The first two full weeks of North Carolina's Archery season are in the books and we have been fortunate enough to spend a couple days in the woods. No deer yet but lots of valuable information has been gained on this particular piece of public land we are hunting.
North Carolinian hunters start pursuing deer today in the Eastern, Central and Northwestern zones as the 2013 Archery season has opened up in those zones, with the Western zone opening up on Monday. I'll be heading out for my first hunt of the year this afternoon, off to a Central zone gameland you've heard me mention many times before known as Alcoa. I just finished getting all the final details put together in the previous few days so I can just grab my stuff and go when I pull up to the parking area, so bear with me in the following video as I go over what I pack into the woods. Enjoy!
I've been wanting to get more multimedia on the site for a while now and after finally getting around to doing so (also known as not being lazy), I've decided that a weekly thing would be a good thing to bring to our readers. With that said, from now on, Wednesdays will see us bringing you the video of the week. Either something Inside Out Outdoors has put together or a video we found online that we really think you would like to see, hopefully you'll like what you see. And if not, as always, leave us a comment on the blog post and tell us what you DO want to see from us. Also, be on the lookout on Friday's for the picture of the week. The same idea as the video of the week, it'll be a picture that either we've taken or found online and want to share with you guys. Up first for video of the week is a quick little clip of our buddy Chris and myself shooting our bows last summer that I put together while bored and working on the road earlier this year. Oh, and be ready to feel like you are in the 1910's as this clip has no sound (if only it was the next Casablanca!).
So the new regulation in NC that allows anyone to buy and hunt with a crossbow during all open deer seasons has really sparked my interest! However, since this is fairly new to the NC area I'm having a hard time finding good reviews on crossbows. Still, I'm really considering the idea of picking one up during the off-season and using it next year! With that being said, does anyone have any suggestions? From what I've read I'm leaning towards TenPoint as they seem to have quite a line-up of cross bows, with a varied price range from $600 all the way to $2K!
Do any of you use a crossbow? If so, can you share your experiences with us? We'd love to hear about them and get some advice from our readers!
Thanks for the input!!!
Cory and I have both been quite busy lately with our jobs so this post is a bit late, but hey, better late than never! We did, however, get out together with the camera on Saturday October 17th for a day of hunting. Waking up around 4 a.m., we got everything packed up into the truck and off we headed to the area Cory hunted the afternoon before on Butner-Falls of Neuse gamelands (see his blog entry from Thursday for the lowdown on that hunt). It was a beautiful morning at that time with temperatures about 60 degrees but we stuck with our decision that we would use the ground blind as there was a very high chance of rain later in the morning.
We arrived to the parking area around 5:30 and started our hike in to our spot, flashlights guiding the way. After finding a spot that we thought was a good location for the blind we had some difficulty setting the blind up (So much easier to set those things up in a lighted garage!). Thankfully we got in with plenty of time before sunrise so this did not cost us any hunting time. Once everything was set up and the blind was brushed in as best as possible, we got all the camera equipment, bows and chairs into the blind and started our wait.
Soon after we got settled in the blind, the sun came above the horizon; unfortunately the heavens also opened up and the rain came! It rained a good part of the day and we were not seeing much wildlife at all. After a couple hours, around 10 a.m., we decided to leave the blind and do some slow stalking and see if we could spot some deer out and about feeding or maybe even ease up on one bedded down. As luck would have it, the deer didn't want to cooperate too well, but we did find a new area to check out later in the season along with persimmon trees loaded with fruit the deer had been checking frequently (Fresh tracks told us we set up that morning on the wrong arm of the lake at that parcel of land). I had to be back home by 1 p.m. as my girlfriend and I had dinner plans with some family, so around noon we headed out of the woods without even seeing a deer.
Even though we saw no deer it was still a great day of hunting since a day in the woods is better than any day in the office in my opinion! We got some good footage as well as good practice with the ground blind and the camera so all in all it was a good day and one that I'll be looking forward to again in the near future! Now if I can only get off of work early one day during this week in time to setup next to those persimmon trees for an afternoon hunt...
So my mind has been other places all week due to issues with my Jeep and trying to get home tonight (I didn't unfortunately, screwing up my plans) and my recap from last Friday just kept getting pushed back. I've finally forced myself to sit down and type out everything that I can remember, so here goes.
Ya gotta work hard to be able to play hard. In my case, this means working 40 hours Monday through Thursday so I can get back home to NC with an extra day to enjoy over the weekend. This past weekend, that meant heading to Raleigh on Friday at lunch time so I could hit the woods in one of my favorite places on Butner-Falls of Neuse gamelands in Wake County. Just about every time I have been there myself or someone else in my hunting party has seen a deer and quite a few bucks and does have been harvested there. With a cold front having come through, I felt good about deer movement over the weekend, as long as rain would hold off on Saturday (more on that from Paul in our next blog entry). With my Eberlestock Blue Widow loaded up with camera and hunting gear, along with my Lone Wolf climber lashed on, I was set to go once I got to the parking area, except for that whole waiting game I had to play since the two guys I was hunting with, Josh and Glen, weren't there yet. It wasn't long after I finished changing and had everything ready to go that the two of them pulled up and off we went.
Having decided that they would hunt in the first spot I ever hunted in this particular area, down the creek bed I went towards the lake some 200 yards below them. I knew there was a patch of oaks there, the creek on one side and the open, thinned out pines on the other. Once I got to the "bowl" of oaks in the bottom area, I noticed that there was fresh grass out in the now dry lake bed at the back end of the cove. I've had good luck hunting the lake shores around this part of NC, but only hunt right along them during muzzleloader and gun season. Deciding not to break tradition, I decided to stick to my original plan of hunting the oaks and picked out a tree about 125 yards from the shore to climb (Keep this in mind for later...) After 45 minutes of climbing, sawing, sweating and getting all camera equipment setup, I settled in for the evening hunt.
With no action taking place the first hour or so, I used that time to cool down and just enjoy being out in the Wake County woods for the first time this hunting season. I also shot some b-roll footage. Around 6 p.m. while glancing out at the lakeshore I saw something that didn't quite look right. Throw up the binoculars and sure enough, there is a doe feeding on that fresh grass I decided not to hunt! I watched her feed out there and then appear to head my way. Standing, I waited and waited, but no deer. So back down I sit to only notice about 15 minutes later a deer sneaking by me on the other side of the creek, 70 yards away, going towards, you guessed it, the fresh grass. I scan and scan to try and find the deer in the binos to no avail and finally decided to just sit back and wait for one to come walking by. And one did, but it came walking by around 125 yards away out in that same patch of fresh grass. I again had more "picking up binoculars" than "picking up bow" time, but I was just content to have my heart pounding again like it always does when I a deer/turkey/whatever I am hunting steps out. As darkness fell, I knew that every day I am able to enjoy the outdoors is truly a blessing and how I couldn't wait to get back out there. Which I did the next morning with Paul, who as I said earlier, has more on Saturday's hunt in our next blog post.
Today I deviate from my gun collection to showcase my bow, a 2008 Bowtech Guardian. I knew whenever I first shot this bow that I would have one; it has a smooth draw cycle, felt good and fit me well, is dead-in-hand and is extremely quiet. I have my 50-60# limbs maxed out, giving me a draw weight of around 62#, which is plenty enough to zip my arrows through the rib cage of an unsuspecting whitetail.
My bow is decked out in Realtree APG and has the inVelvet finish, which is supposed to protect against dings in the bow's aluminum riser and limbs as well as keep things quiet if you hit the riser against, say, your stand, while a P&Y 8-pt is standing right below you. I will note that while it does help to dampen noise in a dull "thud" fashion, the camo portion of finish is rubbing off in certain areas, especially around the grip (but not the inVelvet itself).
This bow is a family member, along with the General and Commander, of Bowtech's 2007 and 2008 top of the line, binary cam bows that feature Center Pivot technology. I won't go into the specifics of what this means as far as performance as you can follow the link to see all about it and decide for yourself, but I will say that this bow is considered by many (from what I have read online in both articles and forums) to be one of the finest shooting bows ever produced and I have to say I agree. (Why do you think I chose it over the Matthews DXT and Fred Bear Truth when it came time to make a decision on what to spend my hard-earned money on?)
The bow may not be a speed demon, its birth certificate has an IBO speed of only 308 fps at 60 pounds, but I am able to produce enough arrow speed and kinetic energy to use expandable broadheads. As for what accessories I have on the Guardian and what I shoot, I'll just post up a list of my set-up below:
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Curran's Outdoor Adventures
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Grants Blog (Growing Deer TV)
Hunt Like Your Hungry
inFOCUS (Campbell Cameras)
inMotion (Heartland Bowhunter)
Make It Happen Outdoors
Taking a Walk on the Wild Side
The Rivah Blog
The Will to Hunt
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