October 13, 2018 – Ohio Archery Buck

It was now almost five years since I had successfully filled a buck tag here in Ohio.  The last buck tag I’ve filled was on November 3rd of 2013 to be exact.  I had spent countless hours in the tree and in a blind over the course of those five years and passed up buck after buck, sit after sit, waiting for the right one to come by.  Of course I had close encounters here and there, but could never close the distance on a buck I had my eyes on, or at least one I’d be happy to put my tag on. Unlike my unsuccessful years, it took only three hunts this fall to find the one.  Three hunts.

I’ll start with a quick recap of the first two hunts before diving into my successful hunt on the 13th.  Season opens up for us in Ohio in late September.  It’s typically hot, humid, and the mosquitos are relentless that time of year.  This year, season opened on the 29th and unlike other years, it was quite a bit cooler on opening morning (50’s or so). After a long night the night before preparing, I was up bright and early ready to get the 2018 season underway.  That morning I took a step into my treestand and one of the cables snapped!  I was luckily hooked into the lifeline on the tree, and since the other cable was still holding I made the bold decision to hunt that morning from a somewhat unsafe treestand.  To add insult to injury, around 9:30AM or so, a few does came in…and to make a long story short, my Carn-four tipped arrow ate tree bark instead of whitetail.

I spent the next day relocating that set and replacing the stand as well as setting up a new set over a small food plot I had planted earlier in September.  Fast forward another week and summer decided to again rear itself in the Buckeye state.  Temps soared to the upper 80’s, and mosquitos came out in full force.  I saw a small buck around 10AM but that was about it.  With a similar forecast for the next day, I decided to wait and not hunt until conditions improved.  It only took another week and the weather again took another 180 degree turn.  The weather forecast was showing lows in the upper 30’s/lower 40’s with a NW wind.  The perfect conditions to sit in the new set I had relocated a couple of weeks prior.

I made it into the woods about 30 minutes before shooting light and situated all of my gear after climbing 20′ up into my Lonewolf stand.  I sat and watched the woods come alive as the sun peered over the horizon and through the leaves behind me.  Squirrels ran rampant across the forest floor and through the tree tops searching for acorns.  A lone raccoon also ventured across one of the shooting lanes in front of my stand and made its way up and down a couple of trees no more than 30 yards away.  I was tempted to help out the local turkey population, but quickly realized that raccoon season wasn’t open for a few weeks yet, so he got a free pass.

After the raccoon finally made its way off into the distance, I spent a bit of time shooting b-roll and playing with a few of the settings on my camcorder while the morning ticked on by.  The weather and temperature were perfect I thought to myself, but the deer were obviously not following the script. I spent the next half hour or so catching myself dozing off.  It was overcast and cool but I was warm and cozy in my Sitka Stratus bibs and jacket with only a few layers underneath.

Around 10:15AM I glanced towards a large oak tree that was sitting about 50 yards away directly in front of me and caught movement through the thick honeysuckle.  After quickly realizing it was a whitetail, I immediately reached for my camcorder to start recording.  I no more than got the camera turned on, pointed in the general direction and recording when I suddenly notice the headgear.  I grabbed my bow, turned on the second angle GoPro mounted to it and moved my attention to getting the deer in the viewfinder on my camera.

When I first noticed the antlers, I wasn’t positive he was going to be a shooter, but as he cleared from behind a honeysuckle bush, I quickly noticed the tall tines and wide spread between them.  He was being followed by a smaller buck as they both headed directly for my tree.  There was a small trail offshoot that began about 10 yards in front of me and shooting off to my right, the bucks left, heading back to a large block of timber.  I tried to hold my composure as he got closer and closer and eventually turned to take the small trail to my right.  I repositioned the camera to make sure he stayed in frame and began to come to full draw.  I tried to stop him at first by giving out a soft “meh”, and when he didn’t immediately stop, I became more insistent and eventually let out a loud “bah” to get him to come to a complete stop.  He stood broadside at only 10 yards away.

I settled the top pin slightly above mid-chest and my arrow hit its mark, high chest with projected exit low in the offside shoulder.  He took off and expired after only 30 to 40 yards in a few short seconds.  Just like that the monkey was off of my back.

A quick tip for those shooting an adjustable type sight.  I keep my Fast Eddie XL dial set on 30 yards for the top pin knowing I can shoot anything in closer by compensating on my aiming point slightly to hit where I want.  It has worked perfectly for me and reduces the need for me to adjust my sight dial for 99% of my whitetail hunts.

Although I am ecstatic to have filled my buck tag, I must admit that I’m a bit bummed that I will be missing out on the fun of hunting a buck during the rut.  I’m not saying that I won’t be hunting anymore this fall, I still have 5 doe tags I can fill in the two counties I hunt – and I intend to fill a few of them.  This will however give me the opportunity to spend a little more time with my wife and daughter through the fall and winter months, which I’m sure they will appreciate as much as I will.

Brett’s Gear:

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2018.2 SELFILMED Vlog – TightSpot Quivers

SELFILMED’s Rich Peace discusses quivers and what he likes most about the TightSpot Quivers.  Stay tuned for more blogs and vlogs to come in the near future!

If you are interested in purchasing what we think is the best hunting quiver on the market, stop by TightSpot’s website at http://www.tightspotquiver.com/ to view their entire selection of quivers and accessories.

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Spot Hogg Fast Eddie XL Multi-Pin Sight Review

I’m not going to lie:  I’ve been shooting with a Spot Hogg sight ever since I reunited with compound-bow hunting back in 2010.  Prior to that I was either in middle school shooting a bow that didn’t even fit me, or instinctively shooting a stick-and-string throughout high school/college.  After giving several haircuts I decided I wanted to get back into compound bows, and bought a new rig with a used, 5-pin Spot Hogg Hunter sight.

Since then I have had little reason to switch.  Of course I made minor modifications here and there; like when I swapped my 5-pin head for a Cameron Hanes’ edition 7-pin head for those long-range shots.   With a range of 20 to 80 yards covered with a pin for every 10 yards, in a bulletproof setup that survived a couple tow-rope breaks from the stand and numerous cross-country trips, why would I even consider changing?

To be frank, I am not advocating for 80 yard shots on animals. However, I’m a firm-believer in practicing for those long shots to make those 30 to 40 yarders become more of a chip-shot.  The biggest challenge of having all those pins was trying to shoot at a longer distance on whitetail-sized targets (especially these smaller, east-coast Virginia whitetails) where the target quickly became lost behind multiple pins.

Several close friends have been shooting a movable single-pin slider for quite some time and boasted about how much it had improved the size of their groups.   However, in the game of hunting I rarely have found that I have extra time to not only range my target, but also dial in the yardage, all without being seen.  I liked having my 20-30-40 hard-set so that I can range a few items and make the most of a moment when a buck on the prowl waited just a tad too long.   

Not wanting to lose the versatility of having multiple fixed pins, I stuck with my 7-Pin Spot Hogg for most of a decade.  Finally, during the 2018 ATA show I saw first-hand the answer to my conundrum: Spot Hogg’s Fast-Eddie XL with a three-pin sight, now with a double pointer.   This sight was a nice blend of what I was looking for… almost infinite yardage adjustability, still with a fixed 20-30-40 pin, and a rock-solid design to boot. The addition of the new rack-stop on the slider makes it easy to quickly – and without looking – move back to my 20-30-40 configuration with ease. The MRT (multi-ring technology) is a very nice feature to boot.

All-in-all, you can’t beat this sight.  The movable dovetail base helps me to pack my bow up nice and protected… not that you’d need to, it’s built like Fort Knox; yet the precision machining allows me to reinstall it to its original position and know my sight will still be on target.  The MRT system helps me keep consistent sight alignment in varying light conditions. The reduced pin count keeps the sight picture uncluttered, while the variable yardage gives me flexibility all the way out to roughly 80 yards (before I have any fletching contact).  If you are debating making the switch from fixed pins to a moveable sight, the Fast-Eddie XL with a 3 pin head is a hard to beat option that can give you the best of both worlds.

For more information on Spot Hogg products be sure to check out their website at www.spot-hogg.com.

 

 

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SELFILMED 101 – Part 9 – After the Shot

Part 9 – After the Shot

So you finally had a successful hunt, you got the shot on camera, and your second and third angle footage is perfect. The hunt couldn’t have gone any better. After a long evening of getting your animal taken care of you suddenly realize your mistake. Amidst all of the excitement you completely forgot to film a post hunt interview! You wonder if the footage you have will be sufficient, but you know deep down you could have done a better job. We’ve all been there, and it is definitely a frustrating feeling. With a little preparation, these frustrations can be easily avoided.

Just like all of the b-roll you’ll want to capture during your hunt, there are a few critical pieces of footage you should try to get post hunt. There is definitely an endless array of shots you could get, but this article will focus on the following: post-shot interview, recovery footage, post-hunt interview and gear loading/exit.

The post-shot interview should be kept brief and shot immediately after the kill shot.  This is when the adrenaline and excitement of the hunt truly shows.  It should be a short clip, but it is an important part of telling your story. Often times, you spend hours and hours waiting for an opportunity at an animal and once it happens, it happens quick. As a viewer, it is hard to fully understand exactly what happened many times, so it is a good idea to provide a quick recap of the shot opportunity and how it came into being. There is no need to elaborate in too great of detail at this point, that can be saved for your post-hunt interview. However, it is often times a good idea to share your initial thoughts on your shot placement and your expected outcome of the hunt.

Next, you’ll obviously be on the recovery. One good shot to get at the start of this period is climbing down out of your stand. At the least, get some footage of lowering your bow/packing up your backpack. Once you hit the ground, it is good to shoot some footage of the blood trailing process, get footage of any sign that you come across, etc. If you see your animal drop within sight, it is still good to get some footage of recovering your arrow or finding the first blood. This process provides a great opportunity to share an “updated opinion” on your shot placement and likelihood of recovering the animal. Again, this footage does not have to make up a huge portion of your hunt, but always shoot more than you think you’ll need. It’s best to have options when you hit the editing station.

At this point, you’ve hopefully found your animal, and you are likely pumped…be sure to show it! Take the time to do a post-hunt interview with your kill. Walk back through the hunt, share any pertinent details on preparation that helped you be successful. Remember, filming your hunts is really just a great way to share your story and also relive it. So be sure to share as much detail as you can, for example: why you placed your treestand where you did. This detail is what helps make a good hunt great.  It’s always best to film more than you think you’ll use here. In reality, when you go to edit your hunt, you’ll edit out most of this interview since the viewer will have already watched it unfold, but there are always going to be moments of the hunt that you weren’t able to capture on film.

Last but not least, shoot some additional b-roll transporting your animal from the field and loading it, as well as your gear, into your truck. This footage helps to create a natural ending to your hunt so it doesn’t go straight from your post-hunt interview to a black screen. This type of footage is very easy to capture, but it is often overlooked.We are guilty of skipping this step as well, but have been working hard over the past couple years to do a better job wrapping up the story.  To capture some exit footage, simply place your camera on the ground in different locations as you are walking or loading your gear, and even as you drive away.  Just don’t forget to go back and retrieve your camera!

Like all things that are self-filmed, these tasks can be tedious and tiring, especially considering you’ll already be exhausted from all the effort you’ve put into your hunt. However, I promise you, the extra effort will be worth it in the end.  You’ll be glad you took the extra steps after the shot to capture the hunt in its entirety.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this, even though it doesn’t have anything to do filming, but make sure you take some time to get some great photos! Check back soon as we’ll be putting together a similar mini 101 series on photography, specifically with regards to hunting related photos and hero shots.

If you have any questions or would like further clarification on the information from this article, please visit our contact form and let us know.  We love hearing from our readers, and as always, we welcome any feedback or tips you have to offer.

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