Sunday, September 30, 2012

Buck Season with WMA

Whitetail Management Associates (WMA) held a special disabled hunt yesterday for myself and another hunter Bob. 

WMA had over two dozen volunteers who gave up their first day of the 2012 buck season to enable Bob and myself to go hunting.  These guys helped transfer me into my action trackchair, set up my ground blind in three locations, brushed it in and cut shooting lanes each time. 

They gently pushed deer by me all day but I was unable to get a clean shot as is often the case, due to my limited mobility.  I had deer and turkeys around me all day and had a fantastic day hunting, so it was a successful hunt in my opinion!

Again, thank you to everyone for all you do for disabled sportsman like myself and the conservation of our wildlife.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Buck Season 2012

My action trackchair "The Tank" is on the trailer, everything is packed from the list.  Buck season starts in the morning, my alarm is set for 3am not that I will sleep anyway.... Today's the day boys

Saturday that is...

Cover Scent

I will be using a White Acorn Cover Scent from 3 D hunting supply company this season.  I know my friends have used it with great results for whitetail deer.

I used it this past spring turkey season to control the bugs and was not eaten alive in the ground blind.  It's a great product, give it a try.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

1st Night Out

Tuesday afternoon I had the opportunity to go hunting with my brother. We went to a small woodlot that we have been hunting the previous two years.

We arrived a little late and decided not to put up the ground blind, we would split up and just sit quietly and see what came by.

About 35 minutes into the hunt a flock of turkeys came walking by. 16 birds, I could not see any beards but they were sure pretty to look at as they all ambled by. I think the wild Turkey is one of the most spectacular game birds in America.

It wasn't long before I spotted two huge groundhogs, well-prepared for this winter with an extra layer of fat. These two hogs were followed by a big gray squirrel who was happy to run back and forth in front of my wheelchair.

The Magic hour was approaching, I looked at my watch and it was 7:20 PM. I looked up again and a four point or six point buck was walking by. The daylight was quickly fading and I could not see if he had brow tines or not.

It wasn't much longer and the hunt was over for the evening. It was a great start to the 2012 archery season.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2012 Allegheny County Bear

The first archery season bear was taken in Allegheny County last week.  The 350 lb black bear is the first archery harvest of a bear in Allegheny County since the game commission started keeping records. 

I'm sure local Native Americans killed thousands, but to every hunter in SW Pa. it's a big deal. 

You can see the video and read the story here

Congratulation to 17 year old Aaron Hwosdow !

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Warm Weather Venison Care

From the Pa Game Commission....
Improperly field-dressing a deer carcass and warm weather can impact the quality of venison quickly if a harvested deer isn't handled properly warns Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian.

"After properly tagging their deer, hunters should wear latex gloves to remove the entrails," Dr. Cottrell said. "Great care should be taken to remove entrails without rupturing them, and hunters should drain excess blood remaining in the cavity. Do not wash out the deer in a creek. Wipe down the cavity with a dry cloth."

Once entrails are removed, the deer should be taken from the field and cooled down as soon as possible. In warm weather, the cool-down process begins when you field-dress the deer. To improve the cool-down process, consider skinning the deer and hang the carcass in the shade, refrigerating it or placing a bag of ice in the body cavity. Never place a deer carcass - with or without the hide on it - in direct sunlight.

If a hunter plans to process the deer by his or herself, the first step - after tagging and field-dressing the deer - is to remove the hide, which comes off easier if the front legs are cut off at the wrists, and the rear legs are removed just below the knee joint, with a saw. Use a knife to cut the hide from where each leg was sawed off at the wrist, back to the body trunk. Cutting the rear legs at the joint also makes it easier to hang a carcass on a gambrel or meat hooks. Hang the carcass by the large tendons on the back legs.

Next, the hide is pulled from the carcass, starting at the rear end and working downward toward the head. Peal it from the hind-quarters first, then cut the tailbone and pull it down to the shoulders. Work the hide over the shoulders and pull it away from the legs. Finally, pull the hide down the neck as close to the base of the skull as possible and cut the carcass free from the head with a clean saw. Remove the trachea.

The remaining hide-free carcass should be wiped off immediately. If you use water to clean the cavity or carcass, dry the meat immediately. Wet or damp meat spoils more quickly and is more prone to cultivate and nurture bacteria. Rinsing meat with water also can hasten the spread of bacteria. Any blood clotting and hair should be removed. It's also a good idea to remove large fatty deposits to improve the quality of your meat. It helps lessen that "game taste" some people dislike about venison.

Following these steps will prepare your carcass for hanging in a meat processor's refrigerator, or quartering and placing it in your refrigerator. If the air temperature is above 50 degrees, hunters should get their carcass refrigerated as soon as possible.

"Deer harvested in warm weather have a higher bacterial load, so it's important to dress the deer as soon as possible, transport it from the field and remove the hide, and refrigerate the carcass," Dr. Cottrell said. "Cooling the carcass will prevent bacterial growth."

Hunters who are interested in becoming more self-sufficient also can de-bone the carcass. The cuts are relatively simple and can be made while the deer is hanging or from a plastic sheet-covered table. Use a plastic fluorescent light cover for an inexpensive cutting board. They can be purchased at any home supplies store. First, remove the front shoulders with a filleting knife. This can be done without cutting a bone by cutting behind the shoulder-blade. Next, remove the meat from the shoulder with a filleting knife.

Hindquarters can be removed from the carcass next by using a saw. If you plan to have steaks or jerky made from them, don't make any cuts. Leave them intact.

Inside the body cavity, against the backbone, are the tenderloins, considered the best cut of meat on a deer. Use your hand, and a knife when necessary, to pull them free. Outside the cavity, along the backbone, are the loin muscles or back-straps, which also are outstanding cuts. Using a filleting knife, slide the blade along the spine to separate each back-strap and then finish each piece by cutting in along the top of the ribs and under the muscle to the first cut you've made.

The remainder of the carcass can be de-boned with a filleting knife. Try to trim fat from meat where you can and wipe off blood whenever it is encountered. De-boning can be done relatively quickly, but remember, every ounce of meat you remove increases your trimmings for sausage, bologna, meat sticks or other products. De-boned meat can be taken to a meat processor immediately, or frozen and taken later. Hindquarters may be frozen for processing later as jerky or dried venison. Steaks should be cut fresh.

"It's always a good idea to become self-sufficient as a hunter, because of the satisfaction you'll derive from processing a deer all by yourself and the extra care and quality control you'll provide," noted J. Carl Graybill Jr., Pennsylvania Game Commission Bureau of Information and Education director. "It also broadens your hunting experience and makes you more conscious of where you need to place the crosshairs when you shoot."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ham & Bacon Shoot

Yesterday Mark and I went to the W. Pa Wounded Warriors Ham and Bacon shoot.  It was so much fun.  The weather was perfect and its always a good time shooting with friends.

Mark is new to shooting but that didn't stop him from winning some bacon.  Thanks for giving me half by the way...

I'm looking forward to the next shoot already.  California Hill Gun Club (CHGC) is a very nice facility and is a great host for our shoots.  Thanks CHGC !

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Late Start To Pa Archery Season

Archery season started here in Pa on Saturday and I have yet to be out.  I know it's a long season but I feel like I'm already behind.  My tags are in my backpack...

Sat. was the bass tournament, Mon. was a Doctor's. appointment and Tue. it rained hard most of the day... If my schedule works out, I hope to be in a ground blind soon.

At least I'm shooting my shotgun on Sunday for the Wounded Warriors in their ham and bacon shoot.

Have you been out hunting? 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Whip Em Baits Bass Tournament 9/15/2012

I would like to thank everyone who came out yesterday for the first annual Whip Em BaitsW. Pa. Wounded Warrior fishing Tournament !  On the Monongahela river at Ten Mile Creek county park.

Everyone at Whip Em Baits worked extremely hard to put on this fantastic fundraiser to benefit local wounded warriors.  100% of the profits were donated to local veterans, $1850.00 !

I can't wait until next year, thank you all for making it a wonderful day out!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ground Blind Bucket Seat

Cabala's has a nice seat for you able body hunters who share a ground blind with us wheelchair hunters.  This 5 Gallon bucket seat cost $14.99, spins quiet and stores a lot of gear.  Best of all it doesn't take up much room in the blind.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wax your String

It's important to wax the string on your crossbow after every trip to the range or field.  It's just as important to lube your rail and inspect your string and serving for any wear.

I also like to check all my bolts after every few trips just to make sure everything stays tight.  And when it comes to important gear like the BMF Trigger activator , rope cocker etc. remember, two is one and one is none in the field, keep an extra in your backpack.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wash Everything

Ok the season is about to start, your crossbow is sighted in, new bolts and broadheads are ready in your quiver and your backpack is ready to be packed right?

Wrong, anything that can be washed including your backpack must be washed in scent free, brightener free detergent and Air Dried.  Never use your dryer or fabric sheets. 

Once all your clothing is completely dry, put it into a scent free plastic bag and seal that bag up tight.  Now this information is not new to most bow hunters but here are a few more steps...

Get a few packages of the scent away wipes and go over all your gear (wheelchair too) as best you can.  Your goal is scent elimination, that is the key to getting close.

Store all your gear away from pets, smells ect as best as possible. 

Shower in scent free soap before the hunt and use scent free deodorant. 

Fill your gas tank the day before the hunt not on your way there.

Get dressed at your hunting parking area if possible.

Touch as little as possible on your way to your groundblind.

Always hunt the wind...

Thursday, September 6, 2012


HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe said the agency’s public drawing for the 2012 elk hunting licenses will be webcast beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. To view the drawing, a “Live Elk Drawing” icon will be posted on the agency’s website ( for individuals to click on and watch the drawing.

“Each year, tens of thousands of individuals apply for an elk license,” Roe said.  “Unfortunately, not all of them can make it to the public drawings. And, due to financial limitations, we are only able to send notification letters to those who were selected to receive an elk license. By webcasting the public drawings, more people can view this drawing without having to travel to the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters.”

Beginning at 10 a.m., the agency will conduct the public drawing to award 65 elk licenses. Roe also noted that those who have submitted applications can check to see if they were selected, by Sept. 21, thanks to the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS). 

Presently, the status for all individual applications for elk licenses is listed as “Pending.”  Once the database is updated, which is expected no later than Sept. 21, those who were selected for an elk license will see the status changed to “Awarded,” as well as the designation of the Elk Hunt Zone and whether they were awarded an antlered or antlerless elk license.  Those not selected will see the status changed to “Unsuccessful.”

To access the information, go to the Game Commission website (, and click on the blue box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.  Click on the “Purchase License Permit and or Application/Replace License and or Permit” option, which includes the ability to “Check on the status of any Lottery Application,” scroll down and click on the “Start Here” button at the bottom of the page.  At this page, choose one of the identification options below to check your records, fill in the necessary information and click on the “Continue” button. Click on the appropriate residency status, which will display your current personal information.  At the bottom of the page, choose the “Check on the status of any Lottery Application” button, and then hit “Continue.”

“While this may seem like a lot of clicking and box checking to get to the information, the system is designed to protect an individual’s personal information, while at the same time enabling that person to check on the status of his or her applications, as well as their antlerless deer license applications,” Roe said. “Prior to PALS, the only way to know for sure that you were awarded an elk license was to attend the public drawings, wait for a letter in the mail or to call the Game Commission.

“This year, thanks to PALS, we will be able to update the data files for each individual awarded a license shortly after the public drawing is completed so that they will be able to see for themselves if they were drawn for one of the licenses.”

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trail Camera Pictures

Here is one of the bucks on the property I will be hunting this November with L.E.D OUTDOORS LLC located in Illinois.

I can't wait to hunt with Ryan again and have a chance to take one of these great bucks with my crossbow.

Ten more days until archery season here in Pa, its like Christmas !