for a long time and the whole peep adjustment discussion led me to believe that peep adjustments can be difficult at times.......UNDERSTATEMENT! And that is one of the main reasons for the bow press. I hate it when my peep rolls!!! Minor adjustments can be challenging.

And now yoke tuning. In the past, I have always tried to make rest adjustments while paper tuning. It worked most of the time. It is oh so nice to be able to make yoke adjustments. Each adjustment makes a noticeable difference. Yoke tuning allows me to work from the power path of the bow. This is awesome! Just line the arrow up with the limb bolts and begin the process. Seems to work well. Fletching clearance can get tight at times but I have low profile vanes if clearance becomes limited.

The last few weeks have been challenging for this persnickety, full figured Iowa boy but it appears things are getting better. Bring on the antler growth and some Boone and Crockett velvet horns!!!


May 15, 2018

Been awhile. I've been hammering away shooting my bows, making arrows and working...and mowing my lawn. Also been watching tons of YouTube videos on bow tuning, whitetail hunting, etc. Thanks to all of those equipment suppliers that spend the time to make the videos. Bought a new Pro Press from Specialty Archery. It is a well built piece of equipment AND will press any bow I believe. I am very satisfied with my purchase. Also purchased the Pro Draw. It's all-in-one. Nice! Thanks Michael and all the staff for making my purchase an easy one.

Cameras were on hold until the burning season was completed. Redeployed a little over a week ago. Cameras deployed include: 2018 Browning Recon Force and Strike Force. 2018 Moultrie A25 and M50. And my Spartan cell cam. Dam battery meter read full when deployed now it won't send pictures. Hopefully it's still there? Just need to track the GPS if not :) Ordered some nifty SD card holders from Trailcampro. Can't have enough of those. The summer Christmas season is here for us camera junkies. Can't wait.

Been having horrible luck recently with strings, cables and servings. Trying a new supplier for one bow. I am quite confident they will work well. I think the wise choice is to have a backup set of strings and cables for every bow you own otherwise you will wait a minimum of a week for new or replacement parts.

Hopefully will do better keeping this up to date. Haven't been this busy at work and at home in a long time.


April 8, 2018

Good Grief. Winter just will not go away. I want to shoot my new bow outside already! My camera checks were limited in March. Frustrating weather! Had a couple of bucks carry antlers well into March. Good health I am guessing.

Have a couple of new Browning cameras to deploy, just waiting on some maintenance burning by the land owner to occur. Captured a bunch of video last month. The new Moultrie M50 did a good job. Nice camera. Camera manufacturers continue to make improvements with their cameras. That's good for you and me. Case designs seem to be rock solid but they are plastic. Fire is not good for plastic. Need to wait on my deployment.

Still getting used to my RX-1 Ultra. Draw cycle is probably the main thing to get used to. Different than my DFX cams on the last bow. I like smooth draw cycles. The new bow points well and the grip is outstanding. Have shot a lot of arrows at 10 yards in my basement. Focusing on my grip, sight level and back tension on the release. Have shot some arrows through my new Saunders Archery paper tuner. It seems to work well. 

Almost time to start mowing the lawn! That's another reason we love November so much...lawn mowing is over by then.


March 4, 2018

Sorry. Been away from the site for a few weeks. Still been checking cameras. Bucks carried their horns a little longer than past years. Some still holding. Have been looking for antlers some but little to no feed on my properties. Most deer on neighboring properties.

My Redwrx RX-1 Ultra has been ordered. Damn expensive anymore. Have been spending a lot of time tuning on the old bows too. Was very frustrated a week or so ago then realized my draw length adjustment mod was loose. I had adjusted from 30 inches down to 29.5 inches. I think that is a better draw length for me especially as I get older and especially when wearing a bunch of hunting clothes.

Also cut half-an-inch of length off my arrows and been spending some time with different fletching combinations in my tuning pit in the basement. Still going to be hard to beat the AAE Max Stealth vanes. For some reason they work very well for my shooting style and setup.

Installed a firmware update on the Stealth DS4K. Major improvement. The native resolution of this camera makes it a keeper. High quality daytime photos. The pictures hold their resolution when you zoom in on the computer. Very nice!. Thanks to Nick at TCP.


January 21, 2018

Pulled some camera cards yesterday. Bucks still carrying antlers for the most part. My cameras even captured a couple of sparring matches with real pushing and twisting and the antlers stayed connected. Spent quite a few evenings last week cleaning up archery equipment. I clean my bows and arrows like you gun hunters clean your guns. No different. There was dust, dirt, mud and weeds in places on my bow that required removal. Already replaced the nock points, D-loop, QAD felt pads, and other items to get ready for 2018. Pulled a safety line, bow rope and hooks from one stand yesterday. Going to move the ladder. Bad setup.

What did I learn in 2017? The main lesson was that deer can be on your property all summer, vanish in October and return in January. Crazy. Wish I understood that better. It plays havoc with a hit-list. I can also have a big, big bonus buck show up one day in November and then never reappear...ever. Damn. That can really affect the decision matrix. You can't shoot a buck if he doesn't spend any time on your property. Lastly, to have good, late season hunting, I need a high quality late season food source...which I have always known but turkeys can really impact the quality of a late season food source (corn or bean stubble) with their daily visits to the field stubble. 

I hunted much less this year than in years past. Just not enough time. None of my stands except one hosted a lot of hunts. It was a northeast wind ground blind with super easy access. I don't remember having as many northeast winds as we did this year. I left large chunks of my properties as sanctuaries. But. My personal opinion is that sanctuaries are overrated. Deer will go there no matter what if it provides good security and relief from the wind. If not? It really can't be qualified as a sanctuary. Timing is everything any more. Moon phases, weather, farming activity, it all has an impact. I was a little late this year. Missed the peak of the run-up when the big bucks were roaming early and free and not busted all to heck. Par for the course. Asked a very trusted friend the other day why he thinks we see busted up racks in any given year. He believes it is more a function of quality of food. Low nutrients result in low quality bone on the buck's head. I had never thought of that. We had limited rain this year. Could be!

My archery setup executed just like I hoped. The bow was smooth and quiet, the arrows flew as desired, the broadhead executed as advertised and my new release worked as it should have. I have been shooting the new Hoyt Redwrx series the last couple of months at a dealer that has them in stock. Man do I like that bow. It points way better than my other Hoyt bows due to the lower grip position.  The 32-inch RX-1 does not pull as smooth as the Ultra. Did not like the feel at all. The Hyperforce felt the same to me. Too aggressive in the beginning of the draw cycle. The draw cycle of the Redwrx Ultra I shot did not feel that way to me. Pointing of that bow is the one thing that stands out. I can only imagine how well it will shoot with a sight and with my preferred release. Yes, I have started saving my pennies for a new Redwrx Series RX-1 Ultra. I am addicted to archery. If you knew how many ATA show videos I have watched the last week or so you would think I am nuts. The guys at (Bowhunt or Die) did a great job getting videos posted for all of us that like to see the latest and greatest archery gizmos and gadgets.

Have fun. Be safe. GP out.



Deer Blog 2017


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