Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Allegheny County Airport Bow Hunting Program

The Allegheny County Airport Authority is piloting a program that will allow archery-only hunting in designated zones on Pittsburgh International Airport property.  Hunting will run Oct. 5 to Jan. 11 and will be limited to archery-only -- no firearms, according to an airport news release.

A lottery system will be used to assign a limited number of permits to hunters who submit an application.  Hunters who receive a permit will have roughly 2,362 acres available to hunt.

State Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Moon, and Senator Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, both applauded the decision to reopen a portion of airport land to archery hunting.  The two legislators worked with Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, the airport authority board and the hunting community.

"This is a good example of government at several levels listening to the concerns of the residents and addressing those concerns,” Mustio said.  Anyone interested in applying for a permit can visit

Friday, August 30, 2013

30 Yards of Deadly

I was shooting my Tenpoint crossbow at 30 yards last night, and it is spot on.   The system I am using (brace, BMF trigger activator) is so solid and provides such a stable shooting platform, that I have confidence in every shot. 

Now it's time to practice 40 and 50 yard shots.  Other people may out shoot me, but as a quadriplegic I'm pretty happy with my shots!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Doe Decoy

My Doe decoy arrived this week from Amazon.  I am really impressed with it and can't wait to use "Jane Doe" on my archery hunt in Illinois during the rut.  Hunting from a ground blind and in a wheelchair presents a lot of challenges.  Doe decoys can help focus a bucks attention away from the ground blind.

I like to use a doe decoy during the rut but not during doe season.  I have had a doe decoy scare away doe before and I feel they are more effective on bucks during the rut.  What are your thoughts on deer decoy's?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Girls are Out, Sunday and Monday

Thanks Adam for sharing your trail camera pictures with me.  It looks like you are in a good spot for the opening day of Doe season !  I'm sure the bucks will be searching this doe hang out in the rut as well.

Monday, August 26, 2013

New Home

This is my new fall vacation home.  I plan on spending the first day of archery season here.  By getting it completed yesterday, the deer have almost a month to get use to seeing it. 

My Action Trackchair should be concealed very well and with a little luck I can get a shot at a big mature doe walking by.  The Action Trackchair is larger than most power wheelchairs so the extra room this blind provides is great.

Thank you Ryan and Joe for constructing this for me!  I appreciate all you guys are doing.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wheelchair Trailer

Yesterday I took the trailer I use to transport my Action TrackChair to the custom canvas shop.  In 2 weeks the custom cover will be completed.  Then the trailer will need a little more welding to be finished for hunting season!

I hope to post some pictures soon....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

CWD Rules for Out of State HUNTING

The thousands of Pennsylvania hunters who soon will be heading off to hunt big game in other states can do their share to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Commonwealth.

Those who hunt out-of-state are reminded that Pennsylvania prohibits importing specific carcass parts from members of the deer family - including mule deer, elk and moose - from 21 states and two Canadian provinces.

The parts ban affects hunters who harvest deer, elk or moose in: Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland (only from CWD Management Area), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York (only from Madison and Oneida counties), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia (only from CWD Containment Area), West Virginia (only from CWD Containment Area, which includes parts of three counties), Wisconsin and Wyoming; as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Pennsylvania hunters harvesting any deer, elk or moose in those areas, whether the animal was taken from the wild or from a captive, high-fence operation, must comply with rules aimed at slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania.

CWD was detected in Pennsylvania for the first time last year, and those hunting out-of-state must leave behind the carcass parts that have the highest risk for transmitting the disease. Those parts are: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and any lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft tissue is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord tissue; unfinished taxidermy mounts; and brain-tanned hides.

"This is the first time that we've entered the fall hunting seasons knowing that we have chronic wasting disease inside Pennsylvania," Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe said. "But that doesn't mean we've given up the fight to slow the disease's spread or make its impacts on our deer herd as minimal as possible.

"High-risk parts are classified as such for a reason," he said. "And while we wish Pennsylvanians luck in all of their out-of-state hunts, we also ask them to make sure they're following the rules and bringing back home with them only the parts they're allowed."

Hunters who are successful in those areas from which the importation of high-risk parts into Pennsylvania is banned are allowed to import meat from any deer, elk, moose, mule deer or caribou, so long as the backbone is not present. Successful hunters also are allowed to bring back cleaned skull plates with attached antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; tanned hide or raw hide with no visible brain or spinal cord tissue present; capes, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if no root structure or other soft tissue is present; and finished taxidermy mounts.

CWD precautions

Wildlife officials have suggested hunters in areas where chronic wasting disease (CWD) is known to exist follow these usual recommendations to prevent the possible spread of disease:

- Do not shoot, handle or consume any animal that appears sick; contact the state wildlife agency if you see or harvest an animal that appears sick.

- Wear rubber or latex gloves when field-dressing carcasses.

- Bone out the meat from your animal.

- Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.

- Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field-dressing is completed.

- Request that your animal is processed individually, without meat from other animals being added to meat from your animal, or process your own meat if you have the tools and ability to do so.

- Have your animal processed in the endemic area of the state where it was harvested, so that high-risk body parts can be properly disposed of there. Only bring permitted materials back to Pennsylvania

- Don't consume the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils or lymph nodes of harvested animals. (Normal field-dressing, coupled with boning out a carcass, will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will help remove remaining lymph nodes.)

- Consider not consuming the meat from any animal that tests positive for the disease.       

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Walleye Fishing

My brother John did some fishing this weekend and sent me this message.

We headed West out of the Walnut creek launch Area on Lake Erie with Captain Chopper John in his 24 Foot Sea Pro. The 300 HP Yamaha  outboard  quickly got us into 60 foot deep water where the big Walleye live.

We trolled eight rods with deep diving plugs on weights and down riggers.  When the Walleye hit it's fast and furious dealing with that many rods but that's what it takes to bring em back !  You just can't beat a beautiful sunny day on Lake Erie !  And catching fish makes it that much sweeter !

Monday, August 19, 2013

Austin's First Buck

By Austin Young 

               It was 2009 Rifle Season in Potter County, Pennsylvania.  I was twelve years old at the time, and this being my first official year at "deer camp" I was very anxious. We settled into camp on Sunday night and prepared for the hunt the next morning.
            Day break came early Monday morning. A blanket of snow had covered the top of the mountain overnight. We bundled up and hit the woods. This year my dad and I would be watching a huge field, about 500 yards long, bordered completely by woods and pines. The stand we were hunting out of was something especially important to me. Uncle teddy, a very special person to all of us, had built this stand and hunted it every rifle season. He passed away in 2007, leaving us all very saddened. Teddy left the camp to his son, Kevin.  Kevin Sykora is like a second father to me.  We have always been extremely close and I enjoy every second I get with him.  He put me in his father's stand, which meant the world to me.  This was no doubt the best spot on the property for killing a nice buck.

                To this day, I have not experienced weather as extreme as the weather was on this hunt. My dad and I are not ones to give up, usually sitting from daylight to dark every chance we get. Monday and Tuesday consisted of freezing rain, hail, snow, wind, and every form of weather one could imagine. We stuck it out and hunted all day both days, seeing some doe, and small buck.  We had not seen anything big enough to take. Dad and I had to leave Wednesday, because  my dad had work and I had school.
            Come Tuesday night I was pretty bummed out. My first year at deer camp and I was going to go home empty handed. My dad decided we could hunt for about three hours Wednesday morning. I knew I could handle some more harsh weather if it meant killing a buck. The snow whipped its way across the mountain top as we made our way into the woods Wednesday morning. I prayed over and over that I would just get a shot at a descent buck. I knew they were around.  However they just were not showing themselves.

            My dad looked at his watch and turned to me, "About 10 more minutes buddy, then we have to hit the road." I knew the hunt was over.  My heart sank. Just as I started to pick up my pack and rifle I felt my dad nudge me. "Buck! Buck!" he whispered. I turned and saw a wide set of horns in the woods behind our box stand. The buck was no doubt on the move.

By now the buck was trotting out into the field, almost on a dead run. I picked up my .308 Remington and put it to my shoulder. Swinging my rifle out past the tree I got on the fast moving buck.  The crosshairs settled on his heart, and I squeezed the trigger. The shot felt good and I was reassured by Dad yelling "the blood’s pouring out of him!"  The buck piled up and I was overwhelmed by about twenty different emotions as I looked out at that wide rack lying out in the snow about 100 yards from the stand.

          My dad picked up the radio and let out "the eagle has landed" to Kevin, my second cousin.  To this day I still get chills thinking about that moment. I had just killed a gorgeous buck my first year of deer camp.

        I saw Uncle Kevin (who was hunting about a half mile from us) sprinting through the field in front of us. I climbed down and ran about 200 yards up to him. His hug just about took me to the ground. We celebrated as we looked at the buck now at our feet.  No one said anything, but we knew deep down that uncle teddy played a role in sending me that buck five minutes before we were to leave camp. As a young child I remembered sitting and talking to uncle teddy, cutting wood with him, shooting rifles up at his camp. I knew he would've loved to see me shoot a buck out of his old wooden box stand. But I also knew that he had watched it all unfold from his place up in heaven.  There is no doubt in my mind that he smiled from ear to ear as he watched that mature whitetail hit the ground on that blistering cold morning in the mountains of beautiful Pennsylvania.

Winner Winner, Bacon Breakfast

I was lucky enough to win some bacon at Sundays Ham & Bacon Shoot.  It seems the new gun mount is working out great as a steady and stable shooting platform.  This was my 1st win and I'm sure it's because of the new mount!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dick Zorn 3-D Shoot

Bow Bash August 24th 2013

Come out and support our Veterans and people with disabilities at 's Bow Bash !

Third Annual Mega Bow Bash
August 24th 2013
Rogersville Park, Rogersville Pa 15359

$20.00 per person, to shoot the event.  Non shooters and those sixteen and under free.
11:00 am to 6 pm, Gates open at 10:00 am
Food and Drinks will be available
Prizes every 15 minutes
Cash shooting prizes and children's events

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Disabled Hunt

I am preparing now for Whitetail Management Associates of Greater Pittsburgh's annual disabled archery hunt coming up in September. I started hunting with this group in 2010 and they are the reason I am back in archery. Prior to 1999 I was a passionate bow Hunter to say the least. That all changed with my spinal cord injury which paralyzed me from the chest down.

In February of 1999 I broke my neck in a diving accident and spent five months in the hospital and Rehabilitation Center, having several surgeries. I never thought I would be able to archery hunt again and it took me almost 10 years to get strong enough mentally and physically to try again.

I contacted Whitetail management and explained my situation. Joe and Ryan were more than willing to take me out hunting and understood my limitations hunting from a power wheelchair, using adapted equipment and hunting in a ground blind.

That first morning as my brother John and I sat in the ground blind I was both excited and scared. I had spent months preparing and practicing with adapted equipment and a crossbow in order to get back into archery hunting. It would not take long before a doe would arrive and give me the opportunity I was dreaming about for years.

I had a broadside shot at 23 yards and took it. The bolt found its mark and the doe quickly went down, I was back hunting again! Whitetail Management Associate's provided me the opportunity to hunt again and have been with me every year since.

I have harvested two doe and one very nice eight point buck hunting with them.  I have made several friends in the organization and shared wonderful experiences in the ground blind with some fantastic people. Thank you Whitetail Management for all you do for individuals with disabilities. I think of your group not only as excellent sportsman and hunters, but great friends as well.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bite Trigger

My buddy Ed is making me a bite trigger this week!  I will be testing it out on my shotgun this weekend at the bacon shoot.

My gun mount is very solid and accurate, the weak link is my arm movement pulling the trigger.  Using a bite trigger maybe the answer... for precision shooting.  The best part is I can keep the BMF trigger activator on and have my hand as plan B. 

Redundancy, One is none and two is one.  Having two ways to pull the trigger makes sense.  I hope to try it on Sunday!  Pictures will follow.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ham & Bacon Shoot 8/18/13 will be having a Ham and Bacon shoot this Sunday at California Hill Gun Club.  Sign up's start at noon and the 1st shoot goes off at 1:00 pm. 

12 gauge only, closest to the X and most BB's in a circle win.  Come out and show your support for Western Pa Wounded Warriors and enjoy a great shoot.   

Friday, August 9, 2013

Deer Feeder

Here is a great idea I plan on using next year for my trail camera's.  It is getting too close to archery season this year for me to put out corn, but you can bet this will be out next July.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pa Elk License Application

 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the restoration of elk in Pennsylvania! Hunters have until Aug. 25 to submit an application through the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS).
Applications can be submitted anywhere hunting licenses are sold, or online at the Game Commission’s website, Perhaps the easiest way to submit an online application is by clicking on the “Enter Elk Drawing” icon on the website’s homepage.
Applicants must pay a $10.70 non-refundable application fee to be included in the drawing.  This year’s drawing provides a greater opportunity for hunters to obtain an elk license. The number of licenses to be allocated has been increased to 86, up from the 65 licenses issued in the 2012-13 season.
The drawing will be held on Friday, Sept. 13 in the auditorium at the Game Commission’s headquarters in Harrisburg.
Names will be drawn first for the 26 antlered licenses available, followed by the drawings for the 60 available antlerless licenses.
Individuals are not required to purchase a resident or nonresident general hunting license to apply for the drawing. However, if they are drawn for one of the elk licenses, hunters then will be required to purchase the appropriate resident or nonresident general hunting license and view the elk hunt orientation video produced by the Game Commission before being permitted to purchase the elk license. The elk license fees are $25 for residents and $250 for nonresidents. 
There is no cap, or limit, for the number of licenses that may be awarded to nonresidents. Individuals who applied in each year from 2003 through 2012, but were not awarded an elk license, have 10 preference points heading into this year’s drawing if they submit an application this year, and will have their name entered into the drawing 11 times (10 preference points plus the point for this year’s application). 
As part of the preference-point system established by the agency in 2003, consecutive applications are not required to maintain previously earned preference points, but those points can be activated only in years that a hunter submits an application. For instance, if a hunter has 10 preference points, but does not enter the 2012 drawing, he/she will not have any chances in the upcoming drawing. However, their preference points will remain on hold until they apply in a future drawing. Once a hunter is awarded an elk license – either an antlered or antlerless elk license – the hunter’s preference points will revert to zero.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Deer Vitals

As we are practicing for archery season it's very important to understand the anatomy of the deer.  Shot placement has to be our goal for a quick, clean, ethical kill. 

Aim small, miss small, pick your target for the best possible shot.  Good luck!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Illinois License

I received my Illinois hunting license today!  I can't wait to get back out there with Ryan and LED Outdoors to try and take a monster buck with my crossbow. 

LED Outdoors is a first class operation and they have huge bucks that they manage and grow on thousands of acres of leased land.  Best of all, they are archery only and know what it takes to fill your tag.