• Sticks & Strings

    With deer season in the rearview mirror, take time now to scout your woods for sign you might have missed last season.

    There’s no better time than now to prepare

    As I write this, another year’s deer season has come to a close. For many hunters, this is a sad time, as thoughts of a long offseason become reality. 

    March 01 at 7:00am
    The author killed this hit-list buck, nicknamed Saban, on Christmas Eve — after taking plenty of care not to put too much pressure on it.

    Learn to manage hunting pressure

    This month, I’m going to touch on a subject that applies to deer hunting with any weapon: managing hunting pressure on your herd. In my opinion, no single factor is more important to your success in terms of seeing and harvesting deer — especially mature bucks.  

    February 01 at 7:00am
    Mission’s SUB-1 crossbow promises minute-of-angle accuracy thanks to a number of design improvements.

    A crossbow built for supreme accuracy

    A little over a year ago, I heard rumblings that Matt McPherson and his engineers at Mission Crossbows were working on a revolutionary new crossbow design that would raise the bar for the entire industry. 

    January 01 at 7:00am
    The ZT Hyper Cams allow let-offs of 80- to 85-percent on Hoyt’s newest bows.

    Hoyt takes a big step

    Hoyt Archery’s 2018 flagship hunting bows are the most innovative to come from the Salt Lake City-based manufacturer in many years. Hoyt has redesigned their bows from the ground up, giving them a much-needed overhaul — and adding a lot of new technology.

    December 04, 2017 at 9:00am
    Mission Archer’s F.I.T. cam system offers 80 percent let-off and 55 pounds of draw-weight adjustment for owners of the Hype DTX bow.

    DTX lives up to the Hype

    Not many years ago, compound bows offered little in terms of adjustability. Most models featured only 10 pounds of draw-weight range, and at most, only 3 inches of draw-length adjustment. For many first-time archers, this meant starting out shooting a higher draw weight than they were comfortable with so they wouldn’t have to purchase new limbs for a higher poundage later.  Worse yet, parents of youngsters who were still growing often had to purchase several bows before their kids reached adulthood.  

    November 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    The crease in the palm of your hand — your life line — is where your bow grip should begin.

    Get a grip on bow torque

    In layman’s terms, torque is defined as a rotational force, or the twisting of an object. While there are some cases where more torque is desirable — such as the output of your vehicle’s engine — the handle of your bow is definitely NOT one of them. 

    October 04, 2017 at 9:00am
    Natural cover from limbs on nearby trees provides a hunter the opportunity to draw unobserved from this ladder stand.

    Keys to bow stand selection

    Archery season is fast approaching and hopefully, most bowhunters have their archery equipment set up and dialed in. But what about the tree stands they will hunt from? 

    September 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Carrying an extra cable and string set can be a life-saver if you have equipment problems on a hunt far from home.

    Be ready for field repairs

    Every bowhunter’s worst nightmare is to have equipment issues in the field. Regular maintenance can greatly reduce the chances of this happening, but there is always a possibility. An errant broadhead can easily cut a string or cable, and brush or rocks can fray them as well. Servings can slip, causing nock-point movement and poor arrow flight. 

    August 05, 2017 at 9:00am
    Top-quality strings can make a big difference in the accuracy of any compound bow.

    Don’t scrimp on strings

    Many components make up modern compound bows, and the string system is one of the most important. The string and cables on today’s bows are the equivalent of a vehicle’s power train, providing power and timing.

    July 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Ravin’s two 2017 model crossbows, the R9 and R15, offer hunters plenty of the latest technology for great arrow speeds and accuracy.

    Killer new crossbows

    In this day and age, the archery industry — like many others — has become extremely competitive and overcrowded, with new manufacturers constantly entering the marketplace. This is especially true of the crossbow market, so when I heard another new company had entered the fray, honestly, I rolled my eyes.  

    June 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Stabilizers that fit between the split limbs of a bow will quiet the bow substantially and cut down on vibration.

    Get things stabilized

    When I first started shooting a compound bow almost 30 years ago, many archers shot without a stabilizer. Bows were generally longer and heavier, and they didn’t generate nearly the torque and power of today’s bows. 

    May 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Changing from a caliper-style release (right) to a back-tension release may help with problems involving holding on the target.

    Live with target panic

    Archery is a sport requiring extreme mental focus, as well as proper form and muscle memory developed through lots of practice. 

    For these reasons, I often compare it to golf. Also like golf, it is a game of mistakes: He or she who makes the fewest mistakes wins.

    April 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    The Axion Pulse pull-away rest features an independent actuation arm.

    The case for arrow rests

    One of the most important components of any archery setup is the arrow rest. The rest serves not only to guide the arrow, but to hold it before the shot.

    March 02, 2017 at 8:30am
    Choosing the proper arrow for your hunting setup is an involved process, as this chart shows.

    Give yourself the shaft

    With all of the annual hype and focus on the latest and greatest compound bows, the arrows they shoot are often an afterthought. In reality, the arrow is just as important, if not more, than the bow it is shot from. 

    February 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Texas offers great exotic hunts at reasonable prices.

    It’s an exotic thing

    January marks the end of hunting seasons across most of the country, with some ending at the first of the month, some at the end.

    Bowhunters are often at a loss when they realize they face a long offseason, wishing they were in a tree stand. 

    January 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Compare a new axle and two axles damaged when a crossbow was accidentally dry-fired.

    Get to know a crossbow

    Although crossbows have been around for thousands of years, until recently, their use for deer hunting has been legally limited or restricted in most of the country.

    December 01, 2016 at 7:00am