Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

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October 4: Robbie B Gets It Done

On my first bowhunt with Robbie Beckwith he was 12 years old. He went with me to one of my treestands and put his first buck on the ground that same morning. Now he’s 50 and is still a dedicated bowhunter. Recently he moved his family and business interests from the big city to the country and made sure his land had deer activity.

On this Monday I noticed I had a call from him at 9:47 in the morning. I texted him and asked if his Dad, ‘the Duck,’ was ok. He texted back that he had a deer hunting question. So I asked him what the question was.

He messaged, “Had a mishap with a big buck yesterday afternoon. Robbie was having a problem with his peep-sight because of his glasses. He missed his shot and the buck and some does he was interacting with moved out to 20 yards. They were all calm but left after a few minutes.

And Robbie asked me, “How long should I rest the spot before going back?

Well, he hadn’t spooked the buck nor the does, I typed back, “Go in right away. Stay all day if you can.”

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Opening Day Wild Boar

The beast is dead! Long live the mighty beast!

No deer today, but I was able to knock this big wild boar hog down.

My first arrow looked like a perfect quartering away shot. But I could still see the arrow in him as he ran away. I heard a crash and figured he was done. Boy, was I wrong…

I knocked another arrow and walked over to the area I last saw him, as I can around the corner, I could hear chomping. He was staring right at me only 15 yards away, chomping his cutters at me, pissed off as he could be.

I put another arrow in him, but it didn’t even phase him. The next thing I knew, he was charging right at me 100mph. So, I pulled my 9mm, and gave him all I had. Luckily, my 5th shot hit him right between the eyes and he dropped at my feet.

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October 3: First Big Buck Morning!

John A. and I hunted from our mutual ground blind stand we call the ‘Tin Barn.’  Last night I set my alarm wrong and got up, got ready, got out to the blind, a full 1 1/2 hours early. John arrived at the right time.

Over the weekend we saw lots of does and on Sunday had 7 bucks, all young ones.

Before daylight this morning several Doe size shadows moved into the immediate area And Scattered Around in the shadowy darkness. Although Unseen, A nice Buck was also watching.

Daylight came eventually and we saw several Does come through the area. Before long we noticed that our surprise guest was looking around the place only 30 yards from us.

Yikes, the battery in my to low to take a picture. So I used my iPhone, the pictures of which looked ok on the iphone screen, but were a little blurry.

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10 Essentials For Your Bowhunting Gear

Whether you’re narrowing the gap between food and your table, connecting more deeply to nature through conservation, or extending your hunting seasons with archery gear, you’ll never run short of great reasons to try bowhunting.

Gearing up to bowhunt is exciting, and it’s much simpler than most people realize. To help you better understand what you need for your first bowhunt, let’s review 10 basic bowhunting tools.

1. Compound Bow

Compound bows are great for beginning bowhunters and are the most popular style of bow among bowhunters today. Photo Credit: John Hafner Photo

Obviously, a bow of some sort is your most basic need. You have three bow types to choose from, starting with the compound bow. These bows are nearly standard issue for bowhunting today. They’re easier to shoot than traditional recurves or longbows, but require more practice than crossbows to become proficient. Modern compound bows are efficient and don’t require extraordinary strength to draw and shoot.

When selecting a bow, it’s best to seek help from an expert at an archery shop. Hunting bows are not “one size fits all.” Make sure you choose a bow that matches your fit and bowhunting needs. You must become as accurate as possible to enjoy shooting and be lethal in the woods.

2. Traditional Bow

Using a traditional bow for bowhunting is challenging yet rewarding. Photo Credit: T. Ridenour

Traditional recurves or longbows are bowhunting’s simplest weapons. These bows have been used thousands of years, and are more effective today than when our ancestors carried them for hunting and self-protection. Shooting and harvesting game animals with these basic bows is also challenging and rewarding.

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Field Evaluation: ThermaCELL Insect Repellent


In this field evaluation, we’ll review a popular product from The Schawbel Corporation called the ThermaCELL. If you hate flies and mosquitoes as much as I do, you’ll want to take time to read on.

ThermaCELL uses patented technology to disperse a small amount of repellent into the air over a long period of time. ThermaCELL is powered by a butane cartridge which provides the cordless, portable heat necessary to operate the device (batteries are not needed). It directs the heat to a metal grill. A blue pad saturated with Allethrin, a copy of a naturally occurring insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers, is placed on top of the metal grill. The heat generated by the butane cartridge vaporizes the repellent allowing it to rise into the air, creating a 15 x 15 ft (225 sq ft) “Mosquito-Free-Zone” in minutes. The repellent is very unpleasant to mosquitoes, but when used outdoors, will not harm humans or pets.

ThermaCELL provides a 15′ x 15′ “bug-free zone”.

– Initial Inspection –

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Interview: Archery Icon Tom Jennings

Article by Frank Addington, Jr.

The last show I saw Tom at he graciously signed this photo for me. Rich Walton

FA: First question, when and where were you born?
I was was born July 17, 1924 in Arkansas but moved to California as an infant.

FA: I understand you went to high school with some famous people…like who?
I went to Van Nuys High School 1940-42 with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. Both became famous actresses and movie stars. Maybe I should have asked one for a date!

FA: When were you first exposed to archery?
In 1935 I was 11 years old living in Van Nuys, CA. My buddy Bill had a bow that scout master Creed Kelly showed him how and helped him to build. We were both in the scouts. We went to a soccer field, where we shot the bow. Up until then I had been using a sling shot and the bow was a lot more impressive than the sling shot. I wanted one and I knew I was going to build one. The bow was made out of Lemonwood, which came from Cuba. Henry Bitzenburger, who was into archery and later became the inventor and designer of the Bitzenburger fletching jig, owned a lumber yard in Los Angeles. I went there and bought a stave to build my own long bow. It was a self bow, no laminates, with horn tips and turned out to be 38-40 pound pull.

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Middle Of The Month of September


A Visual Overview Of The Deer Woods In Mid September.

Robert Hoague

Hard Antlers and Velvet. Around here we have some of both in the whitetail buck world. The buck in the picture below has his hard antlers for 2017, there is no more growth for him, only the possibilities of changes in antler color. Some buck’s antlers will become almost white. Others will be chocolate brown. And many will be in between.

Down below we have a buck that’s still in velvet but he is in for the big change. Right now his velvet has constricted tightly around the hard antler and on the left antler there is a lighter colored streak where the hard antler is showing through.

Whitetail deer buck pictures in September by Robert Hoague
Whitetail deer buck pictures in September by Robert Hoague

Whitetail deer buck pictures in September by Robert Hoague
Whitetail deer buck pictures in September by Robert Hoague
Whitetail deer buck pictures in September by Robert Hoague
Whitetail deer buck pictures in September by Robert Hoague
Whitetail deer buck pictures in September by Robert Hoague
Whitetail deer buck pictures in September by Robert Hoague
Whitetail deer buck pictures in September by Robert Hoague
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Interview: Michele Eichler of Muzzy Broadheads

Article by Frank Addington, Jr.

FA: Michele, first question, where were you born and raised?
I was born in New York City and raised in Florida and New York. We always spent the winter/spring in Florida and the summer/fall in NY (through hunting season of course)

FA: Describe a bit about your life growing up.
I had a wonderful childhood. I was a tomboy so I would spend a lot of time outside. In NY we had chickens, horses and other farm animals for fun. My brother and I rode our horses or worked around the other animals. We would also shoot our recurves and practice whenever dad would be shooting his bow. Sometimes Dad would take us out into the woods and sit with us so we could see deer as they would come out to feed. We would also go along when he would cut wood or build permanent stands. In Florida, we lived right on the water and spent days waterskiing, fishing and snorkeling in our back yard.

The Musacchia Family, John Sr. Barbara, Michele and John Jr.

FA: How old were you when you first had a bow in your hand and who put it there?
Of course my dad put it there and we have footage of my brother and I shooting when I was around 7 and he was 5. Basically for as long as I can remember.

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Be a Deer Camp Hero

“I’d rather cook than hunt,” said no deer hunter ever.  Although things are changing, most deer camps welcome anyone who will make great meals with a minimum of mess and preparation.  Here are three great ways to garner the admiration and appreciation of your fellow campmates that work in a cozy cabin or wilderness camp.

Pre-Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, long-term energy, and taste.  Problem is, they take a long time to make, especially when the gang returns after dark.  To enjoy baked and fried potatoes, cook a 10-pound bag of spuds before the hunt so they can be quickly warmed by a campfire or sliced for a delicious, energy-filled breakfast.

Great Eating Options

Pre-baking potatoes are easy: Wash each potato and rub it with olive oil.  Next, salt each spud, wrap in foil, and bake for an hour at 350 degrees.  Store in a cool place or refrigerate.  For breakfast, fry a pan of bacon and then drop sliced potatoes into the grease.  Flip when brown on one side and salt to taste.  Also, you can pour beaten eggs over the potatoes for a great egg combo.

No-Mess Pancakes

Mixing pancake batter usually requires bowls and utensils that must be washed.  Instead, put a premeasured amount of pancake mix in a gallon-size Zip-lock bag.  Even if you use, a “ready-mix” pancake mix, add a couple of eggs and milk to give the flapjacks extra flavor.  Instead of a ladle, just squeeze the batter from the bag for the perfect amount and enjoy a great breakfast and a quick cleanup.

Yummy Options

Pancakes are a great breakfast, even when plain.  However, add some fruit or chocolate chips and you suddenly have a Sunday delight.  Blueberries are my favorite and you can mix them into the batter before pouring them onto a griddle or skillet or add them afterward.  Strawberries, raspberries, and chocolate chips also add extra yummy to the cakes.

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The Crown Buck Pt #3: Searching For Crown Buck

Robert Hoague Webmaster

I walked to the house and waited for darkness and for my buddies to pull in. To be honest I was apprehensive. Crown Buck was too close for me to use the sight on my crossbow and basically I shot him instinctively. The arrow went so fast that I could not see it and Crown Buck exploded instantly and ran full tilt towards the mouth of the gulley 80 yards away.

The tall grass sucked in his outline and that was the end of what I saw. He was out of sight in seconds. I felt good about the hit, however I had no real facts to base that on.

After dark Richey, John, Bryant, Collin and Champ arrived. It was already one of those darker than dark nights. We switched our flashlights on and they followed me to where I made the shot. Collin videoed with his iPhone. We looked around the immediate area. No one found my arrow nor did anyone see any blood.

“He went this direction,” I said, and started walking in the direction of the gulley. When we got to the tall grass we spread out. We were not finding any sign or the buck.

Champ spoke excitedly, “I found blood!”

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The Crown Buck: Pt 2, Fast Action

Crown Buck stood motionless, staring right at my face. So, I borrowed from a page in the Big Buck’s page-book and stood motionless myself, not moving a centimeter from the top of my head to my toes. I breathed very slowly through my nose, a subtle trick of my own that I thought up year’s ago. It has worked for me more than it hasn’t!

It worked this time too.

A black hocked Doe stepped out of the trees 45 yards ahead and magically Crown Buck picked up on it. He switched on his full alert look and postured in “Here I Am Baby” mode. The Doe held her grounds and looked at him; which tipped me off, I had better get doing whatever I was gonna do.

Above is a game camera picture of Crown Buck from November 11, 2020 taken a year earlier a mile from where we both were.

Every second counted now. I scooped up my crossbow. He was closer than I would’ve liked but ‘”It is what it is.” I shouldered the crossbow and did one of those “act, don’t think about it” moves. The crossbow has a scope but he was too close to fool with using it. I sighted down the stock and pulled the trigger.

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How To Age Bucks? And Why?

Some say the age of a whitetail buck is easy to judge if you know what to look for. A buck’s Body is always the best way to field judge a buck’s age. Can you judge a buck’s age by his antlers? What can antlers tell you about a particular buck?

To find the oldest bucks follow the tips from Jeff Sturgis’s latest web class, “How To Hunt The Whitetail Rut”: https://www.whitetailhabitatsolutions…

After you know how to find the oldest bucks, make sure that you follow Jeff’s proven, weather based hunt predictions when every time you deer hunt. Check out HuntCast, at:

 Whitetail Habitat Solutions

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South Arkansas Longbow Bowhunter Bags New State Record Buck

Longbow Bowhunter Johnathan Moreland Located A Huge South Arkansas Buck And Bowhunts Hard To Get Him. His Game Camera shows the buck ahead of the season and during the season. One night the camera records video of a brutal fight between the buck and another giant. Johnathan hunts every chance he can and sees the giant buck 5 times. Wild Hogs and coyotes chases interfere with his hunts.


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2022 West Successful Virginia Bowhunt

Just In: Bowhunter Weston Sloan moved into an area where he was setup to bowhunt a big 10-point he had scouted before season. Three nice bucks show up and we get to see some good footage of the buck activity in the deep woods.

The 10-point leaves but returns in a short while he returns. This time Weston gets a shot opportunity. And the buck goes down in sight.

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Fixed Blade or Mechanical Broadhead? Why not Both?

Don Wilson waited impatiently as daylight finally arrived unveiling three deer feeding near his stand.  One was a respectable 8-point and Wilson raised his trusty CAM-X crossbow and launched a Grim Reaper Hybrid-tipped arrow toward the deer.  Striking the animal in mid-chest, it dropped like a brick and quickly expired.  Wilson knew the “Watch em drop” logo for Grim Reaper but never expected such a dramatic result.

Why Hybrids:

Expandable broadheads have a slender silhouette and often strike point-of-aim just like target points.  Additionally, they utilize razor-sharp blades to make large wound channels for quick ethical kills.  If the head fails to open, the broadhead acts like a target point.  Fixed blades have no moving parts and “always work” giving the hunter greater confidence.  Unfortunately, the larger the head, the more likely it will wind plane and not strike like target points.

What About Penetration?

In most cases, fixed blades penetrate better than mechanical broadheads because the opening process and larger blade size create greater friction.  With today’s high-speed compounds and super-kinetic energy crossbows, this slight loss of penetration is insignificant.  Just as you should test the accuracy of your hybrid heads against target points, do the same with a foam target and you will have confidence in your shot.

Popular Options-

Here’s a look at five brands all with different profiles and characteristics except that each has a singular cutting head with a mechanical option that deploys on impact.  The best way to test a head from your compound or crossbow is to shoot it into a foam target with a sheet of paper on the front.  The paper will show if your broadhead opens upon contact or after penetration.

Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper hybrid features a chisel point and four blades, two fixed and two that open.  In 100 grains, the 1 3/16ths fixed blade assures a lethal cut with the boost of a 1 1/2 inch mechanical blade that opens upon impact. 

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The Crown Buck: Pt 1, Contact

My newest hunting buddy is my step daughter’s son Champ. He is a natural born outdoorsman and at 13 years old he’s spent more time in the woods; and likely knows more about woodsmanship and understands more about locating and hunting our local wild game, Whitetail deer and wild hogs, than most 30-40 year olds do. I’m not lying, Champ has spent plenty of his time there and he knows his way around in the whitetail woods.

Champ with a large wild boar he arrowed with a crossbow last year when he was 12.

Last year, the Friday after this Thanksgiving, Champ wanted to zero in on a big wild boar showing up regularly on his SpyPoint mobile game camera at one of my ground blind stand sites. The day before that I hunted alone in a weather worn, years old tin shed. Before long my area got nuts with deer activity, all does, but that’s ok because the rut was coming on right then and this steady flow of does in and out of my area might get the attention of a nice mature buck.

Three of the members of our deer lease were also down to hunt, Richey, John and Bryant. I kept up with everyone by texting them and they were seeing deer also. An hour before dark 5 does were scattered around my area; on the slope in front of me, in the valley the slope led to, on the nearby hillside and in the surrounding strips of woods. Something caught their attention and all of the does looked in the direction of a nearby area I couldn’t see — south of my dirt-floor tin shed.

Suddenly … from the right, a buck walked into my view, only a few feet away from my shooting cut-out in the blind’s wall.

He was a big, mature buck. Based on sightings of him by Richie, Robbie and myself over the last few years he was at least 5 1/2 in age. And he was a buck that holds down the nickname of the “Crown Buck” because of his straight and evenly spaced vertical tines, and his high rack as well as the circular shape of the main beams.

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INTRODUCING: Golden Estrus® Aerosol Spray with SCENT REFLEX® Technology

In 2006 Sam Bergeson took over as President of his families hunting scent company Wildlife Research Center. Since then Sam has spearheaded the research and introduction of new deer scent and hunting products.
Three new products introductions grabbed my interest, Synthetic scents, Scent Reflex Technology and Scent Aerosol Sprays. When Scent Reflex Technology was meshed with Wildlife Research Center’s top quality synthetics; it reportedly brings the scent’s performance upward to a “Whole New Level!” — with the most consistent results ever. I placed my order on and definitely am anxious to begin using it when our deer archery season begins on October 1 this year.
By Robert Hoague,
Wildlife Research Center, Inc., is the leader in the scent and scent elimination products for the deerhunting and hunting.

The Gold Standard®

New Super Charged® Golden Estrus® Scent Aerosol Spray

Extra premium doe Urine with Estrus secretions, enhanced with break-through scent reflex technology. 3 FL oz of premium scent in a pressurized can for convenient dispersal. Bag on valve system separates premium scent from pressurized air so scent quality is never diminished.

Premium Doe Urine with Estrus Secretions, enhanced with break-through ScentReflex® Technology for a better response.3 FL OZ of premium scent in a pressurized can for convenient dispersal.High-Output sprayers that even spray upside down.Bag On Valve system separates premium scent from pressurized air so scent quality is not diminished.

Golden Estrus® Spray with Scent Reflex® Technology – The Gold Standard® – Look for the Gold Cap!

*The color gold for a cap is a registered trademark of Wildlife Research Center, inc.

3 FL OZ Spray Can – Golden Estrus® Spray with Scent Reflex® Technology


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Grilled Venison Backstrap

Grilling Venison Is Tricky. It’s A Lean Meat And Has No Fat. You Need To Know The Right Grilling Procedure Or The Meat Will Be Dry And Tough. You Don’t Want That.

Our Host Jesse Griffiths understands how important it is that you prepare and cook your venison right. So get a sharp kitchen knife and lets watch Jessie show you how to grill venison so it’s  perfect.


Serves 41 ½ – 2 pounds venison loin, trimmed of all silverskinSalt and pepperFresh chopped herbs: thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory and/or parsley, to yield about 2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs.3 tbsp olive oil1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream2 tbsp freshly grated or prepared horseradish, or more to taste2 tsp chopped fresh chives or parsleyJuice and zest of one lemonSalt to taste


Start a hot fire in a grill or preheat your grill to high heat. Season the loins with salt and pepper, and marinate in the herbs and olive oil for 2 hours or overnight, refrigerated.Once the coals have burned down, make an even and hot fire.Grill on one side without moving until nicely browned, about 4-5 minutes, then turn 90 degrees.Flip the loins, cooking them about 4-5 minutes more and still rare on the inside. Aim for a good, deeply browned char on the outside.Remove to a warm plate and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce.For the horseradish sauce, mix the crème fraiche, horseradish, chives, and zest together in a small bowl, adding salt to taste.Serve the loin, sliced thinly against the grain with mashed potatoes, the horseradish cream and a simple salad or green beans.

From “Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish”
By Jesse Griffiths



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Campfire Skillet Venison Chili

All over the USA bowhunters are either already bowhunting Whitetail Deer, Antelope, Elk and more or else preparing for their Opening Weekends. Tens of thousands of us will participate in the age old tradition of cooking fresh Venison Chili In a Skillet on their hot campfire. Nothing beats it.

Here is how to do it right.


Serves 6-8¼ cup vegetable oil2 lbs venisonSalt & pepper (to taste)2 poblano peppers, stemmed and diced½ large onion, chopped5 cloves garlic, chopped1 ½ tablespoons ancho chile powder2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or to taste depending on how much spice you like!)1 tablespoon ground cumin½ teaspoon oregano1 can black beans1 can chili beans1 can canned diced tomatoes2 cups game stock or chicken broth


Brown the venison on medium-high heat with a smidge of the vegetable oil, just enough to swirl around your large cast iron skillet. The oil and small amount of fat grease from the meat will keep the venison from sticking (if using venison with no fat mixed in, note that it will be leaner).

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.When the venison is browned, transfer it to another bowl and set it aside.Add the remaining oil, reduce the heat to medium and add the poblano peppers and the onion. Stir often and cook until the peppers and onions are soft.Increase the heat to medium-high and add your garlic, ancho chile powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, and oregano and continue to cook, stirring regularly.Add the beans, tomatoes, stock, and put the venison back into the pan. Stir until ingredients are combined and then bring everything to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.

Your Chili is ready!

Serve with whatever fixins you like, cheese, sour cream, onions, corn chips, etc.

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Scouting Scent For Whitetail Deer

INTRODUCING: Scouting Scent

Get Fast Action At Your Trail Camera Site.

Peaks interest of essentially all local wildlife, so you can see what’s nearby much quicker than setting a camera alone.Long lasting formula keeps getting action for longer. Even under wet or bad conditionsGreat for deer hunters, wildlife enthusiasts, or anyone with a trail cameraCreated by the leaders in Whitetail Deer hunting Scents.

From Wildlife Research Center

#245-4 4 FL OZ Bottle, blister carded UPC: 0-24641-02454-7
Special Value Pack Includes One Magnum Key-Wick®

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