Illinois Outdoors at
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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

Question from a reader

January 23, 2009 at 12:25 PM

“Marc – quick question –

I use a good fiber optic fixed three pin sight (came with my used Matthews) and I have no complaints.  When I get in my tree, I ping various points and establish a mental arc for 20 and 30 yards.  But I’ll admit, I’m not the best.  I rocked another large doe at 25 yds but chose my 30 yd pin and I must have hit it high and possibly a bit to the shoulder.  Arrow penetrated 6 in (rage three mechanical) and the blood trail was spotty for 100 yds.  Deer looked good walking out of the woods although it hit the deck initially. 

What are your thoughts on pendulum sights?  Do they really take the guesswork out of shooting?  I’ve heard the Keller is good but possibly a bit noisy, and I have concerns about flexibility with ground shooting (though rare for me) and longer shots past 30 yds.  Down the line, I will be hunting more from a ground blind when I bring my son along. 

I bet your advice is practice, practice, practice but if the pendulum sights really take the guesswork out of judging distance when sighted properly – I’m willing to look into them further – especially if they are inclusive of up to 40 yds shots from the stand and ground. 

Unfortunately, the deer I hunt don’t have signs on their vitals that tell me if they are standing at 24 yds or 29 yds.  Its also possible the deer above would have dropped even using my 30 yd pin – had I centered up the shot better.  Yes?”

“Hi Bruce,

I don’t personally use a pendulum sight so I can’t give you my honest opinion on them. I know some hunters love them and some don’t. If you’re looking for a way to succeed though, here’s what I would recommend, no matter what sight you happen to use.

When practicing, always practice on the ground and in the stand. You’ll notice your arrow flight has more drop per linear footage on the ground than in your stand. The higher up you are in the stand and the shorter the distance shot, the less drop you will have on your arrow’s flight path. Think of it this way: shooting straight down will allow the arrow to travel straight down because gravity will pull the arrow along its flight path. Shooting straight out flat will have an effect on the flight path because gravity will pull the arrow away from its flight path, simply because gravity pulls down and your arrow wants to fly straight out. When I practice on the ground, I’ll set my sight pins per every 10 yards or so, with the exception of my first pin which is good for 10-20 yards. Now that will vary with the amount of poundage you shoot. I pull 70 lbs and use 125 grain broadheads. Your distances may be different because of your equipment. When I’m in a stand, I can use my first pin to shoot all the way out to 30 yards (or close to it) because of the lateral slope obtained from being in a stand. As far as how to judge the distance from the deer, here’s what I do. If I am planning a tree stand hunt, I walk out 10 yards, then 20 yards, then 30 yards and place either a mark in the dirt or push a twig in the ground at each 10 yard spot If a deer walks anywhere within those boundaries, I know which pin to use. It works pretty good. When on the ground, I do pretty much the same. I don’t like surprises when I hunt, so the more info you have ahead of time, the better.

I am currently running some tests for numerous hunting equipment companies, in which one of them happens to be a manufacturer of optic sights. I really like this particular sight I’m testing and will post the results on PSO when I’m finished. In fact, if you don’t mind, I’ll probably post some of your email to me, on PSO later, If you’re OK with that! Let me know either way if you want your name, screen name used or not used.

I hope this info helps you BTB.


The above was my response to Bruce. Anyone else can feel free to chime in, if you’d like! Bruce also has a tip for anyone looking to obtain land to hunt. You can read his comments here:

” Another tip I’ve found very helpful in getting access to private land – branch out to your acquaintances rather than your closet friends or hunting buddies.  Its like networking for anything – you most likely already know access options with your friends (or they won’t give it up – like a good babysitter).  Its your distant acquaintances who will lead you to water because they will have more “untapped” resources for you that you are not as familiar with such as your beer drinking buddy.  I’ve started making it a practice to guide conversations to my interest in hunting and how hard it is to find good timber options – and its amazing how many people like offering up “solutions to your problems” with a lead.  It may not pan out – but if you are willing to follow up – you can begin reducing your degrees of separation to get access – and even access to a good tract of timber.”





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