Wired To Hunt


Jumping The String

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The arrow is released,  the follow through is solid and your mark is true. What could possibly go wrong at this point? Well a lot of things, but in many cases your arrow sails over the back of your buck as he crouches and then springs away. Most of you have probably experienced or heard of a scenario similar to the the one I have just described. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “jumping the string.”  For those of you unfamiliar with this idea, here is a quick video of a buck jumping the string.

So what is actually happening here? The deer is not consciously dodging the arrow, rather it is instinctively reacting to a stimuli. The moment the deer hears an unknown surprising sound it’s “fight or flight” reaction kicks in gear and it immediately drops and loads up to bounce away. Unfortunately this often also helps them by ducking underneath many unfortunate hunters arrows.

So how drastic of an effect can this have on your chances of sticking a buck this year? Well lets consider how much a deer can move once you release your arrow. According to secondary data I’ve found, a deer can drop about 1 in in .1 seconds. So that being given and assuming you are are using a newer bow shooting about 300 fps, your arrow would take about .2 seconds to reach a deer at 20 yards. That would give the deer enough time to hypothetically drop 2 feet, but given the time it would take for the deer to initially hear the bow, you can estimate that a deer could still drop as much as a foot. This math seems to back up what many people have seen in real life or on shows. All of this being said, what is there that we hunters can do to reduce the chances of a deer ducking our arrow?

It seems that solutions to this problem are varied and much debated in hunting circles. There seems to be three general options or steps you can take.

  • Shoot a faster bow
  • Shoot a quieter bow
  • Compensate and aim low
  • Do not shoot at alerted or “jumpy” deer

1. First lets talk about shooting a faster bow. I can see the benefits of shooting a faster bow for increasing accuracy or range, but when it comes to trying to out run sound, its not going to happen. The fastest bows today travel at around 340 fps, thats fast but sound travels at nearly 1100 fps, so lets assume no matter how fast your bow is, the sound will reach the deer much faster than your arrow.

2. On the other hand the act of silencing your bow can have better results. Dampening the noise of your bow can help decrease the chances of a deer jumping the string and it can be achieved in a plethora of ways. Silencing your bow is a whole story for another time, but in short you can buy a variety of silencers and dampeners that can be attached to your bow or strings that can reduce the noise produced. The quieter you can get your bow, the better.

3. The idea of compensating for this “jump” is possibly the most debated aspect of dealing with this. Should you aim low or shouldn’t you?

In my opinion it makes sense to try to compensate for this to a certain extent. I would not want to aim outside of the kill zone, but it definitely makes sense to me that you should aim at the lower third of the vitals. If the deer doesn’t coil I hit the bottom of the lungs and heart. If the deer does coil, I hit the top of the lungs and still have a dead deer down. This compensation won’t always be enough, but it seems to be a safe way to balance the probability of either situation occuring.

4. Last you must consider whether the deer is spooked or not. Ideally you want to be shooting at a deer that is completely oblivious to your existence, but thats not always how it goes down. These “oblivious” deer still can jump your string, but it seems that it doesn’t happen as often. A deer that has tensed up and is on the alert is much more likely to quickly react to a strange noise and book it out of there. If you can try to take your shots at unspooked deer, if you aren’t so lucky it is definitely a good idea to assume the deer will coil and aim a little bit low.

Hopefully being aware of the phenomenon of “jumping the string” and being able to prepare for it will help increase your chances of bagging a buck this fall. For more info check out these resources

North American Hunter clipBowsite.com Article, DIY Hunting article

Have any other thoughts or ideas on the topic? Let us know! I know there are a lot of opinions out there, so lets hear em!



The Thirty Point Buck
Da Turdy Point Buck

Da Turdy Point Buck

“Did you see Da Turdy Pointer!?” was a phrase I remember fondly from one of my favorite hunting songs, “Da Turdy Point Buck.” Growing up I always thought that a thirty point buck was only the figment of wild imagination, but it looks like things have changed. Wayne Schumacher of Wisconsin downed a 4-5 year old 30 point buck with his bow and arrow. Speculation has flown and the buzz is that this buck could become the state’s new record buck. Plenty of additional information can be found all over the web. The Post Crescent reported that Wayne made his shot at 15 yards and that the monster ran no more than 70 yards before falling.

Here’s a nice little youtube video someone shot of an interview with Wayne Schumaker as he explains this once in a lifetime deer. The interviewer kind of loses some credibility with me at the end when he asks Wayne, “Would this be a regular rack or is this…?” Nontypical buddy, this is obviously a nontypical. But nonetheless the video has some pretty interesting tidbits of info, not to mention amazing footage of this stud buck.

Even CNN covered the story!

Embedded video from CNN Video

This story was talked about so much that on Sep 24th it was the #9 most searched term on the internet and the 30 point buck even made it on a website entitled “Stupid Celebrities Gossip.” Unbelievable. Congrats to Wayne.



Another Season of Wired To Hunt
September 28, 2009, 11:54 pm
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This fall, once again, I’m stuck working in a world where I can’t get into the woods after the elusive Whitetail.  For the next four months I’ll be working in Mountain View, CA, so unfortunately the majority of my scouting and legwork will be done on the internet rather than in the field. But hopefully I’ll be able to make it back to Michigan at least twice to hunt and we’ll see what we can make happen. In the mean time it’s time to rev the engines back up at Wired To Hunt and once again highlight some of the greatest stories, news and tips available on the world wide web. If any of you out there have a great story or idea that you’d like to share with the Wired To Hunt family, please feel free to email me at wiredtohunt(at)gmail.com .

And to anyone that has any hunting ideas in Northern California, I’d love to hear!



Crossbows vs. Vertical Bows

 

Should crossbows be allowed during archery season?

Should crossbows be allowed during archery season?

 

 

I recently read an article in Outdoor Life magazine, entitled The Crossbow Controversy, discussing the current controversy surrounding the spread of crossbow use in America. Seems that crossbows are increasing in popularity and are being legalized in many states during their bowhunting seasons. One side believes that crossbows are a great new tool for hunters, increase accuracy and the amount of ethical kills and they bring more hunters into the woods. On the opposite side, traditionalists claim that crossbows take away the spirit of the hunt. Being that they are too easy and technically similar to guns rather than bows.

In this article, Ed Wentzler, the legislative director for United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania explained his issue with crossbows by saying,  “Archery equipment should be defined as implements that are held by hand, drawn by hand and released by the motion of the hand in the presence of game,” he says. “If you are shooting a crossbow, you are not drawing the string in the presence of game. That alone gives crossbow shooters an unfair advantage. It is not bowhunting.”

On the side for crossbows, Ohio’s wildlife management chief supported crossbow use,  explaining, “ Crossbows allow hunters to get out in the woods more often, and allow them to be more successful hunters,” says Risley. “For wildlife managers trying to kill as many deer as possible, crossbows have become a necessary tool.”

In my opinion I would have to agree with Wentzler, I feel that bowhunting is so special because it is so darn difficult. The key attribute of a bow is that you must pull back and hold the bow string when your target moves into range. This is the greatest challenge of hunting during archery season and it is part of what preserves this traditional way of hunting. I don’t have an issue with hunters using a crossbow, but I don’t believe they should be categorized or used during archery season. Instead they could be used during the firearm season, muzzleloader season or possibly in their own short period.

What are your thoughts? Should crossbows be allowed during bow season or do they pose an unfair advantage?



How To Become A Hunting Guide
April 28, 2009, 9:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

I recently made a post, on a Michigan State University Career blog that I run, about how to become a hunting guide as a career. I figured this might be interesting to some of you folks too. Here is a neat video I found about the topics and if you want more information you can follow this link to see the whole post on hunting for a living.



Why Do I Hunt?
February 26, 2009, 6:35 pm
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A great image from Gerber's homepage

A great image from Gerber's homepage

 

 

I get asked very frequently why it is that I like to hunt. In the past I’ve had a very long winded answer which covered everything from my love for the outdoors, to the sound of a deer’s steps on frost covered leaves to the taste of freshly cooked venison. But recently I’ve found a way to describe that almost religious experience I feel every time I step into the woods with a gun or bow in hand. 

When I head into the outdoors to go hiking or canoeing I get to be in the outdoors and see nature, but when I go hunting I actually become a part of nature. I, for a small time, enter into the circle of life and work to establish my position in the food chain. I am no longer an intruder into the world of wild creatures, I instead become something much more primal and real. It is in these moments that I feel the most alive and it’s why I will forever cherish the hunt. Why do you?



Lansing Deer & Turkey Spectacular!

lansing-deer-turkey-specYesterday was a nice treat as I got to visit the annual Deer & Turkey Spectacular in Lansing, Michigan. Just as I begin to wonder if the snow will ever melt, I check this out and can’t wait to get out in the cold again and chase some swamp bucks! The “Spectacular” had much of what you would expect from this type of show. There was the obligatory wall of trophy buck mounts, rows of outfitters and guides parading their services and lots of neat new hunting tech booths as well. There seemed to be a good variety of seminars offered over the course of the weekend but I unfortunately I wasn’t able to make any of them. 

As I strolled the aisles I came upon a booth for one of my favorite hunting shows online. The Slunger Hollow Productions booth really got me excited, as I am a huge fan of “Buckeye Cam Presents Fair Chase Encounters”. Two years ago I watched an episode of this show every morning before going to class in the fall and I really believe it helped me bag my buck that year. What I like about this series is that they really highlight important steps and tips throughout the episode, rather than just showing quick kills of huge deer. It just seems very real and very insightful. I also really liked the fact that they use primarily archery equipment in the Midwest, which is very similar to what I do. If you want to check out Fair Chase Encounters you can check out their website or search for them on MyOutdoorTV.com.