Moments Like This… Guest Post
May04

Moments Like This… Guest Post

  “Move quickly”!  The tall damp grass muffles our foot falls, as we try to avoid an early morning face plant brought on by some unforeseen object in the dark. The sun has just started to illuminate the inky sky, as gobbles echo down the valley. We race toward the avian thunder coming from a roosting tree ahead, praying our movement will go unnoticed. A large oak tree 50 yards out appears to be the perfect end point of our mad scramble. The three of us slide into position like a baseball player stealing home plate. Within minutes (that seem like hours) there is a chorus of hair raising gobbles, pounding heartbeats, a fire red head bobbing through the brilliant sea of green, and an ever so quiet click of a safety being released… My 16 year old niece, Audrey has drawn a turkey hunt in our home state of California. She has asked my husband, Joe and I to join her on the adventure and she let us know that she is determined to drive home with a cooler full of fresh turkey meat! On opening morning of her hunt, the three of us start the 2.5 mile hike under a moonless sky, long before sun up. Our pant legs get soaked from the dew covered grass, as we meander through the dense oak trees and rolling hills. We crest the top of a ridge, plant ourselves against some trees and listen for lonely gobblers still in the roost, broadcasting their position to anything willing to listen. Within minutes we hear one, but it’s a ways off. We grab our gear and the race begins to pinpoint the roosting area. The gobbles become louder as we close the distance in the dark. In time, the morning twilight reveals the lay of the land and thunderous gobbles rumble through the crisp spring air. Who doesn’t love turkey hunting? We glance to the oak tree we want for our set up, lean over to reduce our profile, and sprint to the designated spot. Once there I scramble out in front of us a few yards, quickly set up a lone Avian X hen decoy, and slide back into position next to Audrey. I range several trees and whisper the ranges. I look into Audrey’s eyes and I can see she is ready. Joe strategically sets up about 10 yards behind the two of us and preps the play list. The birds are out of the roost and the chess match begins. Joe calls softly and a few gobblers respond. Time passes and the sequence continues. Joe calls again and the...

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A Day in The Life of Angie – Make That Call Sing by Angie Kokes
Mar11

A Day in The Life of Angie – Make That Call Sing by Angie Kokes

Growing up in a hunting family I always had access to help and the equipment I needed, but tirelessly found my mind yearning to do everything myself.  I didn’t want to be the girl who had to have her hook baited or birds cleaned by anyone but me.  And my stubbornness to do so has shaped me into the hunter and angler I am today.  I like to call it the self taught by trying all the wrong ways first and then figuring out all the right ways later…chalking that up to my stubborn streak.  However this worked well for me over the years accept in the goose blind. Goose hunting was something that was always done with my dad, brother and their friends and eventually my husband. Since there is a lot of work that goes into goose hunting, blind building, setting decoys, etc., when you’re allowed in the blind the last thing you want to do is screw the hunt up for everyone else, and so I never blew a call.  Well not exactly never, but the few times I did attempt it I was met with unfavorable looks from the other hunters,  and comments like, “you sound like a dying rabbit, you need to go home and practice.”  So I would just sit back and let the masters work the birds and when they brought them down I was the hunter who would shoot and not be heard…at least not heard blowing a call. Fast forward dozens of seasons to my having my own blind.  I still had experienced callers out to hunt several times but on one blustery day with a blizzard starting to howl my husband, brother in law and I gave it a go on our own, all of us basically non-existent in the skills of calling geese department.  By mid morning we had no birds and the guys decided they better stop playing and get home to feed the cattle.  I opted out of actually being responsible and decided I wanted to stay and hunt, I just knew in my heart this was going to be a good day for birds.   They shrugged their shoulders and left mumbling some sarcastic form of good luck with that. I’d been secretly wanting to goose hunt on my own for some time, and now was as good a time as any to let that call screech!  I let the boys get well out of range of any sound I was about to make before I started my  “it’s about time Angie learned to blow a call session.”  Rummaging through the calls I picked out a couple...

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She Was Born to Hunt- Guest Blog
Jan08

She Was Born to Hunt- Guest Blog

Down by the Riverlee… In the fall of 1998 the little township of Socastee, South Carolina welcomed a baby girl home. It was obvious from the start this little girl would be fiercely independent. She was always quiet as mouse and her big brown eyes were busy observing and learning.  Riverlee Grace Weaver was named for the place her parents met…on the river. Her Dad wanted to call her River but her Mama, being a southern girl, insisted they dress it up with “lee” on the end. Where Riverlee was most comfortable was in the woods. Her Dad was a passionate hunter and where her Daddy was, there was her Mama. At the time she was born they were members of Winyah Archery Club in Georgetown, South Carolina. At three weeks old Riverlee had already spent the weekend at the hunt club with her parents.   Nearly every weekend during hunting season for her entire formulative childhood, Riverlee spent in a hunt camp. Her Daddy took her with him when he sat nearly from the time she could walk, knowing he had no plans of shooting a deer, but taking the opportunity to share the joy of the quietness with her. Riverlee was an expert at stillness. She could sit for hours without making a peep, still as a statue with never ending patience, just waiting for something to show. A deer, a raccoon, a turkey, a rabbit, a hog…it didn’t matter in the beginning. At seven years old she shot her first deer.  As she got older, she began refining her skills. She moved into bow hunting with ease and embraced the challenge of luring the deer in close enough for a good shot. When she was thirteen she called out to her Mama that she was going hunting someplace close to home. This was not unusual. It was typical to see her backside leaving the yard with her bow in hand and backpack strapped on. This particular night she came home with quite a story! As she was walking to her stand she happened to walk up on a doe. The doe never saw her, which is a testament to her stealthiness, so Riverlee dropped immediately into the background as this doe nibbled on her acorn snacks. Over the next few minutes, thirteen year old Riverlee successfully stalked and harvested this doe with her own bow. Dad did have to help pull her out of the woods though! While she loved hunting in general, she preferred bow hunting. She and her family began traveling to expand her hunting portfolio. Gobbler Down! She took her first turkey with...

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Thankful for Hunting- Guest Blog

  Autumn begins its approach towards winter. The days grow shorter and the temperatures begin to drop. The crunching of the leaves echoes loudly through the silent forest. As I make my way through the woods to my hunting stand in the pre-dawn hours, the bite of the frosty air and the dark stillness around me breathe excitement into every ounce of my being. Sitting motionless in the cold awaiting the first glimpse of daylight, all of my senses are on high alert. I try to control the racing of my heart. I am thankful for this magical time…it is hunting season in Pennsylvania!! Each time I enter the woods to hunt, I detach from the fast-paced chaos of everyday life, push pause, and step into the moment. The soothing of my soul begins as Mother Nature reveals her wonder and beauty in the most magical and glorious ways. Whether it is the gift of a buck that fills the freezer with meat, a noisy squirrel that keeps your nerves on edge, or a cold soaking rain that chills you to the bone; Mother Nature never fails to amaze and educate. These lessons I am thankful for. I did not grow up in a hunting family, but I was fortunate to marry into one. My husband grew up a farm boy, and naturally a hunter. Over the years, I assisted my husband with preparations for his hunting trips with the men in the family. I shared in both the anticipation and rewards of each hunt. But, every time my husband went off to hunt, I found myself longing to be part of the family hunting trip and the secrets it held.             After some time, the demands of life began to alter the family hunting trips. The hunting party decreased in size. While these changes took place, the desire within me to hunt continued to burn even brighter. My husband could not help but notice. The day finally came and I was invited on the family hunt. I don’t think everyone was as happy to have me in the hunting party as I was to be there. I was put to the test, over and over again. I rose to each challenge. I would continue to hunt. How could I not? That first trip to the woods left me with an addiction to hunting that couldn’t be ignored. Not to mention, a whole lot of experiences that I am most grateful to have had.             My love for hunting has never waned. My husband and I continue to hunt together. Our family hunting party is now made up of...

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Take a Stand on Treestand Safety!
Sep14

Take a Stand on Treestand Safety!

Ladder Treestand Safety Tips by Dana Sacia, Guest Blogger If you are a bow hunter, you have heard time and time again … Safety first, Safety first, Safety first. You may even know someone that has had a treestand accident. The thought of that happening intimidated me so much that it took me years to climb up and get in one. I realized if I wanted to experience bow hunting from high ground, I was going to have to figure out how to over come this fear. The first thing I needed to do was to become educated on how to be as safe as possible. I wanted to ensure myself memorable and enjoyable hunts for years to come without an accident. It didn’t take long to realize it really is pretty simple. All I had to do was apply a little basic knowledge and become aware of the importance of safety. Once that happened, I was able to enjoy the excitement of hunting from a new view and perspective while remaining safe and sound. Safety Harnesses Wearing a safety vest or full body harness is one of the most important aspects to consider before climbing into a treestand. Statistics show that 30% of bow hunters will experience a fall or accident from lack of safety while hunting out of a ladder stand. Being in a hurry can be the number one result of an accident. As soon as you get into the stand, strap yourself in and then get settled. A strong and sturdy safety rope (or strap) should be attached to both your harness and the tree to prevent you from falling more than 12 inches. See more at:  Summit Journal  Safety harness should fit securely. Good harnesses have shock absorption and are made of highly durable materials. The comfort of safety harness has greatly improved over the last several years. Some brands of safety harnesses include: • Hunter Safety Systems: Contour • Summit Stands: Fast-Back Deluxe • Robinson Outdoors: Tree Spider • Big Game Trees: EZ On • Gorilla: G20 Setting up a Ladder Stand I personally hunt out of a ladder stand so the first thing to consider when preparing to set one up is finding a healthy tree. Try to pick a solid, strong, and heavy tree. Make sure you choose one that is nest free to any animals so you are not interrupting any home. Once you have selected the perfect tree, clean the debris at the base of it. This will eliminate tripping over any rocks or thick brush when you are entering or exiting the stand. It will also show you if...

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Oregon  Bow Huntress – Straight To The Heart!
Aug06

Oregon Bow Huntress – Straight To The Heart!

Opening day of archery bull elk and archery buck deer are less than 20 days away here in Oregon. This will be my first year bowhunting. I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned over the last year while I have been practicing and preparing for my first year bowhunting. If you are new to bowhunting, find a reputable pro-shop that has bows you can shoot. Do not buy a bow just because you like how it looks. You might not like the draw cycle or other aspects of shooting that particular bow. Whichever bow you choose, make sure that it fits YOU and feels comfortable to hold! I have been shooting a Bowtech Carbon Rose for little over a year and have recently switched over to a Bowtech Eva Shockey Signature Series. Make sure your draw length is correct! The pro-shop will have you stretch out your arms with your palms facing forward (do not overstretch). They measure from the tip of your middle finger to the other and divide that number by 2.5. For example, my measurement is 65, so my draw length is 26 inches. Another very important thing is your draw weight; make sure you check your state laws. You must meet minimum weight requirements. If your bow is too easy to pull back, increase your weight. If it is too difficult to pull back, decrease your weight. If you do not meet minimum weight requirements, remember that practice, practice, practice will build up those muscles. Sarah Bowmar has a great video on YouTube you can watch; she shows you how to increase your draw weight. My current draw weight is 47-48 pounds, but I plan to get that up to 50 pounds soon (legal archery bull elk minimum weight is 50 pounds in the state of Oregon). Make sure your anchor point is consistent. The anchor point is where your hand, release and face all meet when you are at full draw. You can have a kisser button added to help you find the correct spot, normally the corner of your mouth. Grip is another thing that needs to be consistent. Some people only have the grip touching the fleshy part of their palm and have fingers pointed out straight (not my favorite way). Another way is to have the grip touching the fleshy part of the palm and very lightly place the fingertips on the opposite side of the grip. The third way is to have the grip touching the fleshy part of the palm and having your knuckles make a 45-degree angle parallel to the grip. Choose accessories...

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