“The bear, still not suspecting I was there, turned broadside to me. I loosed my arrow and saw it bury to the feathers … He let go a horrible growling roar and spun around and around, biting at the end of the arrow.”
Bowhunters often speak wistfully of taking animals that end up “Making the book.” In part II M.R. covers ‘The Book’, when it was started, the evolution and the great bowhunters who made it happen. Want to make ‘The Book’? Yeah, we all dream of doing just that.
M.R. James entered his first animal into the record book of Pope & Young and from that moment on he not only added more but went from a member to one of the important leaders in this vital organization.
You don’t have to be an elk hunter to appreciate the regal majesty of a rutting bull elk. The oversized antlers, eerie sounds of fluting bugles, throaty grunts and guttural growls can fire the imagination and touch the soul of anyone. M.R. James knows, he caught the fever.
The January Archery Trade Association Show, where the industry’s manufacturers unveiled their latest products and take orders from dealers revealed a less-than- positive consensus that “significant problems exist” in the archery business. Is the compound bow to blame?
For most bowhunters the drive is to put a good animal on the ground. Add to the trophy room, the count and the freezer. For some it’s not the quantity but the quality of the trophy and for even less, it’s passing on the shot.
2016 has slide quietly into the past and with it the bitter sweet memories. Every year is challenged with good and bad times but M.R. James who lived through the pain of 2016 reveals his views of what we can all appreciate about what we do and how we look at our world. I think you will agree.
THE DATE WAS October 29, 1965 and Illinois bowhunter Mel Johnson was about to write deer hunting history by tagging a World Class whitetail and World Record buck that still reigns as the best of archery’s best 51 long years later.
When that long anticipated moment happens and you find that trophy you have hunted, your thoughts should go to preserving the moment forever. Few bowhunters know more about taking good hunt photos than M.R. James and he shares this knowledge with us. Think before you click.
A TWO-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL WINNER; a celebrated gold medalist and archery coach; a world class target archer/bowhunter; and a champion archer/bowhunter/promoter were enshrined in the Archery Hall of Fame.
As he stepped closer to the decoy and into view, I began to draw. Wait-stiffened muscles didn’t cooperate. I struggled to reach the anchor point at the corner of my mouth. The buck was broadside now, under 35 yards. My bow arm trembled, the sight pin bobbing on his side.
It was Fred Bear, the iconic bowhunter whose legend still lives more than two decades after his death, who summed it up perfectly when he said, “A hunt based only on trophies taken fall far short of what the ultimate goal should be.”
M.R. James has bowhunted at least 35 states and seven Canadian provinces. From Maine to California. Manitoba to Mississippi and Louisiana. Oregon to Florida. Alaska to Alabama and Arizona. Newfoundland to British Columbia and probably given talks on bowhunting in just as many.
One thing about bowhunting that is a given, everyone misses. No one, not even the most accomplished archer/bowhunter will let an arrow fly with out a miss but M.R. James knows how to minimize the misses to be more successful on your bowhunts. And accept when you aren’t.
M.R. James discusses the ethics of how to release an arrow at a game animal. It’s a quandary many bowhunters find themselves debating.
NORTHERN INDIANA BOWHUNTER Gary Howard died in the early morning darkness while walking to set up his portable treestand. Incredibly, another hunter mistook Gary for a deer and shot an arrow through the heart at a distance of not quite 10 yards.
Annual harvest success numbers don’t lie. Undoubtedly, hunter discontent is increasing as deer numbers fall. What do you think? More importantly, what are you planning to do about it?
I’VE SAID IT BEFORE and I’ll say it again. If you hunt from a treestand without wearing a safety harness, you might as well wear a great big sign that reads “Yes, I’m stupid!” Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
What is your bowhunting IQ? Know what and where Fred Bear had his first bowhunt? Know who invented the compound bow? Who is The Father of the Compound bow? Know who Roy Case, Mel Johnson and Larry Bamford are? Take the quiz and see what you really know about the sport of bowhunting.
Jeff Samson was thinking more about picking blueberries than record-class caribou in early Sept, 2013. But as Jeff and his wife searched for ripe berries in the Middle Ridge area near Gander, Newfoundland, the sudden sight of a giant woodland stag feeding nearby snagged their attention.
Why do you bowhunt? For M.R. James the reasons are many, highly personal, and probably somewhat complex. But whenever he is forced to come up with the single reason that best explains why he loves bowhunting as much as he does, he usually answers with a single word: challenge.
Here are a handful of time-proven thoughts and tips from the bowhunting guru M.R. James, that have helped him and many other successful deer hunters fill their tags season after season:
The buck stepped from the tree line shadows. “C’mon,” I whispered. “Join the crowd.” And when he did, I was ready.
OKAY, I CONFESS. I’m something of a troglodyte when compared to most twenty-first century bowhunters. Need proof? Well, I pulled my first toy bow when Roosevelt was president (FDR, not Teddy!). And I was shooting longbows and recurves long before Allen’s first prototype mechanical bow was unveiled in the ‘60s. Fact is, I still […]
M.R. James knows a few things about being a better bowhunter and this month he lays out a few that will help us all succeed in the field.
M.R. James was asked to write a tip on what it takes to tag a big whitetail. He provided BHN readers with a bit more in this great article. Learn and take your big whitetail.
M.R. James has seen it all in his decades as an ethical, conscientious bowhunter and “Without respect and dignity, a hunter’s kill is a hollow victory. Without respect and dignity, the hunter will never be the better person he or she can become. ”
One of the most influential historians in the sport of archery shares some insight and offers 20 questions that will challenge most bowhunters.
Ethics is what you do when no one is watching. In this month’s column M.R. James lays out some hunting scenarios and asks you, what would you do when no one was watching?
M.R. James has always been a champion of conservation, game management and bowhunting and his concerns are easily understood.