Saturday, January 20, 2018

Get Out There! 2018


Welcome to 2018!  New Year, new start, a fresh beginning.  It's a genesis which literally means, "In the beginning..."  So what are your goals for 2018?  Where are you going to go and what are you going to do when you get there?

This is a great time of the year to begin to put your dreams on paper and begin taking consistent small steps toward making those dreams a reality.  We have had a dream for years to purchase a house with some land.   We have been searching for three years and in 2017, God helped move that particular item from the dream column to the reality side of our ledger.  We also adopted a baby girl in 2017 and she has been such a delight and wonderful addition to our home.

We are in the process of beginning construction on a pond to fish and enjoy.  I also killed a deer on our property for the first time this hunting season.  It was so rewarding.  Knowing that the work we put in is happening on my own land where I can enjoy the fruit of those labors for years to come.

In 2018, we are planning to begin raising chickens and start a decent sized garden with a wide variety of produce to enjoy for the entire year.  We have a tree full of native bees and are hoping to catch one of their swarms in a bee box to begin doing a little bee-keeping.

We are learning new things every week.  We are staring at the television less and are outside far more minutes than inside.  Our children are involved and are learning to use their hands at a young age.  In short, we love it.  More importantly, we love the fact that we are no longer just dreaming of these things but instead are actively doing them.

The challenges are great being that I am in a wheelchair but that is simply not going to be an excuse.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  To borrow a quote from the great missionary and apostle Paul, "I can do all thing through Christ Jesus who strengthens me." Phil 4:13.

If I can, you can friends.  Get Out There!

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!