The time has finally come in – Mr. Eight and BoneShed Archery have met for one last time. While some of our team members could have gotten him sooner, it was a team effort to make this happen. Here is what took place:
It was a cold morning hunt in Virgina. A cold front had just moved in and would only be staying for a day or two. The deer were out in the field eating the soy beans from the second that I got into the tree stand. In normal fashion, each deer slowly made their way to the tree line only to disappear before there was enough light to tell whether or not they were a buck or a doe, except for one of them. The last deer that was out on the field was about 100 yards away and seemed to be taking its time with leaving for the day. Once there was enough light, I could tell that it was a buck, but I could not tell which one. Then in normal fashion, the deer made his way to the tree line and started to head in. Once all that could be seen was his tail, I decided that it could not hurt to try to bring him back with a grunt. Worst case he continues to go into the woods and ignore my grunt, best case he responds. With a short and quiet grunt, the deer turned on a dime and came back to the edge of the field. Once he stuck his head back down to the ground, I did another low and quiet grunt. This time he responded fully. he picked up his head determined what direction the grunt came from and a b-line straight for my stand. Once he came into range, he turned broad side to give a 15 yard shot. By this time my nerves had kicked in and I was shaking uncontrollably. I drew back and let go, a miss! I could not believe it, I missed. To my surprise, the buck did not go anywhere, he wanted to find this other buck. With shaking still in control, I managed to get another arrow, draw back and connect with a 22 yard shot. At this point I was nto sure which buck I had just shot. I knew it was a buck, but I had stopped paying attention to the points when he made a b-line for me. Now the real change started, tracking the deer. The tracking took a long time, but after about 200 yards, he was finally found, and to my surprise it was Mr. Eight. Finally after watching and tracking this deer since June, I was able to put everything together. Somethings learned from this hunt:
IT HAPPENS FAST – When the time comes it will happen fast. Keep in mind that it may not happen again so try to remember as much detail as possible.
POWER IN THE BROADHEAD – The only thing that actually saved this hunt was the broad head. At BoneShed Archery we use RamCat Broad heads. Even though the shot was bad the broadhead did its job perfectly.
MISS DOES NOT MEAN THE END – If you shoot and miss, this does not mean the end. Stick it out and try to keep calm. With Bow Hunting you could get another chance.
There are few other things that will pay off as much as putting time in the tree stand. Here are a few things to keep in mind while trying to tough it out in the stand.
TRAIL CAMERAS ARE YOUR FRIEND – When it is cold, wet, or you are tired, it is always easier to tough it out in the stand when you know what exactly there is out there. Pictures are worth more than a thousand years instead it can be pure motivation.
PICK YOUR SEAT – A good seat cushion is worth the money that you pay. You will always be appreciative of it. A good place to sit is so helpful to going the distance with staying in the stand.
EXTENSIONS FOR THE EYES – That is right buy a set of binoculars. They help with seeing things that you would not normally see. Not only do they help with looking at the deer but in addition you get a close up look at all of the creation around you.
ENJOY YOUR TIME – Time in the tree stand is more than just putting down the big buck, instead make it about the BoneShed Experience. What do we mean by this? Enjoy the creation that we have been given the privilege to enjoy. Take it all in and enjoy the quietness that the great outdoors can bring.
BoneShed archery has been hard at work in the tree stand this season so far. Even though we have not taken anything yet, it is more about the BoneShed experience of being outside in God’s green creation. The season started off with a heat wave that seemed to be all the more reason not to start the season yet. One of our teammember stuck it out and was able ot put eyes on his target buck “Mr. Eight!” Not only was he able to spot Mr. Eight, a buck from the years past “Silver Back” showed up. This was exciting for the BoneShed Archery team because it showed promise of all the hard work had payed off. Following the heat wave the BoneShed Archery team faced a rain front that lasted about a week. Even with the rain we pushed on and had an amazing encounter with a buck. The only bad part was that the shot was a miss and there. The buck came in about 30 yards and by the time that the shot was taken it was around 40 yards in the rain. It was a clean miss and the buck was seen after the rain front had stopped BoneShed Archer Team members would be waiting. On October 21, we started to see the movements of the big boys! Mr. Eight showed his face and was almost taken. In addition to Mr. Eight, we spotted other buck that are perfect prospects. This season has brought out some important tips that BoneShed would like to share with you:
1. Don’t shoot everything that comes into range – Take your time and be sure that it is the deer that you want. Just because it is in range does not mean that you have to take it.
2. Practice the steps – There is not worse feeling than when you have a shootable deer and you are not sure what went wrong.
3. Take it day to day – There is no rush. One of the joys of hunting is being able to get out and take your time. Just because you did not get anything today does not mean there is no tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more to come from BoneShed Archery reports!
Even though it is the off season there is so much that can be done at this time of year. Here are some things to keep in mind with the “off season” in full motion:
- Trim up the woods: Remember sitting in the tree stand and telling yourself, “If only that branch was not there I could have more range to get the shot that counts…” Don’t let that thought linger too long. With spring right around the corner and trees starting to bud, get out there and do some cutting. This is the perfect time of year to get out there and trim, cut, and creates new shooting lanes. Why? Because the trees have yet to bud and grow leaves. This makes for a much easier clean up. Pulling branches and trees out with no leaves is easier than a tree or branch in full bloom.
- Tree Stand Maintenance: Taking down your tree stand at least once a year is a great habit to form. Checking the straps bolts, and overall condition of the tree stand helps maintain the durability of the stand so that it will last longer.
- Smelling up the woods: By going out there now and doing the majority of the work for this up and coming hunting season, there is plenty of time for your scent to fade away so that there is no longer any trace.
- Ground prep: Once the ground has thawed in your state, take time to clean up the grounds that you may be putting down corn, food plots, or mineral licks. By doing this the ground will be soft and easier to work. Don’t worry ab0ut planting or tilling just the prep of getting it ready to plant or work.
Remember that time spent in the off season helps the hunting season. Get out there and practice, enjoy the outdoors, and have fun!
Too often we, hunters, find ourselves looking for the big properties. Although this is exciting thing to land the many acres of prime hunting we fail to realize that little land is actually needed to be a successful hunter. One of our customers only has about 1-2 acres of land to hunt and was able to get his first buck. Granted his property is next to a farm and on the other side is no one but there are some key fundamentals that have to be in place to be successful. Try these three things out:
Time in the stand – This is the most vital fundamental truth that every hunter needs to come to grips with. Not every hunt ends in a kill and for most of us out there not every hunt means seeing a deer or the type of animal that we are after. Nothing pays off more than time in the stand. But, it is not just sitting in the tree stand or booth that matters; it is quality time in the stand. Instead of sitting in the stand and playing on your smart phone or taking a nap, learn the area or look for new markings. Make the time is the stand count. Pick up on the wind direction, what time of the day does it the wild life move, or even what weather conditions work best for the location. Become the master of knowledge of your stand.
Prep Time – Whether you have 1,000 acres or 2 acres, time needs to be spent in prepping the location in which you are going to hunt. We like to call it prep time because this entails that a wide variety of things that can be done. Put out corn, if you have a little bit of land to work with, this will cause the deer to start coming to your property (make sure you follow your state laws). By doing this you will help bring a deer trail right by your tree stand if you do not have a lot of land to work with. If you have a lot of land to work with, invest the time into food plots. Use trail cameras! The use of trail cameras cannot be overstated. By using them you can find out what time of day they are moving…if you have deer coming through your property. Lastly trim up the area, nothing feels worse than when that big buck comes in and you can’t take the shot because there are branches in the way.
Practice – If you are hunting a small property, EVERY shot counts! Take the time to practice, practice, and practice. Work threw the movements that you will be making. Practice from the tree stand, lift weights and exercise to train your muscles to do the same thing over and over. Work through the motions with your eyes closed, this helps you to focus on each step.
These three things are not the end all say all to the hunters guide to success but it should help with this year coming up! Remember one thing, HAVE FUN!