Bow fishing, it’s the latest craze!
What does a bow hunter do in the off season waiting for the Fall to come? Bow fish!
An old sport with a new twist, bow fishing is an action packed sport hooking even the biggest naysayers. Here in Illinois, bow fishing on the Illinois or the Mississippi river can offer the bow fisherman/fisherwomen a energy packed day in the boat. The Asian carp will fly in the hot months creating moving targets second to not even a video game. On the lakes, gar, buffalo and several other non game fish are abundant and ready to be hammered. Don’t think it’s for you? Try it one time and I’ll bet you’ll want to come back for more! I sure did.
What to use.
From the people I talk to, the advice they give me is to use either an old bow or to buy a bow specifically made for bow fishing. Most use 20-40 pounds of pressure. No need to use a release as it’s quicker to just pull and release with your fingers when shooting at quick moving fast targets. Most of the time, you don’t even get a chance to fully draw the bow back anyway! Expect about 1 good hit out of every 15 or so as things just happen so quickly. Today’s spin cast reels are the way to go. Some benefits are faster retrieves, more shots taken, fighting the fish in with the reel (instead of having to put the bow down and pull in the line by hand) and the smoothness of the reel itself. 7 out of 10 bow fishers I spoke with all say that Muzzy’s equipment is the best out there. I have personally shot with Muzzy’s equipment and couldn’t agree more. Of course you have a choice of line strength depending on what you want to shoot. Don’t forget to buy the special arrows that are needed to skew your targets! In the southern states, they take alligators 12’ and larger with bow, so as you can see, anything goes!
Itching to bow hunt!
Getting up last week at 5:00 am or so, I looked out my front window and noticed 2 does and 1 buck staring at one of our cats in the front yard who was laying down not more than 10 feet from them. The cat was as cool as a cucumber but the deer were all too curious. With the deer’s ears pointed forward and a body stance that said “On alert”, the cat refused to get bothered but the deer remained posed for several minutes. Unknowing that I was only 10 yards from them, I watched and analyzed the buck’s growing antlers. In support of last week’s comments by snshunts, who mentioned that the picture I had posted in the article “Where the antlers should be now”, (that many bucks have less antlers growing on their head than the one in that picture), the buck I saw would have validated that he was correct. Nevertheless, the very presence of those deer got my blood boiling for this October’s hunt!
I am desperately trying to get my business affairs in order so I can spend more time getting articles written pertaining to new products, interactive scenarios, etc. I also am in great need to get my bow sighted in as it was a bit off last season due to a new arrow rest and sights. Although I usually get new products tossed at me regularly to test, one thing I haven’t had sent to me is a target block. I guess I’ll have to go out and buy one! Can anyone out there recommend a good one? I already have a 3D deer so I would like to have something else.
Cornfused? Standing corn solutions
With all of the jokes created lately with regards to standing corn, I thought it would be a great time to discuss hunting techniques with standing corn!
Yes, we all know the lame excuses used to dismiss the falling deer harvest numbers here in Illinois but in reality, standing corn can be a great opportunity to harvest some quality whitetails. I’ve hunted standing corn many times in the past with the latest time being last year. I’ve always noticed some really interesting common denominators that are associated with every hunt. I’ve used those situations to benefit myself and I’ll explain why I don’t mind the starch ridden, golden colored trees during the fall.
In some of the smaller tracts that I hunt, the surface area of the timber is very limited, which in turn leaves little opportunity. Although I don’t want to sound contradictive, I do enjoy hunting limited places for several reasons. For now, I want to talk about how the limited aspect of the hunt is reversed by the corn itself. These limited areas will hold only so much deer because of the carrying capacity of the land itself. With standing corn, the area is expanded creating almost double the cover where I hunt thus allowing more deer to inhibit. Now I know this can’t be the case for all of Illinois hunters but it certainly can be the case for many who hunt smaller draws. The corn, for all practical purposes, is really an expanded timber ground for the whitetail. If you were to look closely, you’ll see that they make their favorite trails to and from their favorite spots. In many cases, the trails lead to and from watering holes, especially in the hottest months of summer. They make great ambush routes! Although you can’t really place deer stands in the corn, most hunters can place stands near the edge of the fields where the trails often lead to. If you are a ground hunter, it can be a sweet deal! With the wind blowing, it gets pretty noisy inside of the corn fields and that’s exactly what you want! Noise makes for great ground hunting as it is a very forgiving environment.
I’ve gotten pretty close to some nice bucks and does while hunting corn. Although I’ve never killed a deer hunting standing corn, that was totally my fault. After hunting a really nice buck for several days in standing corn, the opportunity arrived only for me to mistakenly shoot over the top of him. Nobody to blame except myself. Can’t even blame the standing corn for that one!
Larger fields can really be a problem and I understand that but throwing the towel in is not needed either. If you are forced to hunt standing corn this year, get out there and scout the interior trails. Start with standing watering holes and work backwards if possible. One other advantage of standing corn that you should take advantage of is the fact that the deer will hurriedly look for cover once the corn is down. That gives you ample time to set ambush plans in the timber itself.
Get a plan of action in place now and look forward to the upcoming season!Permalink