August 3, 2019
Deployed a couple of
cameras this morning and stumbled across
what appears to be some animal on animal
carnage. No dead critter body but a
large area in the grass was matted down
with definite blood remnants. It was
still wet. No dried out spots. No large
pools of blood but enough to know it was
probably a predator and prey type of
affair. One day late with my camera
deployments. Darn it. I had not been to
this area for a good three months.
have been kind of slow. Cell cameras
have been a real pain in the neck
recently with firmware updates, Verizon
updates, squirrels chewing on pieces and
parts, no signal, tree canopy
interfering with signals, app updates,
out of the country repair shops, etc.
Make sure you really, really want a cell
camera as it seems like there is always
some challenge with the darn things.
What really chaps my hide is when a
field visit is required for a firmware
upgrade. Isn't that what a cell signal
is for? Lots of e-mails between me and
technical support the last month or so.
My new Phone Skope
adapter has been getting a workout. I
like it. Had a bunch of bucks on some
corn field terraces Friday night. Lots
of practice and footage. Nothing big.
Mostly two and three year olds.
Starting to feel
comfortable with Silverback tension
release. It's been a month of relentless
use and practice. It requires focus. No
doubt it will help a person with their
form. The more I watch hunting shows and
all of the trigger punching it's a
wonder any of us can hit a critter at
all. Just a flick of the index finger or
thumb and the arrow is sent. That's not
how it is supposed to work people.
Definitely funny though.
Time to get focused
and get ready for October 1.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
July 28, 2019
After months of
looking, I found the setup sweet spot on
my RX3 Ultra. Last night was the first
night I felt in full control with my
Silverback back tension release. It was
Cameras are slow for
me right now. I don't have any cameras
close to bean fields. I haven't used
anything like a mineral lick for years
either. I want all of my movement to be
natural except that movement that
results from my intrusions and farming
I sent my Spypoint
Link Dark to Des Moines for repair
3.5 weeks ago. Haven't heard a peep out
of them other than responses to my
e-mails...."what's the status of my
repair"... Supposedly Des Moines
sends it to Canada after they receive
it. It goes to the repair center.
Frustrating. Just want my camera back.
Dam squirrels. Little bastards chewed a
hole through my PIR sensor/cover and
chewed up my antenna cover.
Hopefully you all
entered your photo in the Trailcampro
Photo Contest. Last day to enter is
today. Send them in.
Pulled one of my
ladder stands down yesterday and hauled
it to the other side of the farm. Will
need help putting it up but got it
moved. That's half the battle. It always
gets a little loosy-goosy when you pull
the ratchet strap off up top. Not very
wise, I know, but I wanted it down. One
of the straps that go around the tree
and and tie to the steps was broke from
endless flopping in the wind. Mother
Nature's a relentless old nag. Can't
seem to leave anything outside in the
deer woods. She will do something to it.
My Covert Blackhawk
Verizon LTE camera stopped sending me
photos the first of the week. Changing
batteries did not fix it. Covert told me
Verizon made some changes to their
network. It required a firmware update
and I had to make a field visit. That
happens a fair amount with cell cameras.
Dam frustrating especially when it
requires a field visit. You would think
camera manufacturers would be able to
figure out a way to get the update
download to all cameras without a field visit, else where is the
real advantage of the cell camera?
Right? For those that have to travel
hours or across state lines I would be
pissed! Anyway, got it updated and it is
Gave my new Phone
Skope adapter and phone case a workout
last weekend. It worked well. It lined
up the camera of my iPhone perfectly
over the eyepiece of the spotting scope.
No more free handing. Had a couple of
bucks pose nicely in the sunlight. I
don't have HD glass on my old spotting
scope but I was more than happy with the
quality of my video. It will work.
A little over two
months and counting. Still looking for
my first no-doubter shooter on camera.
Hope you all are ready. I don't feel
sorry for you if not. You have as much
time as I do to get ready.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
July 14, 2019
Dismantled my new RX-3
Ultra this week. First time dismantling
a bow. Had a noise in the limb pockets
somewhere. Used some knowledge I gleaned
from YouTube, AT and Hoyt to tackle the
effort. My bow was laying in many parts
on my workbench when I began to wonder
what I had just done. I greased up some
of the hidden spots, added some bow wax
here and there, put it back together and
now it is quiet and smooth. My wife is
hoping I don't kill somebody if the bow
blows up on me. Me too. Hoyt has made
the dismantling of these bows pretty
straight forward and they can only go
together one way. I've been checking the
bow every day before I shoot it. It
seems to be staying within specification
but more importantly it is quiet.
yesterday. Damn coons. They are really
starting to piss me off. Wish I knew of
an easy way to electrify my cameras. I
moved a camera last week and assumed it
might be a raccoon target so I spent
some extra time to tighten it down. They
still flipped it over. Frustrating but
also funny. They sure are pesky rascals.
I don't have too many
cameras deployed yet. I plan to do that
in August. Sent a cell camera back for
repair a week and a half ago. My tech
support e-mail follow ups lead me to
believe they haven't come close to
starting any repair work yet. It's frustrating.
Patience is the name of the game I
Still working on
consistency with my Silverback back
tension release. Emotions have hit both
peaks and valleys. A couple of nights
ago everything was good. Yesterday not
so good. Still learning.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
July 6, 2019
Big news of the week
for me? I received my Nockon Silverback
back tension release. Going to try and
undo 40 years of backyard habits. First
two days were rough including a bloody
nose and some major flinching. Third day
was better. Release seemed really
inconsistent first two days. Added some
Limbsaver lube last night. Seemed to
help it a whole bunch. The release came
with four springs. I replaced the 43#
spring with the 30# spring 'cuz I shoot
low poundage...my RX-3 Ultra is set at
58 lbs with 80% letoff. My lower holding
weight (11.6 lbs) should work OK with
the 30# spring. Only problem is now I
can't tell the difference between the
43# and the 50# spring if I decide to
change back. Had the 43# spring launch
in the air when I swapped it out with
the 30# spring. Total lucky bastard to
find it laying on the floor. It
definitely requires some finesse to
replace springs. At times the release
fires almost too easily and others it
feels like I might pull the bow apart
and it will not fire. Just goes to show
how inconsistent a person's form is.
Using a safety requires focus every
shot....or a person will get smacked in
the bridge of the nose....by themselves.
Received some wraps
and vanes this week for the hunting
arrows. Arrows have been cut. Just need
wrapped and fletched. It's going to be a
flo green year for me. The arrows are
Easton HEXX 330 spine with 75 grains of brass
in the front. I plan to use 125 grain
Exodus broadheads....again. They seem to
be a very durable broadhead. That setup
seems to work for me.
Antler growth is
looking gooooood! No monsters in front
of my cameras but some that are looking
better. Still curious to see how the
extreme winter will impact the final
growth. Beans are up far enough now that
deer should be feeding on them every
night. Need to start my summer regimen
of looking for a buck of a
lifetime...seems I've been doing that
for a lot of years but haven't found one
It's less than three
months until we are legal to sling an
arrow. For the western hunters it's less
than two months. Dang! Still have work
to do, cameras to deploy and strategies
to figure out. I've been looking for
trees in new spots but have not settled
yet. Will depend on what the cameras
Have fun. Be safe. GP
June 30, 2019
Good grief it is hot!
Been buried deep in the man cave when
off work. Much cooler there than
outside. Did check cameras yesterday. It
was sweltering by 10 a.m. Gross. Better pictures
than the prior week. No monsters yet.
Moved some cameras around. A few just
have not been capturing any antlered
deer. After checking photos at home it
appears I have a couple of others to
move. Preferred food sources continue to
Core is not holding any custom
settings. It started acting funky a
couple of weeks ago. Not sure what the
deal is. I usually move the switch to
SETUP, change the settings, turn it to
OFF and then switch it to ON. It loses
all my changes and I've been very
deliberate about hitting the OK button
to accept the change. Tried resetting to
default and took the batteries out
yesterday for half the day. No go.
Apex has some interference in the
audio with the night videos. Not sure
what would cause the issue other than
the night flash but it is definitely
causing unwanted audio sounds.
The camera that
surprises me in both quality of photo
and dependability is the Moultrie
M4000i. Nice photos. I don't like
the menu but as long as it keeps taking
pictures I'm good.
Read an article that
says a small piece of dryer sheet in a
trail camera door will keep the ants
out. I am trying it, lets hope it works.
Received my new flo
green and black bowstring for the RX-3
Ultra this week. I had nicked my prior
new one with my lighter flame and cut a
strand. If that doesn't piss an archer
off nothing will.
My bows are easier to
tune now that I understand some
unwritten rules manufacturers design and
build by. Lots of info on centershot but
it's more than a measurement it's bullet
holes, consistent groups, arrow specific
tuning, archer specific tuning. Easier
now, but I still have plenty to learn.
Bullet holes are pretty easy to earn if
I put in the work early.
I've been checking my
old arrows with my new $30 arrow
spinner. Good grief, do I have some
lopsided spinners. To try and fix an
arrow, I usually change the field point
or straighten the end with my arrow
finisher. Those two things take most of
the lopsided spinning out but still may
not end up perfect. The amount of glue
on the vanes has impact too. I can tell
when the arrow stops spinning and
settles. One or two of the vanes seem
heavier. Will keep a closer eye on my
fletching of the new Easton HEXX 330s.
My guess is the Platinum glue on the end
of the vanes is causing the out of
balance spinning on the vane end. Seems
It's only three months
until legal shooting hours. Woohoo!
Seems like lots of things to do yet.
Twenty yard pin is basically set and
that is it. Lots of stands to move or
hang. Hoping for a big one to move in
from a distant summer pasture. Never
sure it will happen but can always hope.
Have fun. Be sage. GP
June 23, 2019
Long week. Many
Lots of anticipation
for the card pull and it was a total
letdown. Batteries dead on the new
Bushnell Core Cam. Those batteries
didn't last long. Squirrels chewed up my
antenna on the Link
Dark and chewed a hole in the PIR
cover. That's a new one. Half a tree
fell less than 20 foot in front of one
of my Browning cameras. Whew! AND I
forgot to pull the card on a camera. No
decent horn pictures or videos either.
Dang it! And one last thing, I am
getting some audio interference on the
night videos fr9om the new Browning
Apex. I don't remember hearing the
interference a few weeks ago. I think
the issue is new.
Put new 60X strings
and cables on my RX-3. Flo green and
black. Things seemed to go smoothly. I
was burning the very last knot on my
peep sight and I nicked the string with
the flame. Damn it! Cut a strand.
Where's my backup string?
After months of
jacking around with the RX-3 I have
realized that my bow's draw length just
reads long. I want 30-inch max. The draw
board reads 30.25 inches. That's too
long. I did try twisting the string to
get my draw length. Ten twists shorter
(lots of twists) I achieved my 30-inch
draw length but the peep was out of
control. Unwound that option. I moved
the mods and draw strop pegs to the 29.5
inch slots. Draw board read 29.75. Best
I can get. Don't have jumpy cams either.
I hate jumpy cams. I've read many
articles that say shortening up the draw
length a smidge should tighten up the
groups....unless your draw length is
already too short. We will see. So how
do I do I get a 30-inch draw length? Not
sure I can without sacrificing something
else. I know there are options for the
30-inch just do not like the trade-offs.
Ordered some new
Easton Hexx 330 (6 mm) arrows from
Lancaster. Cut those to length yesterday
and installed a 75 grain brass insert.
Will decide soon on fletching color and
layout. Most likely 4-fletch AAE Max
Stealth. Love those vanes. My Archer's
Advantage software says the spine is
OPTIMUM for my setup. I am right around
500 grains with the final setup. The
lighted nock seems to always put me over
the 500 grain limit. I like the extra
FOC when I twist a 125 grain head onto
the arrow. Seems to work for me. I also
order an arrow spinner to check for
arrow wobble. Inexpensive tester. Had
one of the new arrows show a slight
wobble. Marked it. Will see if I can
find the issue later.
Sent my QAD MXT back
to QAD a couple of weeks ago. Lifetime
warranty on QAD rests. They couldn't fix
it. QAD returned a refurbished
replacement. Let's hope the refurbished
replacement doesn't need refurbished
Not sure I will return
to check the forgotten camera. It's in a
totally new spot. Never had a camera
Here's to hoping next
week goes better than last week.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
June 16, 2019
yesterday. Seems like the antler growth
is picking up as one would expect. The Moultrie
M4000i sure seems like a cheaply
made camera (maybe it is?) but the
picture and video quality are decent.
Surprising to me. The Browning
BTC5HDPX and BTC5HDAPX work like all
the past Browning BTC5 cameras....Solid.
Force 20 is a decent camera for
under $100. Comes with a card reader and
SD card. I don't think it has a
microphone for the video files.
Documentation doesn't say anything that
I can find. Not sure I like videos
without audio. The
Spypoint Link Micro keeps sending me
pictures. Awesome for a $150 cell
camera. The Bushnell
Core DS is a really nice camera.
Above average quality in my opinion.
Moved cameras around
to test them in different lighting and
background setups. Weather has turned
warmer, the heat of the sun and the
brome grass result in a lot of empty
photos and videos. Sensitive PIR
Worked with the bow
again all week. The RX-3 Ultra was
purchased with 85% let-off modules. The
dump-over wasn't very comfortable so I
ordered some 80% and 75% modules. The
75% is a draw stop kit of some sort.
After the 5-minute install the 80% mods
feels better. Never did like that
sudden, big drop to the holding weight
with the 85% mods. Hope it helps the
grouping. Only problem I had with the
new modules was jumpy cams at first but
think I resolved that.
Still haven't got the
draw length to work correctly. I think
this bow is a quarter-inch long on the
length. I can reduce the length by
quarter-inch by twisting cables but
something else always gets out of spec.
Anyway, long story short. Been working
with strings and cables all week.
Learning a lot about the bow's reaction
to twists/untwists. Ordered a new
string/cable set from 60X. Hopefully
will help. I like green. Can get about
any color I want from 60X. Fuse doesn't
make the green/black.
Lots of vultures in
the air yesterday. With the hay harvest
and the fawn birth the last few weeks
I'm sure many-a-fawn have succumbed to
the hay cutting and baling. It's that
time of year. That's a deer's life in
the midwest this time of year. A fawn
has a lot of obstacles right
now....coyotes, bobcats, hay harvest,
Do you know it's only
three-and-a-half months to opening day?
Lots of antler growing to happen and
lots of camera deployments to do in that
Have fun. Be safe. GP
June 9, 2019
Poison ivy is growing,
mosquitoes are relentless and anything
over 80 degrees seems hot to me. After
yesterday's trip will probably get a
case of West Nile. Darn little harpoon
carriers were relentless.
Redeployed a cell
camera that was infested by ants. Little
bastards. Double bagged the camera last
week and gave them the 24 hour freezer
treatment. Camera still works. Have been
using a lot of the Combat gel for ants
to treat my cameras but for some reason
the little suckers still invaded this
camera. Stepped up my game this week and
ground up some mothballs. We had a
debate during supper last night as to
whether the naphtha or naphthalene or
whatever is in those things will kill
me. Probably. But I'm not dealing with
the ants again if I can help it.
May have also got a
touch of poison ivy. Leaves of three
were everywhere by the one camera.
Calamined up this morning. Hopefully
will arrest the spread if it is ivy.
Fawns are dropping.
Little critters right now. The coyotes
know it too. Lots of coyote pictures
where I am getting fawn pictures. I also
captured a bobcat picture in a spot I
haven't before. Predator competition.
Will be interesting to see if fawn
recruitment is decent this year. Long
winter, hungry predators. Maybe. Maybe
The bucks are coming
along. No pictures of anything that
appears jaw-dropping. Have a Picture of
one buck that's been around a few years.
Full shoulder, definitely mature, but
hasn't seemed to taken any big antler
growth steps the last two years. He
usually vacates in September/October.
Will be interesting to see if he hangs
around. Feed is decent.
Deer finally appear to
have shed the winter hair. They seemed
to carry it a long time this year.
Understandable. Cool weather up until
last week. will the rainy weather give
us a little break please. It's OK to
rain just prefer if it wasn't every day.
Dr. Grant Woods
mentioned on Growing Deer TV that
ragweed has 20% protein in it. Wow! Who
needs alfalfa or soybeans? That's why I
see big bucks hanging out in fields or
draws full of ragweed. He was discussing
the growth of the plants after a
The cameras seem to be
working well for the most part. Will be
somewhat of a slow period the next month
or so. Deer spread out. Feed everywhere.
Big bucks seem to like open ground this
time of year. Don't really need any
thermal cover except of shade.
Spending time almost
nightly tuning on my bows. Learning.
Educating myself. It's interesting to
see what affects certain changes have.
Lots of string and cable twisting, lots
rest adjustments and lots of D-loop
Sent my QAD MXT rest
back to the factory. Something wasn't
right with that rest. Will be
interesting to see what they tell me.
Spent some real money for that rest.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
May 26, 2019
Well. Same thing
different day. Rain and more rain.
Finding a time-window to mow the lawn is
challenging. Washed the floor of my
garage after the winter from hell. Floor
was gross. Got out to check the new
cameras after two weeks. Road back to
the farm was kind of dry. I made it back
All the cameras
seem to sense well and take decent
pictures. One setup gave me a lot of
false readings (i.e. empty pictures).
The location for that camera will most
likely need changed. Sun on swaying
grass in the heat of the day leads to
lots of false triggers.
The photo quality from
Spypoint Link Micro (Verizon model)
is good. Better than expected.
Thumbnails are OK. Do not like the micro
SD card. Easy to lose. Phone app is the
only way to change settings. No onboard
menu screen or menu buttons.
Fit-n-finish seems good.
Core DS seems rock solid with very
good night photos so far. The Spypoint
Force 20 is a darn nice camera with
a price point under $100. The Moultrie
I'm trying seems to take decent photos.
The case is below average. Door is
flimsy. Limited menu options. Cheesy
looking display too.
Still doing lots of
tuning with my bows. YouTube University
has been my friend the last few months.
Trying to find the "perfect"
tune. My bow tune is always close. It
shoots a bullet hole within a few shots
of new strings/cables or changes to my
setup but I am striving for perfection.
What is center shot? What is the power
path of the bow? Why 13/16ths from the
face of the riser? It seems to be common
knowledge but published proof is
limited. Hoyt is very cryptic about many
of their recommended settings.
"Talk to a dealer!" Still
haven't figured a trusted way to measure
from the face of the riser to the center
of the arrow. The rubber shelf pad is in
the way. I've purchased some smaller
rulers and and other measuring tools but
nothing works as perfectly as this
engineer wants it to work.
Currently trying to
figure out why my sight pin doesn't line
up with my arrow on the RX3. My sight
pin has always lined up with my arrows
on other bows. My assumption has been
that my center shot was off. The grip on
this model is below center. That major
change is the only thing I can think of
that might be causing me issues. Could
be hand torque.
Working on my grip,
left shoulder and release arm. Getting
closer to a consistent shot. Focusing on
fewer arrows during practice and more on
form and release.
Purchased an annual
subscription to Archer's Advantage. Love
it so far. It's a tool for pros and
archery geeks. You input your bow and
arrow setup and the software tells you
how close to an optimum spine your
arrows are. It is pretty darn accurate
in my limited use. I've compared my
actual measured weights and other
comparable parameters and are definitely
in the ball park. Learned my FMJs with
125 grain points/broadheads are
definitely on the weak side. My long
wingspan and long arrows are the
problem. My overall arrow weight get's
pretty high plus I don't like to shoot a
lot of pounds. If I want to add a lot of
point weight for high FOC, I need to go
a 300 or 260 spine arrow. My overall
arrow weight gets pretty lofty then.
Need to decide how important a high FOC
is to my setup. Have also been trying
lots of different fletching setups
including a short length, short height
6-vane setup. Arrows fly great but there
isn't much room on a 5 mm shaft to set
all the vane bases. Think I've decided
that option is a no go.
Lot's of velvet on
camera so far. Only one buck seems to be
growing rapidly. Might be an early
bloomer or might be something special.
Who knows? Have three months to figure
Have fun. Be safe. GP
May 12, 2019
Last day of turkey
season. Yes I did buy a tag but only got
out a couple of times. Lots of work and
family stuff going on that limits any
significant effort at chasing a bird.
Exchanged calls and gobbles with a tom
yesterday afternoon but he never closed
the distance. It was great to listen to
The two new Browning
cameras are sensing machines. Lots of
Link Micro yesterday in a remote
location. For a $150 cellular camera the
fit-n-finish and photo quality doesn't
seem too bad. Could be a game changer in
the trail camera world. Only thing I
don't like about it is the micro SD
card. Those little cards are difficult
to deal with in the woods with cold
I bought a
subscription to the on-line version of
Archer's Advantage last week. Been
plugging and chugging lots of arrow/bow
setup scenarios into the software. Think
I learned my arrows are not optimally
spined for my hunting rigs. The 340
FMJ's seem to tend towards a marginally
weak spine. My 30-inch draw length
usually throws me to the next heavier
spine (340 versus 300) and those arrows
weigh quite a bit more. I've never
purchased a set of 300 or 260 spine
arrows but have been thinking about it.
I like my 200 grains of weight setting
on the business end of the arrow.
Also purchased a
Alaskan Guide Creations binocular pack
last week. Wanted my go-to stuff a
little more accessible in the stand. Man
are there lots of choices for this type
Do you believe it is
only four-and-a-half months until Iowa
bow season? Seems like we just turned
the corner from 2018 to 2019 and that
was four-and-a-half months ago. Velvet
Have fun. Be safe. GP
April 28, 2019
Not much time to chase
turkeys so far. Busy with work. Have a
decent number of bucks going by the cameras.
Many of the bucks appear mature. I
assume they will disperse once the
soybeans start growing.
Put new strings and
cables on the backup bow. The tuning
process seemed to go better this time
compared to last. Hard to get outside
and shoot at any distance. It's been
windy every darn day.
Been trying to decide
on a binocular pack. Have it narrowed
down to two or three. Each one has a
different item I like better than on the
others. Prices about the same on all of
Sent one of the
cellular cameras in for repair. The LCD
Three months and we
will know if we have any shooters or
even better yet a buck of a lifetime.
Have fun. Be safe. GP
April 14, 2019
No I'm not dead. Just
dealing with the winter from hell. As
you get older it takes more to recover
from nasty winters. All my tree stands
are down except for the ladders. They
will stay. Found a few sheds. Nothing
big. Checked two new cameras
for the first time. Both Browning
cameras. Been tuning my new RX-3 Ultra.
Fighting some nasty tendonitis. This
darn bow uses different muscles than I'm
used to. Been a long two months to deal