October 19, 2018,
Hunt #8, P.M.
Hunted an edge stand
for the second time. Scrape at 15 yards.
Dud hunt. Saw a couple of bald deer
after sunset. That was it. Pulled SD
card of camera pointed at the scrape. My
target buck was not on the scrape this
week. HHMMMM! Plan B.
Beautiful night. Just
windy. Didn't have to load up with
clothes which was nice.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
October 14, 2018,
Hunt #7, P.M.
Did not hunt in the
morning. Committed myself to pulling SD
cards, checking batteries and deploying
two more cameras to very remote
locations. Have planned this for a
couple of weeks. Wanted it done by the
middle of October. It was going to
rain/snow so I hustled up and spent
three hours working on my goal. Goal
accomplished. Snow should eliminate any
traces of my scent. Found two more
scrape locations worthy of cameras. Now
let's hope a bonus buck shows up and
poses for the camera(s).
Had a north to
northwest wind tonight. Sat on a field
edge primarily as an observation hunt.
Think I saw half the herd tonight after
the snow finally quit. They headed for
the standing corn first then the
alfalfa. Had one of the target stags at
about 100 yards. He looks like a keeper.
Saggy back. Pot belly. Crown on his
head. Beautiful buck. He scent checked
about 10 bald deer. Stuck his nose in
the urine of a doe. Lip curled. Mother
Nature just doing her thing. He let one
subordinate buck lick his neck for about
five minutes. He appears to be the King
in that part of the farm.
A couple of does
always have to get down wind. They
didn't seem to upset the field clan too
badly. All-in-all a good hunt but I got
much too cold for this early in the
season. Forgot my hand warmers.
Temperature was 34 degrees. Definitely
hand warmer weather with two inches of
snow on the ground. Rain gear just does
nut keep the cold out like insulated
clothing. Keeps a person dry but very
noisy. Two weeks for final inventory.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
October 13, 2018,
Hunt #6, P.M.
Wind out of the south
to southwest. Went back to the same area
as last night. Setup on the ground. First
action I saw was a lone thistle in the
middle of a switch grass field flailing
back and forth. We all know what that
is. A buck taking out its frustration on
a defenseless weed. Soon it disappeared.
Five minutes later a group of three
adolescent bucks appeared out of the
tall prairie grass. Ike, Mike and
Mustard. My setup was good. One of the
young bucks fed my way and was honestly
2 yards from my ground position before
he saw me. If he got any closer my
intent was to whack him in the antlers
with a stick. Man that would be funny!
Had a second motive on
this hunt. Wanted to deploy a couple of
cameras. Picked up my gear at sunset.
Got one camera deployed. Found a scrape
with heavy use. Camera deployed. Now I
hope to get a picture of the buck I saw
last night. Beast!
As I was walking out
saw a bunch of deer feeding where I was
setup last night. One looked decent at a
quarter mile. My have been my boy.
Good hunt. Saw enough
deer to keep me entertained for the
duration of my hunt even though the
anticipation of seeing the buck I saw
last night was enough.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
October 12, 2018,
Hunt #5, P.M.
encounter is enough. It was damp with an
occasional sprinkle in my area of the
Iowa farmland tonight. Observation hunt.
Wish I could use emojis with this old
software. I would put a bug-eyed emoji
after that first statement. WOW! I know
why I love hunting whitetails in Iowa.
No place better. Don't let anybody tell
you different. I listened to two bucks
wrench and twist for a long time
tonight. No wonder they end up with
busted racks. Great hunt!
Had a guy call me
today to discuss rut timing and vacation
timing. Good question? First. I am
definitely not an expert. But I do know
what I have observed on my farms the
last 5 years and what the so-called
experts say. In Iowa, the commonly
accepted time when most does are
bred is November 15...plus or minus. The
TV stars believe that November 7-10 are
the best days. That would be the run-up
to the peak. Saw my biggest buck last
year on November 9. My camera
observations the last few years show the
end of October as the time when the
top-end bucks are on their feet, alone,
cruising and not so busted up. I've
always believed the last 3 or so days of
October are probably the best to strike
on a big one if the weather is right,
farming activity doesn't screw-up a hunt
and things like coyotes don't mess up
your hunt. My rut-cation this year will
be a smidge earlier than the last few
years. My cameras have consistently
shown me those last days of October seem
the best on the farms I hunt...assuming
I get decent weather. Plus I'm tired of
busted up racks. Shot my first Halloween
buck in 2014. All day sit. Brutally
cold. Froze my fat behind off.
We are only two weeks
away from that time. Can't believe it is
almost here already. Weather has been
perfect the last few days just a little
early in a deer's breeding cycle. Not
sure I'm ready. Are you ready?
Nice bucks continue to
fall to a hunter's arrow. Saw new
pictures today. Gitty-up!
Have fun. Be safe. GP
October 11, 2018,
Hunt #4, P.M.
Wind out of the
northwest. Coolish to coldish. At
quitting time it was coldish. Would have
been perfect weather for a November
hunt. Pressure was high as was my
anticipation. Saw 3 bucks early. Working
out slow, stopping to feed on acorns as
they came out. Had two mature does go by
with a fawn. Lead nag hit my entry trail
and ran back where she came from. She
was already 50 yards past me. Note to
self. Need to take an even wider swing
to get into the stand. My bad. I assumed
once they were by me, no matter what,
they would head for the alfalfa. No go.
First time in that stand. Even at close
range I should be well hidden by the
tree's larger trunk.
The does walked by in
top pin alley. Heck it was 10 yard
alley. Too close to even execute a shot.
My setup was 22 yards to the scrape and
licking branch to my west.
More deer showed up
downwind heading for the alfalfa. For
the most part they continued to the feed
and ignored my stench except one buck
that was the most mature. He looked like
a new buck. No pictures of him. He was
three or four. No mercy. He ran back to
Checked two cameras on
my exit. On my arrival at the truck, I
heard two bucks going at it 150 yards
north of me in the alfalfa. It wasn't a
couple of one year olds either. I'm sure
if I could have seen them they would
have been 140 class bucks :-).
Lots of deer will be
shot tonight. No doubt. It was perfect
weather to sit in a tree waiting on that
Have fun. Be safe. GP
October 6, 2018,
Hunt #3, P.M.
Wind out of the north
northeast. I have stands for that. If
this weather keeps up, we will be
hunting a lot of northeast wind stands.
Daughter came along. Set her up in a
location that gave her a good chance of
seeing a shooter. No go. She saw a few
does and fawns and few small bucks. My
hunt mirrored her observations. A few
bald deer and three little trouble
makers that came in shortly before
quitting time. The one year old bucks
came running in like their hair was on
fire. They were all wound up from the
weather. They jacked around my tree and
got down wind. Glad they were young and
stupid. They tried to find me but
eventually moved on.
Checked cameras after
the hunt. Three cameras produced some
decent results. Others nothing special.
Recon Force Advantage captured some
great video at a scrape. Most all of it
night time stuff. I think the Ultra
setting is 60 frames per second. Normal
is 30 fps. Nice video!
Heard a long range
forecast this week that we might get out
of this rainy spell in a week or two
then turn warm. Not sure I like the heat
for November but I know I don't like
rain every darn day.
My hunt was in a new
stand setup. It's a highly comfortable
setup but maybe not as good as I thought
it would be. We will see. The scrape is
I always end up moving
my bow hooks on my first time in. I
think I have it figured out during the
setup then I seem to have a better idea
once I first hunt out of it. Whether
it's better or not, not sure, but I
always end up moving hooks around.
One last thing. I have
never captured so many raccoon pictures.
Every night. Multiples. The darn things
must have crawled up my ladder because
there was raccoon crap all over the
OK. One more thing.
How many of you take coffee to your
stand? Or some big drink container? I
see it on the "TV Shows" or
"Web Shows" on a regular
basis. Seriously! The only time I take
something is on an all day sit.
Otherwise, zero. Read something the
other day asking, "what do you do
in the stand to pass the time...read,
listen to music, homework, etc".
Seriously! I'm constantly watching the
woods and not drinking a cup of coffee
or taking a hit on a Gatorade. Good
grief people. Focus on the hunt. Enjoy
the hunt. Watch Mother Nature do her
thing. That. Is. Why. We. Are. There.
End of week one. On to
Have fun. Be safe. GP
October 5, 2018,
Hunt #2, P.M.
Wind out of the south.
Humid and warm. Wants to rain but radar
app shows storms staying south. Thunder
is rumbling so I know it is close but
should miss me. Crazy amount of rain the
last few weeks.
First time in stand.
I'm in a CRP transition area to a green
field. Very nice looking green field.
Saw some deer in the distance fairly
early so I knew they were moving to
feed. After being on stand for a while,
I heard a bunch of running in the green
field. No idea where the deer came from
that must have been in the field. I
can't see it due to trees but could hear
deer running and could hear the splash
of their hooves as they crossed the
creek headed for cover. Sounded like a
fair amount of deer. Had a doe and fawn
come my way. Must have been activity of
some sort I could not see. Oh well.
That's the way it goes.
Had four mature does
and two very little fawns go by right in
my sweet spot. They acted like they
could smell me but eventually moved
through my scent stream...if there was
one. Could only have been thermals as
they were theoretically upwind of me.
Good hunt. Saw deer. In my shooting
lane. New stand for this year. Stood
where deer stopped and looked my way. No
way they could see me. This spot could
be really good in a few weeks. Stand is
low but really doesn't matter if they
can't see me. I like it.
Checked one camera.
Showed good activity all week. This spot
should be good.
October 1, 2018,
Hunt #1, P.M.
The first trip of the
year was wet. Wind out of the north.
Went to a farm I had not been to all
summer. Two motives. Observation hunt.
Set two cameras. Accomplished both. Saw
Mother Nature do her thing tonight.
Hopped a fence and
walked through some prairie grass the
last 60 yards. Booted a doe. She ran way
to the southwest. Watched her disappear
about 300 yards from me. A half hour
before sunset a doe came down the hill
west of me along the prairie grass. She
disappeared behind a pond dam. Next time
I saw her she was 50 yards southwest of
me. Wasn't sure at the time if she was
the one I spooked earlier. She was
intent to either see what had spooked
her (me) or to trace her path back to
where I had spooked her. She saw me peak
around from behind my cedar but she kept
coming. She was on a mission. She posed
at 30 yards but my bow was not in my
hand. I soon learned her intent focus
was to find the fawn she had left in a
haste. She continued northeast and soon
the fawn popped up from the grass
and continued north with mother in tow.
The fawn had let me walk right by it
without moving AND stayed put for over 2
hours. Mothers are relentless in finding
their young ones.
As a person gets older
each one of these hunts becomes more
precious. Enjoyment of just 'being
there' is half the battle. Watching the
doe look for and find her fawn was neat.
No horns were seen.
One camera was deployed on a scrape and
one camera was deployed on an alfalfa
fire break. Hope to check them within a
couple of weeks to see what the
inventory looks like.
I always forget one or
two things in my backpack on the first
hunt. This hunt was no different. Was
setting on my stool by my cedar and
finally figured out what I had
forgotten. My darn hat light! I've never
forgot that before. Too much jacking
around yesterday. Wasn't focused on what
I needed to focus on. It's attached to
my hat now with a spare in the backpack.
I have a goal of lightening the load of
the pack. So far so good...but a guy
should never forget his light.
September 30, 2018
Hey everybody. Is
tomorrow the first day of bow season
already? I'm less than ready to
go. Weather might make it tough to get
out this week...at least on the first day.
So here is my archery
setup: Hoyt RX1 Ultra, QAD MXT rest,
Black Gold Pure Driven 75 one-pin slider
sight, Hoyt 6-inch Carbon Pro stabilizer, Hoyt
Pro Hunter Deluxe wrist sling, Hoyt
Carbon Pro In-Line 6-arrow quiver. Bow has a 30-inch draw length and
is set at 56 pounds. The arrows are
Easton Hexx 330s tipped with 75 grain
brass inserts and 125 grain QAD swept
wing fixed-blade broadheads (they
actually weigh 120 grains on m yscale). The nock
end of the arrow will be guided by three
AAE Max Stealth vanes (flo-yellow), ISU
arrow wrap (red and yellow) and a red
Nocturnal lighted nock. The arrows weigh
exactly 500 grains (I did not try to do
that). It's darn
tough to get below 500 grains with a
30-inch arrow while trying to achieve a
15% FOC. The brass up front should help
with down-range accuracy and arrow
penetration but bottom line is it adds
weight to the arrow. To stay below 500
grains I had to drop one of the AAE Max
Stealth vanes. They are a very durable
vane but also quite heavy. It was tough
to drop a vane. I like four-fletched
arrows. Four-fletch arrows have always
flown and grouped the
best for me.
yesterday. It seems they are picking up
a little. That's to be expected with the
cool and damp weather. Have one buck for
sure at the top of the list. I am aware
of a couple of others in the area. Just
need to see if they walk by. Final
inventory begins tomorrow. How many of
you have a Day-1 buck in your area? What
is a Day-1 buck? One that you no doubt
will shoot on October 1. People tell me
they would shoot on October 1 but the
truth-be-told most avoid hunting that
day and any time early so they are not
I deployed the new two-lens
Browning Strike Force last week.
Looked at first pictures yesterday. As I
expected, the night photos are good,
above average. Great contrast. Crispy! I
like it! I setup two new cameras
yesterday and moved one. Tired of
raccoon pictures so I moved the one.
Furry little bastards! They are
everywhere! The Spypoint
LinkDark was not sending photos last
week. Was not sure of the reason? Full
SD card was the reason. Nice! Scrapes
are being freshened on a regular basis.
More-so than I remember in past years.
Don't know what it means but I like it.
Washed all of my
clothes the last two days....at least
the early season clothes. I used some
flowery smelling laundry detergent my
wife likes....jk. I sorted through all
of my base layers. Can't believe how
long I've owned some of the stuff. They
need to be thrown away. Plan to purchase
some new base layers this year.
Everybody has their preference with most
of that preference a function of $$$$. I
may ignore the cost this year and buy
some base layers that actually do what
they say they will do. One last thing on
clothing. Why did it take so many years
to figure out that four-way stretch
material is the only way to go for camo
clothing? That stuff is awesome. It
makes the effort in the field a lot less
than it normally would be. Love that
stuff, especially when hanging a
treestand. Super comfy!
Picked up two more
antlerless bow tags and a turkey tag
yesterday. Some stupid regulation that I
had to wait until after September 15 to
get my 2nd and 3rd antlerless bow
license. I get it. Everybody should have
a chance right? I disagree. Most people
jack around and wait until the last
minute anyway. Not my problem they wait.
It cost me more fuel and time. My time
is billable. Is yours?
I know I'm not fully
ready to go but I'm going anyway. Did
some major jacking around with my bow
late last night. What am I thinking? I'm
thinking "why in the hell do my
arrows constantly shoot one inch to the
left." Bottom line I know it's my
grip or my release but I can't figure it
out. I damn well better. Monday is
For all of you that
are wondering about pictures of bigger
deer (there are a lot of you by the
way).....there might be one or two.
There is always one....or two....that
are personal stock. Private. BIG!
Have fun. Be safe. GP
September 23, 2018
Hey everybody. It's
close to go time. Please make sure your
stands and climbing sticks are
Beautiful weather in
my neck of the woods yesterday. Spent
most of the day checking
cameras, doing a little scouting and
hanging another stand. I love being in
the deer woods.
Had some serious
camera frustrations with dead batteries
and cameras mauled and misaligned by
raccoons. I had 4 cameras that needed
new batteries. I spent a fair amount of
time with my battery tester checking to
see if It was all the batteries that
lost power or just one. It's usually
just one or two. Broke out some 9'
camera straps for the large diameter
trees and put the Slate
River mounts back on the shelf. No
more tipped forward cameras for me. Dang
Put a stand in a cedar
that's been void of my stands for a few
years. It's a good spot. All day stand
when the wind is strong out of the
northwest. Actually any westerly wind
will probably work. Left a camera there.
Probably will not be back until
My wife asked me
yesterday where all the stands went that
usually hang on my garage wall. In the
deer woods I guess. I'm a little more
focused this year towards getting the
steel and aluminum in the woods. I have
one set I usually hold and wait on
deployment. It's my aluminum rapid rails
and aluminum stand. Light to carry and
deploy at a later date when I see some
deer movement that doesn't fit my
current stand setups.
Added a couple of Browning
Recon Force Advantage to my camera
inventory this week. They capture the
best video of any camera and the photos
are top notch. Hope to deploy the
cameras to an active scrape on video
mode in a week or two. I'm trying the
new version of the Stealth
Card Reader. One of the buttons
(right arrow key) on my old one is
giving me fits. Heavy use I guess. This
new one is nice. It has a touch screen
as well as buttons. Buttons seem to be
more stout. I always give my reader a
workout when setting up cameras. I want
the "aiming" of the camera to
be the best it can be at the location.
If I am patient in my setup I am usually
rewarded with some nice photos later. I
stopped using a point and shoot camera
as my card reader a couple of years ago.
When I was using the point and shoot
cameras I regularly had SD cards that
would become corrupt. After I stopped
using the point and shoot cameras to
view SD cards, my corrupt SD cards went
to zero. Almost zero anyway.
Still waiting on a
monster buck to pose for one of my
cameras. It hasn't happened yet. Hoping
the flow of testosterone moves one to my
neck of the woods in the next month. If
not, will prioritize the bucks I know
are locals. That's the way it works.
Eight days and I will
be legal to launch an arrow. Can't
believe it's almost arrived.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
September 16, 2018
everybody. So it appears that what I
thought was a horizontal rub is actually
a raccoon playground toy and wow do they
appear to have fun pulling the branch to
the ground. No wonder the grass is all
matted down underneath it and no wonder
the branch looked like it had heavy use.
Go figure. At least I have a scrape that
is within shooting distance of the tree.
Lots of pictures of a group of five
raccoons going at it with the branch.
Way too funny.
Putting the final
touches on arrows, bows, tree stands,
etc. Erected another stand yesterday.
Good grief it was hot. Too hot for me.
Planned to leave the equipment by the
tree and erect it some other day but
couldn't resist the urge to complete the
task. Stand needs an adjustment I think
but it's up.
Did my 20/60 yard pin
setting yesterday for site tape
selection. Did I mention it was hot
yesterday? Too windy too but it seems
that I am close. Just hard for me to get
a good release for the 60 yard distance.
Forty yards, it appears, is my max range
and that is iffy. I watch Bowhunting.com
quite a bit on YouTube. The distance
debate has been going on for a few
months. Long story short, for most of us
it appears max distance is under 40
yards. Me? I want the distance under 30
yards and preferably 18 yards. For some
reason 18 yards has always been a highly
confident sweet spot. To
get the shots under 30 yards, just need
to focus some effort on stand placement,
ingress and egress to get the shots
fairly well this week. Regulars. Nothing
new to speak of. Lots of activity
yesterday on the farm. Last cutting of
alfalfa. Baling. Crops started coming
out this week in our area of the world.
I would expect the pace to pickup
rapidly. That will move the deer around.
Have already seen
pictures of successful youth hunters. To
all of them, have fun even if you are
just doing it for Mom and/or Dad. Kind
of hot to set in a box blind yesterday
Lots of hard horn
pictures this week. Velvet should be
shed by now. Amazing how the velvet on
some bucks makes them look like a
shooter and then after the shedding they
look like a thin-horned 3-year old. Darn
Moved the Covert cell
camera yesterday. For some reason it's
location has been slow this year.
Unusual. Not sure why. Usually have had
numerous buck pictures by now but not in
2018. I expect that to change. Just
hasn't happened yet.
I had two cameras (M50
and Strike Force) on Slate River
mounts but had to figure out a way to go
to straps last weekend. Something kept
tipping the Slate River mounted cameras
over. Frustrating. Used a long strap on
the monster oak and a twisted strap on
the other location. It worked. The
cameras were in the same position I left
them this week though I did capture some
raccoon whiskers on camera trying to
maul the camera. They are pesky.
One thing I notice on
my camera setups is the length of time
my scent lingers in the area. Deer are
always sniffing the ground near the
cameras. It appears it lingers for days
without rain to wash it away. No rocket
science there, just keep that in mind as
you do what you do in the deer woods.
Never stop enjoying the fresh air just
know your odor lingers for all the
critters to enjoy.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
September 9, 2018
Hey everybody. It's
hard horn time. One step closer to the
prize. New bucks showed up on camera
this week. One buck has some funky stuff
going on including a drop tine. Not sure
if he's old or young. I would lean to a
small-bodied, old deer. If he's young,
wow, hope he lives a couple more years.
Weather was beautiful
yesterday. Spent most of the time in the
deer woods. Checked cameras, hung two
stands, put one stand together. It's
ready to be tipped up against a tree.
The scrapes were used pretty well last
week. Also found my own horizontal rub
within 10 yards of a well used scrape. A
stand set has been erected at this
location! Night stand with north wind of
some sort would be my guess. New
location I have never tried. Will see in
October. Pretty sure I could smell a
buck northeast of me at this location. I
put a camera on the scrape and a camera
on the horizontal rub. The horizontal
rub is a branch of an oak tree that is a
couple of feet off the ground. Rubbed
cameras texted quite a few photos
this week. Active. Still hoping to wake
up in the morning to a photo of a giant
that has walked by one of the cell
cameras. I don't know of any bucks I
would qualify as giants. Just hoping.
I have two cameras on Slate
River Mounts. Darn critters keep
tipping them over. One is attached to a
giant oak tree shedding acorns. Raccoons
keep climbing that tree. The other is on
a deadfall tree. Not sure what keeps
tipping that camera over. The mounts
have been retired. I broke out a big
strap for the large oak tree.
Nine-footer. Used the supplied strap on
the other one. It is attached to a small
horizontal branch. Had to use some
ingenuity to attach the strap to a
horizontal branch and keep the camera
vertical. Hope they both are more
dependable now. Raccoons really give me
fits. Maybe I need to stop putting
cameras on trees with acorns. It's
common to get pictures of deer taking a
whack at a raccoon when they are all
vying for acorns.
After a year of
thinking about it, I ordered and
received my Nock 2 It two-finger release
this week. It will take a while to get
used to using two fingers in lieu of
four fingers. Just need some time. The
combination of the release and the high
FOC, HEXX Easton arrows has me shooting
pretty tight groups so far....as long as
my release anticipation is handled. Less
is more in my case. The more I shoot the
worse it gets. The anticipation is much
less the less I shoot.
I have 200 grains of
weight on the front of a 330 spine HEXX
arrow. Just need to finalize my
fletching configuration. Trying to keep
the back end of my arrow as light as
possible and still steer a fixed blade
broadhead out to 40 yards. BUT keeping
the backend of the arrow as low as
possible is a challenge. I like four
fletched arrows with lighted nocks. My
Nocturnal nocks weigh more than 20
grains and close to 25 grains with the
new universal fit nocks. That's a lot. I
have not installed them yet. I need to
decide my final fletching first. Four
AAE Max Stealth vanes weigh quite a bit
too. Might shoot three, or go with four
EP26 AAE vanes. The vane material is
much lighter but it also appears to be
Yesterday was a
beautiful day. You could feel the fall
in the air. I literally smelled a buck
upwind of a new stand and camera setup.
The skies in my area of the world were
true blue all day long. Gorgeous day.
Keep workin'. Our time has almost
Have fun. Be safe. GP
September 2, 2018
everybody. 28 days. 29 days. Whatever.
It's close. Still have things to do.
Hung a stand yesterday in the afternoon.
That's work for this guy. Not young any
more. I like the spot. Just hope it is a
good spot. South wind stand. The tree
has never held a stand. Virgin.
slowly picking up the pace. Acorns are
the lure I believe. Soybean leaves are
turning yellow. Crops reaching maturity
quick. My Spypoint
cell camera is in a remote location.
Next trip there will require a dead
camera battery. Limited buck pictures
the first few weeks of deployment. This
week has shown more buck pictures.
Hopefully an indication that the mature
bucks will show up soon. My DS4K was
moved to a scrape last week. Great
activity all week. Dark-thirty movement
Received my Easton
Hexx 330 arrows yesterday. Carbon. 7.9
gpi. I'm all-in on a FOC setup. Unboxed
them and went straight to the arrow saw.
30-inches long. These arrows did not
come with any epoxy. HHMMM? Went to ACE
to get some slower setting epoxy.
Inserted my 75 grain brass inserts in
the end. Should be good to go. My goal
is to have an arrow that is 15% or more
FOC for balance and less than 500
grains. I talked with Easton this week
to confirm spine and see how close I
will be to less than 500 grains. Should
be under 500 grains but close. Put my
wraps on last night. Plan to fletch
multiple configurations today. A guy
just never knows how the arrows will
respond to a bow and it's setup. Note to
self. Be very cautious about a 6-inch
brace height bow in the future.
I mounted broadheads
on the arrows for the back-up bows
yesterday. Still need to final tune the
sights but been too windy or rainy to do
so. Dang grass returned from its
dormancy this week too. Means mowing is
taking up some free time again.
I've got some shooters
running around this year. Just not sure
they will walk by when I'm on stand.
Will see. Still a couple I'm hoping
return from last year. Should be big!
Read an on-line
article the other day about minimum
Boone & Crockett score. Everybody
talks about gross-Boone as 170. Minimum
net score to enter B&C is 160.
Change your lingo folks. Received my
B&C measurer's news letter this week
too with a great article on abnormal
points in the normal position.
Long-story short, the only un-matched
normal point can be on the end. If you
have a normal point at say the G2 or G3
location but unmatched on the other
side, it is scored as abnormal.
The B&C system was
setup to reward symmetry. Keep that in
mind. B&C was not intended just to
add inches to come up with one final
number. I see/measure quite a few bucks
with normal points that are measured as
abnormal or should be measured as
abnormal. Remember symmetry.
Will probably start to
wash my clothes this month. Wow! They
need it too. Skanky! Hope to purchase my
licenses shortly. Things to do. Don't
you just love it?
Have fun. Be safe. GP
August 25, 2018
About 35 days people.
Cannot believe it is almost here. For
those of you lucky enough to hunt big
velvet bucks, good for you, time is very
Nice bucks continue to
move back from their summer pastures. My
cameras were active with bucks this
week. Two bucks look good. One buck in
particular is one I questionably let
pass in 2017. No passing in 2018. He's
nice. Wish I knew where he had been all
summer. I looked but never saw him.
One buck has grown significantly...if
I guessed correctly who he was in 2017.
Growth seems really good in my neck of
the woods, though I have not seen
anything exceptional yet.
has been on a Slate
River mount on a big oak tree. Tree
is way too big for straps. Darn raccoons
tipped it over and that location has the
beginnings of a scrape or two. Darn
raccoons can be a pain in the neck. Two
of my camera spots showed the beginnings
of some scrapes which were there last
year. I'm excited to see what shows up
as we near velvet shedding time. Just
hope the raccoons leave my camera alone.
Trimmed a new stand
location yesterday. Setting it up for a
south wind. It will be low but extremely
well hidden. Only problem is deer will
cross my entry trail as they go by. No
choice in the matter. Goal is to swing
wide enough on my entry to allow my shot
before they cross my entry. Will see if
it works. The location has consistently
had shooter bucks go by the last two
seasons during the first two weeks of
Have had a camera at a
certain location for quite a while. No
bucks of any significance have walked by
that camera. Another trail is about 30
yards away. Setup a Browning
Strike Force Pro last week. Had a
buck parade go by that camera. In the
daylight no less. Darn things must be
camera shy of the other one. Learning.
Phone Skope this week trying to
determine which adapter was appropriate
for my spotting scope's eyepiece. Think
I have it figured out. The iPhones now
can capture 60 frames per second
video...or better...that's good! I have
a universal mount but difficult to get
the phone camera perfectly lined up with
the scopes eyepiece.
Still messing with my
arrows. Thought I had my 15% F.O.C.
figured out on my 340 Axis but then I
put a Nocturnal lighted nock on the back
end. The strobe style. Heavy nock. Moved
my F.O.C. to 13%. Acceptable but not
where I wanted to be.
Watched the Born and
Raised Outdoors guys shoot broadheads
through wood, aluminum and beef shoulder
blade this week. Wow! Gives you an idea
of what heads can survive a big shoulder
hit, especially on an elk. For those of
you that have never seen their YouTube
Channel, you might check them out. It's
good info. Not scientific of course but
good enough info for me.
Next few weeks will be
focused on stand erection. Time to get
them up. No value sitting in my garage.
We have one month for final inventory if
you like to go out day one like I do or
two months for final inventory for those
of you that seem to only like to hunt
the rut. You know who you are.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
August 19, 2018
Hey everybody. Bucks
are slowly showing
up back on the farms. Nice ones too.
Hope they stay around through November.
No need to get too excited until they
consistently call my hunting grounds
home base for October and November.
Waiting (hoping) for the first shooter
that shows up in front of my Spypoint
Link-Dark. It is in a remote
location. My scent should have dissipated
Finally got a little
rain this week. For those of you that
have planted food plots, good for you.
You got some rain. For those yet to
plant, the soil has some moisture for
seed germination. You might want to get
your seed in the ground.
Received my 60X fluorescent
yellow and neon red strings for my
Carbon Defiant 34 this week. Candy corn
colored. I like 'em. Took my time and
installed the string, buss cable and
control cable, careful not to damage
them. So far so good. My bow finally
feels like it did when I originally
bought it. It is a sweet shooting
Worked with my new 5
mm Axis most of the week. Have three out
of twelve that for some reason the HIT
insert moved on me. Only one field point
will work but believe I'm OK with the
Will probably need to
go with a 100 grain point weight in lieu
of 125. I didn't read the fine print on
Easton's Spine chart. The fine print
says for a bow with a 6-inch brace
height you are supposed to add 5 lbs to
your chart bow weight. For a 125 grain
broadhead I need to add 3 pounds. So the
bow was set at 59 pounds. That would put
me at 67 pounds. Darn it! Should have
ordered 300 spine. OH well. I have a
solution that will get me close but not
all the way back. Dropped the bow down
to 56 pounds (plus or minus) and then
dropped the point weight to 100 grain.
Close to the ball park. I still may
order some 300 spine arrows. Depends if
I can get these to consistently fly.
I've never owned a bow with a 6-inch
brace height before. Did not realize all
the challenges it can create. No doubt I
prefer 7-inch brace height bows. Feel
much better to me.
hour-and-a-half or so at our local
outdoor store yesterday. They were
having an open house. Had the
opportunity to visit with the archery
product representative for quite a
bit. He was very patient with m
questions. Gave me some ideas and insight
this archery addict will have to
consider in the near future.
Hung a stand
yesterday. Bow rope and bow hooks
included. It should be good to go. This
is the location I use the ladder stand
for ascent and then a hang-on stand to
sit in. The ladder stand just makes too
much noise to use it as the primary
stand. Bought A new ladder stand last
week. Need to get it put together. Maybe
I keep finding new
YouTube web shows to subscribe to. Lots
of deer hunting and archery "how-tos".
I love educational archery stuff. I
don't take them as gospel but do watch
them to see if they make sense. Most of
the time they are OK. Lots of people
like you and me just trying to be more
knowledgeable. I like the "Recently
Uplodaded" ones that show video of
velvet Iowa stags from just days prior.
Gets a guy to focus with a purpose 'cuz
it's go time in 42 days.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
August 12, 2018
Hey everybody. It's
been a good week. I am taking a leap of
faith and possibly changing my whole
thought process as it relates to the
arrows in my quiver. Possibly. I have
always wanted my FOC to be near the recommended
max of 15% for my hunting arrows. My
FMJs have always ran around 10-11% FOC.
I wanted more.
I ordered and received
some Easton Axis Pro Match Grade (+/-
0.001) arrows this week with 75 grain
brass inserts. Now we are talking! First
time I have used straight carbon in a
long time. The light arrow with the
heavy brass inserts will hopefully
improve my accuracy down range. That
really throws the weight forward.
Cut my arrows, set my
brass inserts with epoxy and began
fletching. Started attaching my field
points. I have a problem. Some of the
inserts slid too far in the shaft. The
threads on the 125 grain field point
barely catch. Not all of them but some
of them. For some reason that little
green HIT insert tool isn't treating me
right. I double checked all of these
arrows with that tool during the epoxy
curing process. I even took my nocks off
to release any air in the shaft.
Something is inconsistent in my process.
Not sure what but I need a solution. I
ended up cutting one-eighth of an inch
off my brand new Match Grade Easton Axis
arrows. Not desirable but it worked.
Fletched three arrows with four AAE Max
Hunters and three with four AAE Max
Stealth vanes. Am also doing some bare
shaft tuning with the other six arrows I
haven't fletched yet. After all of that,
my FOC is around 15%. Hallelujah!! Now
it's time to determine if this whole FOC
thing is worth the money I spent.
Tuning that arrow has
proven to be a little bit of a
challenge. I'm close but not perfect. My
bow is set around 59 pounds. With that
heavy front weight, the 340 spine of the
arrow might be a little light. Might
need to crank the bow down. Fun! I love
learning new archery "things"
but in this case I hope the effort pays
I added two cameras to
my inventory this week. My preferences
are always a camera that takes good
photos, day and night, and has long
battery life. The Moultrie
M50 and the Browning
Recon Force Advantage meet those
criteria. The Browning is just top
notch. The older Recon Force took great
videos but crappy photos. The 2018
version does both well. Videos are the
best of any camera! The Moultrie does
well also. Colors are a little extreme
like the greens but I can live with
that. The night photos are really good
in my opinion. Great contrast. I do get
blurry night photos but nowhere close to
what I get with other cameras. They are
both priced right too.
I deployed my Spypoint
LinkDark camera to a location where
I believe the mature bucks call home
during hunting season. It might be a
little early but wanted any of my scent
to be gone well before they start to
wonder back from summer pastures. I hope
they do anyway. For you camera addicts,
you need to look at this cell camera.
Blackhawk is sending me pictures but
some commands do not work yet which
includes the Real-Time Photo request
command. The app is in the process of
Freshened-up one of my
ladder stands yesterday. Checked straps
and added a redundant strap on the top
of the ladder. Added bow hooks and a bow
rope. Felt good to climb up in a stand
and get it ready to go. It was funny to
find a deer bed right by my stand. It
had been used quite a bit. I'm sure if I
would have saw him he would have been in
the 160 class :-).
Have fun. Be safe. GP
August 5, 2018
Two months until go
time. Should be fun. Cameras did not
produce much this week. One cell
cam captured a photo of two people
with a flashlight at 4:54 in the
morning. No idea what they were doing at
dark thirty. Neither did the land
manager. Camera stopped working a couple
of hours later. Assumed it was gone or
batteries were dead. Was able to get to
the site a couple of days later in the
evening. Still there. Batteries were
Have had a new Browning
Strike Force with less than
desirable picture quality. Not as good
as past years. Brought it back home this
weekend. Set to defaults and plan to
start over with different settings to
see if improvements are possible.
M50 has taken some outstanding
photos the entire time I've had it. The
last two weeks it has done some goofy
things. It stopped working one week. It
switched over to Time Lapse mode on its
own. I changed batteries. Hopefully that
was the issue and it works fine from
here on out.
Finally saw a decent
one glassing last weekend. Appeared to
be a "no doubter". Will need
another sighting to confirm. Big frame
with tine length. My glassing trips have
not produced many mature buck sightings.
Think I need to change my route.
Lots of work last week
limited my time with the bows. I did
install my lighted nocks yesterday. They
all seem to work. Should be good to go.
Think I am going to purchase some
Broadhead Adapter Rings (BAR). Should
add a few grains to the front and
strengthen the end of the arrow.
Just got done adjusting
my peep on the RX1 Ultra. For some
reason that peep is moving on me.
Removed the old thread and tied on some
new red 3D serving thread. Hopefully it
Big bucks definitely
look big now. Almost full grown. Horns
should be in the finishing mode before
they shed velvet in 3-4 weeks. Have seen
lots of nice pictures from others that
lead me to believe antler growth will be
top notch this year. Rain has been
plentiful in my area of the world except
the last two weeks. Dry now.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
July 28, 2018
Hey everybody. Good
week last week. Got some things
accomplished. I have a little more cam
lean in my Carbon Defiant 34 than I want
but after many attempts to lessen it, I
have decided to live with it. It's not
terrible but the "wrapped
tightness" in me says I can do
better. I can get it out but then my
arrow flight goes away. I have a nasty
left paper tear when fully removed. The
rule of thumb is for your cam to be
straight when at full draw and possibly
to lean towards the cables when at
brace. When I place an arrow on the
shelf side of my top cam, the arrow
crosses the string before my D-Loop. Not
what I want but my paper tuning and
modified French tuning work best with
this setting. It's not leaning so much
that I think the string will derail but
it leans enough that it drives this
My bride picked up a
new McKenzie Wedge target for me on
Friday. I wanted something to move
around the yard instead of my big range
target. The Wedge is designed to easily
stand on its own. It does. However, it
is a heavy sucker. The density of its
stuffing is evidently pretty good. Put
it through some serious testing
yesterday. It was a great low-wind day.
Got some 20/30/40 yard pin setting done.
Air mailed one arrow at 40 yards that I
had to search for...on the
neighbor's...but I found the flo-yellow,
fletched arrow. They always slide a
little further under the grass than a
What's nice about
low-wind days is I can also get some
micro-windage, rest adjustments made. I
made a one click adjustment that seemed
to help with my RX 1 Ultra. My slider
tapes are good for 20 and 30 yards now
but I need more time for the 40 yard
marks. Mother Nature was pesky yesterday
with some light rain showers. My 40-yard
group needs some work.
Pulled camera cards on
Friday evening in case the rains stopped
me from driving back over the weekend.
No extraordinary bucks on the SD cards.
I think most bucks are in open country
right now or at least spending time
close to a soybean field. No soybeans
close to my cameras. I hope at least one
or two return my way come October.
Glassed a couple of nights but no
shooters observed yet. Will keep
Deployed a Covert
Blackhawk Cell Cam and a Spypoint
Link-Dark Cell Cam. They are both
4G/LTE cams. They connect well to
Verizon towers on my one farm. My Covert
is working but I don't have access to a
Real-Time photo through my app yet.
Covert Customer Support tell me they are
working on an app upgrade. The Spypoint
Link-Dark seems to work well but I don't
have a web-portal or nor can I request a
Both cameras sent me
photos yesterday, but today, thus far,
they have been silent. They are in
remote locations. My Spartan
3G has about a year's-worth of cell life
left as Verizon plans to eliminate 3G. I
should be able to use the camera as a
camera. Just not able to send pictures
I captured some
outstanding video with my Browning
Recon Force Advantage. Of the
cameras I have used, this camera takes
unquestionably the best videos.
Outstanding! What is really cool is the
audio is fantastic. I've been running
all my cams on video this year...off and
on...but none of them capture audio like
the Recon Force. My bride was gone
yesterday so as I watched my videos I
turned up the volume. My cat was on full
alert looking for the flock of birds
that was in her house. She could not
find the flock. Long story short, audio
is really, really, really good on this
camera. Along with the video quality, it
definitely makes you feel like you are
on your farm watching these critters as
they walk by.
is requesting photos for their 2018
contest. Send them in! Final day of
entry is close.
what I did there? It was RAGBRAI week in
Have Fun. Be safe. GP
July 22, 2018
Hey everybody. Up and
at 'em on this fine morning with a cup
of black coffee. It was a good week.
Captured some decent buck photos
although they mostly are of the same
fine buck. He's growing fast and seems
to be all over the farm. I glassed a
couple of times this week. One night was
better than the other.
Finally got my Carbon
Defiant 34 at specification. Took all of
my cables and strings off and twisted
them to specification length which was a
little shorter than they were when I
took them off the bow. I'm pretty sure
my string length was causing the A-A
length to be long. Everything I read
says the buss cable controls 90% of the
A-A length. I got tired of being out of
spec so I started over with the entire
string and cable set. The string had
evidently stretched some. When I took it
off and measured it was well over spec
length of 61.5 inches. For those of you
that listen to string maker ads and the
"no stretch" string and cable
hype. They all stretch. ALL. OF. THEM!.
They all use the same BCY material. It
isn't a big deal. A bow owner just needs
to understand and check on it every so
often (if they care).
When you take a sting
off, twist it and then reconnect it to
the cams your peep and loop do all sorts
of crazy stuff. I had to rotate and
reinstall my peep numerous times before
it was aligned properly. It's not
perfect yet but it is close and rotates
correctly. Need to keep working on it.
Here is my brief
process of what I did. Removed the
string, buss cable and control
All measured long so I twisted to
shorten lengths. Correct length is
measured under a 100 lb load but I have
no way to do that so I adjusted the
cables one-eighth inch shorter and the
string about three-sixteenths inch
shorter. I had read that on-line
somewhere about the one-eighth and
three-sixteenths thing. I gave it a try.
Immediately the bow was much closer to
spec than it had been. A-A was almost
perfect (within a sixteenth). Brace was
a smidge long but I had changed grips so
I knew it would be a fuzz long. It was.
I put the new X-ACT Grip on the Carbon
I put the bow in the Pro
Draw and checked draw length and
draw weight. Almost perfect. One thing
to note is that this is usually done
with the limb bolts turned all the way
in. You in essence are checking your max
poundage and your draw length. My max
bow weight is 60 lbs so the interweb and
all the experts say to be in that 60-62
lb range and I should be good. My scale
says I'm 60.0 to 60.4 and my draw length
says 30-inches. Can't get any closer
than perfect. Checked my top cam lean.
Adjusted the yokes so that an arrow
placed on the shelf side of the top cam
crosses the string at the D-Loop.
Checked the draw stop timing. Made
adjustments. Set rest at
thirteen-sixteenths for center shot and
arrow at level or perpendicular to the
string. Good to go! Shot it through
paper. Holy crap! Serious left tear.
Adjust yokes. Tighten the left. Lengthen
the right. Holy cam lean batman! Half a
cam width. Shoot through paper. Perfect
bullet hole. Well now what?? That's too
much lean. So I adjusted the lean where
I thought it should be and then spent
time with level nock travel using the
rest and the control cable to get my
timing. Tried to avoid using the buss
cable. Small adjustments here and there.
After a couple of nights of fussing with
it it finally is where I want it to be.
Paper tuning and modified French tuning
tell me I am close. Need some field time
now. This bow has been my learning bow.
Lots of frustration but now I get it.
One interesting thing to note. I looked
for a book to buy or something to help
but I can't find anything. Lots of info
out there. Much of it older. Most of it
good for guys and gals like me asking
questions and listening from those that
have been through the process. Thank
goodness for John Dudley and his web
show. Lots of great stuff learned there.
He makes everything look so darn easy
but it is not unless you have 20 years
experience using a bow press. I made the
investment and refuse not to not learn.
Fletched my Easton FMJ
hunting arrows for this year. I found
some Iowa State wraps (my alma mater).
The wraps have some flames and yellow
cresting. The wraps will be the base for
four flo-yellow vanes to give me the
Cyclone color experience for this fall.
Lighted nocks will be red.
are getting dialed in. Have one decent
buck that seems to be everywhere almost
every night. I have three seasons of
history with the buck and would guess
him at 5 years old. Seems to have taken
a big jump in antler growth this year.
cell cam captured a photo of what
appears to be a coyote with a deer head
in its jaws. See below. You be the
just finished the shootout and is
going right into the 2018 photo contest.
Looks like Spypoint took the prize!
I moved the cell cam
to a different farm as it's current location
had only produced one buck picture. Also
took down a ladder stand while I was
there. Moved the ladder stand to a
different farm. Did not hang it. Just
left it close to my anticipated hunting
spot. Pretty sure I know where I want it
but have two other spots I am
considering. Need time to think.
It's about 70 days
until we can hunt again. Wow! I need to
pick up the pace.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Time is getting
closer. Lots of stuff to do yet and most
of it is fun stuff!
Have fun. Be safe. GP
June 24, 2018
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
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
Have fun. Be safe. GP
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
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
Finished my bow vise
bench last week. Now need a bow
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 lifetime....you just never
know. Wink! Wink!
And don't forget to
and their new Rewards Program. Yes!
Have fun. Be safe. GP
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.
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
Recon Force. Great video and
pictures. Keeper! You need to buy one. I
do like the Moultrie
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Hopefully will do
better keeping this up to date. Haven't
been this busy at work and at home in a
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
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
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 bowhunting.com (Bowhunt
or Die) did a great job getting videos
posted for all of us that like to see
the latest and greatest archery gizmos
Have fun. Be safe. GP