A limited entry archery Utah elk tag means incredible bowhunting action this September. Follow along with us as we give you a daily report.
When the envelope came in the mail I had no idea what was inside. Finally, all those preference points and some luck had paid off. I had drawn a limited-entry archery elk tag in one of central Utah?s premier units, the Central Mountains, Nebo ? 314. Holy smokes! I have friends who live close to that area and tell me that it is full of elk, and that there are some really good bulls running around. I am pumped!
I decided that to do this right I wanted to find an outfitter that was both reasonable in cost and had a track record of success in the area. My search led me to Scott Swensen, ramrod of Pines Ranch. Scott is a full-time guide and outfitter, a houndsman and serious hunter in his own right. A couple of years ago he drew a muzzleloader tag for this unit and killed a bull that scores right at 370 Boone & Crockett points. His archery clients consistently do well, too, so after chatting him up I booked.
Now it?s time to get the gear ready. I began back in June, starting to tune a pair of new 70 lb. BowTech 101st Airborne bows with 28 ½-inch Carbon Express Maxima Hunter shafts tipped with 100-grain Slick Trick broadheads. Also on the bow are a Sonoran Bowhunting Products bow sight, 5-inch Doinker stabilizers, and Ripcord drop-away rests.
The 100-grain 4-blade Slick Trick broadhead is consistent in weight and quality, and flies like a dart.
I weigh all my arrow shaft components to make sure my finished shafts weigh exactly the same.
First I weighed all my shafts and broadheads to give me a quiver of arrows that weigh exactly the same. My finished hunting arrows weigh in right at 400.3 grains, and the 70 lb. 101st Airborne consistently chronographs them at 284 fps. That?s smoking hot, but the proof has been on the practice range.
I set the pins on my Sonoran Bowhunting Products sight at 109 yard intervals from 20-90 yards. The bubble level makes it easy to keep from pushing shots left or right.
During the summer I go to a little spot in the desert near my Arizona home five days a week at dawn and shoot anywhere between 20-60 arrows before work. I have sight pins set on these two bows out to 90 yards, and can hit a volleyball-sized bull?s eye pretty regularly at that distance. Of course, I don?t want to launch wildly at a bull at that distance, but what the long range shooting does do is help you fine tune your shooting form and precisely set your sight pins left and right at all distances.
Next it was find the rest of my gear. I have a Bushnell Scout 1000 laser rangefinder with the ARC (Angle Range Compensation) system that helps you choose the proper sight pin for steep uphill and downhill shots. I have used it for years and love it. I also have one of Bushnell?s new BackTrack GPS units that is so simple even a moron like me can use it. A new Eberlestock X1 pack with a system that allows me to strap my bow to the pack and release it without removing the pack itself is coming along, too. The Ameristep blind was pulled out of mothballs to make sure it still works (it does), my tree stands were cleaned and greased and I found all my tree steps, trimming gear, and pull ropes. Oh, and there are the calls. I have never been a great elk caller, but I have a bunch of cow calls to bring along. I also picked up a bunch of scent eliminating spray, laundry soap, shampoo, and deodorant from Hunter?s Specialties. There were knives to sharpen, ice chests to break out (confidence is everything!), clothes to find, boots to wear during my practice sessions ? list goes on and on. But then, you guys know all about this, right?
The proof is in the pudding with broadhead shooting. If I can hold this group at 50 steps, I am thinking both my gear, and my shooting, and ready to rock!
OK, I am ready. As I type this I am just a few days from blasting off. Why don?t you check back here at www.bowhunting.net and come hunting with me? I?ll be blogging the hunt every evening from Scott?s place, keeping you abreast of how things are going.
Though to be honest, if I roll a ?7? and kill a whopper, you won?t need to check the internet to find out about it. I am sure you?ll be able to hear my screaming coast to coast.