Check out this episode of the Drop-Tine report podcast. Wayne Gast talks about a big velvet buck he killed in Maryland this fall. Wayne killed the buck on a small parcel of land where he lives. He discusses what he does to keep hunting pressure to a minimum, how he used game cameras to pattern the buck the day he killed him, and what a sleeper state Maryland is.
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By Tracy Breen
With all the technology available today, very few big game animals fly below the radar. Most animals are spotted on a trail camera long before a hunter decides to tag him. But even with all of today’s technology, every once in a while a big game animal flies below the radar. This was the case with a monster black bear that was recently harvested by Mark Wynalda while he was hunting in Saskatchewan. “My dad and I had been hunting the same stand for four or five days before we saw the big bear I eventually killed. None of us - the outfitter, my dad, or I - had seen the big bear on any of our scouting cameras. We were completely surprised the moment he walked in,” Wynalda said.
Judging the size of a black bear when it walks in front of you can be very difficult. However, Wynalda knew as soon as he saw the big bruin, that he was indeed a monster bear. “The bear walked in on the down wind side of our Wyndscent unit. I instantly knew he was an extremely large bear,” Wynalda noted. The bear walked into the bait and Wynalda had to wait for the perfect shot. “I was using a crossbow and testing out our new Fourth Arrow Final Rest Shooting System so luckily the crossbow was locked in place and ready for the shot the moment I saw him. We didn’t have to maneuver the bow or get into position which was a good thing, because I was super excited as the bear worked his way around the bait.”
Mark takes aim using the Final Rest Pillar Triple Arm Kit.
Mark's hunt is caught on film using the Fourth Arrow Carbon Arm.
Eventually Wynalda was able to make a good shot on the bear and was amazed how big the bear was when he walked up on the it. The bear has a 21-15/16” size skull and will be one of the top 20 bears ever taken in Saskatchewan. It is also one of the top 250 Boone & Crocket Black Bears of all time.
Mark's 21 and 15/16" bear skull next to a good sized 17" bear skull.
This amazing story just proves that you never know when a record book animal is going to walk out during hunting season. Game cameras make most of us believe we know what animals are on our property and when. Hunting is still hunting and sometimes the smartest of critters avoid being caught on camera for years.
Watch the hunt below!
By Tracy Breen
The name Levi Morgan and bowhunting go hand in hand, but now Levi has a reason to carry a crossbow over shoulder. “Last year I introduced my son, Landon to archery by teaching him how to shoot a Mission crossbow,” said Morgan. “Everybody knows I am a diehard archer and bowhunter but crossbows are a great tool to use to introduce kids to the sport of archery.”
There is no question that crossbows are easier to sight in and shoot than a vertical bow, but they still come with many challenges. “When introducing a kid to a crossbow, one of the biggest struggles is helping them keep the crossbow steady when they are shooting,” Morgan explained. Crossbows have come a long way in the last few years, but even the lightest compact crossbow can be hard for a young child to hold steady and shoot. Even adults can struggle with keeping a crossbow steady when hunting.
Last year, Levi Morgan and his son learned first hand how difficult it can be to keep a crossbow steady when there is a deer in the crosshairs. “When I deer hunt with my son Landon, we hunt out of deer blinds. It can be tough to keep a crossbow balanced while you are resting it on the window sill of a blind,” Morgan said. “My son missed a deer last year because we couldn’t keep the crossbow steady.”
Currently on the market are several types of shooting sticks and tripods that make using a crossbow easier, but the problem is many options currently available take up a lot of space in a blind or treestand and they aren’t user friendly.
This year, Fourth Arrow Camera arms set out to solve the problem. They recently developed the Final Rest shooting system and gave one to Levi Morgan to test with his son. “The Final Rest system keeps a crossbow super steady, takes up zero floor space, and can be adjusted to fit young hunters and adults. This will be a game changer for my son this fall,” said Morgan.
The Final Rest System can pivot between windows in stationary blinds, is lightweight, and packable. “I like the fact that if we see a deer in another window, we can pivot the crossbow while it is locked in the Final Rest and shoot. It gives hunters more flexibility. We aren’t forced to shoot out of just one window with this system. It gives hunters more options.
Whether you are a hardcore hunter looking to increase your accuracy at long distances or you are introducing a kid to hunting with a crossbow or gun, check out the Final Rest Shooting System from Fourth Arrow. It will change the way you hunt.
Images Courtesy of Become 1
By Tracy Breen
Bear season is upon us. One thing many bear hunters discuss in bear camp is the proper place to shoot a bear. A bear is not a deer. Many first time bear hunters aim at a bear like it is a whitetail, but that is a mistake which often results in a wounded bear that is never found. Below are a few tips to help you make sure you make a great shot on a bear this spring.
A Bear Is Not A Whitetail
A whitetail is a sleek animal with muscle definition and a front shoulder that is easy to see. Therefore, knowing where the vitals are located and where to aim is easy. A bear, on the other hand, is covered in thick hair and have a large belly. Bear hunting experts will tell you that there are several inches of fat and hair on a bear’s belly so if you shoot low and tight to the shoulder like you would on whitetail, all you would hit is hair and fat. Bear outfitters often tell hunters to hit the middle of the middle of a bear. By center punching a bear, you will hit lungs, heart, or both. The vitals on a bear are positioned further back in the animal than a whitetail’s vitals. Center punching the animal gives you a little bit of room for error if you don’t hit the bear in the center of the lungs and heart.
Broadside Shots Only
On deer, a quartering away shot or even a slightly quartering forward shot is a shot most hunters will take. When bear hunting, wait for the perfect broadside shot. A broadside shot increases the odds of a double lung shot and a complete pass through. A complete pass through shot will result in greater blood loss and a better blood trail. Bears don’t always bleed well, especially when they only have an entrance hole. Fat and hair often clog up the wound on a bear, resulting in a poor blood trail after the shot. An entrance and exit wound makes finding a bear after the shot much easier. Many seasoned bear hunters won’t shoot at a bear unless it is completely broadside because experience has taught them a quartering shot sometimes means going home empty-handed.
Hunters sometimes make the mistake of shooting a bear that is sitting at a bait pile, standing on its hind legs, or in an awkward position as it eats out of a barrel. When sitting or standing, hitting the vitals on a bear can be more difficult. Making this type of shot may seem straightforward or easy, but it can be difficult. The vitals on a sitting bear are often compressed and harder to hit. Picking the perfect spot on a bear that is standing up can be difficult in the heart of the moment. Resist taking a risky shot at a bear that is not standing broadside. The bottom line is: if you want to go home with a bear, wait until a bear is standing still and broadside before letting an arrow fly.
Film Your Hunt
Film your hunt. Fourth Arrow Camera Arms makes great arms that make self-filming extremely easy. If you do make a questionable shot and don’t recover your bear quickly, being able to go back and look at your footage and determine where you hit the animal can help you decide if you should keep looking for your bear or wait until the next morning. When you let an arrow fly or shoot a gun, it can be difficult to determine where you hit a bear because they have so much hair. Being able to watch the shot on film in slow motion will help you determine where the animal was shot.
Image Courtesy of Game of Inches TV
By Joe Coy
Clear Shooting and Filming Lanes
If you hunt out of stands that usually stay in one particular spot, it is a good idea to make sure your main shooting lanes are clear of branches that block your view or the camera’s view. This is a very important step if you are hunting with a bow. We all know that a deflected arrow is almost never a good thing. It is also important for filming. Make sure you clear away any branches that block the cameras view or might get in the way of your camera arm. A little bit of trimming might just save you this fall.
Make Sure You Have A Camera Arm That You Are Happy With
Hopefully you already have this one taken care of. If you don’t have a good camera arm yet, do yourself a favor and get a camera arm from fourtharrowcamearms.com. A good, lightweight camera arm that is stable can be a HUGE asset to you this fall. Fourth Arrow offers a variety of options depending upon your needs. A huge advantage of the Fourth Arrow Camera Arms is they level on any tree. That’s right. It doesn’t matter what angle you mount the base at, you will be able to level off your camera arm.
Image Courtesy of Flatline Whitetails
Put A Base In Every Tree
Its all about the base. One of the best advantages of using Fourth Arrow Camera Arms is the multi-base system. Fourth Arrow Camera Arms have 3 parts: the base, the shoulder, and the arm. The base is what you strap to the tree, the shoulder is the leveling mechanism, and, of course, the arm holds the video head which holds the camera. Fourth Arrow has made it affordable to put a base in every tree. If you have a lot of different “permanent” stand sets, this is huge! You can set up the base in the tree ahead of time. This saves pack in weight and makes it so you don’t have to make a ton of noise with a ratchet strap when you arrive at your stand. All that means, less pack in weight, less noise, and faster setup time. Win. Win. Fourth Arrow offers special base pricing when you buy a 4 pack. Setting up a base ahead of time this summer can really make things easier come the fall.
Image Courtesy of November Bowhunter
Make Sure You Have A Good Backpack
Having a good backpack is very important to filming your hunts. You need to make sure you have a good pack that fits all the filming gear you need as well as protects your camera. A comfortable backpack is always nice as well. Fourth Arrow offers a backpack that works very well for filmers. It is designed with self filmers in mind. It has 2 large compartments. In the main compartment is a padded section that you can use for storing a medium sized camera. The pack also has a smaller front section with different pocket sections (perfect for small accessories). The pack also has 2 hip pockets (a great place to store a base and shoulder). Another benefit of the Fourth Arrow pack is it has outside compression straps for strapping on a bow, gun, or camera arm. Having an efficient and comfortable backpack can make your life so much easier in the woods this fall.
Image Courtesy of Respect the Game TV
Practice With Your Camera
The more familiar you are with your camera, the more prepared you’ll be to film your hunts. Don’t neglect using your camera this summer. Take it on vacation. Play with it in the back yard. Make sure you understand all your camera settings. There are a ton of videos online that can help you learn more about your camera and camera settings in general. In the moment of truth, you don’t want lack of practice with your camera to hurt you. Get used to using your camera and it will all be second nature to you.
Being ready to film your hunts this fall boils down to having the right equipment, getting that equipment set up ahead of time as much as possible, and getting as familiar as possible with using your equipment. If you accomplish those few things, you should be well on your way to producing great hunting videos this season. So, go out there, film your hunt, and show your story.