Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
RulesIllinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
deerhead

Marc Anthony of Goodfield owns and operates Look Alive Taxidermy and Non Typical Hunter magazine. Anthony grew up in central Illinois and spent eight years as a commercial pilot before giving that up to spend more time with his wife Jan and three children, Victoria, Drake and Elesa. Anthony hunted on and off as a child but started seriously at age 30 and focuses on bowhunting for deer and turkeys. He's arrowed four bucks that meet the Boone and Crockett Club (net) standards and 20 Pope and Young Club qualifiers. Anthony is on the Pro Staff for Muzzy broadheads, Bear Archery, Vital Gear, Natural Predator, Non Typical Hunter and several other companies. He also is a member of the Outdoor writers Association of America, OWAA.

 

Non-typical Hunter

A Web log by Marc Anthony

IDNR Shows signs of improvement

May 17, 2010 at 03:23 PM

The last time I reported on great service from the DNR it happened to be from the state of Kentucky. I was impressed by the extremely fast and courteous service I received when I was needing information regarding permits, WMA’s and regulations. It was a pleasant experience working with someone on the other end of the telephone who actually sounded like they wanted to help! It’s bad enough when no one answers the phone but when you feel like you have to hook them up to a life support system just to get them to talk, lets just say it takes the fun out of pursuing everything you need for the season’s events. I am happy to say, I shared an equal positive experience last week when I called the IDNR, that’s right…Illinois’ DNR!

No, I’m not anti IDNR like some might want to think but rather disappointed when our service doesn’t parallel the amount of hunting revenue Illinois receives. I would love to see the IDNR prosper and see some positive results from the prosperity. I just happen to call it as I see it. I like to call an apple an apple and an orange an orange, that’s all. In fact, I would still offer free services to our IDNR if it would help our hunting quality here in Illinois. Having said that, I am happy to report some positive news regarding our DNR service! Last week I called the IDNR to help me with some permit issues. The phone rang twice before it was picked up! From there, I was handed off to one other person who also picked up the phone quickly. All of my questions were answered quickly and efficiently. I will also mention the fact that this person did everything that was available in order to help me. They did not know who I was at the time of the call or my credentials, etc, but jumped right in and solved my problem. Fair is fair, so I’m happy to say I was really impressed!

I understand more than ever how tough it is in this economy to have a department fully staffed and able to provide decent service to the public. I deal with these issues on a daily basis as a business man, so I credit Marc Miller and his staff for the positive direction the IDNR seems to be heading.

Now if they will only invite me back it to discuss this September issue! grin

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Fixed or Mechanical broadheads?

May 14, 2010 at 11:11 AM

One of the questions that lurk in the hunting community, the bow hunting community to be exact, is the question of choice between the fixed blade and the mechanical broadhead. If you don’t believe the question is controversial, just go to any forum that has opened up this can of worms and read the comments. Although I am one who believes a person should use their real name instead of a screen name when it comes to identifying yourself on a forum, this subject alone may be a great reason to do just the opposite! One thing for sure, hunters seem to be loyal to their equipment. I know I am!

I am a fixed blade type of guy. Before I go any further, I will properly identify myself as being on Muzzy’s Pro Staff, so it may appear I was paid to write my opinions regarding which broadheads to use. I want to clear this up before I go any further as to not discredit this article. I am a fixed blade proponent by choice and support the companies whose products I’ve used for decades (because of their track record). OK, now that I got that out of the way, lets move on.

One argument for a fixed blade is the fact that they are NOT mechanical thus no mechanical failure. This is my argument also. I make my statement from experience and experience only. I have a mechanical background beginning way back as a backyard mechanic/gear-head all the way to an FAA aircraft mechanic and I’m here to tell you that everything is prone to failure. As a pilot in my last life, I can also bore you with some hair-raising tales of mechanical failures I had to deal with even though the airplanes I were flying had multiple backup systems! If it can happen, it will. Even worse yet, I will almost guarantee you that these failures will occur when you lease expect it or at the most impromptu time. It never fails! (Is that a play on words or what?)

The opposing argument in favor of the mechanical broadhead is their ability to fly like field points in accuracy. One thing for sure, comparing accuracy between broadheads and field points can generate an entire topic altogether. Some will claim the two don’t compare in flight equality and that it is nearly impossible to find fixed broadheads that fly like field points, which in turn prompts them to use the mechanicals. Mechanicals, as you may be aware of, open up only at impact thus creating less drag. With the blades being inconspicuous during flight, less drag is created from the decreased surface area. Another claimed positive are the blood trails they create. Having tested both, I will attest to the fact that I’ve seen some amazing holes generated by some mechanicals. There is nothing like having a great blood trail leading the way to your whitetail, that’s for sure!  On the other hand, I’ve seen equally devastating holes in the carcasses of deer with fixed blades.

Granted, there are many brands of broadheads on the market today and with those different brands come a diversity of designs. You have 2, 3 and 4 blade versions, some with bone chiselers on the tips, others without. Some made from cast metal, others forged. You also find some designs that look like they were part of the medieval times and others that appear to have been made from the local high school’s workshop. One thing for sure, looks can be deceiving! Beauty in a broadhead does not come from face value but rather from several other factors. Flight characteristics, tissue damage and blood trails are just some of the features an archer should look for when choosing a broadhead. When making that decision, the question of what type (mechanical or fixed) will come back to haunt you. Where do you begin?

In a book that I’m currently writing, I explain how a person goes about getting the correct information regarding today’s equipment. The material is fresh in my mind because I’m finishing that chapter as I write this article. It’s a tough question with some tough answers! The bottom line is to start somewhere and preferably with an experienced bow hunter. Unfortunately, experienced bow hunters can also be deadlocked with choices but deciphering data between knowledgably individuals is by far better than having to choose by random. If all else fails, buy some different brands and test them! That’s what I’ve done. When testing them, make sure you have a target made for shooting broadheads into it. If not, you’ll soon find out why I’ve recommended it! Test your broadheads at different yardages and in different climatic conditions. You will be surprised how a little bit of wind can affect your flight path.

Whether you choose a mechanical or a fixed blade, one thing is for sure and that is opening day bow season is NOT the time find out how your arrows fly! Get out now and perfect your shots, get some advice and make your own determination. From there, you can add your own opinion to the myriad of bow hunters who are contemplating which type of broadhead to choose. 

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Hunters: In line for self-destruction!

May 06, 2010 at 07:48 PM

Hunting, it’s the sport we all love! We plan for it, we buy land to do it on, we practice all year long and we anticipate the opening day…all summer long. We love it so much, we fear losing it. Who do we fear losing it to? Is it Obama? Is it PETA? Is it the anti hunting community? I don’t know whom you would choose but the answer isn’t here. No help needed, we’ll do it on our own!

Say the word “hunting” to the non-hunting community and they’ll think of shooting and killing animals. Say the word “hunting” to a hunter, and you’ll get all sorts of responses. Duck, deer, birds, trophy, meat, bow, gun, camo, etc, etc, etc? You’ll also get conversations reminiscing down memory lane with the family, friends and so on. Go to a forum and you’ll be attacked by whomever considers themselves the “Forum Cop”. Watch hunting on TV and you’ll see an array of episodes regarding trophy taking, instructional techniques and hunting entertainment. Diversified as it is, the word “Hunting” means something different to everyone. Was hunting always this way? Not at all. What has it become?

Sadly, hunting has become the common denominator for competition, jealousy and distrust. It used to be that a hunter would receive a solid “congratulations” for their harvest, no matter what it was. Oh sure, we still get congratulations and well wishes, as long as that rack that’s hanging on its neck isn’t bigger than the one on our wall. If that rack is larger, then it was poached, no doubt about it. If that buck was a yearling, then that person had no right killing it! Really, just ask any “expert” online who hides behind a phony screen name because if he used his own name, he would have to answer in a dignified way…heaven forbid. Yeah, this is what we want the public to see. Would you want to bet that these people talk to their families this way? I doubt it. For some reason people want to believe that it’s OK to show your dark side if you are disguised via a screen name.

Did I say distrust? Oh yeah, it’s at every corner. Try giving a seminar only to have someone raise their hand and ask you “How many big bucks have you killed?” That’s fine and dandy and I’m all for a person exercising due diligence but when you’re talking about habitat and why we need to hunt, where does the “big buck” question come to play? Did someone train these people to say this stuff? I was contacted this week by an extremely experienced nationally renown hunter and outdoor writer for some advice on hunting from the ground. He needed the material for an upcoming article he’s writing for publication. At the end of our conversation, he said” Marc, I’m really sorry to have to ask you this but how many deer have you taken from the ground. I need to know the trophy bucks, sizes, etc.” He was right. He had no choice but to ask me that question because credibility among hunters is so trashed these days, hunters feel they MUST know this data before they’ll listen to just one word of information coming from your lips. That’s a real shame because some of the best hunting tips, information and techniques I’ve acquired came from some old timers who never measured one rack in their lifetime. Now I’m not against measuring racks, in fact, I love to do it. It’s a sport for me and I enjoy it but IT IS NOT a requirement! For anyone to assume pertinent information will only come from a hunter with a trophy track record, is certainly foolish and is setting themselves up for failure.

Now we have ethics or I should say, the lack of. Hunters stealing each other’s tree stands, trail cameras, etc. Trespassing on private property while screwing up another person’s hunt. Taking a deer that was clearly shot by your neighbor (and you knew it) and not giving back to him, or worse yet, taking his rack. I would like for you to know that there can be no sicker feeling than shooting a buck of a lifetime only to have someone else take it. I can also tell you that there is no better feeling than someone finding your buck and returning it back to you even though it had a 191” typical rack on it’s head! Yes, that happened to me and I’ll never forget my good buddy who found it. He could have just acted like he didn’t see it and kept walking, only to go back at a later time. Now that’s a good friend!

I think one major flaw we have as hunters is common decency. Yes, we have meat hunters, trophy hunters and even people who just enjoy watching deer, who don’t even hunt. You would be surprised how easy it is to get someone on your side with regard to hunting, if you just give them an example of something decent! I’ve won over many anti-hunters and have even acquired great relationships with them because I TOOK THE TIME to patiently explain what we do and why we need to do it. In retrospect, I’ve learned that many non-hunters are actually a lot like you and I. They just love wildlife and don’t really want to see them harmed. Education is a beautiful thing! By walking up to someone and saying “Obama is a Nazi”, is just asking a non-hunter to hate us even more (and I’ve heard that exact phrase). First of all, any intelligent person would tell you that any African American who would want to become a Nazi is about as equivalent as Mary Poppins wanting to become a UFC fighter. When a person’s intelligence is insulted, you can kiss your support goodbye and I’m here to tell you, we need every bit of it today. Giving another person a little bit of respect will go a long way when it’s time to pitch your message. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen too much of that recently.

A true sign of intelligence is when a number of people can have a conversation arguing different ideas WITHOUT THE ARGUMENT! To argue an idea does not mean to be argumentative. Why can’t hunters figure that out? One thing for sure, we as hunters are losing this battle slowly but surely, because we can’t even accept the fact that many of us hunt differently. We absolutely, positively must learn to respect each other’s way of hunting because the anti-s certainly won’t.

If we won’t, who’s left?

   

 

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