Are Warm-Ups Really Necessary?
Q: In a previous issue of North American Hunter, I read a member tip about making your first arrow count. I'm always looking for ways to improve my bowhunting success and was interested in your definition of the phrase, "practice cold." -Howard Billingsley, Mt. Sterling, Iowa
A: I reviewed the hunting tip you mentioned and believe it's simply the author's way of expressing attention to detail before releasing the first arrow of the day. This is a great routine, whether on the practice range or in the field.
The first arrow of the day tends to fly astray if you don't loosen up first. My recommendation is to not shoot any "cold arrows;" instead, warm up first. Draw and aim the bow a half dozen times before shooting at the range or before heading afield.
Each time I draw I run through a mental checklist and make sure I have a solid anchor with the string touching my nose in just the right place. I also use a loose, comfortable grip on the bow. Then I follow-through and aim at a leaf or a tree trunk. In my stand I periodically draw and aim my bow, or do a series of isometric exercises by interlocking my fingers and pulling against them across my chest to keep my muscles loose and pumped up. It's my form of "cold practice." I believe it's always best to loosen up with a pre-shot routine to get your mind and body in tune with your bow. -Jim Dougherty
"Thumbs Up" For Whisker Biscuit
Q: What are North American Hunting Club members saying about the Deluxe Whisker Biscuit and its effectiveness with carbon arrows? If the responses aren't favorable, what rest do you recommend?
-Andrew Burris, Curtice, Ohio
A: I have several friends who use the Whisker Biscuit arrow rest, both with aluminum and carbon shafts, and their experiences mirror mine.
Quite simply, it is a super product! The key feature of the Whisker Biscuit is the fact that the arrow can't fall off the rest, no matter what position the bow is in. I've also not had broadhead accuracy degraded using this rest.
One modification many bowhunters are doing to their Whisker Biscuits is cutting away a small, V-shaped section of the bristles, then loading their arrows through this slot as opposed to loading them from the rear of the rest. This helps speed and simplify any second shots. Whisker Biscuit took this modified bowhunter ingenuity to heart and incorporated into their Deluxe Quick Shot model for 2003. Good hunting! -Bob Robb
Enough Broadhead For Bears?
Q: My son and I have an archery black bear hunt scheduled for this spring. I'm sure our setups are more than adequate, but we're getting conflicting opinions from various articles, books, and individuals.
Can you give us expert advice? Would you recommend a chisel-point broadhead for bone-breaking penetration or a razor-cutting tip that has less resistance and delivers deeper penetration?
-Dick R. Andersen, Herriman, Utah
A: I've guided bear hunters for 30 years in Colorado and Saskatchewan and found that either a sharpened chisel point or a razor-sharp, cut-on-contact tip will make clean kills on a large black bear if put in the right place.
Stay away from the front shoulders of a black bear. A bear hit too far back is more likely to be recovered than one hit too far forward. A bear's heavy shoulder and leg bones can stop or seriously impede even the best broadheads. Razor-sharp blades are essential for initial cutting and secondary cutting, so be sure your blades are in perfect condition and check them regularly.
My favorite bear hunting broadheads are the Thunderhead, Muzzy Phantom, Bear Razorhead and Steel Force. I don't recommend mechanical broadheads for bear. The heavy bones and dense fur found on a bear greatly reduces their effectiveness. Good hunting. -Judd Cooney