Posts Tagged ‘archery’

[Recently], Time magazine published a piece that pushes the narrative that today’s firearms laws are permissive in comparison to those of the early 20th century. Titled, “Guns Were Much More Strictly Regulated in the 1920s and 1930s than They Are Today,” the piece contends that “Those who look to America’s past to extol a time when nothing stood between an American and a gun need to look again.” The obvious goal of the work is to convince the uninformed that any notions they might have about America’s long-standing culture of gun ownership should pose no barrier to future restrictions, particularly on the ownership of semi-automatic firearms.

The piece was written by long-time anti-gun author and SUNY Cortland Political Science Professor Robert J. Spitzer. Since the 1990s, Spitzer has been writing columns and books advocating for gun control; often focusing on semi-automatic firearms. In these pieces Spitzer pushed – now mostly recognized as silly – misconceptions about popular semi-autos, such as “The lighter weight, compact design, and pistol grips give the ability to ‘spray fire’ – often from the hip,” and, “Their concealability adds to their criminal appeal.”

Further, Spitzer advocated for the – now thoroughly rejected – notion that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to bear arms. In his 1995 book, The Politics of Gun Control, Spitzer claimed, “The desire to treat the Second Amendment as a constitutional touchstone by gun control opponents is understandable… Such claims are, however, without historical, constitutional, or legal foundation.”

However, the thesis laid out in the column’s title only works if one completely ignores the federal government’s entrance into the field of firearms control, and subsequent restrictions on firearms enacted in several states. In the 1920s and 1930s, Americans purchasing firearms could simply order rifles or shotguns by mail right to their front door. The Gun Control Act of 1968 brought about much of the modern federal gun control regime, including federal prohibitions certain categories of persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, importation restrictions, and the licensing and regulation of firearms dealers. The Brady Bill was passed in 1993, which requires background checks on those purchasing a firearm from a dealer. In the 1990s and 2000s, several states restricted access to semi-automatic firearms, and some states have continually expanded their categories of prohibited persons. A quick glance at two of BATFE’s publications, the “Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide,” and “State Laws and Published Ordinances,” makes it abundantly clear that 2015 America isn’t some sort of unfettered gun rights utopia in comparison to the early 20th century.

Perhaps most bizarre about Spitzer and his work is that even after decades of advocating for gun restrictions, the professor still appears to know little of the firearms he seeks to ban, botching terminology at every turn. In his latest piece, Spitzer notes that modern hunters are likely to use something he describes as a “semi-automatic long barrel gun.” Later, he claims that in the early 20th century states had little patience for “semi-automatic firing married to the ability to fire multiple rounds without reloading.” Anyone with a cursory knowledge of firearms would know that the latter characteristic is a prerequisite of the former. Further on, Spitzer uses the term “large capacity bullet magazines.”

Over the years Spitzer has been wrong on the history of gun control, wrong on the Second Amendment, and displayed a severe lack of basic firearms knowledge. Unfortunately, when it comes to an anti-gun periodical like Time, the ability to further the publication’s political agenda, rather than accuracy, appears to be the chief requirement for publication.

© 2015 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.


2009-10 DEER KILL


2014-15 DEER KILL

175,000 (estimated)


Years of liberal bag limits, fostered by the sale of discounted antlerless permits starting in about 2007, definitely knocked down the herd, wildlife officials acknowledge. But the build-up over decades in the number of Ohio’s whitetails, considered among the most robust and trophy-worthy in the country, clearly showed the strains of food competition. Ohio deer in recent years have taken longer to mature, to grow in body size and antler dimensions, and to produce young.

A smaller, better-fed herd should begin to reverse some of the physiological impacts, said biologist Mike Tonkovich, deer project leader for the wildlife division. In terms of managing the herd size, the acceptable number of deer on the landscape must fit what the human population — read: farmers — can tolerate.

Some hunters believe the herd has passed the point of going in the wrong direction.

“Our hunters are hanging on by a thread,” Dennis Malloy, one of two Ohio field representatives for the national group Whitetails Unlimited, said after the summit.

The future of deer hunting in Ohio might be more in flux than in doubt, but the numbers suggest the recent golden age of sorts has passed.

Hunters killed more than 261,000 deer during the 2009-10 season after tagging about 252,000 the season before. The kill has dropped annually since, from 239,400 in 2010-11 to 191,400 in 2013-14.

Through last weekend, this season’s whitetail harvest totaled 173,096, down 8.4 percent from the same point last year. When the season closes today, the final numbers likely will be around 175,000 — lower than any season since 2001-02.

The gun harvest has experienced a similar decline, having fallen every year since 2008. Hunters checked nearly 117,000 whitetails that year, and only 65,485 in the most recent gun week, in December.”

Notice that Mr. Tonkovich did not even mention coyotes as one of the reasons for the decline in deer herd numbers.

I’ve had e-mail discussions with Mike Tonkovich in the past,he’s always responded to questions,and I’ll be the first to admit the guy does know what he’s doing-for the most part. The recent increase in the ‘yote population isn’t something the ODNR people seem to have noticed. Most don’t spend all that much time in the field,including the wildlife officers.

ODNR needs to start listening to those of us who spend more than a few days out in the fields and woods of Ohio.

I know that ODNR is pressured by both farmers-due to crop damage caused by deer,and by insurance companies,due to cars hitting deer, to reduce the deer population. As the article states,ODNR instituted low-cost doe tags,created urban zones where the doe tags were valid all season,not just until the day before gun season. Until this year,hunters were allowed to harvest 18-24 deer statewide by harvesting the max number in each zone.

Years of these policies,combined with the explosive growth of the coyote population,have reduced the deer population far too much. The recent changes made by ODNR are to little,too late. It’s going to take years for the deer population to recover-and it’s never going to recover unless the coyote problem is addressed.

Fawn predation by the ‘yotes is only going to increase,because not enough people hunt them. Unless the ‘yote population is knocked down by at least half-the size of the deer herd is going to decrease to the point there are very,very few deer-it will be like deer hunting was in Ohio during the 1970’s-when you could hunt the entire week of gun season and not see a single deer.

This year,Ohio harvest to a county by county bag limit,and limited hunters to a total of 6 deer statewide,as before,only one buck may be taken no matter where in the state it’s taken you can only take one,the rest must be does.

That’s still too many does,ODNR should limit the harvest to two deer per hunter so the herd can increase in population again.

ODNR’s claim that there is not enough food for more deer is pure bullshit-the only way there would not be enough food is if farmers stopped planting corn and soybeans.This fall,Ohio is going to institute WMU’s-(Wildlife Management Units)

Western states have been using this method for decades,most have had success using WMU’s.

I’m all for Ohio going to WMU’s,although it will make the hunting regs more confusing,it will allow wildlife biologists to manage game populations more effectively,because they can manage each area for the optimum deer population.

WMU’s are better because the bag limits can be adjusted for each unit,meaning higher bag limits in some,lower bag limits in others. This will allow the statewide deer herd to be healthier,and if managed correctly, we should see more big  bodied deer,and bucks with heavier antlers,and bigger racks.

The change to WMU’s will help the deer herd,as long as ODNR starts urging hunters to kill ‘yotes.

Fur prices are reasonable this year,so hunting ‘yotes funds itself,skin ’em out,salt and dry the hides,sell the hides,and you can even turn a profit.

Totals for all Ohio deer hunting seasons,including archery up to 1/14/2015 are-

2013-14    186,347

2014-15   169,179

That’s a 9.21% drop.

Some of the well known counties that have had a 5,000 deer or so harvest saw drops of 15% or so.

Too many does being harvested,too much coyote predation,along with several localized EHD outbreaks in 2011,2012 and 2013.

Rumor has it that ODNR is going to change the county by county bag limits to WMU’s.

Not sure what good going to wildlife management units will do,the problems are just what I stated-

1) Too many does being harvested for too many years.

2) Coyote predation.

3) EHD outbreaks.

Unless you want to see a double digit reduction in the deer harvest-get out there and start shooting ‘yotes. The wildlife biologists all agree that concentrated efforts at reducing local ‘yote numbers is effective.

What this means is that you and all your friends who hunt deer need to get out and shoot as many ‘yotes as you can, from now until after fawns have been dropped and are up and able to run.

the ‘yotes will still get fawns-but if there’s less ‘yotes-that means they kill less fawns.

Fur prices make it worth it to skin,salt and save ‘yote hides-at least you can cover your ammo cost,along with the cost of gas to go to your hunting area and back home. You might even have enough left over to pay for next year’s hunting license and deer tags. Besides that-it’s good exercise,and keeps your shooting skills sharp. Also tests your skill at camo and concealment.

We put a hurtin on the ‘yote population in the county we mainly hunt in last winter and spring,as did a lot of other guys in the county-we only saw a 1.32% drop in deer harvest totals-and we still have until Feb. 1st to get deer with bow and arrow/crossbow.

There’s nothing we can do about EHD outbreaks,or the number of doe tags/number of does harvested,but we can do something about coyote predation-unless you want to see even less deer next fall/winter-get out there and start whackin’ as many ‘yotes as you can. Every ‘yote you kill improves fawn survival rates-go get as many as you can-they’re smart,they’re sneaky,and they can both see and smell humans from a long ways off. Use your muzzleloader for a challenge-use your bow or crossbow for an even bigger challenge.

It takes some effort and some skill to take ‘yotes,look at it as training,the better you get at taking ‘yotes-the better deer hunter you become-and the higher the rate of fawn survival.

We’re still deer hunting-as soon as bow season’s over,we’re gonna start whackin ‘yotes-you should do the same. If us deer hunters make a concentrated effort-we can bring the deer population back up in 2 seasons or less-if we don’t make an effort-we will continue to see drops in deer harvest totals-drops of 15-20% a year.

Go kill some ‘yotes !

This is why everyone who hunts deer needs to hunt coyotes. This past summer,in late June/early July, I found 3 fawns in one week that were hiding behind condos,two of them were behind the A-C units,since the people who live there,and the township cops ain’t too fond of gunshots in the condo complex-I called them to come and shoot the fawns to end their suffering. two of them had huge chunks missing from their hindquarters,and the wounds were infected-complete with maggots.The township cops told me that they had to shoot an average of 6 fawns a week that had been attacked by ‘yotes in May and June. Not sure how many they had to shoot the rest of the summer,as I was not working much in the area,and didn’t find any more wounded fawns behind homes.

In NE Ohiuo,between fawn and adult deer predation by ‘yotes,the EHD that hit hard in 2012,and last winters extended brutal cold-deer numbers are way down.

The only way to get the population to increase again is to take out as many ‘yotes as possible. Wildlife biologists say that ‘yotes can not be controlled state wide by hunting them-but they can be controlled in local areas,if enough of them are taken.

Whatever your favorite deer hunting area is-get as many guys and gals as you can to start hunting ‘yotes-no bag limit-no closed season. Makes for good target practice too. Another plus is in Ohio,you can hunt ‘yotes with rifles-not just the straight-walled rifle cartridges legal for deer hunting-any rifle caliber is legal for hunting ‘yotes.

I’m going to hunt them with my muzzleloader,then with my crossbow,then with my compound,then with my recurve. My youngest daughter is going to hunt them with a 30-30 to practice for deer hunting in W.Va next year,with her 20 gauge using deer slugs,and with a borrowed 45-70 since that’s legal for deer in Ohio.

Hopefully,we put enough of a hurtin’ on the ‘yote population to improve fawn survival rates by slowing ‘yote predation on the fawns and pregnant does.

If everyone does the same thing in their favorite hunting area-the deer population will rebound quickly-most of those wall-hanger bucks are only 3-3 1/2 years old.

We should all stop taking does,or at least only take one-not the 9 deer total bag limit-1 buck and 8 does- currently in effect for the state-that will help the deer population rebound faster,and cause ‘yote predation to have less of an effect on deer population.

It takes less than a second to fall 15 feet and ruin your life forever, when in 10 minutes you can rig a static line and Prusik safety loop for safe climbing into a stand. It’s easy. It’s inexpensive. It should be on the top of your to-do list. It’s also critical during the late season when your stand could be icy and you’re wearing heavy clothes, which make it tougher to climb.


Rut activity appears to be slowing down a lot. In most years,in NE Ohio,the peak of the rut falls the second week of November. More deer are bred on or within a day or two of November 15th than at any other time during the rut.

That doesn’t mean the rut is over-far from it-what it means is that the peak has passed. Deer are still being bred,does are still coming into estrous,and bucks are still trying to breed them.

The does that are in estrous are either being “tended” by a buck right now- have a buck following them everywhere,never leaving the doe’s side-or have a buck-or bucks following them. The majority of does who still have not come into estrous are going to do so this week.

Then,starting the first week of December,and peaking the second week of December,all the does who were not bred during the November rut are going to cycle into estrous again. The December rut is nowhere near as intense as the November rut,but it is still well worth your time to hunt if you’re looking to tag a big buck.

Rattling is less effective,but doe bleats and grunt tubes can be very productive-as can the fake scrapes you made back in late Oct.

The snow we have will be gone by Mon,except for a few isolated patches here and there. Mon. is a good day to visit your fake scrapes,clear the debris from them,make some “antler marks” in the dirt with a small rake,or gardening claw type tool. Adding some dominant buck scent,and some estrous doe urine to the scrape is also effective.

I plan on freshening up all my fake scrapes either Sun. afternoon,or Mon late morning/early afternoon.

I’ll decide which stand to hunt just before I go-as wind direction matters-a lot. Just because the bucks are looking for does to breed doesn’t mean they get stupid-they still move carefully,scent checking as they go-that’s how they got to be big bucks-by paying attention to their surroundings.

Since gun season is coming up quick-12/1-12/7-I plan on hunting hard from now until 12/6,and with a little luck-tagging a nice buck before gun season has them all stressed out for a week or ten days.

I’ll still hunt the gun season whether I got a buck or not-you can’t eat antlers-so I use gun season as freezer filling time if I’ve taken a buck already. If I haven’t taken a buck,I’ll still take a doe during gun season if the opportunity presents itself. I plan on taking a doe this week as well,since we can’t use doe tags after 11/30.

Three deer will feed us for a year,add a few rabbits,a few pheasants,the steelhead we’ll start catching soon,and we don’t buy much in the way of meat or fish from the grocery store.

Combined with all the veggies we grow in the gardens,we feed ourselves without going to the grocery store for anything other than coffee,tea,salt,sugar,yeast,flour,condiments,spices,and a few canned goods.

Now,if I could just get the beer and wine production going again-add a few solar panels,a small windmill,build a still,we would be 100% self-sufficient…




Do More PT !

Do some extra PT !

Photo by Donald M. Jones

When fresh snow falls overnight, most big-woods hunters are out at first light looking for the track of a trophy buck to follow. That’s a good early-morning strategy. But if you can find and follow the right doe trail, big bucks will actually come to you.

Lady = Luck
An estrous doe, including any late-cycling female coming into heat a month after the primary rut, makes every effort to attract amorous bucks. She may stay on her feet all day, lingering near scrape lines, milling along edges, and feeding in openings where she’ll be seen easily. In short, she’s a buck magnet. Get close and you can tap her drawing power.

But first, you have to get on the right track. When you find doe prints, follow them and watch for rose-colored urine stains in the snow. This is a dead giveaway that she’s in heat. Also, look to either side for the tracks of a flanking buck or two. If she’s close but not quite ready to stand, bucks will zigzag her trail like skiers running a slalom course, each using his eyes, ears, and nose to keep tabs on her exact whereabouts. You can’t miss it.

The Solo Doe
When you find only the rose-colored stains, and it’s clear the doe hasn’t caught the attention of a buck yet, follow her trail, being careful not to spook her. And keep an eye on the flanks. Eventually, a passing buck is apt to spot her, move in to check out her breeding status, and give you a shot.

Should you spook the curious buck, let him go, allow things to calm down, and get back on the doe’s trail. Sooner or later, the buck will circle around and try to intercept her, or she may attract another suitor in the meantime.

read more at…

NE Ohio Whitetail Rut Heating Up

Posted: November 6, 2014 by gamegetterII in deer hunting, hunting
Tags: , ,

A walk through area woods this afternoon showed lots of new rubs and scrape lines.

Some of the scrape lines first appeared around the third week of Oct.then appeared to have no new activity,now they all show signs of recent activity.

I saw a ton of fresh rubs,lots of fresh tracks in the area,and I’ve been seeing bucks chasing does behind the house-where no one can hunt,as it’s national park land.

We are supposed to have this cold, rainy weather through at least Sat am,so deer should be up and moving long before dark,and long after first light.

Tomorrow and the weekend should see lots of activity between the rut nearing it’s peak,and the cold rainy weather-this could be one of  the best two weekends of the year,with next weekend being the best,as that should be right around peak of rut.

The peak of the rut remains fairly consistent from year to year,and usually occurs the second week of November in NE Ohio.

That means next week is the best week to be in the woods if you’re hunting for a big buck.

I’m hunting every day starting on Sat.

Going to hunt Ashland county on Sat,Geauga county on Sun. and Summit county Mon,then repeat the sequence until I get a decent buck.

The Geauga county place is public hunting land,the other two are private land.

I’ve had mineral blocks out on the private land since early spring,started putting some corn out last week too.

Made my fake scrape lines weeks ago,they appear to have been getting some activity.

Made sure my blinds were secured good today,cleared branches of the trails that were under the leaves,so I don’t step on them in the dark on my way in to the blinds. Double checked shooting lanes,cut any branches that I missed back in Aug/Sept.

Put new blades in my broadheads-NAP  Thunderheads-and shot a few goups to be sure they still flew the same,so I’m all set for a solid week of bowhunting.




Do More PT !

REYNOLDSBURG, OHIO – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) today confirmed the first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the state in a captive deer herd in Holmes County. The state continues to take quarantine action to control the further spread of the disease. There is no evidence that CWD has affected the wild deer population in the state.

The positive sample was taken from a single buck on a hunting preserve in Millersburg and tested as part of Ohio’s CWD monitoring program for captive white-tailed deer operations. The preserve had been under quarantine since April 24, 2014, and was subject to intensive monitoring and sampling protocols because of a known connection to a captive deer operation in Pennsylvania that tested positive for CWD earlier this year. The quarantine will remain enforced until the state is satisfied that disease transference can no longer occur.

I’m seeing scrape lines and tons of new rubs,found a bunch of new scrape lines that weren’t there yesterday.

Lots of new rubs near my fake scrape lines too-the technique works-it’s not too late to make one.

All you have to do is take a small rake,or one of the rakes that are used in gardens-they’re about 12″ long and have 3 or 4 tines. I carry one in my hunting pack,just in case I see another place to make a few new scrapes.

Clear an area about 18″-2′ x3-4′ make it sort of an oval shape-the important things are to clear away all debris so you have bare ground,and be sure there’s a branch at about deer height directly over your fake scrape,bucks will reach up and lick the branch,plus rub their foreheads on it-the overhanging branch has to be there-if it’s not,find a new place for your fake scrape. If you are making a scrape line,having one or two in the line w/o the branch won’t hurt-I’ve seen scrape lines made by deer that have one here and there with no licking branch.

Once your scrapes are made,either use some active scrape scent,dominant buck scent-or just piss in the scrapes yourself-piss is piss-it’s from a “buck” and has testosterone in it .

Now’s the time to rattle and use a grunt tube. Use estrous doe bleats once in a while,it’s just about the time around here for the first does to come into estrous-it’s close-a week or so will be the peak rut week around here.

Starting next week,on Mon.,use grunt tubes and doe bleats more than rattling. Don’t stop rattling-bucks still fight during the rut-but all the local bucks have the fighting done,and the dominant buck decided by now-but since some bucks travel out of their home range during the rut-it’s still worth rattling,and rattling hard,not the sounds of sparring-the sound of full out combat,crashing antlers and loud rattling.

Use the doe bleat often next week,and the grunt tube.

I’ll start with at least a full minute of loud antler crashing rattling,wait 15 minutes,hit the grunt tube a few times,wait another 15 minutes,then hit the bleat can a half-dozen times.

Be careful about moving,sit as still as you can-you have to move to rattle, and use the bleat can and grunt tube-just try to keep your movements hidden as much as possible.

I hunt from a ground blind-nothing fancy-just some camo burlap with a 12″x12″ window cut in it to shoot through.

That hides my movements when rattling and using the bleat can and grunt tube.

Pay attention to the woods-sometimes a buck will hear the rattling and come to check it out,but he will hang back,and approach real slow and quiet-watch for movement-if you spot a buck moving towards you,hit the doe bleat and see what his reaction is-if it gets his attention,wait a couple minutes,then hit the grunt tube-a lot of times that will bring him in fast,because he thinks there’s a hot doe,and another buck trying to breed her.

The 2 best weeks for fall deer hunting are next week,and the week after.

Don’t forget-28 days after you see the peak of the rut in your area-there’s a second rut-then 28 days later-there’s a third.

Hit the woods as much as you can the next two weeks-it’s your best chance at a big buck.




Do More PT !