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How To/Pro-Tips

Bleat For Early Action

In the early part of bow season, deer society is segregated by sex and age. Adult bucks of all ages hang out together in loose bachelor groups feeding and loafing. The adult does are attending to the serious business of rearing the fawns and often hang out in groups. Older, dominant does frequently drive bucks away from prime food sources at this time These doe and fawn groups often include does that have lost their fawns. All these does have strong maternal instincts and the fawn bleat call arouses the does' protective mode. All does will respond to a fawn bleat, but the most dramatic response usually comes from a fawn-less doe or the group

Gear Check

Before the season opens make sure all your gear is in top condition. Obviously this means making sure your bow is in tune and sighted in and your hunting arrows are straight and sharp. However, your accessories are just as important. (This goes for gun hunters too!) Are your portable stands ready? Spraying penetrating oil on rusty nuts and bolts now allows the strong scent to dissipate. Doing that the night before opening day brings a very strong and foreign odor into your hunting area. The same advice goes for treating your hunting boots with waterproofing. Check all you other gear as well. Is your camouflage clean and sharp? Does it need washing in a no-scent soap product? Does some of it need replacing because it is faded out? Is your hunting knife sharp? Are your flashlight batteries fresh? Are your hunting scents fresh? Most important, do you know where it all is? Find it and check it now to ensure a good opening day. -- Bob Foulkrod

Last Minute Scouting

Last minute scouting should be more like last minute looking. You really should have done your serious scouting well before the season and then vacated the area to let it and the game settle down. However, it is comforting to verify that your hunches of a month ago are actually correct now. If any of your hunting sites are near open land, spend a late afternoon or two glassing the fields or pastures. Seeing deer near your hunting area is a great morale booster and doesn't do any harm. If your stand is in the deep woods, taking a last look is more risky. If you do this, it should be a short look. Go in clean and wear rubber boots to minimize leaving scent. Don't touch or brush against brush and stay off the deer trails. I wouldn't go very near my stand but loop around the area and look for fresh sign. Leave quickly and quietly so as to disturb the area as little as possible.

The Importance Of Tree Stand Safety

I am a part-time volunteer paramedic and I know firsthand the severity of injuries incurred by falls. Every season, many hunters fall out of tree stands and sustain serious injuries -- sometimes permanent and sometimes fatal. The first and foremost rule is to always wear a safety belt both for climbing and also for sitting in the stand. The stander is at greatest risk during the transition from climbing to sitting down. Tie off immediately upon reaching the stand and make final adjusments once seated. Climbing stands require some strength and practice to use well and safely. Practice attaching your stand correctly and climbing with it before pre-dawn of opening day. Never alter a manufactured stand beyond the manufacturer's instructions. Never climb into an old permanent stand you find in the woods. If you are tired, drowsy or taking medication that makes you so, don't climb. Make sure someone else knows your stand locations. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. -- Suzy Smith

It's A Bore

If someone asks me why his rifle's accuracy has fallen off, I first question if he regularly cleans it. A lot of rifles have been restocked, bedded and even re-barreled when all they needed was a good cleaning to restore their accuracy. You need a cleaning rod, patches and a nylon or brass (never steel) bore brush, all of the proper size. You also need solvents to cut the crud, which includes powder residue and copper fouling from the bullet jackets. Wet a patch with solvent and push it through the bore, preferably from the breech. Get the bore soaked with solvent and wait a few minutes. Now push a clean, solvent-soaked patch through and you will be amazed at what comes out. Using the bore brush, also soaked in solvent, speeds up the cleaning. Eventually the patches will come out clean. For a badly fouled bore, use one of the special copper-removing solvents. These are powerful chemicals so follow the directions.


How to Use a Bow Stringer

One of the first things you need to know when stringing a Recurve bow is that the large

loop of the string goes on the top limb, while the small loop goes on the bottom limb.

This order is important because the small loop will generally stay in position on the

lower limb while stringing and unstringing the bow. And, the upper loop, or large loop,

will be traveling up and down the limb when stringing and unstringing the bow. Since

the limb tip is smaller than the width of the limb below the tip, the loop needs to be a bit


The position of the bowstring is very important. The strings bottom loop must fit

securely in the groove in the bottom limb. Before releasing pressure on the limbs, make

sure that both string loops are still in the grooves on the limbs. Stringing the bow can be

dangerous if not done properly.

The cord stringer method is the safest and most commonly used method.

The cord stringer comes as a long cord with leather pouches at both ends of the string.

These pouches fit over each end of the limb.

To use the cord stringer, first hold the bow with the front face of the bow facing


Grip the center of the riser with the hand that has the most control and strength.

With the bow facing down, put the larger pouch over the tip of the lower or bottom limb.

Then put the smallest pouch over the tip of the upper limb.

Make sure that both pouches are fitted securely over the tips.

The stringer cord should now be hanging below the bow.

Step on the stringer cord using the same side as the hand used to hold the bow.

Make sure the cord is in the middle or "ball” of your foot.

Pull upon the riser just enough to make the string taut, making sure that the lower end

of the string is still securely sitting in the grooves on the lower limb.

While still pulling up slowly on the riser, guide the string into the notches of the upper


Watch that your fingers stay to the sides of the limb, making sure not to place them

between the bow string and the face of the bow.

To unstring a recurve bow, just reverse any of these processes.

When stringing the bow, there are a few important things to remember. First, always

make sure that the string is seated properly in the grooves of the upper and lower limb

before releasing pressure. Also, always remember that the archers’ safety is the most


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