Thursday, October 12, 2017

Shot Placement for Less Tracking

Handicapped Outdoors
Welcome to bow season America!  Ahh, it's fall again with crisp mornings, clean air and pumpkin spice in every beverage known to mankind.  Today, I want to give some insight on shot placement so that you won't have to track a deer all over the countryside in a wheelchair.  This will be effective whether you are shooting a bow or a gun, so dig in and enjoy.

Courtesy of Realtree.com
Courtesy of Realtree.com
To aid in our understanding of shot placement, it is important to know the anatomical features of the target species which in this article happens to be deer, so please refer to the diagram.  A Whitetail is an amazingly resilient creature.  Trailcam pictures have shown deer who were not shot correctly walking around with the arrow sticking out of them the next year, seemingly unharmed by the hunter's miscue.  As hunters, we have a tremendous responsibility to be as humane as possible.  It is just good conservation to only take a shot when you are as certain as possible about the outcome.  As a handicapped, disabled or elderly hunter, we also have our own limitations to consider when taking the shot.

Some hunters want to show off by hitting only the heart while others try to go for the neck or head.  All of these shots can go horribly wrong in a millisecond and should not be taken.  Try to use the trick shots on species that are not wanted as much like hogs or coyote.

Courtesy of DailyMail.com - not cool!
So what is wrong with a heart shot?  Incredibly, deer can run for hundreds of yards even when struck in the heart.  Watch any number of hunting shows and you can see deer run even when hit by a rifle in the heart or neck.  Spine shots take them down quickly but the animal is not dead immediately either.

So what is the answer?  LUNGS!  You can't run without them and neither can a deer.  Just a few days ago, I had a smaller buck come in.  He had a badly deformed left antler and needed to be culled.  I made sure to wait until I could punch both lungs before firing my crossbow.  The shot drove him backwards and although he tried to escape, he didn't get 30 yards before collapsing and expiring quickly.

Courtesy of Bowhunter.com
I practice double lung shots religiously.  The hump on a deer's back is a dead giveaway for the shot placement.  The lungs are located immediately behind the hump.  I imagine a line going from front to rear side of the animal so I can mentally picture the arrow going through both lungs before I release it.  I rarely have deer run out of sight when I make the correct shot.

The other benefits of a lung shot are there is minimal meat wasted.  You are punching through the rib cage saving all the best meat for consumption.  Lastly, your margin for error is much larger due to the lungs being so large in Whitetails.  If you can hit a six-inch target consistently, you can make a lung shot and be eating venison this winter.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Easy Deer Attractant - Peanut Butter

Courtesy of Jif
Courtesy of Jif
Pungent, odorous, strong, memorable, great tasting - these are just a few words that you want to keep to the forefront when selecting a deer attractant for this upcoming season.  There is one product that fits all of these descriptors - Peanut Butter!

Now before you say, "Anderson's cheese has slid off his cracker," understand that peanut butter and products with peanut butter in them have been used for a long time in the hunting community.  Today, I hope to show you an easy and inexpensive way to utilize this amazing wonder attractant.

First, we need to start with the right sized jar.  Too big and it will quickly fall off the tree, so think smaller which is better here.  In many Dollar type stores, they carry a perfect sized jar of peanut butter.  Short, squatty, and sturdy, this thing is like it was made with deer hunters in mind.  Use the above picture as a reference.  This is not the time to drop major dollars.  Get the generic version that is cost effective for you.  We are not inviting people for dinner, it's deer.

Courtesy of Pinterest
Courtesy of Pinterest
So the setup is pretty basic, you take the lid off the jar and using two wood screws, drill it into a tree close to a natural deer trail.  Once the lid has been properly secured to the tree, screw the jar of peanut butter back onto the lid.  Then, simply cut a segment of the jar away so that the deer can get to it.

I like to cut the top at an angle leaving some of the jar on the bottom so that the peanut butter does not fall out so easily.  This method is so effective that I have seen jars licked so clean, it looked as if they had gone through a dish washer.  You couldn't even smell the peanut butter in the jar any longer.

The downfall of this is that plenty of other wildlife is attracted to the rich aroma of peanut butter too.  Racoons love the stuff.  I even have a Fox on trail camera licking at it.  This is why you should buy the cheapest stuff possible.  The deer absolutely love it and will stand and lick at it a while.

Hope it helps!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

New Electric Spinning Reel From FishWinch

Handicapped Outdoors
FishWinch Spinning
3 years ago, I wrote an article on Electric Fishing Reels that is still the most popular article from this blog...ever!  At the time, the great people from FishWinch were the leaders in large, open water, deep water, baitcasting style reels.  These are reels that you use to land stuff like trucks, submarines, T-Rex...you know just your typical day on the ocean.  Well, the great news for us is that they have taken their expertise from the big water and delivered on a design for the masses who love freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing.

The FishWinch Spinning reel uses custom components to deliver a high-quality, uncumbersome design that is light-weight, efficient and tough.  It is designed to handle anything in freshwater as well as some of your favorite inshore fish species like Speckled Trout, Redfish, Flounder, and Snook.
The design is simple and effective.  The aluminum casing houses the motor on one side and the battery on the other while also doing the best job possible at keeping the corrosive salt-water out.  They went out of their way to make sure there are no running cables along the butt of the rod to get you tangled up.  It is the closest to the feel of a regular rod and reel experience you will ever have.  The only cable runs from the reel to the power button which zip-ties to the rod.

The reels are Shimano Syncopate 4000 which gives you more versatility in going from freshwater to inshore saltwater environment.  When you purchase a reel, everything is all set up on arrival.  All you have to do is add your line of choice be it mono, braid or fluorocarbon.

FishWinch Spinning
The reel comes in three different speeds which are named the 65, 80 and 95 for three different fishing scenarios.  The lowest speed is for crank baits and swim baits.  The fastest speed is for spinnerbaits and other lures that require a super quick retrieve rate.

A better way to understand the different speeds is to think in terms of turns of the handle.  The 65 complete one handle turn per second.  The 80 completes 1.25 turns per second and the 95 turns the handle at 1.5 turns per second.

FishWinch Spinning
A good rule of thumb to remember is you can always slow the retrieve down of a quicker reel by simply staggering the touch of the power button.  But, you can never add speed to a slower reel.  A truly serious fisherman likes to have a rod with everything set to only do one application like crank baits (slow speeds) and a separate rod for fast fishing with spinner baits.

What type of battery does this use? 9 volt Lithium battery is recommended.  Lithium batteries run with the same power throughout the life of the battery and then dies suddenly.  Standard 9 volts will work but you will see a gradual decline in performance and power.  Rechargeable also is not recommended as they rarely last as long as they are supposed to.

Line capacity is standard Mono 8/240, 10/200 and 12/160.  Of course, braided line is also welcomed on this reel.  At $299.00, this is an excellent Christmas present selection!