Reality Check

As a society, we are more connected now than at any time in history.  With this hyper connectivity, however, reality has a tendency to get a bit skewed.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard how a lot of people are concerned that airbrushed magazine covers and carefully curated social media accounts of celebrities give girls and women an unrealistic view of beauty and the female form.  As silly as it sounds, deer hunting has followed this same trend. [Read more…]

How To Hang a Lock On Stand Without Killing Yourself

Hanging a lock on tree stand can be downright sketchy.  Testing the effectiveness of my safety harness is not something I feel  like doing so here’s a little trick I use to hang my lock ons.

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[Read more…]

Knot Tying 101: The Orvis Knot

Knowing how to tie knots is a pretty important aspect of being a good woodsman.  I love things that are multitaskers and the following knot is useful for in a lot of situations.  Commonly referred to as the Orvis knot, I originally learned this one to tie my fly to the leader.  It is useful in far more situations than that.

20151107_110511_zpspfw9d4kjStart out with the tag on top and the opening of the U facing right. [Read more…]

The Curse of 2015 Continues

After eating my Kansas tag in September, I was hoping for a change in fortune headed into Ohio.  My dad, some of our good friends hunted hard for a week on some good ground about 40 miles north of Dayton, but a shooter never appeared.  Sometimes, stuff just happens thats out of your control.  Like it or not, that’s deer hunting.  A little over a week though, I’m headed to Missouri to try and shake this streak of bad luck that’s been following me since May.  Anyway, here’s some photos from the Ohio trip.

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A couple photos from the stand.  No deer were harmed on this trip.

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A photo from the place we stayed.  I’ve crashed in a lot of hunting camps, but this one by far was the nicest.  It was a finished out pole building with some really cool barn wood walls and it even had a bar.

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I’ve never had my own locker before.  Definitely a nice touch.

Darwin Award Candidate of the Year

Watching this video makes my skin crawl.  I thought about this once a few years ago and after a little rough math in my head I realized that yes, this was physically possible.  Not once did it cross my mind to try it.  This guy was a mouse fart away from disaster.

Picking a Taxidermist That Doesn’t Suck

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Imagine the disappointment of picking up your trophy of a lifetime and plunking down your hard earned cash only to take home a mount you aren’t completely satisfied with.  Maybe you’ve felt this before.  I know I have.  It is a terrible feeling and you’re really kind of put in a bad spot.  You can argue with the taxidermist for your money back or a re-mount but your relationship will probably be irreparably damaged and it is probably best to chalk it up to experience and move on.  A few small things to look for in a new taxidermist can save a lot of headache. [Read more…]

Mathews No Cam HTR Review

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Although it was released in November, I’m just now getting to shoot the Mathews No Cam HTR.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect, other than the No Cam was probably going to be a bit different from anything I had shot before.  It is, and much more. [Read more…]

The Void Myth Explained

nobullshitEvery bowhunter has either heard about it or experienced it firsthand…the dreaded shot through “the void.”  That non fatal wound where the arrow supposedly goes above the lungs and below the spine is a thoroughly discussed topic every bow season.  It is also a phenomenon that doesn’t actually exist.

There, I said it.  I’m not talking about other types of wounds like gut shots or one lung hits.  This is solely about the so called void shot.   This isn’t based on opinion and it isn’t up for discussion.  It is settled science based on logic and fact.  The void on a whitetail does not exist and here is why.

Let’s first look at how a set of cervid lungs work.  When the deer takes a breath, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles contract and the chest cavity expands.  When the chest expands, the pressure inside the chest cavity becomes lower than the outside pressure, allowing air to enter the lungs and inflate them.    When deer exhale, the muscles relax, the pressure increases in the chest cavity allowing the lungs deflate.  The lynchpin of this process though is that the chest wall is intact.  If there is a leak, like an arrow wound, the ability of the lungs to inflate is compromised and wouldn’t work out well for the wounded deer.  In humans, a compromised chest wall is referred to as a pneumothorax and it is very serious.  There’s reason number one there is no void.  If the void was real, a deer shot broadside with a hole in each side, a pneumothorax would develop and eventually lay down and suffocate with a set of collapsed lungs.  But we all know that doesn’t happen.

So where does the arrow go on a “void shot?”  The simple answer most of the time is right above the spine.  People highly overestimate the size of the chest cavity.  Look at the photo below.  If you look at the size of the chest cavity in proportion to the space located above the spine, it becomes pretty clear how a “void” shot can look like a chest hit especially if you’re shooting from an elevated position like a tree stand.

 

deercrossThe final reason there is no void between the lungs and bottom of the spine is because it is physiologically impossible.  A whitetail’s lungs fill its chest cavity.  The idea that the lungs are like little balloons just hanging in empty space is absurd.  The internals of a mammal are set up for efficiency.  There is no wasted space.  If an arrow penetrates the chest cavity, lung tissue is getting cut.  Plain and simple.

There is no void below the spine.  These perceived shots are really just blowing though the back strap and doing no lasting harm.  I’ve skinned several whitetails in the past 10 years that bore these wounds.  In summary, there is a great deal of non vital space to hit, but there is none of this space located below the spine.  If the shot is truly in the chest cavity, you will recover the animal.  A shot north of that will just produce a muscle wound.  End of story.

Dry Aging Venison

deer tenderloinThere is no shortage of opinions when it comes to the amount of time to “let a deer hang.”  Talk to enough people and you’ll hear a myriad of half truths and outright falsehoods.  Some people don’t age venison at all (which is a giant mistake) and some people do it completely incorrectly.  Here is what dry aging is, what it does, and how I did it. [Read more…]

Holiday Gift Guide Day 7

Badlands Monster Pack

badlandsNeed something to tote all your stuff into the woods?  The Badlands Monster 1100 cubic inch fanny pack leaves all of its competitors in the dust.  With a Delron internal frame, the Monster can carry a lot of stuff as well as a 35 oz. bladder (not included) to keep you hydrated.  Made to go the distance on rugged western hunts, you can’t go wrong with the Badlands Monster pack.  $139.95 badlandspacks.com