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Monday, January 9, 2017

Lessons from Last Evening's Hunt

January Bow Season and a snowstorm in the forecast arriving this evening. There is probably not a better time to hunt. I traveled to a location not far from the Kodabow facility with the intent to fill an antlerless deer tag for the freezer. At this particular hunting spot and in these perfect conditions and deploying a crossbow rather than a traditional recurve bow or a compound bow, the confidence level was extremely high. Conditions were perfect and the deer would be moving before the storm. There are certain times when it pays to be in the woods and the next 2 hours was going to be one of those periods. Lesson #1 is do whatever possible to hunt prior and during a snowstorm. 

Overlooking a ravine with a Kodabow
at the ready position. (All the photos in this article
were taken in the last three days.)
A small doe moved in early and loitered between 20 and 25 yards. The wind was very still. The slightest noise I made caused this doe to perk up and look in my direction. The sounds were not loud to get this deer's attention. The slight rubbing of a glove on a bow handle or twisting enough to cause an outer vest to rub against a jacket was enough to put the doe at full attention. Without showing any movement, I was safe from full identification. Wintertime deer have the edgiest personality of the year. Lesson #2 is to never underestimate the acute hearing of a whitetail especially in the wintertime.
A benefit of snow on the ground - tracks can provide solid
and very current clues about deer movement. 

A larger antlerless soon moved into range. I waited. Again, this new arrival was wary and proceeded carefully being alert for any danger. Well hidden, I waited for a broadside shot. The distance was 28 yards and with a Kodabow, this situation should be a a certain outcome. 
I reflected about a discussion I had earlier in the day with another hunter. Candidly, it was a subject we don't hear about very often at Kodabow - that is, making a Kodabow shot and failing to recover a deer. In this case, the hunter told me his sons had lost 2 deer. He was in search of different broadheads or possibly a heavier arrow. That was not the problem. I asked, "where exactly were the shots?" He replied, " well the 1st was in the neck and the 2nd was high back shoulder."  Let me tell you that those placements will never deliver terrific success. Whitetails are resilient creatures and those two deer are still walking the woods today. A faster or more powerful bow, different broadheads or different arrow weights would only miss the vitals more quickly with a poorly aimed shot. Shot placement is key. A broadside or slightly quartering away shot profile with arrow placement in lungs, heart or liver combined with a Kodabow Crossbow, Magnum .338 arrow with brass insert and the Killzone 2 blade broadhead is a formidable shooting system. You can't do better.  We will repeat that. You can't do better!  I pulled the trigger on my Kodabow and the deer I was watching nearly dropped in its tracks. Lesson #3 is to be patient and make a good shot. 

If you are fortunate to have a wintertime hunting season and unfilled tags, our advice is to get out there. There is a strong pull to stay indoors, watch TV and wait for next year but you might miss some memorable times.
While hunting prior to the snowstorm was excellent, the
next morning was still very good. The crossbow was retired and
the recurve and a climbing treestand were the ticket.
It is snowing pretty good in this photo! Location was on a good trail
--- but the deer moved 60 yards away. 
Proper clothing is key. Merino wool underwear is a good bet if you haven't tried it. Headgear is essential and when hunting from a ground stand, ensure there is foam, carpet or a stool) between your bottom and the cold earth. The game animals are edgier than normal so movement and noise must be eliminated for success. In a perfect scenario, a hunter will be confident and comfortable. 

Checking the forecast now and hoping for more snow! 

My best,
Chuck @ Kodabow 

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