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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

HUNTING SEASON 2016 KICKOFF

Hunting Season 2016 Kickoff

(West Chester, PA 13 September) Here is our September newsletter. We are so excited! My goodness - as a hunter, I have a super mental outlook heading into this Fall season and my hope is that you feel the same way!  So far, it has been a tremendous year. One highlight was Big Jim Aken stopping a Cape Buffalo in June with a Kodabow in Africa. It is unheard of to shoot and drop a "Buff" within 30-35 yards of impact with a single arrow.  Just a wild and perfect hunt --- and no hunter prepares more for that singular moment when the trigger is pulled than Jim. 


So going into the Fall season,  I feel terrific, am not rushed, and just seem positive about everything. The highlight so far this year for me was spending a few days in Colorado chasing Elk in the Steamboat Springs area.

We often walked 8- 10 miles daily. That's me sitting in an ambush spot.

Without a disability, using a crossbow is not an option in Colorado so we used traditional equipment which I enjoy immensely. I will tell you that having a strong grounding in traditional equipment (recurve bows) HAS HELPED US UNDERSTAND CROSSBOW TECHNOLOGY MORE THAN ANY OTHER ELEMENT....from arrows, to broadheads, to energy, to penetration. I could go on! An either sex elk Colorado license can be purchased over the counter for most of the state and the elk population continues to do well because, in my view, there are high elk numbers combined with so many remote and nearly inaccessible places for elk to hide. In the first week of the season, the bulls do not respond aggressively to calling so we had two choices. Walk a lot and find elk or set up in the morning or evening in places where a hunter would expect to find elk.
I did not release an arrow. The 2nd hunting day, I had 4 cow elk (2 were young ones) come into my position where I was sequestered behind an evergreen. They would all move within 20 yards. Amazingly, the largest cow came right to my evergreen, turned around and looked down her back trail and then stopped leaving me with a 4 yard quartering away shot. It was early in the week and I felt good watching Mom and her young ones depart after milling around for a few minutes. I had bulls at 50-60 yards numerous times but needed to be closer with my trad gear. 



Elk moving past an ambush locations caught on my trail camera.


Deer Season Opens

 Opening Day --- nothing like it even if it is 90 degrees. Here Joe on our Pro Staff is on stand last Saturday up a tree in NJ with his 5 year old Kodabow Bravo Zulu. (Kwikee Quiver Bracket shown -- Quiver removed.)


Plenty of converging deer trails in this photo. 

Our friend Ted has his ground blind set up 1 week early in a recessed area just off a field.  He is sizing up the height of his stool and the length of his shooting stick and this Saturday, at sunrise, this is where Ted will be hanging out!  


Close the back door of that  blind when hunting and be
mindful of East and West so that sunrise and sunset do not interfere with your shooting dynamics. 

Lessons Learned


Big Country - my hunting partner is on the green
colored ridge in the distance. 
Getting ready to walk in. Most days, we stayed and had lunch in the mountains.

A hunter can reach a point where lessons are learned, forgotten, and re-learned again. The re-learning part can be painful. Here are a few gems:

1 - Never walk out on a different or new route in the dark.  The sun was down and it was about 2 miles to my rendezvous spot. I decided to cut a straight line to meet Mark and save a few minutes. Huge mistake. I knew I was in trouble after dropping unexpectedly into a deep and heavy growth dried out creek bottom sliding down 12 feet at once. I would still be there if I broke my leg because a walkie-talkie or cell phone would have been useless. In the daytime, the big green brush signifies water and uneven terrain where the water collects and the bushes grow high. Those areas are best avoided because travel is difficult. At night, everything looked the same. 





2- The Power of the Sun. Your clothing is going to get grimy and sweaty hunting several days in a row. There is not a backpack large enough to carry in fresh clothes for each day of a hunt so plan on cycling through the same trousers and shirts every other day. I was shocked at how well hunting attire cleaned up just by hanging out the clothing in the direct sunlight. Mom used to have a clothesline but then dryers came along and clotheslines disappeared across America. I said to Mark, "wow, this 3 day old shirt smells like it just came out of the wash." He replied, " what do expect? , smell and odor come from bacteria, UV light kills bacteria, mix in a rain shower here and there and I'm not surprised." It's tough hunting with such a smart guy. 

3- Strategy - Either Ambush or Stalk   I am good at determining areas where game moves. Being a big guy, I am also better at sitting still and motionless than stomping around. I see fewer animals because the places I choose to set up will be tight but when I do see them, they will be close. In these spots, I will not be glassing across canyons and counting deer or elk 1 1/2 miles away. Consequently, it was not a surprise for me to get within a few yards of elk on this last outing because that is how I hunt. 
A huge part of this strategy is wind. You may be wearing the latest "ScentStop 505 carbon-ozone -whatever" clothing but my experience is that deer and elk will smell you anyway if the wind is wrong. Walk 4 miles and break a sweat and you smell very much like a human no matter how much you spent on clothing. Getting the wind right in ambush spots is key.  Learn about thermals - how the wind warms and moves up the mountain in the morning and cools and moves down the hillsides in the afternoon. There is a predictive factor on how the thermals react with the prevailing winds of a particular day. All fun. 

My best --- call us if you need arrows, supplies or accessories and if you are bow shopping, don't wait till the last minute! 

Chuck at Kodabow