Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

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ATA Spotlight- Scent Crusher Scent Elimination

The doe walked right up and bedded 10 feet away as if I was invisible.  I was sitting against the base of a tree, and this deer walked toward me and bedded 10 feet away.  A small buck trailed it in a few minutes, forcing the doe to leave.  Neither the buck nor the doe looked at me despite my open exposure.  I had de-scented all of my clothing and gear with the Scent Crusher earlier that morning and the results were so impressive it was downright spooky.

A Smaller and More Compact Ozone Generator

The Scent Crusher ozone generator is incredibly simple to use.  Push one button and it turns on.  Push the second button and you set a 5-to-30-minute operation.  A tube extends from the generator into the containment bag where scent is destroyed.  Inclusion is the beauty of this system.  You can put your bow, arrows, boots, and all your clothing into the bag and have it de-scented including gear which often contains maximum human scent.

Extremely Portable

If you hunt with a friend, guide, or family member it’s very difficult to contain human scent.  You can be scent free, yet another person’s scent will cancel your efforts.  The Scent Crusher generator allows all of your gear to be de-scented.  I’ve used a large suitcase and that works well, too.  You can travel in street clothes and dress at your hunting site and not worry about scented clothing giving away your location.

Get Really Close

This is the buck I shot at 10 yards as it approached my location.  In all of North America this is my favorite deer spot as bucks pass through thick cover during the rifle season.  Rifle hunters ignore the location due to lack of visibility, yet by de-scenting with ozone, I’m able to score at point blank range.

Scent Crusher Closet

Storage is a problem for many hunters and Scent Crusher offers a closet that both stores gear and allows for ozone de-scenting.  It’s available from with a few clicks.  Check out the video below:

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Gain Some Weight this Winter

Off-season is the perfect time to experiment with new gear.  Shooting heavier arrows is a popular option, and it’s easy to test with broadheads that come in multiple weights.  Increasing the weight of an arrow shaft is difficult while adding broadhead weight is a matter of screwing in a heavier head or target point.

Begin with Target Points-

Doing weight tests with broadheads will become very expensive if you buy packs of heads in various weights.  A more economical approach is to purchase a “test kit” of field points from 3 Rivers Archery.  For the price of one broadhead you can get points ranging from 100 grains up to 200 grains.  Plus, you will burn a lot less target material.  The above group is from a Ravin R26X at 100 yards.


Several manufacturers introduced cut-on-contact broadheads at the 2024 ATA Show.  As you can see this Helix brand offers heads up to 225 grains.  Shooting the heaviest head will give the standard shooter a mass of 525 grains instead of the standard 400 grains, a weight increase of more than 25 percent.

Grim Reaper Options

Because Grim Reaper broadheads are made and sourced here in the USA, they offer a wide assortment of types and weights of broadheads.  You can choose from fixed, mechanical, or hybrids which offer advantages of each.  Heavier broadheads can give an arrow a great Front of Center (FOC) weight which helps keep the shaft on-target.


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Quik Stand Tripod- Ideal for Compounds and Crossbows

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Whitetail Deer Can’t Resist “The Rope Trick”

Whitetail deer communicate through glandular scent.  When bucks and does find a hanging vine, they often rub their forehead and eyes and even lick branches to announce their presence and establish their dominance in the herd.  Although these activities peak during the rut, deer will scent-communicate year-round.

Why Deer Like Hanging Branches

If you watch whitetail deer videos (and who doesn’t) you’ll notice various manufacturers establishing trail cameras near licking branches, hanging vines, or stubby saplings which deer will rub with their head and face.  These may be natural materials, but odds are the person establishing the camera site set the stage with a hanging vine or rubbing branch.

All-in-One Kit

The Wildlife Research Golden Rope kit contains three ropes so that you can set up multiple attractant sites.  Also included are four ounces of Rope concentrate that you will use as an attractant.  The container acts as a scent pail so that you hang the rope, soak the end in attractant, and then close the lid so that you can freshen the rope throughout the season.

Don’t Wait for the Rut

The beauty of the “rope trick” is the ability to attract deer year-round.  You want to know which bucks survived the hunting season and the winter. Are does with fawns in early summer or do you have a coyote problem?  Unlike baited sites, Golden Rope won’t attract black bears and may not be considered “baiting.”

Where to Hang Out?

If your whitetail deer season is still open, re-scout your deer property and you may be amazed to find fresh scrapes.  Traditional scrape sites are ideal spots to hang a Golden Rope.  Once the snow melts, scrapes will be nearly as evident as in late fall which makes late winter/early spring the perfect time to pick a spot, hang a rope and post a camera.  Check out all the great scent attractants and elimination products at Wildlife Research Center by clicking here.

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Excalibur REVX- Increased Performance from the Recurve Line

I’ve been a fan of Excalibur Crossbows for many years, and their performance never disappoints. I jinxed myself as I approached the shooting booth at last week’s ATA Show.  “I’ve shot Robin Hoods at the two previous shows, and I’d like to make it three,” I said in my atypical, boastful voice.  A representative was quick to hand me the new REVX decked out in Mossy Oak Country DNA, and I put an arrow in the target.  The lighted nock made an easy aiming point for my second shaft.  “I think you hit the nock, but your streak ends at two,” he laughed.

Everything but Wheels

The REVX does not have wheels or cams but has all the other features that hunters and shooters want including a ChargerX Crank that nests into the stock, R.E.D.S. Suppressors, a built-in sound deadening system, and a handy quiver.  Weighing just seven pounds, it launches arrows up to 400 fps using 16.5-inch, 350-grain shafts.  This bow is incredibly accurate.  I picked up this crossbow, shot two arrows from the off-hand position and had the nocks touch.  That’s a testament to ease of operation and dependable performance.

MAG AIR- Basics on Steroids

Excalibur took the best aspects of their line and put them into a basic package called Mag Air for 2024.  This bow is light, as in under five pounds, yet points well and very easy to handle.  Arrow speed is a modest 305 fps, yet I took five African animals, including a huge kudu bull with a similar bow that launched at 305 fps.  It cocks easily with a rope, or you can opt for a crank system.  If you want a basic bow that’s fun to shoot and great for whitetail deer, this is your unit.

Twin Strike Tac2

Excalibur is the only hunting crossbow I’m aware of that loads two arrows at once.  This unique set-up allows for a near instantaneous second shot as opposed to other bows that require re-cocking and reloading.  Clad in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, the Twin Strike Tac2 features a Tact-100 Illuminated scope, Charger EXT Crank allowing the bow to be cocked and relaxed, a four-arrow quiver, and 16.5-inch Quill arrows.

Dependable Performance

Grizz Montoya, an old friend, called last year saying he wanted to take his daughter on our African safari.  “I’d like her to use a crossbow.  What do you suggest? he asked.  “An Excalibur,” was my instant response.  “And I have one you can borrow.”  This AXE model has been on three safaris and many local hunts.  I got an extra set of limbs and a bowstring, “just in case” but have never needed them.  It disassembles easily and travels in a suitcase.  It shoots shorter arrows with flat nocks, so you can’t load it incorrectly.  I use 150-grain heads for an increased FOC and have never lost an animal.  Montoya’s daughter took a kudu bull and a Nyala, each with one arrow, an impressive performance for someone who had never previously shot a crossbow.   For the full line of Excalibur crossbows, click here.

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Bear’s New Bows: The Sound of Silence

Bear Archery introduced three new bows at the 2024 ATA Show with the “Persist” at the head of the class.  The Persist launches at an arrow speed of 340 fps and features two draw weight options, 45-60 and 55-70, so this bow has a wide range of applications.  Axle-to-axle, it’s just 31 inches long and has adjustable draw lengths of 26-30 inches, so it’s a bow you can grow into or master from the first shot.

Mid-Range Bows-

The MSRP for the Persist is $1249.99, but if you are looking for a mid-range priced bow, consider the New Whitetail MAXX that shoots up to 339 fps and has let-off adjustments from 75% to 90%.  MSRP for this bow is $599.99, and the RTH (Ready to Hunt) package is just $100 more.  The Alaskan XT has similar features, an axle-to-axle length of 33 inches, and a let-off of 80%.  It’s priced at $559.99 and $659.99 in the RTH version.

Ultra-Quiet Release-

I can no longer handle the heavy pull of a hunting bow and was delighted to have my assistant, Zackary help out.  He tested each bow, and I photographed as he released.  All three Bear models were amazingly quiet.  Zackary shoots the Bear brand, so he was very excited to test each one.  Normally, he shoots at 60 pounds of draw weight, but when the bows were cranked up to 70 pounds, he could retain his draw and form.  We both gave the new Bear line high marks.  To see all of what’s new for Bear in 2024, click here.



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Barnett Hyper Raptor

Before the Pandemic, when elk licenses were possible to draw, I bought an Idaho tag with my eye on a promising chunk of public land.  I knew I would need plenty of penetration to kill an elk with a crossbow, possibly at a longer range.  With these needs in mind, I opted for a Barnett Hyper Ghost 425 that launched smaller diameter .204-inch arrows for greater penetration.  My gear resulted in a complete bull pass-through at 50 yards and a great 6X6 on the ground.

Hyper Raptor has Even More Improvements.

This Barnett flagship bow launches arrows up to 410 fps with bone-crushing kinetic energy of 142 pounds- that’s 50 pounds more than required to hunt Cape buffalo in South Africa.  Best of all, it is designed to shoot those same.204 Hyper Flight arrows that zipped through my big bull elk at maximum range.

Halo Riser Flight

Aside from a cool-looking and ultra-concealing camouflage finish, the Hyper Raptor is built with a Halo Riser Design, which eliminates crossed cables and cable lean, giving the limbs extra stability and consistency.  Despite the power and lethality of this bow, it weighs just a tad over seven pounds and narrows to seven inches when fully cocked.


Rope Cocking Saves Bundles

A tiny red bubble is built next to the cocking groove.  When engaged, this dot makes a small click to tell you that the cocking rope is engaged and keeps the rope from popping out.  If you believe in keeping gear simple, you can appreciate the knowledge that you don’t need a machine or a bunch of moving parts to cock this bow.  Plus, by cocking the bow manually, you save $1000, maybe two, over premium brands with similar features.


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Ballista Crossbows-Check out this creative new design.

Normally, a crossbow pistol isn’t high on a hunter’s interest list, however, as a young woman demonstrated the unique design of the Ballista Bat pistol, my interest peaked.  Portability is always an issue with a crossbow and this one featured a unique stock that went from zero to shoulder length in a flash.


This small pistol-style crossbow shoots a 13″inch arrow at a speed of 330 feet per second and is a legitimate hunting or bowfishing device.  Thanks to the compact design, it’s a great way to introduce youngsters to shooting or just have fun.

One-of-a-Kind Cocking

This bow has a unique cocking system that cocks the bow and then retracts into the handle.  As you can see, this young woman could cock the bow with ease thanks to a sturdy built-in foot stirrup and a pull weight of just 40 pounds.

Total Innovation

The crossbow pistol isn’t the only item in the Ballista line.  Another model offers reverse limbs with a 5-bolt magazine for repeated shooting.  Holly Cow, a crossbow/AR combination.  The top-of-the-line bow is called the Megabat Reverse and shoots arrows up to 420 feet per seconds, so this is no toy.  One of the main goals of the Archery Trade Association (ATA) show is to introduce new products and this one certainly checks that box.

Visit the Ballista website by checking here.

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Morrell Targets Grip Like a “Boa”

Stopping an arrow or bolt from today’s super swift bows takes plenty of constriction, and the folks at Morrell Targets emphasized that point with a show-stopping presentation of the new target mascot, Boa.  This post will conclude with a 60-second interview of the young woman and the snake, but first, the target and its capabilities.

Boa Compression Target

With arrow speeds nearly half the speed of sound, a very scarry thought, target materials are challenged not only to stop speedy shafts but to do so without arrow damage during the retrieval process.  Turning a target on its end and pulling like a sword from a stone is a common practice.  With foam materials, the friction is so great from fast arrows that it actually melts the foam, making the bond between arrow and target extra difficult to break.

Next Gen Targeting

The new Boa is built with an internal wooden frame for maximum support encasing high density foam.  The target is covered with high durability Gridlock Nylon Facing to provide longevity and easy arrow removal.  The wooden frame allows for the tremendous compression (Like the snake) needed to harness blazing speed and not destroy the arrow during removal.  The BOA comes with a tote carrying handle and features high visibility bullseyes for field points, only.

High Roller on Display

If a yellow snake encircling a young woman didn’t stop traffic at the ATA Show, then the giant High Roller target with 10-foot arrows certainly did.  I’ve used this small target in mountain camps, and it quickly pays for itself in arrows saved.  Even though I often hunt with bows that manually de-cock, I like to take a practice shot at the end of each day to assure that rough travel hasn’t influenced arrow strike.

3-D Too

The same foam, arrow-stopping technology of the High Roller targets becomes a 3-D whitetail deer in these realistic models with thick chests to absorb plenty of practice.  Called the “Transformer Buck” the main target core decouples, and the rope handle makes the target easy to move and set up. Personally, I wish that Morrell would include a smallish “Y-horn” so that I could double this target as a buck decoy.  For the full line of Morrell Targets, click here.

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ATA Show Spotlight- Millennium Blinds

The show floor of the 2024 ATA Show looked like a big city skyline with elevated, enclosed blinds in seemingly every direction.  Millennium is among the leaders in this booming hunting trend and, for 2024, offers a wide variety of surprisingly affordable options.  I had a wooden shooting house blind built five years ago, primarily to accommodate my grandchildren, and have learned that they are effective and can greatly improve your time and enjoyment outdoors.

Large Roomy Spaces

The Magnum 6×6 Buck Hut was one of the largest shooting houses displayed at the show and has room enough for families or filming where one person operates a camera and the other does the shooting.  Large vertical windows allow for 360-degree shooting with rifle, compound, or crossbow.  Each window covering is constructed so that it can be partially opened keeping the inside dark for maximum concealment.  The fabric cover is water-resistant in a camel color that blends with many environments.

Shooting Houses offer Staying Power

The Millennium Buck Hut is designed for a single shooter and can transform “un-huntable” weather into a solo safari.  Your body is a heating device and when you sit in an enclosed area, your natural body heat will warm a small space.  When the wind blows, the snow falls, or a cold misty rain covers the deer woods, you can be on-stand every minute of shooting light.  The longer you remain in the hunt, the “luckier” you become.

The Power of Patience

The shooting house concept has many advantages over a regular tree stand.  First, you can sit in a comfortable chair out of the elements and observe nature as it plays out in front of you.  If you get sleepy, you can nap without risking your life as in a regular tree stand.  You can hunt with companions or family and talk softly about approaching game.  As you see on this Nexcam Axis chair, you can use a video arm or tripod to rest your shot or video camera.  A shooting house blind will allow you to spend more time in the woods, a key ingredient to enhanced success.

Longevity and Forethought

Buying a shooting house blind or tree stand is exciting and it’s easy to become so enthused that you create extra work by not planning ahead.  I was “that guy” who lugged a big box into his favorite hunting spot, tore it open and soon played hide-and-seek in the leaves with bolts and nuts.  Whichever product you buy, watch a YouTube video or two about the construction.  Open the box in your garage or over a hard surface and assemble as much as you can in good light so that you are sure it’s properly assembled.  Have your friends help you set it up and always think safety-first.  I’ve been using Millennium stands for many years and have found that they are well build and effective.  Check out their complete line at

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Great New Gear from the 2024 ATA Show

Hundreds of vendors and manufacturers gathered at the Archery Trade Association annual exhibition in St. Louis, Missouri to see the newest in archery and hunting gear.  The show ends today and Bowhunting.Net is there in force seeking out those products that will make you a more successful hunter and shooter.  In the next two weeks we will highlight individual products in depth that you will want to explore in the coming months.

TenPoint TRX 515 and TX 440

The Advantage of the ATA Show is the ability to test products on the showroom floor.  TenPoint had their product display and test range just inside the showroom floor, so let’s start there.  I’m holding the TX 440, one of TenPoint’s premier products for 2024.  This compact bow is just 28 inches long and weights just 7.2 pounds, making it perfect for a variety of hunting and shooting situations.  The ZERO-Trac barrel is part of a “rail-less” system for increased accuracy.

Innovative Design

The TRX 515 is the fastest production crossbow on the planet to my knowledge and engineered to much more than an upgrade from last year’s model.  The feel of the bow is solid, thanks to a picatinny rail that is anchored at both ends and braced for an absolute rigid construction.  New TenPoint models feature Trigger Tech triggers, my favorite on any crossbow.  When I shot the TRX 515, I could literally feel the power release.

Hunting Ease Personified

Along with the Trigger Tech improvement, TenPoint engineered an AR-Style safety so that you can keep your hand on the grip and operate the safety with your trigger finger.  So often, the moment of truth lasts literally “a moment” and the ability to switch the bow into fire-mode in an instant can be a deal changer.  To see video and all the specs of these new bows, click here.

Made in America Products

Jay Leichty, the owner of Grim Reaper broadheads is standing on the show floor at this writing and spent all three days at his booth.  Jay is spearheading a movement to organize manufacturers of products totally made in America.  Grim Reaper broadheads are not only made in America but designed, engineered, and in some cases made at Leichty’s hand.

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Kuiu and Down- Warmth Even When Wet

I frequently hunt with a crossbow in rifle deer seasons.  This means two things, first, I must wear orange and secondly, it’s often very cold.  I’ve been using Kuiu gear for the past two years and I was really excited to see the new down offerings that even work when wet.  Normally, water is the Kryptonite of down, but Kuiu has developed a method to keep you super warm.

Super Down Burner Parka-

This super down parka is designed for maximum warmth and will keep you warm in the coldest of elements, whether doing an all-day sit in Saskatchewan during the rut or ice fishing without the icehouse.  This parka is designed to handle the worst of weather and contain maximum body heat.

Super Down LT

As the name implies, this lighter line of down jackets and pants is designed as an under layer, yet still packs plenty of warmth.  It comes with a full hood, ideal for capturing every degree of body heat.  Shown in green, above, this line comes in the full camouflage pattern line.  Check out the full line of jackets, pants, and sleeping bags here. Kuiu has done their homework on down products.  This short video reveals the secrets of buying down garments.

How to Buy Down Clothing Video

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Adventure Begins when Plans go Wrong.

Bowhunting Bears fills the bill if you’re looking for that adrenaline rush! Knowing that what you’re hunting can hunt you always makes things a little edgy, especially with a primitive weapon. I’ve had many “hands-on” experiences with brown and black bears, and things can go south on the count of one if you don’t have a backup plan. Years ago, one of my buddies and I came up with a saying after being stranded off the coast of Alaska for six days. “Adventure begins when plans go bad.” On a recent bear hunt in Canada, things went south quickly on the first night. This is when being prepared matters.

After tying down our coolers and camo tubs, my buddy, Tim, set the GPS for Vermilion Bay, Canada. We hit the road for a two-day drive, arrived at camp midafternoon the following day, and immediately unpacked our food, weapons, and gear. I’ve learned over the years to have things packed so that it’s easy to find when you’re anxious to head to the stand. Once we got everything unloaded, we were called to the outfitter’s cabin to sign in and for important instructions before the hunt.

Each stand setup is different and requires one of the guides to take you to your location before hunting. There are wolves in this area, and you could be left standing in the pitch-black, waiting for your ride for an hour or more, so the more you know about your stand location, the better. Things look different after dark, and when the sun goes down far from the nearest town, you might as well be blind.

The first evening, I arrived at my stand about six hours before dark. I heard a constant humming sound within minutes of setting up my camera arm. Bees. I hate them more than Indiana Jones hated snakes. Two days later, while tracking a bear, I ended up stepping into a ground nest of bees and getting stung almost a dozen times. Just a couple of years prior, one of my closest friends was tearing down a tree stand when he accidentally stepped in a ground nest of hornets. Unfortunately, he was stung so many times that he went into anaphylactic shock within a couple of minutes and passed away before he could be taken to the hospital. Like I said, adventure begins when plans go wrong, so you’d better have a plan in case of emergencies.


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The Boulder 30

The Outdoorsmans is proud to introduce the new Boulder 30 backpack. This American-made backpack is durable and perfect for the tree stand bowhunter or saddle hunter.  The inside of the bag features multiple zippered pouches that can keep gear organized and easy to find while in the tree. It even has a sleeve designed to carry a 17-inch laptop or other device like a tablet or card reader so the hunter can check their card reader while in the stand.
The outside of the bag features a quick-access front pouch, gear pocket, and an elastic pouch on either side that can be used for a water bottle or a tripod, along with standard, buckle-style tripod stays. You’ll find a pass-through for a hydration bladder hose near the top handle.
This compact, lightweight backpack is perfect for the bowhunter on the go who wants a backpack that can hold a lot of gadgets and gear but isn’t big and bulky.

To learn more about the Outdoorsmans and all their top-notch American made backpacks, visit

MSRP- $279.99
Media Contact:
Tracy Breen

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The Amazing New Mathews Lift

The Archery Trade Association will hold it’s annual trade show in St. Louis Missouri this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Bowhunting.Net will be there to cover all of the latest gear, yet here’s a quick look at what is sure to be a standout: The Mathews “Lift”.



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Meet Joe Byers, Bowhunting.Net’s New Editor

The BHN website needs someone who can tell a story and post great pictures.  Byers does both.

Byers is the author of a leading crossbow book.

His Photography illustrates adventures and techniques.

A former school principal, he loves children and promotes their involvement.

Plus, He Has a Hot Wife

Byers Has Been an Outdoor Writer for 30 years.

He Knows the Rocky Mountains as Well as the Back 40.

Adventure Travel and Exciting Hunts are a Specialty.

He Loves DYI Hunting

He’s an Award-Winning Journalist and Photographer

He Hunts Spring and Fall

He’s a Member of the “Hood.”

Africa?  Been there and Done That 25 Times with Amazing Animals

Welcome, Joe.  We Can’t Wait to Share Your Adventures, like, a DYI Crossbow Elk in Idaho.

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Help Getting Arrows Out Of Targets

From Deer and Deerhunting Hotline.


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The Cure for Cold Feet

Late-season hunting can be an endurance contest.  Braving winter’s wrath can be a challenge made nearly unbearable if your feet are cold.  Here’s a plan to keep you and your toes toasty on a stand.  I hunted this year with an eager young man in excellent shape.  I dropped him at a mountain saddle an hour before daylight on opening day.  He willingly hiked a quarter mile uphill to his tree stand, where he hoped to bag an early morning buck.  “After an hour, my feet were freezing,” he said later.  “I couldn’t stand it and had someone pick me up.”

Perspiration is a Foot-Freezer

I’ve hunted several times with this young man who is an animal in the mountains.  He’s in excellent shape, yet perspiration was his Achilles’ heel, if you will excuse the pun.  He wore his expensive Western boots, but the brand wouldn’t matter because his climb up the mountain caused his feet to sweat, and his damp socks soon failed to insulate.  Unless your feet are dry, they quickly feel cold.

Pack a Pair of Dry Socks

I believe that our young hunter would have been fine if he had packed a pair of warm, dry socks in his pack and changed them when he reached his stand.  Better yet, wear a light pair of cotton sock for less insulation when walking and then change to a warm pair before climbing into his stand.  I’ve found that allowing my boots to be cold helps as well.  When traveling to a hunting spot in a vehicle, never run the heater on your boots as you build perspiration before you get there.  In short, dry feet will feel much warmer because your insulating socks will be more effective.

Air Insulates

When I first began hunting, I thought that wearing two pairs of socks was better insulation than one.  Logical, right?  However, as I squeezed my feet into my standard size boots, the socks were so compressed that they lost most of their insulation properties.  Today, I wear rubber insulated boots two sizes larger than my shoe size.  In this way, I can wear very thick socks which maintain their loft and maximize insulation.  I’ve experimented with “hand warmer” brands for the bottom of the feet.  They work, but you will generate perspiration so be sure your brand last as long as the hunt.

Insulate the Insulation

I remember the first time that I put my hand on a “Heat Seat,” one of the first insulating pillows designed for hunters to sit on.  The insulating material inside the product reflected the heat from my hand and it felt “warm” even though it was creating no heat on its own.  Later, I carried a piece of carpet padding to place under my feet.  Especially in snow, I unfolded the two-foot square piece of insulation and rested my feet on it, completely eliminating the heat loss by snow.  This heat barrier can be anything from a piece of cardboard to a foam insulation.

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How To Bowhunt Deer In Snow

Bruce Ryan Has Tips For Bowhunting In Snow

Just because the firearm seasons are over and Bucks, may be more wary, is no reason to pass on what may be some of the best hunting of the year. Sure,The tactics you used earlier this year may no longer be as productive, but by changing your strategies to take advantage of changing Whitetail movements, you may turn those unfilled tags into wall mounts and/or venison for the freezer.
So let’s discuss some new tactics that will make it worthwhile to leave that warm couch and pursue our passion!
Earlier Season may have been all about hunting from the several treestands you had strategically placed throughout your hunting areas, the late season may dictate a change in this method of bowhunting. Trees are bare now and no longer hide your silhouette, and add the fact that wary deer now tend to look up more often, these same productive stands give way to better options. I like to utilize hub type blinds during the late season for several reasons. No need to worry about icy tree steps or ladders, and they serve to get us out of cold north winds that can shorten our stay on stand. A blind in the right place with a comfortable blind chair can be pretty cozy and deadly productive.
                   Late season strategies: Buck are out feeding  in the snow.
During severe cold weather, Whitetails tend to be more active during the warmer temperatures of midday, and spend more time feeding during this warmer time of day. They are more likely to spend the much colder morning and late evening hours conserving calories by bedding and being less active. The photo above shows a young buck searching for snow buried acorns during a midday foray. I like to set up closer to feeding areas this time of year, as the deer are focused on food sources in order to survive winter challenges. This is true also of rut weary bucks that need to replenish lose weight for the cold months ahead.
                Take advantage of natural cover in a fallen tree blind.
In the big woods where I love to hunt, I like to search oak flats and any fresh deer sign showing feeding trends. Heavy trails in the snow and dug up snow is evidence of feeding activity and turn into prime locations to set up. A felled tree or natural brush along one of these trails can be a productive blind for unsuspecting deer focused on traveling to chosen food sources.
                The advantages of a tracking snow: Deer tracks and blood
          In a successful late season hunt this past year, I was very thankful for a covering of fresh snow that aided in tracking a nice late season mature buck. My shot taken from a blowdown blind hit a little farther back in his body than preferred. The pass through arrow had bright red blood covering it but no bubbles or froth evident of lungs. I immediately thought maybe a liver hit and decided to give it some time.
I was hunting an oak flat leading down to a wide creek, bordered  with mountain laurel on both sides.
As evidenced by the above photo, I had sparse blood, but easily followed tracks in the fresh snow. After an hour of impatient waiting I decided to take up the trail and started off following his easy to see trail. After a short distance the trail led into the laurel and towards the creek and following along I could see where he entered the creek and apparently crossed to the other side. The problem came when I crossed the creek and could not find where his tracks left the water. I started searching along the bank and finally found his tracks coming out downstream from his entry point.
Following his tracks from there I was rewarded with a recovery of my buck, a little wet but thankful for the tracking snow making a successful end to a magical late season harvest !     #6 Dead 8 point picture along creek

Bruce Ryan
new e-mail  [email protected]
Ryan Outdoors
677 S. Skyview Drive
Elkins, WV 26241
cell  304-642-4550

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TenPoint Launches the Fastest Bow on the Planet

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