Q & A - Arrowbender

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Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby Lockdown » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:37 pm

I was very surprised when Ryan asked if I wanted to do this.
To be clear, I just read RR7’s Q&A and find myself embarrassed to even consider myself a Beast style hunter.
In all seriousness I don’t even come close to most on this sight.
I maybe should have turned Ryan down but hopefully just one answer strikes someone in a way to help put a smile on their face or idea in their head.
Here goes...

1) In detail, describe your hunting style:

Compared to most Beasts, my style is Lazy.
I over hunt a few small private parcels and under hunt large tracts of public.
I exclusively hunt from a stand. I am very mobile and 90% of my sits are 1st or 2nd sits.
I have killed a few non-rut or pre-rut Bucks.

2) What do you feel are the biggest keys to your success?

I would have to say it is respecting the Doe families that inhabit my small private parcels.

Meaning that most of my buck kills are during rut. I can really pressure a property and by keeping as little pressure on the doe population early is key to getting opportunities at some bucks later. This; I believe cannot be overstated. No matter what type of pressure your favorite haunts get; if you push the doe families away, you will have a tough go at bucks during rut!

3) Which terrain types do you have available to you, which do you prefer to hunt, and why?

I hunt pretty flat ag ground in MN and fairly hilly ground in WI.
It’s not the terrain for me but the balanced herds of WI that I have come to love.
I really love to hunt the hills of Wisco for that reason.
I do believe that the hilly terrain makes predicting travel and bedding more intuitive for me.
I also find repeated use of buck beds more evident. It is really quite noticeable the more frequent use of buck beds as opposed to bedding areas (beds in WI/ areas in MN).

4) What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with Beast tactics?

It would depend on their age/experience. I think it’s easier to explain to; and easier to grasp for a beginner (in theory only, experience in the field cannot be learned).
But the most important thing to remember is to not take everything you see (or hear) here (Beast) as Fact!
I really appreciate that finally we have some fairly successful killers preaching it’s ok to hunt a spot (I didn’t say tree, although for a p.m./a.m. has worked ) more than one time a season. It takes more to bugger a mature buck from an area than most would think!
When I first came to Blood Brothers and early Beast, I would not dare speak of such outlandish activity.

5) If you have one, what is your scent control routine?

Because of my penchant for overhunting my private parcels I rely on rubber boots and super frequent glove changes. I wash my clothes in scent free soap and shower the same.
My routine is only for minimizing my scent once I leave the area. I have never tried to dupe a down wind animal’s nose! (can't be over stated !!)

6) On average, how much time do you spend scouting? Include all seasons applicable: winter, spring, summer, and in-season.
Not nearly enough. I enjoy it and it is for sure key. In season is by far my most productive and late winter and early spring is the greatest time spent but I’m sure it pales in comparison to most here.

7) When hunting bedding areas outside of rut, how close do you typically set up?

Nothing typical about it. Early season I have been under 60yds and last years mid October buck was nearly 200yds.
I do not always need to be super close If I think I can call them to me.

Conversely I also really think that the closer I can get to a bedded buck the easier it is to dupe him with the call. I have had several instances where I have had more aggressive reaction when I call to them from a closer set-up. Which makes me want to try that tack more often. It's a fine line though, I have also buggered some trying to get too close. Really is true for most animals, whether elk, turkey, ducks etc...

8) When scouting, what amount or what kind of sign tells you a certain bedding area is worth your time?

All the bedding areas will get hunted until I kill the buck or chase it off. Usually wind or access will dictate which one I feel will give me the best chance for that days hunt. Of course the number of hunts and the time since last sit will also play in to this decision.

9) Are trail cameras an important part of your success? If they are, please describe the when's, where's, and why's of how you use them.

No. I like to know who is around but I can’t give any credit to them for anything on my wall.

10) Name a few things you used to do in the deer woods that you rarely, if ever, do now.

Hunt with a gun.
Stand up in my stand.

11) Do you prefer morning hunts or evenings? Explain why. Also, is there a time frame during the season that you prefer either one?

Love early mornings during rut.
Killed my two best bucks before 8a.m. in late Oct, early Nov.
Would like to get back to hunting mornings all season but it really can pressure an area!
There really is not much better in life than shooting a deer and being able to relax and enjoy the extraction on a beautiful fall day!!

12) What is your favorite time of year to hunt and why? (early season, pre-rut, rut, post-rut, late season)

My biggest deer and most active days afield are definitely during rut. I would suppose it’s because there are more daylight hours when more bucks are moving.

My fondest hunts or most satisfying kills were during early season. I suppose because they tend to be more strategic or planned.

13) If you hunt/travel out of state, what is the best advice you can give to those who are new to it?

Carry toilet paper in your truck and your pack. Traveling can get you out of sorts.

Don’t be afraid to knock on a few doors.

There is a lot to be said for out of state hunts on the same ground for consecutive years. The whole drawing a tag every 3rd or 4th year has a lot of disadvantage. Keep that in mind when applying for points. (unless it's IA. There's Booners behind every tree there!

14) Is calling an important part of your whitetail tactics? Why or why not?

Yeah. You could say that it is ! Lol

To me....there just ain’t much better than duping an animal, any of them really, into thinking that I am one of them. Whether it’s ducks, geese, elk, turkeys or deer...... It just makes me smile!

The very best thing for me about calling (besides the rush of a buck coming in on a string) is that it allows me to set up close to bedding with out contaminating that buck"s normal travel route. I would like to think that gives me a few extra sits near his lair by manipulating his normal route to food. If he doesn't show; he will hopefully not cross my contaminated access route.

15) What is the #1 thing that you feel you need to improve on?

I hate feeling old.

Identifying deer I want to shoot. Now that I get to hunt a more age diverse herd (WI), I need to figure out how to either pass or get ready more confidently earlier. This is no joke. In MN if I see a "big" buck; It is a shooter all day.
In WI, it is much more difficult. There are more racks that look similar at a glance that look alike. At least to this old codger.

16) What is an out of the box tactic that you use and have success with?

Blind calling. Especially early season. No real bruisers killed this way but I have had enough action to continue to use it. I have had great success during rut with blind calling, but that is a lot less Out of the box.

17) What was special about your most strategic kill?

Hunting the same bedding area two nights in a row with the same wind opening week in Sept.
Saw my target buck barely out of range the first night, adjusted and killed him the 2nd.

I literally visualized my next set-up as that buck walked away that first sit and was pretty confident I was going to kill him. I euro mounted that buck and it is one of my biggest regrets that i didn't save that cape to to properly memorialize that hunt. It is by far my fave !

18) How much emphasis do you put on cyber scouting, and what are the tell tale signs that clue you in on where to scout and hunt?

Meh! Use it to get an idea but not much confidence until I get to walk it.

19) We all get that feeling when we know a kill is about to happen. What is the sign that you know tips the scales in your favor and you know that buck is going to die?

Used to be; once I saw a buck I wanted to kill, it just happened. Now not so much, but I still get the feeling it’s going to!

20) In season scouting is a hot topic. How important is it to you, and more specifically, how close is too close regarding burning bedding or compromising future hunts?
I try to minimize how much I run around during season but I really try to observe as much as I can whenever afield that time of year. Especially since I change up my routes to and from my sets.

I would like to get back to hunting mornings early season for this reason. It really gives great opportunity to scout on your way out. That being said; there is no doubt that in season scouting can pressure an area more than hunting it!

21) If you have them handy, provide as many kill pics as you see fit. Details are welcome if you have the time!

Yeah, Having trouble figuring out pic posting with the recent down time. I can add some later after more coffee.

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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby UofLbowhunter » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:39 pm

Nice read! :clap:

I know exactly what your sayin about the does on small properties. My buddies have complained about not seeing any thing after they went on a doe killing spree in early season! Who knew that would happen? :doh:
Bucks,ducks, turkeys,and bass!
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby WV Bowhunter » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:42 pm

Great read!! I think the thing I like best about these Q & A’s is, the proof that there is more than one way guys are successful. Would love to see some success pics through the years.
Luck is when preparation meets opportunity!!
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby muddy » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:48 pm

Nicely written
Leading the way for habitat and management information

"It's a good thing you don't need commas and colons to kill deer" -seaz
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:31 am

This was one of the best writes/reads so far! :clap:
Thanks for your time!!!
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby thwack16 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:00 am

Good stuff!

My private land strategy is much the same as yours. Always want to keep my doe family groups happy until the rut, especially since my private lands don't hold a ton of bedding.

I agree on the out of state hunts on the same ground. It's something I battle because I love venturing somewhere new, but repeatedly going to the same place is a recipe for success.
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby greenhorndave » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:34 am

I'm going to go back and read the whole thing, but Lockdown, I gotta respond to something you said in the beginning. I think we need as many of these as possible, so if someone wants to do one, why not? I don't think we should be turning anyone away. One idea in one Q&A could make *the* difference in someone's hunt.

PS - Yes, Andy (RR7) is a terrific role model that we can all learn from and work to be like. I strongly encourage everyone to listen to his Wired to Hunt podcast from a couple weeks ago. He's already changed my archery and arrow attention to detail.

Ok... On to reading...
Predators don't let mistakes deter them.
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby Grizzlyadam » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:13 am

You mentioned calling as something you have success with near bedding. Was wondering if you could elaborate a bit on that, like specifically what kind of calling (rattling, grunting, bleat, loud or soft etc)? Also how much attention do you pay to the terrain and wind with your set up so you don't get circled and busted from downwind?
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby hambone » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:04 am

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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby seazofcheeze » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:20 am

Good read for sure. For any of the new guys that dont know, Arrowbender has laid down some real slobs.

I agree with WV bowhunter, nice to see the variety of techniques and approaches is these Q&As, definitely more than one way to get it done.
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby Jackson Marsh » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:30 am


Good read AB!
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby Redman232 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:07 am

Good read, I've pickup tid bits from you on here as much as anyone else over the years. So thank you for your input.
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby backstraps » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:06 pm

Arrowbender thank you for taking the time and your answers. I have always paid attention to your post, thoughts and comments. I was hoping you would get tagged for the Q&A and accept
Thanks again man, good job :clap:
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:53 pm

Build the wall!
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Re: Q & A - Arrowbender

Unread postby Arrowbender » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:33 pm

Grizzlyadam wrote:You mentioned calling as something you have success with near bedding. Was wondering if you could elaborate a bit on that, like specifically what kind of calling (rattling, grunting, bleat, loud or soft etc)? Also how much attention do you pay to the terrain and wind with your set up so you don't get circled and busted from downwind?

I have used several different calls; meaning brands and types of vocalizations when calling near bedding.

During pre-rut and rut I use them all (cans, grunts, wheezes; not so much rattling but sometimes) and become a bit more aggressive, especially in the morning because you never know who may be on the prowl and heading back to bedding late. When I say more aggressive.....it's relative to my normal call routine. I still wait 10 to 20 minutes between routines. And sometimes will wait an hour, but mostly not that long.

My normal, or non-rut, buck bed evening sit calling is pretty basic. I grunt one time. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and call once more. I start this an hour or so before sunset and start out pretty low volume. I will increase volume through out the night if it is windy, but if I am confident that there is a buck in a nearby bed I stay pretty low key.

Remember; I feel like the MN properties the bucks don't frequent the exact same beds, but more general areas. So they don't always come from where I expect them to. Or at I don't expect them from an exact location but a general direction or ridge or flat.

As for setting up to preclude circling downwind...meh, it really hardly ever happens. Of course it is always on my mind when I set up and use what I can to help funnel them to me, say a transition or crossing, but of all the deer that have come to call, I can literally count on one hand the ones I saw bust me. Yes, most of these are immature or doe, but I just don't worry about it much. And I'm sure that I have been busted a few times that i didn't realize.

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