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Rio Grande Turkey not one but two!!

2011 April 13
Posted by todd_mayriam

Just got back from my yearly Spring Turkey hunt in Texas.  This year i was going for the RIO Grande Turkey found throughout Texas.  I arrived at a property owned by my good friend Bob Mooney who live just outside the city limits of Olney in Archer county Texas.  Hisplace is just over 1000 acres, but is full of Turkey and Whitetail deer.  He has done a good job of of managing both and i can tell you from experience what ever he is doing is paying off in dividends.  I saw more turkey in three days of hunting his place than I saw all of last year hunting in Florida and Georgia, but I am getting ahead of myself a bit.

I arrived at Bob’s ranch on Thursday and right away Bob gets to telling me about all the turkey he has been seeing.  He told me that just the other day he riding out to the back part of the ranch to feed some of his cattle and he had to literally stop his truck on the cattle road and wait for the turkey to cross in front of him before he continued on.  He told me he had all the scouting done and had a few places already picked out for me.  So we loaded up the truck with my gear and headed out.  The first spot was located a short ride from the farm house along an old sendero that was grown up with mesquite bushes about 2 feet high and sparsely laid out across the field.  There was an old blind made out of the back half of a cattle truck already setup and ready to hunt.  We looked scouted around, and even though there had been plenty of sign in the way of scratchings in the dirt and feathers I decided to move on to the next spot Bob had scouted for me.  This spot was almost to back of the property and close to where he had seen all of those turkey cross in front of his truck a few days ago.  You could not ask for a more perfect spot to hunt turkey from.  About 150 yards out past the sendero there was a line of old growth trees and to right of that about hundred yards away was a cattle watering hole.  The area was loaded with all types of animal sign to include Deer, Javelin and of course lots of Turkey sign as well.  In fact, Bob had told me that the turkey had been been roosting in that old growth tree line and had been hitting the watering hole pretty regularly as well.  I did not need to hear anymore and I immediately looked around for a place to set up my Primos Double Bull Dark Horse Turkey blind.  I found a really nice spot under a Mesquite tree with a clear view to the tree line and watering hole.  Bob and I spent the next several minutes setting up the blind and brushing it in real good.  After we finished we headed back to the ranch house for some honest to goodness Texas Barbecue.  After a meal of ribs, chicken and steak  I was as full and satisfied and very tired.  I thanked Bob’s wife Mags’ for the fine vittles and headed to bed for a good nights sleep. 

The alarm went off promptly at 4 AM, but I did not need the alarm as I was already wide awake.  It never ceases to amaze me how on the night before the first hunt I can never fall asleep.  Well I shut the alarm off went outside on the porch as to retrieve my hunting clothes I had left there the night before to air out.  The morning air was cool and brisk and I looked forward to a good hunt in the coming days.

I made it to the blind about 45 minutes before daylight and I got settled in and waited.  At about 7:00 am I heard the first turkeys start to fly down from there roost.  I waited a few more minutes and I I began to call using my Primos Sonic Dome call… I started with a few clucks and almost immediately got an answer.  I could not see anything but i could hear him getting louder and louder finally he came into view.  He was a good bird, I would say three to three and a half years old with a good beard.  I first saw him at about 70 yards and making his way into my turkey decoys… He finally came to within bow range, but he was on the other side of one of my turkey decoys and I had no shot.   I watched this old bird strut around and then try to attack my decoy.  He finally came around the other side and presented me with a 22 yard shot according to my Leupold range finder.  The turkey strutted around and spread his rear feathers and was walking away from me giving me a perfect bulls eye shot.  I pulled back my G5 Quest Smoke bow pulling 63 pounds with Easton 2216 Arrows tipped with the Muzzy Phantom 100 grain broad head.  I anchored and set my pin on the turkey and released the shot was straight and true and hit the old tom square.  He flopped around a bit and was dead within 30 yards of where I shot him at.  It was 7:40 am and I had my first Rio Grande Turkey on the ground.  he was a good bird with a seven inch beard and inch and half spurs.  The rest of the morning was uneventful except for the 3 Whitetail deer I saw.  I made my way back to the ranch and was met on the road by Bob, after telling him the story of what happened earlier in the morning we headed back  and ate dome lunch before heading out for the afternoon hunt.  I did not see anything the rest of of the day and made my way back to the ranch.

Day two was quiet with only a few Jakes’ coming in to my calls.  the weather started to get nasty as afternoon thunder storms rolled in.  I decided to call it a day and head back in.  The third and final morning of the hunt I was in the same blind and at about the same time of the morning a lone Tom made his way down from the roost and in front of my blind and gave me a pretty nice show of strutting around.  He was not as large as my first Tom I had shot two days earlier but he was respectable none the less.  At 15 yard I drew back and released the arrow like the first straight and tru and I had my second Rio Grande turkey in the bag.  He had a 5 inch beard and one inch spurs, but his tail feathers were much prettier than my first Rio Grande.  

I headed back to the ranch to pack up and head home.  I thanked Bob and Mags for their hospitality, and told them I would see them in the fall for Whitetail deer.  You can bet I will be back here again.  OK; how many months until opening day of the Texas Bow Season….

What NOT to do while Deer Hunting!

2011 January 6
Posted by todd_mayriam


This is actually kind of funny!

I had not one but two huge mistakes this year while hunting so this is a lesson as what not to do while hunting enjoy….

Do not buy a new blind and take it hunting the same day. A big mistake… I went on a paid whitetail trophy hunt the last week of December. After I got there I realized I had left my blind and went out and bought another one. I set it up on two active trails leading to a food plot and brushed it in real good… I even sprayed it down with scent killer…

Well I did not see anything all week except one doe when everyone else in camp were seeing and killing big deer. To add insult to injury.  When I drew my bow and took a shot at this nice plump doe 21 yards away, my bow hit the side top of the blind and the arrow skidded harmlessly next to her on the cold ground… Needless to say I was the talk of camp that week… here I am been hunting the better part of 25 + years and I made a rookie mistake like that. That dam blind smelled like dirty moth balls and no amount of scent killer would get rid of the smell no wonder I did not see anything.  I deserved all the hacking I got from my buddies. Should of used a natural blind…Oh well live and learn…

Lesson learned… “You need to air out your equipment weeks before the initial hunt with it…”

My second mistake was when I was in my climber 30 feet up a pine tree and as I was coming down the part that you stand on and climb up and down the tree with came loose from my feet and made it’s way down this pine tree with out me. So there I was 25 +feet up a tree and no way to get down, “I said dam now what I am going to do” because only the part I sit one was still up there with me. So there was no way for me to climb down. I had to wait for my buddy to come by and help me out. He had to attach his climber and work the foot part of my climber up to me so I could get it down. He said wait till we get back in camp and tell the guys… And good to his word when we got back to camp that night he told everyone and everything, I think he even twitted it because i am still getting comments on my face book and twitter page about this. So again I was the talk of camp that week as well..

The mistake you asked I did not check the safety rope that ties the two parts of the stand together, the safety rope after years of use became weak and brittle and just simply broke when the bottom of the climber fell down the tree.


How to consitantly take large 200 + pound hogs

2010 December 22
Posted by todd_mayriam

The following short story is from a fellow hunter about what works for him on really big boar hogs. He has had much success hunting these beasts and most are well over 200 pounds in weight.  He has some really good information and I am reprinting it here for my readers with his permission.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author of the article and may or may not represent those of this blog site author. 

How to take really large hogs with a Bow…

by: Ryan Reagan

In my experience with shooting big hogs the weight of the arrow and the power of your bow are the two most important factors in penetration which is the kinetic energy.  I shoot an Easton Dagerous game FMJ arrow with a 75 grain insert and a 125 grain magnus Stinger broad head.  My total arrow weight is just above 700 grains.  Now also a very important factor in penetration is the type of broad head you shoot if you shoot a 3 or 4 blades you will need to have a very high KE to punch through the thick tough hog shield and bone than say if you were shooting a 2 blade cut on contact broad head.  I shoot the Magnus Stingers 125 grain because they are the toughest I have found for busting up bone and shield.  I used to shoot another popular brand of broad head and I still love them but they don’t get the penetration on big hogs that I need to kill them.  Shooting them out of my 74 pound Mathews Switchback XT bow I had arrows literally falling out of hogs they got very little penetration.  I got one arrow back with the trocar tip broke off and the blades missing because I hit the bone and bad things happened.  I will admit that I lost a lot of hogs because I didn’t have the power to consistently put the arrow through the big ones.  If you are going to shoot big hogs shot placement is key.  Now when I say big hogs I’m not talking 150-185 range, while they are big they are not shielded, also I am not talking about sows they are not shielded.  I am talking about consistently putting down big 200 plus pound boars that have shields and a small kill zone.  So do whatever you want but I will warn you now if you are hunting and a big one walks out DONT SHOOT IT IN THE SHIELD IF YOU ARE NOT SET UP FOR IT.  If a big one walks out then you need to take a low armpit shot with a slight quartering away angle. it is the only way for most to be successful. 

I hunt on my own private land.  I watched 32 hogs just last night for about an hour but nothing over 180.  I was out the other night and had 23 hogs in front of me and a big boar came in after the sows were there feeding for about 45 minutes, he weighed 197.  I hunt at feeders but I don’t hunt the corn. I hunt over the sows that come to the corn.  That is the best way I have found to get the big boys into bow range.

I shot the 197 pound boar hog with some Rage broad heads. I just have not got the video together.  The sneak peak is one of the Rage blades on one of the shots broke off in the hog.  I will post the video of this hunt soon so keep checking back.

Here are some of the hog videos I did.

This video has some good information on hog anatomy

The following video is how the Rage broad head performs on hogs

The following 2 videos deal with broad head penetration testing on big hogs

Several different types of broad heads are used

143 pound boar hog down

2010 December 13
Posted by todd_mayriam

I was deer hunting yesterday but instead I got me a hog on a  spot and stalk,  A 143  pound boar hog.  He had 2 inch cutters and was down within 30 yards of where he was shot. 

Here is the story.

I was hunting on some private land in Northern Florida, I was out hunting deer.  It was a bitter cold morning and I had not seen a anything as of 9:30 am.  I was situated over a food plot that had been planted earlier in the season.  Around this time I caught the movement of what I thought was a deer, turned out to a Boar Hog with a sow.  I decided to climb down and try my luck at a little spot and stalk.  I spotted the hogs about 150 yards away across this field on the other side on the food plot.  My thinking was the hogs were going to root down to the food plot for an afternoon lunch.  I knew of a good trail leading out of a thicket into the field they were in I could intercept the hogs if I was lucky.  I climbed down and worked my way around the food plot all the while keeping my eye on the rooting hog… I made to the thicket and worked my way through until I came to the field… I looked across the field and there about 40 yards away were the hogs heading in my direction.  I quickly nocked my Easton 2117 arrow with my Trophy Ridge Ultimate Steel 75 Grain Rocket broad head.  If the hogs stayed on the path they were on, they would pass me at less than 15 yards.  I hunkered down and waited, what seemed like forever, but was really about 3 to 4 minutes.  just as I thought I heard the hogs moving and then heard them rooting up the ground, the next thing I knew there this boar hog stood pretty as can be broadside at 12 yards.  I was already at full draw and released, the shot was perfect right behind the shoulder a little high, a double lunger for sure, or so I thought.  The hog let out a squeal ran 50 yards, then turned around and ran back in my direction.  I was like **** now what there was no trees to climb as I was out in the open now away from the safety of the thicket I just came out of.  I thought for sure this hog was going to get some retribution on me.  Then at 30 yards he skidded to a stop wobbled a bit then fell right over, I mean dead but not just dead we are talking Grave Yard dead here.  He did not even kick after he fell over.  I sat down for a second and thought about what had happened then went to recover my hog.  When I got to him the arrow was still in him and I tried to pull it out but I was unable to.  So I walked back to my 4 wheeler and drove it in and after some wrangling I was able to him on my rack and back to camp.  I first weighed him on the camp scale then started to skin him out.  When I got the hide off I could see my arrow entered a bit higher than I thought, blasting through the thick shield and into the off side shoulder bone where the broadhead lodged in the big leg bone shattering it.  This was the reason I could not remove the arrow.  After I finally got out of the leg bone I looked it over good, Now this little 75 grain head was still intact including it’s blade and ferrules.  The truncar tip was in almost pristine condition.  After punching through the hog’s shield and lodging and shattering the large leg bone of the offside shoulder, this broadhead looked pretty good.  I have included some pictures for you all here to see.  The impact was so hard it actually pushed the carbon insert in to the arrow and you can see where the 3 blade marks cut into the shaft. 

Just wanted to say this little broadhead is a tough as they come… I just replaced the blades and it is ready to hunt again.. 

I think I may have found a new favorite broad head.

Went Hunting then went to the Hospital

2010 November 30
Posted by todd_mayriam

The other day I get call from a hunting buddy of mine asking if I wanted to go hunting with him the next morning.  He said he was going to J.W. Corbett WMA.  I said sure I would join him.  He picked me up and we drove the hour to the management area.  Now I normally do not hunt management areas, but I am not one to pass up a chance to hunt either… Good Thing I went with him.  My friend is on the backside of 50 and he is really not very fit, and this would play out as a real disadvantage as the hunt progressed. 

So we arrive at the check station at the entrance of the WMA and we drive into an area not to far off this old logging trail.  We park the Jeep and we start walking into the area we will be hunting.  My friend who hunts this WMA quite a bit, already had his stand site picked out. It was overlooking a game trail with a clear cut area about 100 yards wide.  A perfect stand for a gun hunter. He sets up his climber right in the wood line, then he walks me to an area about 200 yards away and to the right of his stand where a small duck pond is located.  My buddy knows I am strictly a bow hunter and tells me that he has the perfect place for me.  He said this is a good bow hunting stand site because the animals will come down in the late evening to water before bedding up in an area near the duck pond.  During bow season he shot a nice 8 point and saw several good deer around this pond.  I place my climber and get settled in as he leaves and wishes me luck.  verthing is as it should be when I get a call from him about an hour or so later on the 2 way walkie talkies we have.  He sounds winded and flushed and I was having problems understanding him.  What I did understand was there was something really wrong with him.  He kept talking about he was having problems breathing and he was dizzy.  I immediately made it back to his stand site and found him at the bottom of the tree still sitting in his climber with a shortness of breath and getting weaker.  I helped him out of the climber and we start walking out of the woods, as he could barely walk, I had to practically carry him out.  We finally make it back to the Jeep and I get him in and we headed to the hospital.  When I got him to the emergency room, they thought as I did he was having a heart attack, it turned out to be something all together different.  In the emergency room they get him into a gurney and remove his hunting clothes.  During there inspection they find on his upper right leg a bite of some kind upon further inspection of the bite mark and his clothes it was determined it was a brown recluse spider bite.  Apparently the spider had somehow crawled up his leg and got as far as it could go and bitten him.  The spiders crushed body was found in my friends hunting clothes.  He was haveing a severe reaction to the bite.  The doctors did what they could as there is no antivenom for the Brown recluse.  They adminstered a heavy dose of antibiotics and other meds to help get his vitals under control.  I stayed with him until his wife arrived. Later on during the day I had a chance to speak with him more about what happened.  He told after he left me and climbed up into his stand he felt what he thought was an ant bite on his leg and he just instinctively slapped the site where he felt the initial bite, not thinking nothing of it he settled in for the hunt.  After about 45 minutes he said he started feeling flush and short of breath and started getting dizzy… he told me he knew he had to get down from the tree right away… he made it to the bottom of the tree with his climber, but was to exhausted and weak to get out of the climber and that is when he called me on the 2 way.  The doctors said he will be ok, just have to keep an eye on the bite mark in case of necrosis.  They kept him overnight for observation and will be releaseing him later today.  I will be going back out to Corbett today to get our tree stands we left in the woods and you can bet I will be looking out for those critters.

Just goes to show you that you have to be careful, when something so small can bring down a 220 plus grown man.  You should always hunt with a buddy and keep yourself in tip top shape.  Always carry a cell phone or a set of 2 way radios.  Because you never know.

Went Rabbit hunting with a friend and Rage Broadheads

2010 November 28
Posted by todd_mayriam

Went out Rabbit hunting with buddy

Me an buddy of mine went rabbit and small game hunting a few days ago out in the Everglades. We were hunting swamp rabbit, turtles, raccoons, possums, and  pretty much any legal small game. I took my 1960′s vintage  recurve bow along with a hip quiver full of arrows with the old Bear Super Razor Head and my trusty old #6 mill file. My buddy on the other hand took a quiver full of Rage Broadheads and some old Satellite Broadheads. He had 7 arrows.. I had to laugh when I picked him up in the morning. This guy absolutely swears by his Rage Broadheads… I told him “he must have more money than brains…”  I mean really, those Rage broadheads are a bit pricey at $40.00 for three. Especially for small game hunting…

Any way we get out to the area we would be hunting and right away, I see an armadilla and I shoot at it and miss my arrow goes high and hits and old cypress stump… I had to dig it out with my knife. The Broadhead survived intact. My buddy takes his shot and hits the critter. The Rage head did a real good job on it. He recovered his arrow and to my surprise the blades were still intact… Well he only did hit the critter and then the soft swamp grass… Still I was like wow that Rage actually held together well. He washed it off in the swamp water and continued to hunt. That would be the only surprise I had this day in regards to the Rage Broadhead.. He later shot at a rabbit and missed then had a second shot at it 25 yards out and hit it square, he about cut that rabbit into with his rage. He had a shot at a crow, but missed and hit the ground the Rage was pretty much destroyed..and it went on like that for the rest of day. As the day went on for me I shot at a rabbit and missed it,  I hit a big old knarly snapping turtle, punched right through his shell and actually pinned him to the log he was sunning himself on, a racoon in the tree, great hit the raccoon fell out of the tree and my arrow ended up in parts unknown…but everytime I recovered my arrows, it was intact and the Bear Super Razor Head only needed a quick hit with my mill file and it was just like new. 

The end of the day the score was one lost arrow, 2 critters bagged, Bear Super Razor Head broadheads intact and ready for another hunt..

My buddy lost 2 arrows and destroyed 3 Rage Broadheads… 1 Rage reused and then shot and lost and 1 armadilla in the bag and 1 rabbit in the bag.

Well it looks like the Rage comes up short again, in this type of hunt anyway…  I hope we get to do this again real soon as it was a blast.

Remembering one of my Favorite Bows of the Past

2010 October 21
Posted by todd_mayriam

I had a prototype Jennings Carbon Extreme signed by Tom Jennings… I aquired the bow in 1989 when I worked a Bear Archery Gainesville. I took the bow to a Archery Pro shop to have a new string put on it in 2001.  I was in the Military at the time, and then the planes hit and I was ordered up and was in the air 2 days later heading to Afganistan. I was unable to pick my bow up before I left.  When I returned 14 months later the pro shop had sold my bow because I never returned for it.  I was completely devastated.  I killed a lot game and won alot of shoots with that bow.  That bow meant a great deal to me.

Funny story on how I aquired that bow.  I was working at Bear Archery part time, as I had a full time job working construction and I was in the Navy reserves as well.  I had just gotten married and had a new baby and I was trying to buy a home a well.  Anyway this fellow came up to me one day, when I was sweeping up the museum upstairs, he was an older gentleman and kind of pugey.  I really had a lot work to do, but he seemed nice enough though and we struck up a converstaion.  We started talking about different things from hunting to sports. Pretty much anything before I knew it we had talked for over and hour and I was way behind on my duties so I thanked him for the polite converstation and told him I had to get back to work.  He came by every so often and we struck up a friendship.  I never knew what he did at Bear Archery as I never asked him, he only said that he was one of the bow engineers with Bear.  One day we were talking and he asked me “what type of bow do I shoot?”, I said none at the present as I did not have the money because, I was recently married and had a new baby to provide for and I was working two jobs and also in the Navy Reserves to help make ends meet, I showed him some pictures of my wife and baby, he said I had a good looking family and he could see why I was working so much.   I told him I had been saving my money for some time though, and I hoped to have me a new bow by the time hunting season rolled around in a few months.  He asked me how much I had saved up for the bow I told him not alot I was putting away $10.00 a week and only had saved up about $100 or so. He continued to come by every now and then and we would talk, he would always ask how the family was and how much I had saved for my new bow. One day he stopped by and I was cleaning up and he said hello, I said hi, and he saw that I was a bit down and asked me what was wrong.  I said nothing really, he asked me again and I told him I had almost enough to get my new bow, but something had come up at home and I had to use the money I saved to pay for it and it looked like I would not get to go hunting this season after all.  Hunting season was less than a month a way and I had saved all year to buy me a bow.  But I told him it was ok, there would always be next year. He said “family has to come first and I am glad a young father and husband as yourself knows that, good for you”.  He told me that he would see me in a few months that he had to get back on the road.  I told him I had hoped to see him when he returned.  A week or so later I was told that Frank Scott wanted to see me.  I went to his office and knocked on the door jam as the door was already open, he asked me to come in and said I have something for you.  In the corner was a brand new Jennings Carbon Extreme bow all decked out for hunting and another box of Bear Arrows with broadheads and practice points. This bow was not even on the market yet.  I told Mr. Scott thank you,  but I could never afford such a bow.  He said well that may be so but atleast take a look at it and tell me what you think.  I went over to the table the bow was on and picked it up and the first thing I saw was a signature on the bow riser that said.  “To a hard working father and a friend, Tom Jennings…”

This may sound unbelievable, but the man I had been talking all those times was none other than Tom Jennings and I never knew it.  I never did get tio thank him in person as I never saw him again.  A month or so later I received news that my package to switch from Naval Reserve duty to Navy active duty had been approved and I was cut new orders to Pearl Harbor.  I will never forget those months spent at Bear Archery and the many talks I had with Tom Jennings.

I lost my first bow shot Deer this weekend

2010 September 13
Posted by todd_mayriam

This is going to be one of those “He got away Stories”

After many years and many trips to the deer woods. I lost my first deer Saturday.

I was set up in a ground blind about 15 yards from a well used deer trail and i was using my new long bow. Everything was going great, it was not to hot, the wind was in my face and the mosquitos were no where to be found. I was sitting there and about 30 minutes before dark a nice fork horn buck started to make his way down that well used trail and towards my blind. The buck was cautious and taking his time. Something most not of been right for this buck, because instead of continueing down the trail that would have brought him within 15 yards of my blind he decided to turn off into the woods. He was about 30-35 yards away when I grunted at him. He stopped and looked in my direction, It was too late though, The Zwickey tipped ceder shaft was already on it’s way. I heard the shaft hit and the buck humped up and took off. I listened while he crashed through woods until I could hear him no more. I waited until dark to give him time to lay up and called my friend on the two way to come and give me a hand tracking him. I figured I would find him within 50 to 75 yards piled up. I would come to find that would not be the case. I went to the spot I shoot him at and I found no blood and no arrow. My buddy and I tried to find a blood trail but all we found was a few drops here and there. After a couple of hours we decided to wait until morning to pick up the trail.

I did not sleep a wink all that night I kept going over the whole episode in my mind and no matter how I looked at it, I knew I made a good hit on him. So why could I not find any sign.

Morning came and we decided to start at the place I shoot him and work out from there in a circular pattern. After about an hour and more than 150 yards away we found where he had laid up for the night. We found a what looked like afist size blood stain and after that no more blood and no more sign. We finally called it quits after more than 4 hours of searching.

I have to say I am really sick over the whole matter and it really bothers me. I had never lost an animal that I had shot before and I hope I never do again.

I will take this as a learning experience and spend more time shooting at 30 and 40 yard distance.

Hog hunting with a Bow

2010 September 6
Posted by todd_mayriam

It was a hot morning and I had been riding around on a swamp buggy with Lewis my guide from L&R High Adventure Outfitters in Okeechobee, Florida from about 7 am amd it was now going on 10 am.  I was hunting Florida wild hog, but this morning the hogs were no where to be found.  I did enjoy the ride as there was plenty to see from the 15 foot platform of the buggy.  We jumped a couple of deer that were bedded in the palmettos and watched them bound away with their white tails waving at us.  I was able to see a Buffalo up close and I mean like 15 feet away.  These animals of the western planes are much larger in person than I ever thought and just as majestic.  I also saw a number of tropical birds, Sand Hill Cranes, Blue Herons, White Ibis and a Bald Eagle but no hogs.  It was still fun to see the dogs work while they tried their best to find a scent of the hog.  Earlier that morning one of the guide’s dog an experienced hog dog named Sassy got scent of a hog but lost it quickly in the wet swamp.  The guide decided to move up along an old fence row as it was getting hot and there were plenty of places for a hog to wallow and bed down in the mud to get away from the rising heat.  The guide gathered up his dogs and placed them back in their cages to give them a rest then he let out his second set of fresh dogs to go to work. After a few minutes the dogs caught scent of a hog and started to bark and yelp, the guide knew what that ment.  The dogs had bayed a hog and they were telling us, here we have him come and get him.  We got off the buggy and followed the sound a few hundred yards through the thick palmettos and found the dogs.  They had a nice fat hog cornered in  the palmettos up against an old fence line.  The dogs were running around keeping this hog right there until their master arrived.  When we showed up the guide said  ”there is a good meat hog for you think you can hit her from here”.  The hog was across an irrigation canal backed up against a fence with thick palmettos on one side and the canal on the other.  I looked it over as I was about 30 yards from the hog and I only had a small shooting window through the palmettos to get get an arrow into her.  The guide told me that if she runs and makes it into those thick palmettos it would be nearly impossible to get a clean shot at her.  I told the guide I could make the shot. 

I pulled back my 65 pound Bear First Strike bow and I settled the 30 yard pin on her side through that small opening in the palmettos.  The guide asked if I had the shot I said yes I am ready.  He told me to wait until he called his dogs off before shooting and I should shoot fast because as soon as he called his dogs off the pig may run for cover.  The guide called to his dogs and like obiendent servents they returned to him and he said ok now shoot.  I let the 485 grain Eastman XX75 shaft tipped with a razor sharp 100 grain Muzzy broadhead fly.  The arrow hit with a resounding thud and exited the other side of the hog.  The hog jumped when the arrow hit and took off.  I was able to put the arrow right behind her shoulders.   I knew the hog was not going far my broadhead had done it’s work, she ran less than 40 yards and was done.  The dogs all ran up and got a few nips and bites on the hog then the guide called them off and placed them back in their cages.  He looked at me and said great shot lets go get her. We walked over and looked at my hog and she was good meat hog about 100 pounds the guide said and she will be real good eating.  We loaded her up and headed back to camp.  When we got there the guide went right to work field dressing and quartering.  He made short work of his task and before long I had a cooler full of pork and I could not be happier.  The hog weighed in at 106 pounds and upon examination of the hog I could see that my Muzzy punched through her and exited the shoulder on the other side.  A very clean and quick kill.  After the guide finished another hunter showed up with his hog a good size boar that weighed in at almost 200 pounds and had a nice set of cutters as well.  I loaded up and headed back to my home in Miami.  A short time later I was back home and after cleaning and packageing all of the hog meat I had.  I fired up my grill invited some friends and family over and had Pork tenderloin and ribs on the grill.  Very good eating and a very satisfying end to a day of hunting. 

If you are looking for a hog hunt in South Florida be sure to give my friends at L&R High Adventure Outfitters a call.  They have a first class outfit.  You can hunt from a buggy, tree stand, or spot and stock.  they cater to bow hunters and have a very comfortable lodge you can stay at right on the property.  They have thousands of acres of private land they hunt on.  The best part aside from the great hunting  is the cost.  They have what is called a “working man’s special” for $150.00 they will take you out and put you on a meat hog and for a little more you can hunt trophy hog.  So give them a call and book your next hunt with them, They also offer Trophy Whitetail and exotics.  I know I will be going back real soon.

L&R High Adventure Outfitters

800 738-4018

Questions of Traditional Archery

2010 September 6
Posted by todd_mayriam

Hello all I have a received a number of questions from readers looking to get into Traditional Archery so I will try and answer them here if I can.

Being a good shot with a compound bow is a plus because you have already developed good form and follow through or you would not be a good shot with it.  This is even more important when it comes to traditional bows i.e. Recurve or Longbows.  It took a few months of good practice to be able to shoot well with my long bow.  I can now get fist size groups at 20 yards and at 30 yards I am to hit where I am 8-10 times.  I am still practicing and still improving my skill though.  As for making your own bows, again I am no expert having only made 5 bows and 2 of those broke before I even took my first shot with one.  The third bow was tillard so bad that when I finally got it completed and checked the draw weight I was at 21 pounds, half of the 40 pounds I was looking for.  I finally got it right on my forth try with a really ugly but functional Osage Orange longbow.  This bow had a length of 66 inches and a draw weight 41 pounds at 28inch draw.  I shot this bow for over a year and hunted with it one season where I downed 2 deer, 3 hogs and raccoon and armadillo. I broke the bow on a hog hunt recently which forced me to make another bow.  My bow limb got caught on a bush going down the trail and snap.  (note, do not place your long bow in a rille carrier on a 4 wheeler then go driving through the Florida swamp.)  My fifth and latest bow is made of Hickory and is 68 inches with a draw weight of 47 pounds at 28 inches.  It is fast and silent and it shoots very well.  This bow was the easiest to make of them all.  It did take me two weeks to complete, because I put a hand rubbed linseed oil finish on it and took my time with it’s looks. 

making a bow is relatively easy if you start with a good billet of wood which can be purchased from any one of 100 different bowers on the net.  That is where I would start.  As for cost a good billet that needs to be tillered and finished will run you about $40. The string around $10.00 and you will have all the makings of a good longbow.  All I can say is jump in and do not be afraid to fail your first times that is part of the lore and fun of making your own longbow.  When the day comes and it is ready to shot the first time, do not be surprised if you find yourself thinking you are back to simpler times when man took to the field with stick and string.  It is an experience few in these days of 350 FPS compound bows can say they have enjoyed.