Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums
Sign in to follow this  
ArcticDave

Traditional bowhunting.

Recommended Posts

I really miss hunting. Since moving to AZ, I have not gone at all. 

Almost all the rifle big game hunts are lotteries. I get it...there are a LOT of people here. Everyone can't go or there would be no game left. :nono:

There is an exception...archery. You can walk up to the counter here and simply buy a deer tag. Low success rates for archery hunts are the reason for this I'm sure. Open seasons are much longer. Here in my game unit, the rifle season(if you draw a tag) is just a few days. Archery hunters get a couple months to bag a deer.  

It seems a way to at least play the game again. I know the home range of a couple old desert mulies that I've been keeping tabs on. 

I shot a compound bow extensively 20-25 years ago. I don't want to go that route again. Too much "stuff" to go all along with it. I was considering a take down recurve this time around. Keep it simple with no gadgets. 

Has anyone here had much experience bowhunting in Arizona? I'd like to pick your brain....:arrowheadsmiley:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave , I have not bow hunted here in AZ but I did shoot international comp for a couple years.

If I could walk better I would have to think hard about it .

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have friends that love bowhunting for deer and elk in Az. They apply down there every year and it seems like every other year they head down there. 3 of them. They said its a little more challenging there due to all of the sharp bushes that want to eat you while you stalk. Lol. They stick to their compound bows though.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nugget108 said:

more challenging there due to all of the sharp bushes that want to eat you while you stalk. Lol. 

They are not kidding. EVERYTHING is sharp here! :laught16:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every thing in the desert wants to Stick ya , Stab ya , Bite ya or Poke ya.....

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, azdigger said:

Every thing in the desert wants to Stick ya , Stab ya , Bite ya or Poke ya.....

... except the parts that want to dump you down a hole or off a cliff.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still wants to poke ya when ya fall , sharp rocks too....

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife went BOW HUNTING, on the last day of Nov. Yeh, I took her to Walmart, and she bought a boat load of them blue and red ones you put on your Christmas tree! So much for Bow hunting, the season is over! Grubstake

  • Like 1
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

Archery hunting is a big hoot. And it is not too difficult to get close to desert mule deer at all. They are generally curious and will stop for an instant and let you get a shot. If they bolt they are rather predictable and (relatively) easy to stalk for another shot. You are probably not going to be successful at stand hunting them like archery whitetail though.

I highly suggest a compound to start with. A recurve is more difficult to hold at full draw than a compound. It is also generally slower. Range is limited or you risk the animal jumping the string and getting a bad shot or a miss. You are going to need the speed and extra 20 yards it will give you. But a recurve will darn sure do it if you have arms of steel and everything is perfect. IMHO the chances of a successful shot go up quite a bit with a compound.

(I can hold my 70 lb. compound at full draw for a minute or so and still get a fairly good release. I can't hold my 35 lb. recurve fishing bow at full draw for more than a few seconds without running out of steam. This is a real consideration bro.)

I have never killed a desert mule deer with an arrow but I have stalked them within 35 yards often. If you know the area and the animal you are hunting it isn't too hard to get a couple or three chances at a shot. They are easy to get close to and if they spook they generally just go a short way and calm right down. And they often come right back around to the same spot within an hour or two. They are probably the easiest animal to stalk within bow range especially if there is a little cover.

They will let you get a whole lot closer and stop and figure you out longer if you use the scent blocker stuff. I wear clean coveralls sprayed with that stuff and it works wonders. They will stand there at 30 feet with their nose just working trying to figure out what you are. It really gives you the edge when you have to move close without cover. Deer and elk both get confused when they see a human but don't smell them. Keeping odor to a bare minimum is the best edge a bowhunter has to get an extra few yards and an extra few seconds of opportunity.

Just my two cents on a ten dollar subject.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love bow hunting and much of what BBob says is so true. With a longbow or recurve you're really limiting the distance by half of a compounds range. You're also limiting your other hunting opportunities. You can buy bear, lion and limited opportunity elk tags over the counter, but do you want to use a recurve on an elk or dangerous predator? Compounds are shooting 300-340fps these days but are also expensive and cumbersome to pack compared to a takedown.

Here in AZ you can put out salt or water to hunt over.  Put a blind up nearby, the critters will come in as long as there's salt.  I put salt out in 5A a couple years ago and within 20 minutes it was being devoured by every mammal in the unit. Two weeks later the salt was gone but I had 1200 pics on my game camera. The elk were literally bedding down along side it. A lot of the late season deer hunts coincide with the rut. Like a lot of us bucks, thinking with your bean can lead to exposure and prove to be a major liability.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave, get a small game license and go for quail and javelina. You will get tons of shooting and lots of meat on the table. After a few months of winter you will be a real hotshot with the bow. Then pick up some of those "stump shooter" tips and plink bottles, cans and fence posts during the summer. In the fall there is dove and squirrel and both are great game for archery. By the time you can go deer hunting it will all sort itself out.

I like to hunt grouse, turkey, dove and quail with the bow. I use a carbon arrow that won't get bent up hitting junk. I use a broadhead with the little "grabber springs" behind it for turkey, guillotine heads for grouse and quail and the stump shooter tips for squirrel and plinking bottles. Jackrabbits are perfect deer practice and you will really learn your triggernometry slinging sticks at them.

Check out Craigslist. You can generally find a Hoyt or Mathews bow for under $300 and they generally come outfitted with the goodies. Figure out your draw length and make sure the cams can be set to your particular draw. A 55-65 lb bow is plenty and is probably a better choice than a 70 lb.+ for hunting. I shoot a 70 lb. and if I had to do it over again I would have gone with a 55-60 lb.

The only serious consideration is latent damage to carbon arrows. If you hunt and plink you gotta flex/roll those arrows EVERY TIME you knock one. You rarely ever damage a carbon shaft but when you do they are grenades and you need to get rid of them. You wont have much luck with aluminum arrows if you plink and shoot small game. You will bend the crap out of them quick. I like the Gold TIp carbons and the Eastons in the larger diameters. Stick with one gauge so your hardware interchanges and once you get your length/weight figured out you will never have to fiddle with your arrows.

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention fish. Fishing is the ultimate bow hunt. More fun than a barrel of monkeys for sure. Carp, frogs, trout, catfish... it is all good and you will get thousands of target opportunities in the off season. My favorite practice is shooting Gatorade bottles floating in the water with my fishing bow. I can stand on the boat and shoot bottles until my arm is sore and prowl the shallows for carp for hours on end. I never get tired of it.

I honestly would rather float around in clear water and hunt fish than hunt deer. And a day spent shooting bullfrogs with a bow is as good as a hot nugget patch IMHO. It just does not get more fun than that!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both! Those were insightful posts and I appreciate it. 

Compound vs traditional. I'm aware that a compound is a superior performer and that I am giving up yardage. The let off is certainly nice too. I was able to shoot a 65lb back when I was younger without difficulty. I've heard that switching to traditional gear you should drop the draw weight considerably. I've seen 45lbs recommended as plenty of bow for deer, and that's probably all I'll ever hunt with it. 

If I am ever lucky enough to draw a elk tag and can afford to go...I'll use my 30.06:41:

There are no elk within many, many miles of Morristown and 99% of its use will be a deer bow here in the back 40.

I'll keep thinking about it over this next year and see what I run across between now and next season. The simplicity of a two piece traditional bow that slips easily into a pack before climbing up the mountain, is singing a seductive song. 

We are going to Prescott on Saturday to do a little Christmas shopping. Maybe I can sneak into he archery section of sportsmans warehouse and draw a few different bows back to see what I can actually pull these days. See what feels good, so I know what to look for. :) 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hit the Wittman swap meet, I see bows there all the time.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 35# PSE Kingfisher recurve. It is a cheap, heavy, indestructible bow. It is intended for a fishing bow but it would make a great hunting bow too. I got it new, shipped to my door for $110 last spring. I put those heavy rubber finger guards on it so I can shoot with wet fingers but they would really work good for hunting too. The limbs take down and the brace will accept sights, stabilizers, etc.

It might be a bit light for deer but they make the same bow in 45#. I think a 45# bow would shoot a carbon arrow clean through a big deer at 35 yards. ...As long as you could draw and shoot and didn't have to stand there and hold that rascal at full draw for very long.

I have a Hoyt Reflex 70# compound @ 29" with a case, release, quiver, several arrows and even a few broadheads I would part with for $300 plus shipping. I thought I had it sold last spring but I was wrong. I still have it if you are interested.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think 70 lbs is more bow than I want to tackle Bob. Hurts my joints just thinking about it. It's a good deal on a great bow though. When I was in much better shape,  65lbs was all I could handle and still hit something. I definitely want to explore the lower poundage road this time around. With my bad elbow, I may not even be able to draw a 45 :olddude: I'll find out tomorrow at sportsmans! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good ol' Wartsman's Sporehouse. It's like Victoria's Secret for men. If you go there more than three times a week you actually start growing hair on your palms. 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pse-Kingfisher-Bow-Only-Right-Hand-45Lb/190998888?wmlspartner=wmtlabs&adid=22222222222042848297&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=e&wl1=o&wl2=c&wl3=10374129276&wl4=pla-4578572596852237&wl5=&wl6=&wl7=& wl10=Walmart&wl12=190998888_10000003281&wl14=pse kingfisher&veh=sem&msclkid=849cdaeca8ef1c1c10c986e7ebd448cb

Here is a 45 lb. PSE Kingfisher bare for $89.99 delivered to your doorstep. I think it is the least expensive new bow on the market. It isn't pretty but it shoots good and is indestructible. 

Mine is the 35 lb. version with a fishing rig on it. I thought a 35 would be a kid's bow but it is quite a pull and slings that big fiberglass fishing arrow out there fast. The only issue I had with it was the string that came with the bow was too long and I could not get the proper brace height. I had the darn thing wound up tight and it was still hitting my thumb. I bought a new string and it adjusts to a comfortable brace height with just a few twists.

I shot this thing thousands of times this summer and brutalized it on the boat. I think it has been a good value and I would recommend it. If it broke in half tomorrow I would probably go buy another one just like it.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ArcticDave said:

Take a look at this one Bob. I'm seeing a lot of happy people shooting them. 

https://www.oldbow.com/galaxy-ember-takedown-longbow.htm

 

Super nice bow Dave! 

I could never shoot a bow that nice. I would look like a fool if I ever missed a shot. The pressure would be too much for me to handle. 

I shoot an ugly azz bow that has carp guts splattered all over it. No one expects me to hit anything so when I do they think I am some sort of badass and when I don't I can blame the bow. It is a win/win situation you see...

Fun Fact-

I made me some bow limb covers and a matching face mask out of a pair of ladies stretch pants. I found a set of XXL leopard skin lycra stretch pants at the thrift store for a buck. Then went to work with the sewing machine. Now when I throw the bow down in the boat the material protects the limbs from getting beat up so much. And even months later, when you stretch that lycra over your face to block the sun you can still smell the fat girl on it.

Needless to say it was a dollar well spent and it made some fine archery accessories. So if you are going to buy such a beautiful bow I suggest you make yourself a set of limb covers to keep it in good condition. They will make it shoot and carry a lot quieter too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bedrock Bob said:

 even months later, when you stretch that lycra over your face to block the sun you can still smell the fat girl on it.

:th_coffeescreen: 

The leopard bandito!

They probably are a good idea. I'm getting more careful with my stuff nowadays, but things seem to just happen...

I haven't made up my mind which one I want/can actually afford. I got to finger up a take down recurve at fartsmens warehouse called "The edge". It had an amazing smooth draw and didn't stack until way past my anchor point. It was a 55lbs and I pulled it easily. I held it for ten seconds without much trouble. I wouldn't want to hold it a whole lot longer, but I guess I am not quite as decrepit as I thought...yet! :yesss:

Considering how easy it was to pull 55lbs, I'm thinking I should move up to a 50 from the 45 I was planning. A little more hp never hurts. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About ten years ago I drew a bow hunt in the Pecos Wilderness. I had an either sex elk tag, an antlered deer tag, a turkey tag and a small game tag for grouse. I backpacked in to a spot from the Iron Gate trailhead about 5 miles. 

It is big country. The trailhead is about 9500 ft. and camp is about 11K. The hunt is on a sidehill at about a 25 degree incline. You are either standing in waist deep grass or pushing through brush. The mountains are huge and each ridge is several miles long. You can spend a week stumbling around in a five square mile area and just cover a tiny spot on the side of one hill. 

The first three days were spent calling elk up to within a dozen yards and watching them thrash the bushes and make all sorts of vulgar noises. I had a little spray bottle of cow urine and I managed to squirt a shot right in front of a big bull's nose. He fell to his chest and pushed himself across the ground with his back legs right through the brush toward me. I jumped up, he jumped up and we stood there six feet from each other in shoulder high rose brush. I could have taken an arrow in my hand and lunged at him with it but I could not have drawn and fired an arrow before he split.

I pooped a little and had to go back to camp and change.

I drew my bow at least eight or ten times that year and never got a clear shot. I don't know how many bulls I called in to within bow range but I probably could not count them on all my fingers and toes. A couple almost got an arrow but I just could not line up the shot window I had with the right spot on the elk. A few were right there in the clear at 30 yards but they were moving along. I certainly could have put an arrow in them and probably killed them but I was not comfortable with it. The stars simply did not align. I really learned about the problems at full  draw and saving enough strength for a controlled let-down though.

I managed to shoot a turkey and a few grouse but I could not make it happen with an elk. I happened upon a nice buck laying behind a downed tree. He had six nice points on either side and some nice long brow tines. I had a good position and I was just waiting him out. He had his back to me and I knew he wanted to stand up and get out of there and it was only a matter of a few seconds before he stood.

I was ready and he moved a bit. I drew. It was a cinch at about 20 yards. But he didn't stand he just sat there for several seconds. I let down. And then he stood and grinned at me. He bolted about the time I got the cams rolled over. Another lesson taught.

I had seen several cow elk and had one opportunity to put an arrow in one on the first day. I passed. The last day I tried desperately to get close to a cow elk and that did not happen either. 

I went on that same hunt in late September for three years. In that time I never shot an arrow at a deer or an elk. It just never all came together to get an arrow in the kill zone. I called in hundreds of elk and saw dozens of buck deer. I could have killed any of them easily with a rifle or muzzle loader. But as bad as I wanted it to happen it never came together for me with the bow.

From then on out I left the bow at the house and hunted with the muzzle loader or a rifle. But I went out in the rut with a call and played with those elk every year just for fun. There was only one time in eight years that I got a nice bull in the position that I could have shot an arrow into his chest.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is exactly why the otc permits are available. :)

Fish and Game knows the chances are slim that any of us will be successful. I would rather try and fail, than stay home and bitch about not drawing a tag again. 

I practice sneaking up on the deer I see while out on prospecting trips. It is great fun, but very difficult to get within arrow range. I have only been successful twice in getting in range of these desert mulies. The late archery season here is timed with the rut, so learning to use a call or two could possibly improve my chances over spot and stalk only. 

The more I think about this, the more fun it sounds. :nutty:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Salt. Let them come to you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Edge said:

Salt. Let them come to you.

That would increase the chance of putting meat on the table.

Where to place it?  Anywhere on an active trail, or are there better places to locate the salt block?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...