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June 17, 2017

I was on vacation the last two weeks. We were deep in the canyons of Montana in Missoula. Stopped at Jackson along the way. You can tell the billionaires chased away the millionaires in Jackson Hole. The Tetons are always cool to see.

Why did we pick Missoula? The Boone and Crockett Club offered me one of 48 total seats at their April or June measurer's training sessions (24 each session). I chose June. Really didn't want to fight any winter weather in April. Four-and-a-half days of learning the history of B&C and measuring two animals from each of the major categories. I am officially a Boone and Crockett measurer now. It took my time and some treasure but something that was definitely on my bucket list. And for you rocket surgeons that think being a measurer (P&Y and/or B&C) is something where the Clubs just call you up and and say "You are a measurer", you are quite mistaken. It's an invite and most the of the treasure is yours. And yes, there are tests and quizzes. 

I have been P&Y certified since 2000 but have desired the certification of B&C measurer as well. I know much more about the club than I ever knew before. I bet most of you did not know Teddy Roosevelt started the club in 1887 and the main mission of Boone and Crockett is conservation. The antler and horn records is just part of the conservation effort.

We visited the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Cool place on the north end of Missoula. We have added three new Cabela's stores to our Cabela's stores list. If you ever make it to Missoula, Cabela's is on the south side of town and a great barbeque place is Notorious P.I.G.

Getting a couple of bucks on camera that may have some potential. Early yet. Maybe one that will push B&C minimum of 160 by the time he is done growing. We will know more in August.

I picked up some AAE Max Hunter vanes. Have wanted to try them for a while. Fletched three arrows up yesterday. Two fly great but one not so great. It had something funky going on with one of the vanes and I did not notice it until it was done the first time. I stripped it and reflected it last night. Will check it today. The Max Hunter profile is higher than most other vanes. I can tell that full cable and riser clearance is tight on the Carbon Defiant 34.


June 4, 2017

Fawning time! Captured my first fawn photos last week.

Nice to have a break from the rain. Have had to put my scythe to use the last couple of weekends knocking the grass down in front of my cameras.

Looks like the Trail Camera Shootout results are in. Wow! There are a lot of cameras to choose from.

Forced myself to walk away from my constant paper tuning checks last week. Been difficult. Withdrawal! Always looking for the perfect bullet hole. Think I achieved it. Tried French tuning for the first time last week. That works okay as long as you can hold the pin steady on the string from your plumb bob type setup and get consistent releases. My string was a little on the large side but the process seemed to achieve my goals. Drove the string into the target quite a few times. I think that is the idea. My arrow flight is much more consistent. It looks good at 18 yards. For those of you interested in French tuning there are lots of videos on the web to guide you through the process. It's simple. Just remember sight first, rest second.

Still doing lots of reading on fletching and broadheads. I'm kind of zeroed in on vane noise right now. Never realized it before but different vanes are much louder than others. I suppose it's logical but I can definitively hear a difference. I have some new lower profile, stiff vanes. Very quiet. I would think that would help the string jumping but we are dealing with fractions of a second. Tough to tell. However, I'm not 100% satisfied with the flight of those arrows yet.


May 26, 2017

I have been doing lots of trail camera education, lots of John Dudley video watching, lots of Hoyt shooting, yard mowing and a home project or two. I am currently working on my movable, rustic, bow mechanic bench.

Love the new Browning cameras from TCP. Definitely keepers. These cameras just keep chugging along. Looks like Trailcampro finished up some major camera testing this week too. Their tests always provide a lot of insight to what the manufacturers are up to.

Have accepted that I shoot a slow arrow but very satisfied with the momentum my setup creates. It should hit with a wallop.  Evidently, my setup was giving some false positives during my earlier paper tuning tests. My rest was initially set and resulted in a bullet hole....but the rest location was not in the power path of the Carbon Defiant 34 and the sight pin did not line up with the end of my FMJ 340 arrow. I have had that happen before. This always bugs me.

I decided to move the rest out to the bow power path. After a couple of paper shots I got my bullet hole. HHHMMMMMM! Not sure what is going on but I will take it. Bullet hole as a result of the QAD HDX in the power path and now my sight pin lines up with the arrow. Yes! that's my goal.

Now I'm focusing on shooting form and release. John Dudley videos to the rescue. Lots of good stuff here and presented in a form that I understand. Good job John.


May 13, 2017

Getting the hang of the new cameras and what they like best for setups. Bucks are growing but nothing stands out quite yet. Have captured a few pictures of a real healthy bobcat. Big boy.

Zeroing in on my fletching setup. Have some new Full Metal Jacket 340s to get setup. Trying the QAD Exodus fixed blade broadheads this hear. Everything I've read so far leads me to believe my arrow flight will be good. Focusing more on a hardened tip versus a cut on contact type tip.


May 4, 2017

Been a while. In the last month I finally got my cameras redeployed. I purchased a new Hoyt Carbon Defiant 34, Hoyt one pin slider sight and QAD HDX rest. I paper tuned the Hoyt and have a pin dialed in at 20 yards. I have fletched and refletched numerous arrows. I am currently evaluating four 2-inch Bohning Blazers at 90 degrees set 1-3/4 inch from the nock groove, four 2.5-inch Bohning Heat vanes set 1-3/4 inch from the nock groove and my normal three 4-inch AAE vanes set about 1-1/4 inch from the nock groove. Been using 125 grain field points. Now I have a 531 grain, 5 mm FMJ. Calculated velocity is around 230 fps. Slow arrow but good momentum. Flight is really good but the wind noise from the Blazers appears quite a bit louder than the Heat Vanes. Makes sense due to the profile difference.

It's only 5 months until season is open and we are chasing critters again! I'm looking for the vane setup that gives me the best fixed blade broadhead arrow flight. Stay tuned.

One last thing, for you bow mechanics out there I've been watching a lot of John Dudley YouTube videos thanks to a colleague's recommendation. Good stuff. Endless amount of information.


April 8, 2017

Yeah I know, this site has been a dead zone for a month. I took a break. It's been way too muddy to access the farm and maintenance burning caused me to pull my cameras. Bucks should have started growing horns however I did receive a text last week with a picture of a buck still carrying both sides and he was decent.


March 5, 2017

Been looking for sheds but not any luck for me. Still a fair amount of bucks carrying horns and the sheds I'm sure are out there are not on my side of the fences. I've never really let my lack of a shed pile bother me as I'd much rather have a shoulder mount with the real horns anyway.

Cameras continue to take photos. Captured some really nifty pictures the last few weeks. Only four months from now there will be some bucks with awfully big horns already. Lets all hope those bucks call our hunting properties home.

Been spending a lot of time watching John Dudley Youtube videos. Love the bow mechanic stuff. I need a bow press. Well need might be a strong word. Want a bow press is probably more accurate.


February 5, 2017

Been test driving a few new cameras (Brownings), looking for sheds and messing with my arrows.

The Brownings are like their earlier models. They do many things really well. So far so good.

No luck finding sheds for me. A few of the older bucks have shed but sill a fair amount of bucks carrying horns.

Watched a video the other day about vane placement relative to the nock throat (1.75 inches from the nock throat). That sure looks like a long ways when they are on the arrow. I am trying some 4-fletch Blazer vanes, helical, 90-degree spacing and 125 grain field points. In the past I had always been a three, 4-inch vane proponent with 100 grain field points. I am trying to move my FOC (Front of Center) location farther forward. Shot briefly last evening (half time of ISU game) to see how my arrows flew. I may be on to something. Very tight groups. That was the intent of the tighten up my groups. Maybe this FOC thing isn't over-thinking it. Liked my results so far. My calculations last weekend showed me that with a Full Metal Jacket it will be hard to move my weight forward a lot. I would almost have to go to a lighter arrow. Not sure I'm ready to do that. I would gain more velocity but I really like my FMJs. However, there are a couple Easton models I may try.


February 5, 2017

Went for a good shed hunting walk yesterday. Still nothing. Deer have dispersed somewhat and not focused on one feed field. Might be tough to find the treasures. Still quite a few deer carrying their horns.

Test driving some new cameras now, the Browning Strike Force 850, Browning Dark Ops 940 and the Browning Strike Force Pro. So far so good. The Pro is a very small camera with a view screen like the Recon Force from last year. I like it. LED arrangement is much different.

Shot the Hoyt Carbon Defiant 34 this week. Liked it. I like a spongy backwall. The 2017 lineup allows the removal a certain peg on the cam to allow for this. Otherwise, left in, it maintains that hard wall feeling...which I do not like. Most others like the hard backwall.

I purchased myself a little grain scale for $30. Ass an arrow builder, why I didn't own one of these 10 or 20 years ago is unknown to myself. Weighed my arrows. 507 grains fully outfitted. At 55 lbs the online arrow calculator tells me 247 feet per second, plus or minus. Weighed my broadheads too. My Slick Tricks and Muzzy heads weigh 100 grains or a smidge under at 99+. My G5s all weigh over 100 grains (105). This is going to be a fun little tool. I am also learning there is quite a bit of variability between arrows. My Realtree Camo FMJs weigh 7-10 grains different from my other FMJs.


January 10, 2017

Pulled my camera cards yesterday. Looked for sheds a little too. Reached my 10,000 steps. Foot hurts. Some yahoo felt the need to shed hunt mine before me (tracks in the snow). Many bucks still carrying both sides anyway.

Going to revamp my tree stand types next season. More bowhunting type ladders. Not sure the stand makers get it yet. Stands need to have a full platform beneath the seat and a flip up seat like a hang on so a person can lean against the tree. Might have found one that is close but still has light extended metal platform. Many of the existing flip up seats don't allow a guy to lean against the tree.

Browning came out with their new 2017 cameras already. It was Christmas at my house again this week as the new Dark Ops 940 HD and Strike Force 850 HD came in the mail. Looks like Moultrie has also released some of their 2017 lineup.

Spent a little time last week trying to lengthen the draw on my back up bow. My Hoyt Carbon Element has always felt a little short at 30 inches. Got the bowpress out and untwisted by bow string a few times. Had to redo my string look and peep sight but think I got it done. Feels longer. Would like to shoot outside for my final approval. Will wait for warm weather however.

The legislature is back in session. Make sure to keep apprised of proposed legislation affecting your favorite recreational habit.




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Site Updated: 6/17/2017