I can’t believe it’s that time of year again! Like many hunters, I am as giddy as a school girl about the start of bow season this weekend. I checked my urban game cams this week and came up with this picture of an awesome 9 point. I hope I am in the right place at the right time like I was with the big buck I shot last year. For an urban deer, I think this is an exceptional deer. Hunting pressure is low in most urban areas too so the big boys keep getting bigger. This is about a 3 year old buck and mature enough to shoot in my opinion. This Sunday, I am taking one of my new friends and fans of our hunting show, Michael Foster, hunting with me in hopes of bagging a doe or spike. Here’s my latest game cam picture of this buck that Michael calls “Mr. Big”!
As I talked about in my previous post, HCB is a non-profit organization which helps develop responsible and outstanding youth into young archers and hunters. HCB also promote the archery sports and our rich Texas hunting heritage. Our HBC 3D shoots used to be a “men’s only” club for many years, a place where men would escape the pressures and responsibilities of their family. While there were many father and son shooter or even father and daughter duos, Mom usually stayed at home. As officers, we have changed that and started a new trend. Over the past few years, we have invited families to shoot our 3D course together and we have grown in our numbers of 3D archers to over 100 participants each weekend we have had in this 2014 3D season. Each shoot, we have new families joining us.
The Fun Shoot is our annual fundraiser to fund youth hunting adventures and this year I will be taking 9 youth hunters to DB Hunting Ranch (www.dbhunting.com) for a hog and exotic deer hunt sometime after the New Year. These youth all qualified by volunteering their time on the archery course setting up and taking down targets at our shoots.
At the FUN SHOOT, the officers and other members work hard to get donations for our silent auction and raffle. We also host an awesome Bar-B-Que lunch and it was some of the best brisket and sausage I have had in the recent past. The fun part of this event is the competitions we have for both adults and youth. Our whole course is set up for “real life” archery scenarios, some of them very challenging. That is what I love about archery hunting, bowfishing, and shooting 3D competitions. In any of these you are constantly honing your skills as an archer and it is a journey, not a destination. The Fun Shoot is bittersweet. It marks the end of the 3D archery season for HBC and the beginning of archery deer season. I miss the 3D shoots when we don’t have them. These are events my son and I have a ton of fun at and I wish we had them all year! On the bright side, hunting season is arriving and I am sure ready for it! Here are some pictures of the event. Check out this awesome group of folks at www.hillcountrybowhunters.com.
I have been an officer with Hill Country Bowhunters for a couple of years now. I started off several years ago as the webmaster before a couple of our tech savvy officers rebuilt the website in the last year or so. It looks better than ever now (www.hillcountrybowhunters.com).
As the Youth Hunt Coordinator officer, I help set up hunting adventures for the youth who qualify to hunt in our Youth Hunt Program by volunteering to help our club set up and take down targets at our monthly 3D shoot during the non-hunting season months of the year. One of the goals of HCB is to get youth involved into archery so we set up at events much like the Sportsman’s Extravaganza which was held a couple of Saturdays ago by a church in Leander, Texas, nearby where I live. We set up both 3D targets and traditional archery targets and teach boys and girls as well as older youth how to shoot correctly and hopefully even ignite a passion in their lives for archery.
At every one of these events I have attended, I have encountered exceptional young men and women who are simply “naturals” at the sport. Encouraging youth to get into the archery sports is one of my personal goals with HCB and we accomplish this with every event like this we do. At some of our events, we have helped 300-400 young people get acquainted with archery in the span of a few hours! Talk about a busy day!
I love bowfishing. The truth is that I have not been bowfishing with my friend and mentor Marty McIntyre with GARQUEST Bowfishing Adventures since LAST June! It had been way too long. We loaded up last weekend and headed to the Brazos River, launching off of a private neighborhood boat launch. As soon as we turned on our HPS (high pressure sodium) lights, the action was non-stop. We took 79 long-nose and short-nose gar over the rail in around 4 hours of a bowfishing frezy. It was the most fun I have had in a while. So many fish to shoot and so little time to draw back, shoot, and reel back in!
This trip served a couple of purposes. The gar population is so thick in the area we were bowfishing that the neighborhood community welcomed us. We were also scouting for alligator gar. We didn’t run into any river monsters that night but we know they are out there. There is always next time! If you’ve never giving the sport of bowfishing a try, hire an awesome guide like Marty and shoot some fish!
Bowfishing combines the challenge and sport of archery, fishing, and hunting all into one! Check out Marty’s bowfishing adventures in both pictures and videos on the “Catches” page of www.garquest.com.
I love airguns. The ones that I own and regularly shoot are relatively quite and very lethal on small game, predators, and wild hogs. Going to an “Airgun Show” was a first to me but our show, Mac & Prowler’s “Coyote Tales” was invited to attend this show by one of our sponsors, Airforce Airguns. In my opinion, Airforce Airguns are among the top tier in quality and price in the airgun market. You can check out Airforce at www.airforceairguns.com.
This show was held at a sportsman’s club in Poolville, Texas. Ever heard of Poolville? Me neither. All I knew was it was a small town just outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The building the show was hosted it was small but PACKED with airgun enthusiasts. I had no idea this show would have the amazing attendance it did.
I met show hosts and the producer of American Airgunner, which broadcasts on the Pursuit and Sportsman’s Channel (www.americanairgunner.com). I also met and had a long conversation with Eric Henderson (in the grey Airforce Airguns T-shirt below) from Adventures Afield, a web TV show (www.adventuresafield.com). I had another great conversation was with professional outdoor writer Jim Chapman (www.americanairgunhunter.com). He has an incredible outdoor writing and TV portfolio and I really enjoyed visiting with him as well.
This show was off the chain. Not only was it all about big bore and small caliber air rifles and pistols but the shooting range was open and you could go shoot some of the guns you were interested in buying. The manufactures at this show had a blast letting prospective buyers try out airguns before they made the purchase. Below is a picture of Yvette Hicks and I with the new Airforce Escape airgun. Then, in another picture, Randy (Mac) photo-bombed us!
This was also an opportunity to reconnect with Mac & Prowler as I hadn’t seen Randy or Bill in person for over a year and a half, although we talk on the phone all the time. We are gearing up to do some new fun things with our show and broadcast on a SMART TV network that airs through ROKU and Apple TV in addition to our show airing on many different regional networks. Check out our show at www.macandprowler.com.
Opening season for dove hunting on September 1st, this year on Labor Day, marks the start to our Texas Hunting season and it is among one of the best times of the year. Last year I didn’t go dove hunting at all but this year I received an invite to a ranch to hunt with some friends. We hunted over a stock tank and had a blast. We didn’t kill that many birds but we did have more fun than I have had in a while!
This is Micheal Foster, a fan of my show and new friend of mine, and I with our load of birds. A successful time in the field hunting for doves is usually a good omen that deer season will be good. I am super excited to get this year started off with a bang!