Category Archives: Archery & bowhunting

Bowfishing Heaven

Youtubers Bowmars are at it again with some sweet bowfishing action!
The Bowmars sleep and breathe outdoors, especially bowfishing. Here’s a recent clip to show how passionate they are is some clips from their resent bowfishing trip.

With bowfishing becoming more and more popular, it is always cool to see people like the Bowmars stepping out and getting in on the action.

The cool thing is that it is a sport that doesn’t take much money to get into at all. Picking up a simple bow kit, and making time to get out on some local water is all you have to do to start practicing your skills as a bow fisherman.

Sources: Bowmar Bowhunting Youtube, Jesse Males

Combine a dumb deer and some bad Shooting

And you’ve got the Funniest Bow Hunting fail.
We’ve all had those days in the stand when nothing seems to go right. It could be wind direction, out-of-range deer, or simply a missed shot. But if you think you’ve had some misfortune, try taking a look at this video without cracking a smile. (You’ll also realize your worst day wasn’t that bad after all!)

Tim Wells was the man behind the camera as his wife took part in a tree stand deer hunt. With a doe standing directly beneath her, it looks like a done deal. But as you’re about to see, this was one lucky deer – or should we say, five times lucky!

Watch how this comedy of errors unfold:

It doesn’t get much better than that! Makes you wonder if this deer realized that if she just stood still, she’d live to tell this funny tale. Not sure if she’s the world’s stupidest deer… or perhaps the smartest!

And this one-liner from Wells is pretty hilarious:

“Well there was one night with my wife that I’ll never forget and it wasn’t our honeymoon.”

Sources: Tim Wells Youtube, Justin Hoffman

The Closer You Get


Brittany Boddington 

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about where I stand on hunting and shooting from long distances, although I usually tend to stay out of these matters, because I figure that everyone has her or his own reasons to hunt.

People always have their own driving motivations and passions, and hunting is a personal experience. It is rooted in being alone in the wild and connecting to Mother Nature. This can be done no matter what weapon you choose to hunt with or how far you choose to shoot from, but for me hunting is all about the stalk and getting up close and personal with animals in their natural habitat. Bowhunters often criticize rifle hunters because they don’t get as close to the animal they are stalking before they are able to take a shot, but the same is now happening with traditional hunters and a technique that some in our sport are calling precision hunting.

For Boddington, getting close on her first bow hunt was very exhilarating. She says she finally understood all the hype about archery. This rusa deer in Australia was taken at 25 yards with a Bowtech Heartbreaker set at 48 pounds draw weight. (BRITTANY BODDINGTON)

I HONESTLY HAVEN’T MADE up my mind on how exactly I feel about the new wave of long-distance shooters as hunters. I agree that hunters should be able to take long shots here and there when the conditions demand it; in some cases, a long shot may be your only shot. Open plains, for one.

I have taken animals out to around 500 yards when I’ve run out of cover and conditions were calm enough for me to feel comfortable with the shot. I certainly do not go looking for animals to shoot at 500 or more yards, but then again, the rifles and scopes I am using are sighted to shoot well at around 200 yards because that was where I put them when I sighted them in at the range.

I always try to close the gap and to get as close as possible. This is probably because I am a decent shot but my accuracy increases as the target gets closer, as is the case with most people. I also like to see the animal up close, and I enjoy the challenge of staying still as a statue when the animal looks my way, and then moving ever so slowly to get just a little bit closer and shorten the range.

It is always a gamble to take that step or move to the next tree for a better shot. You have to weigh the likelihood of the animal running with the advantage you gain by moving in. I like to hear them breathing and see where their eyes are looking. I like to be able to smell them as I sneak in closer and closer. These little details are lost when you start shooting from long distances.

Sometimes, long distances are required to take a shot. This hartebeest in Mozambique was taken at 475 yards. Boddington had no options but to take the shot or give up since her party had run out of cover on the edge of a floodplain. She knows that other hunters prefer to shoot from this far out but she likes getting significantly closer; “my hunt … revolves around the animal,” she says. (BRITTANY BODDINGTON)

THERE’S SO MUCH TECHNOLOGY being released these days in relation to long-distance shooting. Scopes are more powerful and more versatile than ever. The best way to really experience everything these rifle/scope combinations have to offer is to shoot targets or animals at long distance.

It takes skill and practice to take an animal at 1,000 yards. I can understand that it must give the shooter some serious satisfaction to take long shots like that and be successful. I only worry about what happens when a shot at that many yards goes slightly awry. What will the result be when whatever species you’re shooting at is hit poorly and a follow-up shot is needed but the brush or landscape will not allow it? It seems like a perfect scenario for inexperienced long-distance shooters to end up wounding suffering animals.

Author Brittany Boddington has hunted in a variety of situations, sometimes when a longer shot is required to harvest big game. But it’s her preference to get as close to the animals she hunts as she can, though she understands that what some in the industry are calling precision hunting is all the rage now. (BRITTANY BODDINGTON)


Hunting for me is about the experience. Guns are the tools of my trade, but my hunt does not revolve around my tools; it revolves around the animal. I can understand the skill and the allure of long-distance shooting and precision hunting, but I think it is safe to say that it is not for me. CS
Editor’s note: Brittany Boddington is a Los Angeles-based hunter, adventurer and journalist. For more, go to or

One heck of a Shot with a Bow

When it comes to a bowhunting kill shot, this hunter got this shot down. This is the best way to the shortest blood trail. The goal is to get any good hit in the vital organs. This hunter hits it in the pump and its not going far.

Here’s the video:

What makes this shot so great is that putting an arrow past the back leg, behind the front, and right in the heart is both amazing and really fortunate.

Congratulations to this excellent hunter, and may we all have such a short blood trail to follow as this hunter!

Source: Michael King Facebook

Young Bow Shooter Hairdo

This young bow shooter might just be on to something. Instead of using a traditional quiver, this archery shooter uses arrows as hair pins. When she need an arrow she just needs to pull one out of her hair.

This young archery competitor is traveling light with no traditional quiver to get in the way. Where are her extra arrows kept? In her hair, of course.

This interesting idea lends itself to competition shooting. That is as long as you don’t pull your hair out in the process.

For hunting, this large headdress might get caught in branches and brush though.

Watch as this young lady shows off her new fashion sense with her utilitarian hairstyle.

by Eric Nestor

Source: Stavanger Bueskyttere Facebook

Fathers Know Best

Sharing The Outdoors Is A Generational Thing

By Albert Quackenbush

Living in the land of drought, freeways and smog is not something that lends itself to outdoor adventures.
As a father, raising my daughter to appreciate the outdoors when you live in a world of concrete is also a challenge. Fortunately, my wife and I have figured out a few ways to incorporate the outdoors in many things we do. We don’t let our surroundings completely govern how we enjoy the outdoors. Be it archery, fishing, hiking or getting the binoculars out to view wildlife, we have a great time. Those were also a few of the many things my dad shared with me growing up, so I am encouraged when my daughter wants to be involved. He made sure that if the sun was up, we were outside doing something. I am forever grateful for that. Thanks, Dad.

Father’s Day with my dad was always spent in the outdoors, and most of the time it was fishing. Whether it was on the farm pond, our boss’s pond or out on the lake, we would fish and have a great time. For me, just spending that time with Dad was priceless. He had given us the tools to fish, shared his knowledge, and now it was our time to have fun and make the most of it.

MY FAVORITE FATHER’S Day story will take me back about 25 years. My dad, who we call Skip, loves to fish – I mean really loves to fish – and he’s very good at it. But I remember a time when we just got lucky and had the time of our lives.
We set out one morning to fish near the Seneca Lake Rod & Gun club, just outside of Geneva, N.Y., in the Finger Lakes. My brother and I had been looking forward to the trip all week, but I think Dad was even more excited.

As his father looks on, young Al runs the tiller while trolling on an Upstate New York lake near where they lived before the author moved to Southern California. They made some great memories in the outdoor playground, and Al is passing along the love of all things outside to his daughter. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

As his father looks on, young Al runs the tiller while trolling on an Upstate New York lake near where they lived before the author moved to Southern California. They made some great memories in the outdoor playground, and Al is passing along the love of all things outside to his daughter. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

Once we had our little 12-foot aluminum boat in the water, we motored out just where the dropoff began and anchored. It looked to me that we were far too close to shore, but I trusted Dad. I’ll never forget using live sawbellies as bait and dropping our lines down to just off of the 100-foot bottom. Fishing two poles apiece required some deft maneuvering in that little boat.
The first half-hour or so was slow, but then all broke loose when we got into a school of lake trout.
“Fish on!”
“Me, too! Fish on!” That’s how it went for the next couple hours. We kept catching fish and some we threw back, just because the average size was 7 pounds.
We ran out of bait, so we began using the old, dead sawbellies, and the trout were even hitting them! We caught so many fish that we almost breathed a sigh of relief when one threw the hook, but that rarely happened. To this day, the three of us consider it one of the best days we have ever spent together.
Spending time outdoors was what it was all about when we were with Dad. Between fishing, camping and hunting, we were always outdoors doing something. I have story upon story of great hunts, scary hunts and hilarious antics. I now want to pass that love on to my daughter.

A COUPLE YEARS ago I began to take my daughter Riley out to the local lakes to fish. The times we have ventured out have been very warm and the water levels very low, but we have had great times anyway. I love listening to her tell me about the fish she wants to catch and how big it will be.

We have a traditional breakfast of donuts on the tailgate of my wife’s truck, where we talk and laugh. By the time our lines hit the water, our faces are covered in powdered sugar, and it is wonderful.

I remember the day I bought her a bow with suction-cup-tipped arrows. She was very excited and I, of course, was elated! When I’d shoot with my bow she could shoot hers. It is great to see her emulate me and practice shooting at our pig target. Recently, as she asked me to get her bow out, I realized that she had grown a great deal over the last year and the bow no longer fit her. When I said we would have to go to Bass Pro Shops for a new bow, she actually seemed more excited than me.
Camping in our backyard is a favorite activity. Riley’s little eyes light up every time I ask her if she wants to camp. It reminds me of the days when I used to camp with Dad and the memories that we made. When my dad would ask us if we wanted to go camping, I remember the feeling of excitement knowing we would get to share in something wonderful.

CAMPING WITH DAD was always fun. We always had an adventure to talk about when we got back to school, but the best part were the laughs and good times we shared. The most memorable camping trip I ever shared with my dad and brother was when I was in my early teens. One of the things I love about Dad is that when we went camping, we did everything ourselves. I’ll come back to that thought in a minute (that’s when the story gets interesting).

The author has high hopes Riley will continue to enjoy the outdoors with her pop as she gets older. It’s become a family tradition to get out and have fun. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

Dad drove the 4½ hours to the boat launch. After we launched the boat and loaded our gear, we set off. I forget how long it took us, but we were in that very same 12-foot aluminum boat we spent Father’s Day in, so it wasn’t very fast. We motored to the far reaches of the lake. Two leaning pine trees marked our campsite by the water. We set up camp, ate dinner and prepared for the weeklong fish fest.

Fishing in the acid rain-affected lakes of the Adirondacks was a challenge. Over the course of five days, we caught two fish. No, let me rephrase– I caught two. The bobber zipping around the surface made us go a bit nutty in the boat. When I pulled in the whopping 4-inch perch we did everything we could from not tipping the boat from laughter.

A few hours later I would catch a very nice smallmouth bass, which we planned to eat that evening. We happened to be very tired when we got back, so we left it on the stringer by the boat, and went to sleep. The next morning Dad must have had an epiphany because he beelined for the stringer only to find a head and nothing else. He felt really bad (I mean really bad), but I didn’t fault him. In fact, I found it funny that we hadn’t thought about the raccoons and bears in the area.
Remember when I said we did everything ourselves? Well, it took a turn for the serious toward the end of our trip. Our motor kept conking out and Dad had to do what he could to get it going again. We were 5 miles from the boat launch!

He cleaned the spark plugs and it began to hum better than before, but it was short-lived as it completely died after that. So Dad had to row the boat loaded down with us and our gear the entire 5 miles back to the launch. I tried to help, but at just 14 years old, I wasn’t used to rowing a boat loaded with that amount of weight. My dad was a trooper that week, and we had the best time with him.

ALAS, I DIGRESS! Camping with my daughter, even in the backyard, is a wonderful experience. I absolutely love her sense of adventure and planning. We get to test out new gear, plus she gets to do something fun and gets to spend time with her dad. It’s a win for all!

A young author celebrates a conquest of a New York smallmouth bass. Unfortunately, when the fish was left on a stringer and hungry critter got a free meal out of the catch. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

The best part of every camping “trip” I take with Riley is watching her as she sleeps and knowing how much she loves the outdoors. My second favorite part is when she wakes up and she wants to read me a dozen stories from inside the tent. That tent is a magical place for her and, in turn, it is for me as well.

Once a child, and now a father, I feel as though my childhood disappeared very quickly. I realize as I write this that six years of my daughter’s life have flown by. Time has moved on, but do I hold any regrets? Not a single one! In fact, I plan on more father/daughter dates, fishing trips, camping trips, and archery practice.

Should she choose to drop them all and never want to do them again, I will continue to love her unconditionally as any good father should. But knowing her love of the outdoors, I will continue to nurture it in the hope that one day she will take her old man on an outdoor adventure that she will tell stories about like I tell of trips with Dad.

The author and his daughter, 6-year-old Riley, have become camping and fishing buddies. And Riley is beginning to shoot a bow with suctioncup-tipped arrows. (ALBERT QUACKENBUSH)

Editor’s note: For more on the author, check out

60 Yard Shot on Doe using Lighted Nock

As a hunter using bows to hunt is really a true skill in stalking and marksmanship. There comes a time when hunting in dim light makes it hard to see if the arrow hit its mark.

In comes the lumenock, the Lumenok lights up instantly with shot inertia and stays lit, so you can track your arrow to your target and find it easily after dark. Here’s Tim Wells from demonstrating a shoot with one and hitting a doe from 60 yards away, enjoy.

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Source: Youtube, Tim Wells

Crossbow: A Great Choice for Zombies but not SHTF

While many preppers are busy stockpiling hordes of rifles, shotguns, and handguns plus cases of ammunition for a looming doomsday scenario, others are thinking more broadly about other weapons options. Thanks to the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead, one of the options that has become popular with preppers is the crossbow.

On TWD, one of the main characters (Norman Reedus’s Daryl Dixon) uses a crossbow with quite an astonishing amount of lethal success. But is this even remotely realistic? Let’s take a look at this bolt (arrow) shooting implement to see its implications as a true SHTF tool.

Shooting a Crossbow
Until you have some experience shooting a crossbow at real targets, inanimate or alive, you may initially consider a crossbow difficult to wield and awkward in its handling. You would be right. Crossbows can be quite heavy, and some are unbalanced front to back. Many of the models offer pistol grip handles on the stock, which can make handling them a little easier. Some stock finishes are slicker than others, so they’re more difficult to grip well.

It takes some getting used to in order to shoot a crossbow well. Practice is paramount. There are vibration elements to shooting an crossbow that are unlike shooting a rifle or shotgun. It is not classic recoil per se, but a sort of harmonic vibe at the pull of the trigger. It can be slightly distracting to the inexperienced. Again, use and practice will eventually dissipate this issue, but you could also spend that practice time honing your pistol skills.

Cocking any crossbow might be considered an ordeal. It is not a speedy process, like knocking a traditional vertical bow and arrow. A special cocking rope has to be connected to the draw string via hooks, wrapped over a groove in the stock above the trigger mechanism (this gives you the leverage needed to pull the string into its fully cocked back position), and then the rope handles are pulled back as your foot rests in the fore end loop held down to the ground. The process is easier performed than described.

Some may be inclined, like Daryl, to hand cock their crossbow. After testing this out, I suspect it is a task most of us would only do one time. That is if we don’t half cut a finger off in the process. The string is not “sharp” per se, but it can be abrasive and will put a ton of pressure on your finger. Use the cocking method described in the owner’s manual with the crossbow you buy.

Once the string is cocked, then most crossbows will have a safety to engage. The bolt is placed into the shooting runway with the odd colored fletch down (did you notice the fletching is two different colors?). Then the crossbow is held like a long gun to be aimed and fired.

The trigger mechanism on a crossbow is sort of like that on a firearm in that there is a finger lever to squeeze to release the trigger and thus the string to push the bolt forward down the raceway and on to its target. I have not found that crossbow triggers are finely tuned releases like that on a good hunting or defense rifle, so the trigger feel is something one has to get used to with lots of practice. I definitely think it is a mechanism that can be mastered, but it takes work. Also I would not recommend trying to clean up or lighten a crossbow trigger. They just are not meant to be tinkered with lest something might get screwed up.

Most crossbows tend to be slightly front heavy. This translates into being somewhat more difficult to hold still for really accurate precise on target shooting. Once you practice with it, you will find you can make the balancing adjustments pretty well. If you were going to hunt with the crossbow, then I would recommend using a Primos Trigger Stick or some other bipod or tripod. There are many options for this accessory.

As a SHTF weapons option though, expediency will not likely permit the use of a shooting stick or a pod. You would have to spend a lot of time to practicing different off-hand shooting techniques. I find best the technique of holding my left arm/elbow close to my upper torso in order to provide support to holding a crossbow offhand. This hold forms a sort of triangle holding up the crossbow. Like I said, it takes some practice.

Range and Bolt Selection
At best a crossbow has its certain capabilities and its own set of limitations. You may note on The Walking Dead that Daryl shoots the zombies at an incredibly close range — often it seems to me thirty yards or less distance. We’ll excuse the argument here for a situation in allowing a SHTF adversary to get that close in the first place. Zombies do not wield their own weapons, so dispatching them becomes an easier task for a half decent shooter. This will not be the case in a real life SHTF scenario.

I have seen hunting videos recently where shooters fire a crossbow bolt up to 80-yards at deer sized game. That is folly in my humble opinion. More realistically, the crossbow is a 40-yard max tool, but more like a 30-yard cap is honest. And that is shooting a razor sharp broadhead, not a field point as Daryl uses on the TV episodes.

Field points or broadheads can make the debate interesting. In everyday use, field points are for practice, and cutting edge broadhead points are for damaging tissue. I certainly think it would be uncomfortable if not immediately terminal to be shot with an X-bow field point especially in a critical area like the heart, lungs, neck, eye or ear socket. There is little doubt of the damage a Muzzy or Rage broadhead would do to human flesh.

While a razor broadhead has tremendous killing capabilities, it is highly likely to be destroyed at the shot. Under SHTF conditions, one has to constantly consider resupply of consumables like arrows and points. Know that broadheads are not like buying a box of ammo with 20 rounds in the box. A set of three of these razor points can easily cost $40 or more. That is a high cost per kill.

As a sidebar here, now the argument for using a less lethal field point is that the bolt/arrow can be more easily extracted from the host target often without appreciable damage to the shaft or point. That is assuming one does not hit bone or skull for example. If your bolt stocks are not great, then recovery of the bolt/point is crucial.

The (not so) Silent Killer
One of the most highly touted advantages of the crossbow for preppers is its relative silent deployment and use. Many preppers either live in states where they can’t purchase suppressors for their guns or they can’t afford such items, so the crossbow is seen as a real option for ambush opportunities and situations where you don’t want the whole neighborhood to know that you just dispatched an intruder. But a crossbow user must always be aware of the outer edges of the bow limbs and cams as so to not knock into things around them that might make noise, so it’s not the best option for low-light situations in cramped quarters.

Then there’s fact that, unless you really score a direct hit on the target’s heart or lungs, the target is likely to make a ton of noise after being hit. And if that target is armed with a gun, they could very well stay alive long enough to get off a few shots in your direction. Now you’ve given away your location and your hostile intent to a wounded and very angry aggressor whose sole purpose in life is now taking you with them to the hereafter.

A prepper who’s concerned about getting in a silent kill in a SHTF scenario would be far, far better off buying a small-caliber pistol and then downloading and printing out one of the many online tutorials for how to make a homebrew silencer. This is a much cheaper, easier, deadlier, and more reliable way to score silent kills in a without-rule-of-law (WROL) scenario.

Note: Do not, under any circumstances, print out instructions for a homebrew silencer and then also acquire the materials to make such an item. If you’re caught with the materials and plans for making a silencer, then you can be charged with “constructive possession” and put away for a long time. The materials for making such things are readily available, and will readily available for a long time even in a SHTF situation. So there is absolutely no need to put yourself at risk of a constructive possession charge. Indeed, if I personally were to download such instructions, I’d clear my house of every item on that list if possible, just to be on the safe side.

The Crossbow vs. the .22LR
So what is the consequential impact (pun intended) of a crossbow bolt in theory? Ponder this: Most crossbows today send a bolt flying at from 300-400 feet per second velocity. By comparison, a .22 Long Rifle flies out the muzzle at 1200-1400 feet per second. A 40 grain .22 bullet produces roughly 130-170 foot pounds of killing energy.

Though a field point usually weighs 100 grains and a typical crossbow bolt broadhead weighs 100-125 grains, because of the low velocity they can produce less terminal energy than a .22 LR round.

You have probably commonly seen hunting shows depicting arrows sailing right through a deer. It is unlikely that a field point would do so unless only soft tissue was penetrated. Translate all of that into a SHTF event where a human might be the target. What it means in terms of electing to use a crossbow for a SHTF defensive weapon is to aim for areas of the target where penetration would be realistically anticipated. If the threat is wearing a heavy coat or armor, then good luck with that.

So if you’re determined to use a crossbow post-SHTF, then you’d better start stocking up on those expensive broadheads, as the killing impact of a broadhead is in the cutting capability of the blades not necessarily the force of the impact.

Unlike the Hollywood scenes on TWD, the SHTF adversaries will not be zombies. They will also very likely be armed as well or better than you. One has to consider long and hard just how efficient and effective a crossbow could be under these circumstances. I have a crossbow now, but it won’t replace my AR-15 or my 1911.

So, can a crossbow be considered a viable option as a SHTF survival weapon? It’s probably better than a rolled up newspaper, but if you’re considering the crossbow for a long-term survival situation then you should seriously look elsewhere. Under most situations during a SHTF it should be thought of as a one-shot affair, so if you choose to use it then you had better make that shot count.

Story by Dr. John

Absolute Archery’s On Target



 Absolute Archery: Celebrating the Rhythm of the Seasons in the Beautiful Foothills since 1994
If you’re a pro target archer, a hunter or new to the sport, Absolute
Archery in Shingle Springs, Calif., has the equipment, the knowledge, and
the experience to help make you as accurate as you want to be.

Darin Mack, co-founder and CEO, has 27 years of experience and passion for
the sport of archery. An experienced hunter, he holds the archery SCI World
Record Moose in Alaska. He was on the professional circuit for 13 years and
hosted a show on the Outdoor Channel. Deborah Mack, his wife, is co-founder
and CFO.

Absolute Archery Range

Some bows are $1,500, but a $300 can still be accurate. Archery is
something anyone can do, regardless of age. As the cost of ammunition
increases, archery is becoming a more inexpensive alternative.

Absolute Archery offers archery leagues, private lessons (equipment for
beginners free of charge), bows on consignment, a family-owned retail pro
shop, and visitors may test all products
before they buy.

Tue - Fri 9-7 pm
Sat & Sun 9-5 pm
Closed Monday

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