February 11, 2013
Editor’s note: Fishermen are often lumped into “bubba bait” or “sissy bait” category. A “bubba bait” fisherman uses big lures, heavy rods, heavy braided line, and brute force to snatch a monster-sized bass out of heavy cover. A “sissy bait” angler fishes with small lures, light line, and wimpy rods to try and get a bass to bite. When Hank Parker, whose three outdoors TV shows, Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine, Hank Parker 3D, and Hank Parker’s Flesh and Blood, which today air on the NBC Sports Channel, the Pursuit Channel, and the Outdoor Channel, began to bowhunt for deer, he wanted to use the same tactics he did in bass fishing for bowhunting.
“I want the fastest bow, the heaviest arrow, and the biggest broadhead I can shoot accurately when I go deer hunting,” says Parker, putting himself in the “bubba bowhunter” category. “I don’t want a little blood trail when my arrow hits the deer, I want a big blood trail, and I want to put the deer down quickly and efficiently. I’ve learned over the years that really fast bows, like my PSE Omen, enable me to shoot a heavy arrow and a heavy broadhead and shoot them much flatter than a wimpy bow with less speed can.” Parker made a dramatic change from a slow bow to a fast bow when he got a PSE X-Force bow several years ago.
Before I met Blake Shelby, the marketing director for PSE, I knew his dad, Cliff Shelby, when he was the marketing director for Ranger Boats. When his son went to PSE, Cliff called and asked me which bow I shot. I explained I always had shot PSE before and knew the company made a quality bow, but right then was shooting a different brand.
“If I got Blake to send you PSE’s new X-Force bow, would you try it out?” Cliff Shelby asked. I told Cliff I probably wouldn’t, because it would take too much time to put the sights on the bow and get it ready for me to shoot, especially during hunting season. Plus, I was accustomed to shooting the bow I already had.
“What draw length are you?” Shelby asked. I answered 27-1/2 inches. He asked, “Can you pull 70 pounds?” and I told him I could.
“That’s the type of bow my son Blake shoots,” Shelby said. “What if I have him set up a bow and send it to you. Would you shoot it then?”
“Sure, if you’ll have it set-up, I’ll shoot it,” I replied. So, PSE sent me the bow, and I put it out in the garage.
The brand I was shooting at the time sent me and my sons a new model to test. We set up chronographs and decided to sight-in and check the speed of these new bows. This bow company had been making bows for 10 years and really hadn’t improved on them. I was shooting a 30-inch draw at 74 pounds with a 470-grain arrow, which is a heavy arrow, at 273 feet per second with this new model of this company’s bow. Billy was only shooting 260 feet per second, and Hank Jr. was shooting 265. So, I went to the garage and unboxed the PSE bow Blake Shelby had sent me. I shot the bow, and the chronograph recorded 331 feet per second.
“There’s no way that bow is shooting that fast,” I said as I looked at that chronograph and then the PSE X-Force bow. I shot the PSE X-Force again with the same arrow, and the chronograph recorded 333 feet per second. I told my boys, “That’s unbelievable. I think there’s something wrong with the chronograph.” I was expecting the PSE to shoot maybe 10 feet-per-second faster than the other bow, but not 60.
I decided to test it another way. I dialed my 10-yard pin to shoot a life-size target at 40 yards and shot the other company’s bow. My arrow hit in the dirt about 1-1/2 feet in front of the target. Then I dialed my 10-yard pin on the PSE X-Force bow and shot at the same target, and my arrow only hit four inches low on the target. I still couldn’t believe there was that much difference in two bows of the same weight. I repeated the same shots several times and got the same results.
“I don’t know what you two will do, but this PSE bow is my new bow,” I said to my boys. Since that day, I’ve only shot PSE bows.
Right now I’m shooting the PSE Omen. The biggest obstacle a trophy deer hunter has is movement. When a five- or a six-year old buck steps into bow range, you probably won’t have time to pick up your rangefinder, range the distance, put it back down, clip your mechanical release on the string, and get to full draw before the deer sees you. Although I range distances I may have to shoot from my stand beforehand, when that monster buck comes in, I may not remember if I’ve ranged a particular tree at 30 or 35 yards. But with the PSE Omen, if that buck’s at 40 yards, and I think he’s at 20 yards, I’ll hit him two inches high. If the deer’s at 50 yards, and I think he’s at 40, I’ll only hit him two inches low. So, in any of the situations I’ve described, I’ll still double-lung the deer and put him down. Since I’ve made the switch to the PSE bows, I now can end a TV show by holding up the antlers of a nice buck I’ve taken, instead of holding up a dirty arrow because I missed the buck.
To get “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” by John E. Phillips, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.
Read and join the discussion on Hank Parker Brings Bubba Bass Tactics to Bowhunting at OutdoorHub.com.
September 15, 2012
Get set for the hunting and fishing seasons ahead at the National Hunting and Fishing Day N.H. Expo, which takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on September 22, 2012, at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord. Admission is free! Stroll through more than 70 exhibits featuring hunting and fishing-related products and services. Lots of hands-on activities to try! Promotional support for the event is being provided by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, John Deere, Bonneville & Son Jeep and 96.5 The Mill.
Visitors to the Expo will have a chance to try archery, crossbow and air rifle ranges. Check out hunting gear and accessories – from guns to decoys to scents and calls. See pointing dog and retriever demos, and check out that new four-wheeler you’ve been dreaming about. Taxidermy exhibits and on-going fly-tying demos. Meet the state record buck holder John Klucky.
“This year’s Expo is bigger than ever. We have more exhibitors and more demos and hands-on activities for adults and teens who love hunting and fishing,” said Expo coordinator Mark Beauchesne of Fish and Game. “Don’t miss this fun, free event celebrating New Hampshire’s longstanding outdoor traditions.”
A big draw at the event will be a giant raffle featuring more than 50 items, including a pheasant hunt for two and a Savage Arms Axis rifle. The drawing will take place at 2 p.m. Raffle proceeds benefit the work of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, Fish and Game’s nonprofit partner that supports critical fish and wildlife conservation and education programs.
Food concessions will be available.
The Sporting Expo in Concord is one of two big events being hosted by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department on September 22, 2012, in observance of National Hunting and Fishing Day. That same day, also from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a free Open House at Fish and Game’s Owl Brook Hunter Education Center at 387 Perch Pond Road in Holderness, featuring hands-on activities and demonstrations related to the shooting sports, hunting and trapping. Learn more about National Hunting and Fishing Day, and see lists of exhibitors and raffle prizes at http://www.wildnh.com/nhfday.
Read and join the discussion on Free Outdoor Sporting Expo at Fish and Game in Concord, New Hampshire Sept. 22 at OutdoorHub.com.
July 27, 2012
Our journey to London to watch the Olympic archery competition was only a few hours underway when I realized what a “fish out of water” I would be. For all the years of my long love affair with archery, I’ve never stepped up to the line, pulled back my bow and shot against anyone for the best score. I’ve never shot in a tournament, a club event or even against a friend for pocket change or backyard bragging rights. Why? Because I’m a bowhunter. Bowhunting has been my world.
I’ll soon be on Lord’s Cricket Ground in St. John’s Wood in North London, sitting and watching the world’s best archers shoot for all the marbles. I’ve bowhunted all my life and consider myself a good shot, but only now am I coming to grips with the difficulty of shooting against the world’s elite archers. These athletes are standing on a flat, open archery range, shooting at a target 70 meters away, and adjusting for wind, sun and any other weather conditions while thousands of people watch in person and many millions more watch on TV. That’s something that would leave me shaking in my boots.
I’ve absolutely loved bows and arrows since my teenage years when, along with my best friend, I began shooting. From the beginning, though, my purpose for shooting was to bowhunt. I considered bowhunting the ultimate outdoor challenge, whether hunting for rabbits, carp or deer. Bowhunting and bowhunters have always been “archery” to me, and I never really thought much about the actual sport of archery. Or, when I did think about it, I’m ashamed to admit I once dismissed archers as the kind of athletes who play croquet or bocce ball.
Today, I can safely say I’m in awe of the difficulty of archery, especially at the elite level. Shooting for hours, training for days and weeks, months and years even, and working to control the mind and reflexes to maintain maximum precision and accuracy are just a few of the sport’s most difficult challenges. And then to deal with distance, weather and your competitors while the world watches…well, that’s daunting.
As London draws near, I’ve decided archery is not just an obscure name for bows and arrows, hidden behind the camo of bowhunting. Archery is a competitive sport that demands more commitment than most bowhunters ever consider giving. Where bowhunting is an intensely private affair, archery places a person – all alone – in front of a target with a time limit and three arrows as the entire world watches and judges.
When a top-ranked archer like Brady Ellison goes bowhunting to relax and enjoy another form of archery,that puts me right in my place. In a few days, when this young kid steps up to the line, draws his bow and releases his arrows, I’ll be cheering for him as the bowhunter I’ve always been but who, in archery, remains a rank amateur. Go USA!
The image featured in this blog was created in a variety of sizes. The ATA encourages its members to download the image and send well wishes to USA Team Archers by posting it on your company’s social media pages and/or Web site.
This blog is republished with permission from the Archery Trade Association. To read Jay’s updates from London in real time, follow the Archery Trade Association’s blog here.
June 6, 2012
Do you think a crossbow could shoot 200 yards on target? If you answered yes, you would be correct. Former United States Marine Sniper and BowHunterPlanet Pro staffer, Tom Smith, completed an accurate 200 yard shot on Memorial Day 2012, using a Darton Fireforce Crossbow. Captured on film by the BowHunterPlanet film crew, this shot could very well be the longest accurate crossbow shot ever filmed. You can see the video below.
March 6, 2012
If you’ve ever heard someone say his/her compound bow just “blew up” when he/she released the string at full draw, what was the explanation for what happened?
More often than not, bows that “blow up” actually “derail” and the impetus was likely a faulty drawback by the user.
The cause is a misaligned string with the cams. In other words, if a user draws back on the bow, then twists the hand holding the string at an angle and releases, the string will slide out of the thin groove of the cam and likely snap as the force is unleashed through the string.
The video below explains in full detail with a demonstration of how this happens and warns against shooting a bow this way. Find about about bow derailment and whether that is something that is covered by a warranty or not.