By: Bears Butt

3Turkeys

It’s nearing the end of turkey season here in Utah and I have only a couple of days available to try and fill my tag, this being one of them.  Several months ago, while looking closely at Google Earth, I spotted a small pond of water up and away from any roads and I told myself that someday I would take the hike up to that pond to check it out.  Today is going to be that day and even though it has rained heavily the past few days, I still think a turkey just might be hanging around that pond.  At any rate, that is where I’m headed today.

We have a full moon out which should have all the animals excited.  My plan is to be at the trail head just at first light (which means I have to be going very soon) and then slowly walk the trail up to the pond.  Of course I’ll do my usual calling and setting up along the way and on the way out as well.

Turkey hunting is the excuse to go see this pond as there could be other possibilities in the hunting world later in the year.

I have to be in Logan to help Wapiti and Tracker entertain some 4th graders with a mountain man demonstration, and what is a mountain man demonstration without a flint and steel fire?  That is one of my parts in this effort.  So, my turkey hunting will be a rather quick one this morning.

Wish me luck, both with the turkeys and with the fire!

More to come later on.

May 23, 2016

Bears Butt

After 2 p.m.

The hunt turned out to be more of a hike.  I don’t know how far it is, or what the elevation change is, but my feet are killing me!  As a Wild Ass Guess (WAG), I’d say 3 miles one way and only saw one hen turkey…about 300 yards from the truck on my way out.  But the scenery was spectacular!  If you are healthy enough to make this hike do it, and do it soon!  The mountain flowers are at their peak, the air is crisp and the country side is in its prime!  I’ve decided to put the hike under a different heading than hunting.  Probably “uncatagorized” and the title will be something like “Hike to Petes Cabin”….  Go check it out!

Oh and as for the fire….well, I got a lot of smoke and had 90 some kids yelling “GO BEARS BUTT, GO BEARS BUTT”!!!!  It was awesome!  When my hand started burning I put the nest down!  The kids still gave me a big applause!

Bears Butt

Leave A Comment, Written on May 23rd, 2016 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

Last night I took a few minutes and ran to the field to shoot my bow using my new found method called Fixed Crawl.  I didn’t want to take too much time but I figured an hour would help me decide if my arrows liked the method.  I separated my arrows into common groups and quickly found out that some Easton 2213’s would NOT work with my bow.  They flew random, wild and crazy.  I put them away after shooting them twice.  By the way, I am shooting at 25 yards with this method.

Next I tried my old Warrior arrows (with one Apocalypse mixed in).  They didn’t do too badly, but I would have to work a bit more with them to get them to digest this new method:

Warriors

Then I pulled out my Easton 2117’s, some that were in the “$5 Frank” purchase a couple of weeks ago.  I have recently fletched them and put new tips on them.  These have glued on nocks and so I could not turn them so that the cock feather was out, but the fletchings were ok, I just had to turn the arrow until I had one feather at 90 degrees to the left.  Not a problem.  Those arrows flew pretty good as well.

2117

I decided to try them once again and the group came in like this (if you call this a group)!

2117again

Well, I think these 2117’s just might work out.    I don’t know if Easton still makes these arrows or not, but I have 5 of them, 4 of which are cut to 26 1/2 inches and one that has not been cut yet.  It seems like the cut ones fly better than the uncut one.  They are 12 grains per inch in weight and spined at 400.  Easton rates them for a 61 to 70 pound bow weight.  With 125 grain tips the FOC is 14%.  I think because my bow is cut about 1/8 inch past center, it likes these arrows.

Well, with time running out, I decided to shoot my newest arrows, Carbon Express Thunderstorms.  These guys come ready to shoot out of the box and are considered youth arrows.  I don’t care what they call them my bow likes them.  They come from the factory at 29 inches long and weigh 8.3 grains per inch.  I have 125 grain tips on them and a FOC of 13.79%.  After I shot my 6 arrows I was sort of amazed at the results:

CEThunderstorms

CEThunderstorms CloserLook

I’m not at all familiar with the speed my bow flings arrows, but it makes sense that the lighter the arrow the faster it will fly.  So, with the 2117’s weighing at 464 grains total weight and the Thunderstorms at 386.7 grains, that means the Thunderstorms will reach the target faster, even if only by a portion of a second at 25 yards.

Now let’s talk a little about kinetic energy.  From one source I found this:

KINETIC ENERGY

Hunting Usage

< 25 ft. lbs.
Small Game (rabbit, groundhog, etc.)
25-41 ft. lbs.
Medium Game (deer, antelope, etc.)
42-65 ft. lbs.
Large Game (elk, black bear, wild boar, etc.)
> 65 ft. lbs.

I don’t know anything about this, but I have to figure it out for the hunt coming up in August…I drew a deer tag for archery this year, by the way, and I plan on buying an over the counter elk tag in case a spike bull or cow walks within my 20 yard range limit.

In order to figure out kinetic energy (KE) of my arrow I need to know the total arrow weight and the speed at which it is traveling.  I know the arrow weights, but don’t know the speed.  But let’s pretend my arrows will fly at different speeds and then let’s figure the KE.  Easton 2117’s = 2117, Carbon Express Thunderstorms = Thunder:

Arrows                 Speed            KE

2117                       200 fps         41.17 foot pounds

Thunder               200 fps         34.31 fp

2117                       210 fps          45.39 fp

Thunder               210 fps          37.8 fp

2117                       220 fps          49.817 fp

Thunder               220 fps          41.5 fp

2117                       250 fps           64.3 fp

Thunder                250 fps           53.6 fp

Now the big question for me!  Does my bow spit out arrows at over 220 feet per second?  That seems to be the magic speed at which I can take a big game animal like a deer, but not fast enough for elk.  AND, the next big question, at what distance are these numbers in effect?

There will be lots of discussion on this subject I’m sure.  Whatever the outcome, I like the way the Thunderstorms performed in this practice round and I’m not totally convinced the 2117’s aren’t going to be my hunting arrows!

May 18, 2016

Bears Butt

Leave A Comment, Written on May 18th, 2016 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt

GhillieHat

Well, once again I find myself sitting here at 3:30 a.m. waiting for the magic time when I head off to try again to outwit a turkey.  This morning’s plan is similar to what I’ve been doing in the past few trips out, but this time a slight twist to it.  I won’t be walking much.  Well, that is what I’m saying right now.

Game plan:  Take Gretchen and set up for the flydown.  Last time out, I took a few minutes and made myself a smallish blind to overlook the ambush meadow.  If a gobbler comes to the decoy, it will be about a 15 yard shot.  I only have one window and so if it goes anywhere else there won’t be a shot.  So….here is hoping.

Once the flydown has happened, I will move my location to a spot about 200 yards away and set up without Gretchen.  There have been too many days afield in this area when the toms have wandered through a certain spot, sometimes gobbling and sometimes not.  I’m just going to set my butt down and wait.  I’ll give it until around noon and if nothing has come through, I’ll call my way out.  The way out is only about 4oo yards more.

Another fine detail to my plan is my calling.  I don’t know how to call very well and my slate call isn’t of the highest quality, even though I have had several gobblers fooled by it.  But the thing is, a couple of years back, I found a striker that someone had lost…(by the way, if you can tell me what it looks like and pay the shipping, I’ll return it to you, otherwise, I’m keeping it and using it)…This particular striker has a wooden part to it that makes for a deeper toned sound than the one that came with my call.  I’ll be mixing up my calling using both of these strikers to make it sound like two or 4 different birds.  My original striker sounds to me like a young hen, while the found one sounds like the old boss hen.  We will see how all of that goes.

Time is flying by this morning, so I have to stop for now and will post up a “post hunt” addition later on!  Wish me luck!

May 16, 2016

Bears Butt

NOONISH

An off day on the mountain.  I had the whole mountain to myself this morning.  The air was crisp but not too cold, lots of dew and rain still on the leaves which made for soft and quiet walking.  All the while walking in I had a strange feeling that something was following me….I hate that feeling, but I never saw anything.

My fly down setup was perfect except for the lack of birds.  No gobbles, no hen clucks, nothing.

From there I went and set up on a nice flat place where lots of turkey crap is scattered around.  Sat there and called softly for over an hour.  Nothing.  Moved to another spot, set up and stayed about half an hour…nothing there either.

So, I packed it all up and went on a stroll through the woods.  Calling every 100-150 yards.  Always soft, followed by a medium call.  Nothing.  I walked a trail all the way around the bottom of the steepest part of the mountain until the mountain itself forced me down hill to the main trail.  I heard two gobbles during this escapade and both were very far off in the northern direction, barely audible.

Aside from the lack of turkeys, there were lots of other critters to keep me entertained.  I had a doe and young fawn trying to figure out what I was for a very long time.  Finally the wind must have shifted because momma let out a snort and off they both went.  I saw 6 deer total, no bucks.

So, there you have the turkey hunt for this day.  Not sure when I might get another chance to go out, and I hope this isn’t the last time for the season.  I still have one spot I want to go check out and that hike will take some doing…steep and deep!

Bears Butt

3 Comments, Written on May 16th, 2016 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

MyBowInBush

The other day I shared a video on Facebook that a guy named Matt Dernzack (sp) put together, the video is titled “The Push”.  It has to be the best video I have seen to date on shooting traditional bows and he covers nearly everything about shooting them.  His details on how the different bows look, fit the hand and shoot really helps you understand the minute differences in the various bow styles.  He is an accomplished marksman in his own right and shoots competition as well as hunts with his bows….all traditional.  He talks about shooting olympic style, gap and string walking in three different portions of the video and even though the video is over 2 hours long, it is worth every minute watching it.

One of the main reasons for him putting together this video is to show us how he has developed a shooting method to help us with out hunting.  He calls it “Fixed Crawl”.  I’ll get into what that means in a paragraph or two.  The other reason (main reason) he put this video together is to explain his thoughts on hunting with a bow.  As I recall, his words were something like this:  We are all hunters no matter what we choose to use as our primary weapon, be it spear or 2,000 yard rifle.  We need to embrace each others styles and quit hammering each other on ethics and start supporting each other on proper technique and ethical kills.  He goes on just about bow hunting and says that as a bow hunting group, we too need to support each other any way that we can and still encourage ethical kills as our number one priority.  That means practice and getting as close as we can to the animal we are hunting.

There was more to his statements on supporting each other as hunters, but that is what I got out of it.  His statements are worth the watch and to listen to, if nothing else is gained by the video.

Now, as for the “Fixed Crawl” method of hunting.

“Gap shooting” is getting to know how far below your target you need to place the tip of the arrow at various yardages and last summer I showed you my “gap chart”.  You should have some understanding as to what is meant by that.  It is obvious in the archery world that you can’t just aim straight at your target while shooting an arrow.  The arrow is going to arch to the target.  And so it leaves the bow going in an “up” direction and then reaches an apex somewhere along the line, and then falls down into your target.  A pretty simple concept.  So, the closer you are to your desired target, the fact is, you have to aim below it.  That is, the tip of the arrow will be below the desired spot you want that arrow to hit.  As you progress farther back, away from the target the less you have to have that aim point below the target and there is that magical spot somewhere back there, where the place you put the tip of the arrow and your desired spot on the target you want to hit, are one and the same.  That is called the “Point On” distance.  And for a 50 pound bow, that usually is around the 40 yard mark, give or take a few yards.  So, that is Gap Shooting in a nutshell.

“String Walking” is marking your string, or your glove, or tab in such a way as to help you move your string hand “down” the string in order to change the angle of the arrow as it leaves the string, so that you can aim your arrow at the target.  The farther down the string you have your string hand, the steeper the angle placed upon the back end of the arrow, and thus the farther you can shoot while aiming the tip of your arrow at the desired mark on your target you want to hit.  Of course there are maximums in everything and this method is no exception.  I’ve never looked into just how far down the string you can have your drawing hand but I’d guess not more than 5 inches, maybe less.

Both String Walking and Gap shooting incorporate a method of “aiming” using the tip of the arrow.  Well, when a man was using a spear to bring home the meat, he would have had some way to make it easier to hit his mark.  And I doubt there were anyone in the clan against whatever he used just as long as he consistently brought home the meat.  Then someone decided he could shoot his spear from a bow and I doubt, again, that anyone said anything but praise to him for inventing such a way to bring home the meat.

And so go the inventions in hunting that bring home the meat better and more efficiently than before.  You can’t throw a spear 2,000 yards and hit anything but the ground, but you sure can shoot a long range rifle with high powered scopes and lots of ballistic charts and graphs and practice.  Well, Mr. Matt Dernzack has come up with another, and in his opinion, more efficient way of hunting with a traditional bow and it is what he calls “Fixed Crawl”.  With his method, he is taking parts from both the Gap shooting method and the String Walking method and here is how it works.

This is all about using traditional archery equipment.  Given a “point on” distance of 40 yards using a 50 pound bow, his thoughts are that normal shots at big game animals should be taken at 20 yards or closer.  In that distance kinetic energy is still enough to push an arrow through most of Americas big game.  So, when setting up your equipment with this Fixed Crawl system, you are going to set your fixed mark at 25 yards.  Why 25 yards and not 20?  Well, under normal hunting situations, a hunter will most likely “fudge” and take that shot a bit farther away than what he says he will take.  So, set this system up at 25 yards and hope your shots are closer than that.  What you will do then is find that point on your string, where you will anchor your string fingers (tab or glove) below your nocking point such that when you draw back, you can use the tip of your arrow and put it on the point of the target you want to hit.  The arrow itself will be closer to your eye than any other way of shooting, especially instinctively.  You will be able to look right down the shaft of the arrow, find the point, put the point on the impact spot and release the arrow as usual.

Setting up your string hand is more of a trial and error thing than anything else.  To begin with, I marked my 25 yard yardage and then used some tape to mark my string about an inch below the nock point.  After shooting about 5 shots from this yardage and with my string point marked, I found I was fairly close to where I wanted to be.  Of course, over time I will adjust my string hand up or down to fine tune this.  But for now it looks like this:

20160511_195147

The green threads is where my arrow is nocked, and the brass clip is where I bring my string hand up to when I shoot.  This is a good starting point for my Fixed Crawl shooting.

Well, there is always some doubt about trying something new and this is nothing but new to me.  Will it work?  Well, according to Matt, if you set this up well to start with and practice (practice is always a key to anything archery related) you will find that shooting at 25 yards will put your arrows exactly where you point them on the target.  He then goes closer to the target and still using the tip of the arrow as his sight, he shoots at 20 yards, 15 yards, 10 yards and even 5 yards.  Each consecutive arrow hits the target higher above the bullseye.  But even at 5 yards it is only 10 inches or so above the bullseye.  AND, going the other way, at 30 yards his arrow is hitting about 10 inches below the bullseye!

So now, picture a mule deer buck standing broadside at 20 yards.  You place your arrow tip exactly in the center of the kill zone and release the string….the arrow will ideally hit exactly where you are aiming, or perhaps an inch or two higher than that.  A dead buck!  At 10 yards the arrow will hit high in the kill zone, but still be a double lung shot!  And at 30 yards, the arrow will strike near the lower portion of the chest, taking out the heart…a dead buck!

So, you see, using this method for hunting, you have a “point on” between 10 and 30 yards, yielding you a dead buck every time!  You don’t have to think or know about what your “gap” is  between those distances, nor do you have to worry about moving your string hand up or down the string from the nock point.  Place your tab on the marked spot on the string, put the tip of the arrow on the point you wish to hit and release the string!  TWANG….dead buck!

I tried it last night.  I set my mark on my string where I bring my tab up to it.  Draw back with my arrow nocked in its normal spot.  Anchor a bit differently, with the nock of the arrow now touching my nose, I sight down the arrow and place the tip of the arrow on the spot on my target and release the string….here are my results after 3 successive round of “all the arrows in my quiver”, light weight ones, some with 100 gr. tips, some with 125 gr. tips, some fat arrows, some skinny arrows.

5:11StopCrawlEnd

5:11StopCrawlEnd2511StopCrawlEnd3

With no practice at this game, I was rather impressed at my groupings.  These are not weighted and tested arrows, these are right out of the quiver arrows, the ones I have been using for target practice for a few months and several of them are some I just purchased in my $5 encounter for a box of arrows.

I think with some practice my groups will be better and more around that 5 inch circle of a target.  Keep in mind too, this is at 25 yards.

I am impressed with this method of shooting and I will continue to post more as I progress, but folks, I believe this guy is onto something with this “Fixed Crawl” method of his!

May 12, 2o16

Bears Butt

Leave A Comment, Written on May 12th, 2016 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt

3Turkeys

It’s every turkey hunters dream to come upon a scene like this one, or maybe have the scene come upon him.   At any rate you can’t see something like this if you have your bed on your back.  I have gotten up late, have two dogs wishing they could go outside, but I’ve got to run!

Today will put me near to where I was the last time I had the chance to go out turkey hunting only this time I’m taking my little hen decoy I call “Gretchen”.  I’m hoping she will be seen by the gobbler sitting on his roost and cause him to fly down to within shotgun range.  The little meadow is my goal before first light!

CoolLittleBasin

More to come!

May 9, 2016

Bears Butt

Noonish……

I was almost late getting to my first stop this morning.  I pushed hard to get there, set Gretchen out in an opening in the sage, hurried back to my hiding hole and sat down.  Within one minute I heard the beating of heavy wings as a turkey landed about 50 yards to my right, just the other side of a small rise.  The gun was up, safety off and the bead held steady on Gretchen….I waited.  No sounds were coming from the direction the bird landed and I knew it was going to be that big tom I saw last time I was there.  My heart was pounding really hard, my breathing was too.  Then in my peripheral vision I saw its head peering over the sage, looking right into Gretchen’s eye.  The bird was no farther than 5 feet from the decoy and about 15 yards from me….a Hen!

I walked closer to the decoy and then decided it was a danger and began putting….two puts and then it flew off and down onto private property.  That was a close one!  Had it been that big tom I would have easily filled the tag!  And that is how easy it could be.  I sat there for about an hour and I kept hearing the gobbling of three different toms down on the private property.  I figured that was all I was going to see in that spot and so I picked up and started my sneak around the hill, just like I did the other day.

The weekends rains had everything soaking wet and I was glad I had chosen to put on my gaiters for this trip.  They saved my legs from the knees down from getting soaked.

As I rounded the hill I could hear the faint gobbles of some birds ahead and so I hurried myself a bit.  With all the wet, I didn’t even make a sound when I broke twigs.  Pretty soon I was straight up the hill from three gobblers sounding off.  They were very vocal.  I figured they were about 100 yards down the hill from me, so I set up on a point, tucked myself back up above the decoy about 30 yards and began calling.  They responded to every call and at one point I thought they were going to bust up over the hill and right into my lap.  They moved to my right, then back to my left.  I don’t think they could see the decoy and I didn’t want to call any more so I just waited.  Their gobbling began to get farther away and to my left.  I hurried up, grabbed Gretchen and boogied around the point of the hill toward their gobbles.

Suddenly I saw a turkey coming up through the trees below me.  It was on a direct line to where I was,  I plopped down on a rock, pushed the safety off and aimed at the trail ahead.  The trail actually went down over a slight rise as it went.  Within 5 minutes I could hear the turkey making sounds that at first sounded like a kid smacking two rocks together.  That was the first time I had ever heard that noise.  I was ready when its head came popping up from the trail.  It was coming straight at me at about 15 yards again.  Another hen!  When it saw my blob sitting in its path it stopped and stared.  Did a little walk around keeping an eye on me the whole time, and then went off the trail and up the hill through the brush and trees.  It didn’t make any sounds once it saw me sitting in the way, it just went off the trail and out of sight, not in a hurry either.

Well, the gobbles began to go down hill after that and I figured another hen had their attention.  There were for sure 3 distinct birds and they gobbled down and across the meadow and up the other side of the draw.  Gobbling like crazy and continued to do so until I couldn’t hear them anymore.

I figured there had to be others still on my side of the canyon and so I continued up the trail past the point where I almost got a shot last week.  There is some beautiful turkey looking country up there and I sure was hoping for a shot but all I saw were deer.  Maybe next time.

Bears Butt

Leave A Comment, Written on May 9th, 2016 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

I came across a guy wanting to sell a box of old arrows for $5 and I put my bid in with the others.  Seems he lived too far away from the other guys and so I ended up making a deal with the seller.  We had a tough time getting together but this morning I went to his place and picked up the box of arrows.  I figured for $5 even if I only got 3 or 4 arrows out of the deal it would be worth the gas and cost and maybe some of the arrows could be made into flu-flu arrows to shoot at doves and such.

BoxOfArrows

Well, I brought the arrows home and dumped them out on the floor.  Not knowing if this was really worth the $5 or not.  I immediately started seeing broken arrow pieces and jammed tips, bulging and bent arrow shafts….not sure about this “deal” of mine.

JumbleOfArrows

So, I went to sorting them by color, that seemed like a good idea at the time and then again by arrow manufacture and whether it was aluminum or carbon shafts.  Pretty soon I was sorting them by size as most all of them are Easton brand aluminum arrows.  Some had good tips inserted and some did not, but most have the tip inserts in which the tips are screwed.  Nearly all of them have plastic fletchings and/or vanes and so all of those will have to be replaced (enter the Bitzenburger)!

Sorted Arrows

So, what did I end up with except a half a garbage barrel full of junk?  Here is the break down:

Arrow size:  2315 (.342 deflection/ 11.8 gpi)  4 each of them!

2216 (approx 400 spine/ 12 gpi)  11 each of them!

2213 (.458 deflection/9.9 gpi)  30 each of them!

2117 (400 spine/ 12 gpi)  5 each of them!

1914 (.658 deflection)   7 each of them!

And 7 others of assorted sizes and lengths.

A grand total of 64 arrows.  Also, I scrounged 2 points/1 blunt rubber tip cover and 1 nock!!!!

The arrows range in length from 30 inches to 21 inches, so there is something for just about everyone!  I might even find some of them suitable for hunting with.  The 400 spine ones will be my test arrows.  Next will be some of the .458 deflection arrows as one guy I know said I should cut 500 spine arrows down to 27 inches and they should fly perfect for my bow setup!  We will see.

May 6, 2016

Bears Butt

Leave A Comment, Written on May 7th, 2016 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt

AllansTruck

For what it’s worth, I’ve been driving this truck for Allans Plants, delivering flowers and bedding plants to mostly the Salt Lake City area.  I can usually make two trips from Pleasant View to SLC and make a couple of stops in SLC at each delivery.  It takes about an hour each way and usually 15 to 30 minutes at each drop (nursery) to unload carts full of plants.  It’s actually a pretty easy job, but does require some upper body strength to keep the tall carts from tipping over with the load of plants while pulling them off the loading ramp.  Other than that I get a lot of free time to think while driving both directions.

I have to say the Allan family works VERY hard at this and it’s obviously their true love.  To plant, grow and nurture what every gardener loves…flowers and vegetables.  I call them “babies” and you might say I’m sort of a doctor who delivers babies….just saying.

Yesterday was a big day for the delivery service I’m in, because tomorrow, May 8 is Mothers Day, and what better for Mother than flowers!?!  I made 3 stops but had to make two runs into town.  My first two stops took me to about 3300 S. and 9th East and I dropped off eight full carts of plants.  Hanging baskets make wonderful Mothers Day gifts and this nursery got a few yesterday.  Then it was off to Tooele for my drop off there.  Mostly vegetables at this place and the rain was just beginning to fall when I got there.  The rain wasn’t so bad, but the lightning was sort of scary.  I was on one end of the metal cart while a nursery worker was on the other.  He made a remark about lightning and how it was not a comfortable feeling holding onto a metal cart while it was hitting around us.  I reassured him he would not know it struck if it did in fact hit the cart.  He was less than amused.

From Tooele is was back to the plant plant for another batch of carts full of Mothers Day fun!

This last run took me to 9000 South and then West to a fairly large nursery there.  This one probably does the bulk of nursery business in that neck of the Salt Lake Valley and they were busy as heck when I got there.  I was even being asked by customers if we had any “red flowered plants with green leaves”…..That is a joke among us….I had to even tell some shoppers they could not take the plants off the racks because they had not been inventoried yet.  People are funny.  One young lady even waited while I pulled a cart off the truck because she could see some pink flowers on them and wanted to see them up close.  She went off and bought something else, even though those pink flowered plants were very pretty and of course they had green leaves as well.  Have you ever seen and pink flowered plants with green leaves?  Everyone should have some of them.

OK, now for the reason for this posting.  Traffic!  My late afternoon trip began about 3 p.m. from the Ogden area and scooted me into the Salt Lake City rush hour traffic on Interstate 15, the major carrier of traffic North and South through the state.  For those of you familiar with the Interstate situation in SLC, it includes a major junction of Interstate 80 which runs East and West across the nation and carries millions of people from one end of the country to the other.  And of course this is Mothers Day weekend and more people want to get back to see Mom, which added somewhat to the traffic situation.  The SLC area also has a stretch of Interstate 215 in it (called the Belt Route), which skirts the town of SLC itself, but connects all the surrounding towns as it goes.  Each town needs an exit and entrance and that adds considerably to the traffic issues.  The locals call the junction of I-15 and I-80, the “Spaghetti Bowl”!

Spaghettibowl

Photo courtesy of the internet.

I forgot to mention State Highway 201…That is a major highway that routes folks East and West out of and into downtown from the western part of the valley.  Sort of a quicker way to get to the Jazz games if you live out by the Bingham Copper mine area or Tooele area.

With all those lanes of highway, you would think the traffic would flow like water through a pipe.  Each driver picking their lane that would take them to their destination and off we go at just over the speed limit of 65 mph.  Zip, Zip, Zip!

As I travelled South through this spaghetti bowl, my exit was 9000 South, the split off for I-80 is about 2500 South, no problem because I still have a goodly distance to go before I have to insure my big old truck is in the far right lane and ready to exit when I get there.  But wait!  Around 3300 South, or is it 4500 South, there is a bottle neck that gets folks on and off the Belt Route.  If my travel takes me South toward Las Vegas and I need to go West on 215, I have to get over to the right lanes pretty quickly or I will miss my turn.  There are three exit lanes going that way.  Oh, yes and of course there are three lanes coming off 215 that will take that traffic to the South….hey that’s the direction I’m trying to go!  Those guys are merging into my lane!

Well, everything was rather congested before I got to 4500 South and then it seemed like everyone wanted to be on the same road and in the same lane at the same time.  HOLD ON FOLKS!  I’m in this lane!  Around the 7000 South area I was able to take my phone out and snap a couple of pictures.  You can see “I’m not driving” at this point in time.

May6,4pmTraffic.

I see open space…close it up people!

May6SLCTraffic

Add a little bit of rain to the mix and there you have it!  Wet spaghetti!

This is only part of the issue.  I’m still trying to get to my drop off point.  The busy little nursery that carries all the plants mom wants for mothers day.  Maybe all these people are trying to go where I’m trying to go…?!?  Well, I made it about 4:20 and was able to unload my 4 full carts of goodies.  I’ve already told you about the shoppers.  I didn’t get away from there until nearly 5 p.m.  As most of you know I retired about 12 years ago and have not had to deal with traffic like this for that long and now I find myself back into it with a big old truck at my disposal.  When I look in the rear view mirrors of that truck, it looks like the back end of it has just left Willard, while the front is almost to the 9000 South exit.  I need to get over.  Make space people, I’m coming over!

Back on the freeway (freeway….sounds like a joke this time of day) and headed North….back to home!  The red and green lights are flashing at the end of the “on ramp” telling me when it is my turn to “go for it”….only two vehicles per light change and don’t you move before the green is in your lane or the automatic ticket picture taker will get you!  ZOOM!  I’m off as quickly as a 40 foot truck can zoom!  I turn my left blinker on as soon as I clear the solid line, indicating I can change lanes as soon as someone will be kind enough to make a space big enough.  Nobody seems to want to move or give up their position in this congestion, but soon a smallish black car decides he is going to lose in the battle if he doesn’t hit his brakes and let me over.  AHHH!  Now I’m in a lane that will take me all the way home.  As I sit there waiting for the millions of cars ahead of me to decide it is time to push on the gas a little, I check the time on my phone…5:05 p.m.  I should be home by 6!  Granted I’m still just a bit North of 9000 South.  Suddenly I realize I’m going almost 10 mph!  Hey folks we are beginning to move!  YEAHHHHaaaa!  At 6:10 my phone buzzes me that I’m getting a text….sitting in traffic, I see it is Sherry…”Are you OK”?…is the message, and since I’m not moving I hit the call button.  “Hi Hon, what time is it?  6:10; I should be home in an hour.  Ya, I’m just past Lagoon.  See ya, love ya”!   Just past Lagoon!!!  From 9000 South to just past Lagoon in an hours time.  I do recall getting the truck up to 35 mph in the Centerville area, that seemed like we were cruising pretty good.

Well, I made it home about 7:30, so that wasn’t too far off my guess.  There is something magic about the West gate of Hill Air Force Base that is a magnet for slow moving traffic.  From that point to home it was 60 to 60 mph with the rain beating down so badly you could not see anything in front of you, but that did not matter to the traffic…gotta make up for the lost time back behind us!  ZOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!

OK, so I had a lot of thinking time and I decided we, the people, are our own worst enemy!  My observation was that over 90 percent of every car on that road, going North and South, East and West had ONE PERSON in it!  From Clearfield to 9000 South and I’m sure from Tooele to Park City had the same.  Talk about air pollution, wasted time, the few wrecked cars I saw (which was amazing in and of itself).  People!  WE have to do something about this!  I don’t have the answer, but it’s pretty bad when a little old Willardite can see what is causing the problem on our interstate system.  I’m certain the same issue takes place in the morning hours as people “try” to get to work….everyone is late (as usual), which causes road rage, overzealous driving habits and of course the major crashes that take place.  Going home, people are exhausted from there daily work routine, tired from lack of sleep (last night, which caused them to be late this morning) and because it is Friday night, there isn’t any big hurry to get home anyway.

Puttzing along as I was I thought, people could car pool, but then everyone in the car pool would have to have the same work ethic.  The work place could promote car pooling and give extra money to those who do!  There is an enterprising tool….management….Green thinking, green palming!  Work places could alter their start and end times to miss the major commuting hours!  Here you go management folks!  I guess the bottom line is people need to give up “their freedom”, in order to gain more time to themselves!

Happy Mothers Day all you mothers!

May 7, 2016

Bears Butt

Leave A Comment, Written on May 7th, 2016 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

MyBowInBush

You have probably read about my new arrows, Carbon Express Thunderstorms and how I shot them bare shaft (no fletchings) and how they went crazy wild and didn’t fly straight through the paper.  Well, Weasel and I went together and purchased a Bitzenburger fletching jig, then set up the jig to mount right helical feather fletchings to my new arrows.  It took me awhile to figure out this new jig and how to use it properly, but with a little adjustment here and there I managed to get all six arrows fletched up pretty good.  I’m sure I will learn more about how to do this as time goes on, but for now the feathers seem to stay on the arrow shafts pretty good.

Well, with working for a local nursery delivering plants to the Salt Lake City area and the weather, I haven’t had a chance to shoot my bow for over two weeks.  I don’t like not shooting my bow.  Well, last night, after getting off work a little earlier than usual, I went to the field to try out the newly fletched arrows.

These arrows come pre-vaned, with plastic vanes and they are all cut at 29 inches ready to shoot out of the box….They consider them youth arrows and we all know how youth are about getting new stuff and wanting to play with it until they break it.  I’m no different, but plastic vanes don’t shoot from my recurve bow and I had to wait until the feathers were on them before I could try and break them.

I put 100 grain tips on 3 of them and 125 grain tips on the other three.  This archery stuff is still new enough to me that I need to experiment with different things in order to see which works best for me and my bow.  I shot for a couple of hours and during that time I took a few pictures of some of my ends.  Of course I’m not going to show you the ones with the WIDE groupings.  To make this story shorter, I’ll show you the ends I shot and you decide what is good or bad.  To me, none of them are bad.  All shot at 20 yards and all shot with a canted bow, while I stood.

EndWithNewCEThunderstorms

End2CEThunder

End3CEThunder

You are probably thinking, “there is always that one arrow that falls away from the rest of them”….Well, I can assure you that it isn’t always the same arrow that does that.  For some reason, I just have to have a “flyer” in each of my ends and it doesn’t matter if I’m shooting three arrows or thirty.  At least the bulk of them are falling into a group.

Well, I’m pretty happy with my new arrows.  I think they are a bit light weight for hunting and so I’ll still be looking for a heavier arrow for shooting at big game this fall.  For target shooting these are pretty good for being inexpensive arrows.  Also, as you can see, it doesn’t make much difference on 100 or 125 grain tips.  Soon, I’ll do a FOC on them and report it to you on Bears Butt Dot Com!  Every good arrow is FOCed.

Well, part of my shooting was to put on the broad heads that were so kindly donated to the Brigham Bowmen Club by the Badger Broad head company, and the Dirt Nap Broad head company.  I put one of each of them on my Warrior Arrows, and since I’m shooting right helical fletchings, I put on right bevel broad heads.

RightBevelBadger

Right Bevel Badger!  Looks mean doesn’t it?  Two cutting edges.

RightBevelDirtNap

Right Bevel Dirt Nap!  This little baby has two bleeder blades at 90 degrees to the two main cutting edges.  I’m not so sure I won’t change my mind before the hunt about these little guys.  I’ve been favoring the Badgers just because they look more traditional, but after shooting the Dirt Naps, that little bit of extra cutting surface does lend itself to more damage on the terminal end.

Well, I was pretty excited to give these guys a fling and here is the results!

FirstTwoBroadheadShots

To say I was surprised that both arrows hit the mark is an understatement!  I figured the first one was an accident but when the second one punched it as well, I felt like Robin Hood!  I took close up pictures of the cuts made by the broad heads and for sure you can see the extra cuts from the Dirt Nap broad head.

BadgerCut

I didn’t realize until this morning that my picture angle was bad and only shows the one side of this Badger broad head cut.

DirtNapCut

Dirt Nap is sure showing it’s (4) mark here.

Another thing I noticed when I pulled the arrows out of the bale, they both had to turn as they were backed out.  Much like riflings make your cleaning rod turn when you are cleaning the gun.  I’m impressed!

So, folks don’t give up on me about my archery shooting.  I’m still trying to figure it all out and at the same time get better about hitting that target with every arrow.  At this point in my archery endeavor, I have to say a deer or elk is in some kind of serious trouble within 20 yards.  30 yards is too far for me right now, but I’m still practicing out that far and will continue to shoot even out to 40 yards and try to get my groups tight.

May 5, 2016

Bears Butt

1 Comment, Written on May 5th, 2016 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt

It’s May 2nd, 2016 and the opening day for the general turkey season here in Utah.  Since it’s a Monday, most everyone I know that hunts is either working or too wrapped up in yesterdays wind damage to go out and enjoy a day of hunting turkeys….So….Off I go by myself.  There are advantages and disadvantages to going alone, but one thing for sure, I’ll be out there.

I have a plan to hit an area I have never been before.  Sort of a scouting, hunting adventure.  I know there are birds there because we heard them Saturday and I have studied Google Earth enough to know the lay of the land.  Now it’s time to put the boots to the ground and go check it out first hand.

I’m hoping to take a few selfies to show you how it looks as well and maybe even with a bearded bad boy.  Wish me luck!

More to come once I’m back.

May 2, 2016

Bears Butt

DecoyHead

I had considered using my hen decoy today but chose not to….This is the look she gave me.

I got back home right at 1 p.m.  And what a beautiful day it was to be out in the hills.  Cool this morning and quite warm by noon.  Let me tell you about being out of shape….I’m out of shape!  My trek took me to places I have only visited on Google Earth and it was everything I imagined.  A trail that follows a steep hill and there was turkey goo everywhere!  I was very excited when I got there and set up.  My timing was perfect, as I placed my butt on my cushion seat I heard the first gobble of the morning.  He was behind me slightly and up pretty high.  His home was near this little basin.

CoolLittleBasin

And probably very close to those tallest trees you can see.  I positioned myself behind where the camera was to take this picture and I was just around the bend from a nice little corner in the hill.  A perfect ambush spot should a turkey come along that trail.  As my luck would have it, the bird flew down to the left of this picture and he went beyond the public land and onto private.  I saw him at one point and at 100 yards I could clearly see a long beard!  He’ll make a mistake one of these days.

I sat there from just before light until the sun had me almost to go to sleep from the warmth and then I got up to go explorer around.  I sat with my newly made ghillie hat on to help hide me from the turkeys.

GhillieHat

As I wandered around I found this really nice little trail that screamed turkeys!

TurkeyParadise

As I went along I would set up at pinch points and corners and would call.  Every once in awhile I thought I could hear faint gobbles in the distance.  I knew they were not answering my calling, but as I snuck along I kept thinking those bad boys would walk right into me.  I was ready.  The trail got extremely narrow and tight against the uphill side, downhill was brushy delux and I couldn’t see down into it very well.  Suddenly I heard the yelping of a hen!  It was very deep sounding and at first I thought it was another hunter, but as it walked along it continued to sound off.  I followed the sounds and then saw two hens working their way below me.  They hadn’t seen me and I was glad for that.  With them moving off, I found a nice sitting spot and waited for a tom to come walking along behind them.  A half hour later I moved on.

Changing the subject a little; about a month ago I bought myself some “hearing aids”.  These are made for hunters and they enhance the sounds of the woods for most people, but for me, they allow me to hear what the heck is going on.  I had both of them in my ears today.  I was walking in some crunchy oak leaves along the trail and it was nearly impossible to remain quiet, but even with the hearing devises I was going slow enough to be pretty quiet.  About 100 yards past where the two hens were I entered into somewhat of a grassy clearing in the oak trees.  It screamed turkeys to me and so I stood on the edge of it and peered into the openings looking for movement and listening with all the listening attention I could get.  10 minutes of looking and listening and I would move forward a few feet and stop and look and listen some more.

I had gone about 30 yards into this semi-clearing when up ahead a few yards, maybe 20, a hen sounded off with some very loud putts!  She putted and putted but stayed in one spot as she did it which is not like any putting I’ve heard before.  Usually they are moving away or up hill or somewhere getting away from danger (me).  But this one was different!  Then I heard wings beating the air and suddenly the gobbling of three distinct toms just off to my left and up hill a bit.  The putting continued ahead of me.  With all the commotion I wasn’t sure what I should be doing, so I went carefully up the hill toward where the gobbling took place.  Then I heard a hen clucking below me and I froze!  Two hens were moving up the hill from below me and would cross somewhere near the hen that was putting.  I froze as I was in a place where I could be easily seen by the two birds below.  She continued to putt and then I saw a coyote run across the opening and down toward the valley below!  The coyote had been gone a good minute before the putting stopped.

The two birds moved up and joined with the putting bird but I could not see them.  I moved up the hill carefully and as quietly as I could.  The gobblers had to be very close but I didn’t know where exactly.  I positioned myself with a small clearing about 10 yards in front of me and let out a “Darin Gardner” series of very quiet putts and yelps…..The woods came alive with Gobblers sounding off and they were very close, I just didn’t know where!  And then I saw some movement ahead about 20 yards…it was the back of a gobbler and he was strutting his stuff.  I sat still and raised the gun ready to fire when he came over a slight rise between me and him.  My arms soon became very sore and I could hardly hold the gun up.  The gobbler would strut and turn but did not come any closer. I held the gun up for about 20 minutes and then I couldn’t take it any longer.  I slowly lowered it and kept my eye on the bird ahead.

I was not in a very good spot for an ambush and if he came over the rise and happened to look down the trail he would see me for sure.  I had to make a move to the side of the trail.  At one point I thought I could just stand up and blast him, but I didn’t know if he was alone or with a hen or the other gobblers.  The sounds told me there were for sure 3 different gobblers and they were all pretty close to one another.  It just wasn’t worth shooting and hitting more than one bird.  I’ll wait for a better chance.  I moved slightly up hill off the trail but the brush blocked me from seeing the bird.  Again, very carefully, I pulled out the call and striker and sounded off a very soft yelp.  All three gobblers burst into cadence!  My heart was racing and my mouth began to dry up noticeably.  Then the worst thing that could happen began to swell up in my throat….a cough….NO!  I thought to myself and I fought it off.

I kept thinking about some of the things I’ve been told about turkeys….you make a turkey sound and if they gobble back, they know exactly where you are and they will come, just have patience.  I waited and waited and waited.  Two hours I waited expecting them to pop up within 10 yards at any moment, but nothing came.  I tried my soft call again, this time nothing.  I let out a series of yelps just a wee bit louder….nothing.  It became obvious by this time that the hen they were parading around had lead them off and up the trail somewhere.

It was getting late in the morning and was very warm so I decided not to try and cut them off and just leave them alone for another day.  I carefully stood up, stretched my legs and made my way quietly down the mountain and back to the truck.

A fine day indeed!  4 gobblers, 5 hens, several deer and lots of other wildlife viewed.

Bears Butt

 

3 Comments, Written on May 2nd, 2016 , Hunting Stories
By: Bears Butt

 

MyHangingbowWeasel and I went shooting a 3D course up at Hardware Ranch yesterday.  This range was set up and run by the Cache Archers out of the Logan Utah area.  There were two courses with 20 targets on each of the courses.  Targets ranged from about 15 yards out to 101 yards.  Most were in the 20 to 40 yard distances.  All classes of archers like to come to events like this one to show off their talents, make a few side bets and just have a good time.

Weasel and I paid our entry fees and then went for a good time.  We left the score sheets at home.  We counted hits and misses and it didn’t matter if the hit was in the foot of the target or in the bulls eye…a hit is a hit is a hit!  And before the shooting was all done it seemed like I favored bears feet and legs more so than the body of the target.  I did hit one in the butt however.

ButtshotBear

With my less than skilled level of shooting and only 4 sacrificial arrows in my arsenal, I had to be choosey about which targets I was going to shoot at.  A high level of confidence was necessary for me to take the shot, as arrant arrows tend to shatter upon impact in the rocks.  Shooting a traditional bow, with no sights, I am totally relying on my own ability to trust in my “arrow throwing” ability to reach the target and not go over or under it.  I did go over and under several targets during the day, but luckily for me, I only found one rock and lost one arrow.

Weasel, on the other hand, has his confidence level so high, he shot his arrows at each of the targets sitting deeply in the rocky outcrops and without fail both of his arrows found their mark.  I, on the other hand, chose to set out on those two shots.

WeaselShootsIntoRocks

WeaselsRockBuck

The course lends itself well to “real shooting” situations if one is inclined to hunt big game with their arrow flipper.  Of course if a big old mule deer buck was laying where this one is on the left, you would not hesitate to shoot a broad head yielding arrow at it if you were within your shooting and hitting range.  I would have to be about 1/3rd closer in real life to take this shot, but a miss would mean a busted or lost arrow, a hit would mean liver and onions would be served soon!

Changing the subject:  You have read my comments about FOC…right?  FOC is the acronym for “Front Of Center” and it refers to weight on the point end of the arrow.  A heavy front end yields itself to better penetration when you hit the target.  Some folks like to have a very high percentage of weight up front and FOC is usually given as a percentage number comparing the balance point forward of the center of the arrow shaft without any tips, feathers or anything else attached to the shaft.  It is obvious with nothing attached to that shaft on either end, the arrow should balance at the center point of the shaft.  If not, then something has to be done to the shaft to make it balance at that point.  And then when you add a nock, some feathers etc. to the back or “nock” end of the arrow, the balance point would move back toward that end of the arrow because of the added weight.  Placing an insert and point on the other end, makes the balance point move back toward or even beyond the center point and more toward the tip of the arrow for that balance point.  More weight on the point end means the balance point moves that much farther away from the center of the arrow shaft toward the tip.  OK, enough of that.  What is my point in this?

Well, during the course of the day, I shot at one target and when I pulled the arrow out of my perfectly placed shot (somewhere near the foot of the animal target) the whole insert and point came out of the arrow shaft…poor glue is the culprit.  So, now I’m down to two sacrificial arrows and a whole lot more targets to go.  I put that arrow in my quiver where I would know not to draw it out to shoot it, and saved the insert and point to later glue it back into the shaft.

Well, off we went to enjoy more shooting…me and my two arrows, uninhibited by the fact that each target required two arrows, I would just choose to shoot one arrow at each target when there were two targets at the station.  I have no problem doing that.

Near the end of the shoot, we came upon an elk target laying down near a small trickle of water.  A beautiful scene and about a 65 yard shot (I can’t remember exactly, but it was a pretty long shot for me) down hill.  I confidently shot my first arrow and it came to rest poking up about 10 feet in front of the target.  I drew out arrow number two and gave it a fling!  This time, it barely went over the top of the target and promptly stuck up in the muddy bank on the other side of the target.  A near hit.

When I pulled arrow number two out of the mud, I saw that it was missing its point and insert!  I was not a happy guy!  Two arrows with the inserts and points pulling out during the day!  That does not bode well for the glue used to secure them into the arrow shafts!  I voiced my concerns to Weasel who was happily pulling his two perfectly placed arrows from the target and he said, “Did you just shoot the one without the insert”!?!  Of course not, I put that arrow aside in my quiver and as I looked down I could plainly see the arrow that had been set aside was gone from its spot!  I did shoot the arrow that did not have a tip!  And of course, upon further investigation I found the arrow shaft was stuffed full of nice fresh mud!  Oh dear!

This morning I pulled that arrow from the quiver and cleaned out the mud.  An investigation of the carbon shaft and it appears to be in good shape, no cracks that I can see.  Once it is dried I can re-glue the insert in it and it will be good to go as a sacrificial arrow once again!

Now let’s talk about this arrow for a minute.  FOC seems to be something an arrow needs in order to fly properly.  At least an arrow with a tip on it is usually a good idea to shoot.  But this one did not have a tip on it.  I measured it and balanced it and took all the careful calculations on this arrow, with no tip on it and the FOC came out NON-FOCed…I’d have to say it had ROC (rear of center) balance.  In fact it calculated at 2.68% ROC (-2.68 FOC).  HMMMMMM!

At the time I shot this arrow, both Weasel and I were watching the flight as it headed down range toward that laying down elk.  It flew beautifully straight and nearly on its mark.  How can an arrow with ROC and not FOC fly so well?  Theories or facts please people!  Had that arrow hit that elk, I would have been elated until I got down to it and found it shattered because that carbon shaft was not protected against the impact of the solid core rubber those targets are made out of.  Luckily for me and my arrow, it hit the soft mud and not a rock either.  The arrow was saved from sure demise. And had it hit the target I would have been bouncing up and down saying “That arrow Rocked”!  And I would have been pretty close to the truth without even knowing it did in fact have ROC.

In conclusion:  Thank you for all the very hard work Cache Archers did for putting on this event.  It was fun!  The day was overcast and cool, which made it even better.  The situations of every target made it seem much like a hunting adventure and of course the hiking up and down the hills made for some tough going and a good reminder to us all to get into shape for the upcoming hunting season.  We have 3 1/2 months to do that!  AND, finally, never shoot a ROC arrow at a game animal, it will not have enough kinetic energy to adequately penetrate for an ethical kill.  FOC is the rock! More FOC is better, to a point I’m sure!  More ROC is not better…and any ROC is not good.

MyBowInBush

April 25, 2016

Bears Butt

Leave A Comment, Written on April 25th, 2016 , Archery stuff

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