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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Any bowhunters here? on 12/09/2013 17:47:17 MST Print View

Specifically small game and/or upland game birds?
I'm transitioning from rifle/shotgun to archery and have some questions....

Thanks.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Any bowhunters here? on 12/09/2013 19:16:26 MST Print View

Just wanted to say that i also will be watching and interested in this thread. I have a compound bow that i practice shooting sometimes (not hunting yet, but will eventually), but i'm still very much a complete newbie/novice (and certainly can't give any advice worth anything, other than "no mind" when drawing/releasing ;) ).

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Any bowhunters here? on 12/09/2013 19:19:53 MST Print View

Tree rats are delicious. Trust me on this. It's not weird in other parts of the country,

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Tree Rats on 12/09/2013 19:37:33 MST Print View

I don't know much about tree rats but I'm careful of rodents in general. One survival expert published articles about how to trap and eat rats then learned about some nasty diseases that cooking won't kill and published a big disclaimer.

I'll be interested to see what you learn Craig. I've enjoyed archery in the past but only as a target sport. I never did much small game hunting but I like the idea for a backpacker.

Edited by Cameron on 12/09/2013 19:40:30 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Tree Rats on 12/10/2013 09:57:44 MST Print View

I'm sure tree rats are delicious but rodents are also a major plague carrier in Southern CA and much of the southwestern US. Squirrel is closed year-round in So. CA because of this.

I'm looking to go a little higher up the food chain for game animals and target cottontail, jacks, quail, and chukar. I'm hopefully going to mix a little hunting with an overnight this weekend but will be using a .22LR or shotgun until I can get a few arrow and point questions sorted out.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Bows and backpacking lightly on 12/10/2013 10:38:05 MST Print View

I haven't done any hunting in SoCal - seems like the back country is too impacted as it is, but long ago and far away, I was a bow hunter.

Compounds can be fairly heavy from a UL standpoint (though less than rifles!); recurve or stick bows are significantly lighter. A break-down recurve or stick bow will be easier to pack.

For the game you mention, I've used blunts and judo points, with flu-flu fletching. Zwickey judo points do tear the critter up a bit, but tend to stick up out of the grass/brush if you miss, making them easier to find. I prefer a hard rubber blunt like this:

http://www.lancasterarchery.com/x-spot-1-4-rubber-slip-over-blunt.html

Flu-flu fletching will keep an arrow shot at a grouse in a tree from flying to the next county!

And of course you realize that hunting, even for small game, will take time, and thus is seldom appropriate for hikes where you want to do big miles. And spare yourself some trouble by getting well off trail so you don't offend the sensibilities of others.

Good luck!

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Bows and backpacking lightly on 12/10/2013 13:12:09 MST Print View

Thanks Stephan.

I have judo points. I've been wondering about Snaro point for bird, but I know some people just use judos or blunts also. I was also wondering about flu-flus. I'm not even sure how well they would work with a 65# compound bow though….But I understand the idea behind them and I am a little concerned about too much range vs. small critters. I know people that hunt small game with compound bows…but you certainly can't shoot up into the trees. I'm mostly looking at ground animals though.

Definitely hunting off trail and out of sight. Not too interested in Angeles, but I've hunted Los Padres, as do many. Many backcountry roads are locked now, providing some good, solitary hunting.

I'm not on a "hunting to supplement backpacking food" kick. I'm hunting to hunt, it just might happen while backpacking….I get you about the time needed though. In my experience it's certainly not efficient for supplementing carried food from a weight/time perspective.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Hard plastic blunts on 12/10/2013 13:48:42 MST Print View

Work great for grouse, rabbit.

Even with a compound bow you can shoot blunts at a spot at the base of a tree (at max range) without damage if you need to check sight in while in the field. Close range (10 yards) and you may damage the arrow shaft. When I aim for a grouse in a tree, I move so the flight of the arrow will hit the trunk behind the bird, so I don't have to chase it. I like to fletch bright and would even consider the new led nocks if allowed where you hunt. I always bring blunts when big game hunting as grouse season runs at the same time and I do sometimes want to check sighting. You can carry the points in your pocket unlike broadheads.

I have tried turkey, but missed and have only some feathers to show. It is amazing how a bit of grass can deflect an arrow. I use broadheads for that. I wouldn't try shooting into the air or tree with broadheads. I prefer the travel or the arrow be limited, within sight, distance for broadheads. I envy the people that can shoot flying birds with flu flu's.

I use a range finder too and just figure I want to make the best shot I can rather than hurry, guess and miss.

My bow with 4 arrows weights 3.5 lbs and is set at 70 lbs. If I hunted small game only, I would drop it down 10+ lbs.

Edited by oware on 12/10/2013 13:55:21 MST.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: blunts, etc. on 12/10/2013 14:27:51 MST Print View

Wow, David, you must be a smart guy! I never did figure out the "line up the grouse with the tree trunk" thing - could have saved a few arrows that way!

Flu-flu fletching is interesting: it keeps the arrow going in a straight line by air resistance at the back end of the arrow. It does not stabilize it by spinning though. It makes the arrow lose momentum rapidly, so it's only for close shots. Small game is usually close shots though, so no loss there. Flu-flu with a compound? I don't know....seems like the fletching would get pretty chewed up by the cables, etc. On my old 50# recurve, they worked fine!

I think blunts generally work better for birds and small game. They are either out or they're running away.

I never used the Snaros, but if I was to try shooting birds on the wing, I'd definitely get the widest one possible - a shotgun for a bow!

I think your idea of hiking in somewhere and setting up for (isolated) bow hunting is a great one! Hope to see a post-trip report!

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: re: blunts, etc. on 12/10/2013 14:33:08 MST Print View

I've got a whisker biscuit rest so I think flu-flus are out for me anyway? I can't imagine they'd pass through it well….

I like the idea of blunts as I imagine there's less tearing vs. judos.

1

Thanks guys….

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
rest on 12/10/2013 15:38:14 MST Print View

No, flu-flus wouldn't work with that rest, for sure! Better just stick with blunts screwed onto your arrow!

Bet back in the day, there was a flu-flu that just used a ton of regular vanes, like a dozen or more, all mounted normally, instead of one long untrimmed vane strongly twisted around the shaft. That MIGHT work......

Or you could just get a real bow instead of that mechanical monstrosity you're using!

(Ducks behind tree trunk!)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: rest on 12/10/2013 17:50:00 MST Print View

Yeah, I didn't think so.

I do want to pick up a take down recurve at some point, probably in the 40-45# range. My bow is indeed a mechanical monstrosity...but it's the bow I have. I traded a ukulele for it. Long story.

I'll pick up some blunts, thanks.

I might finish this season out with rifle/shotgun and save the archery for next year as there's only a bit over a month left...we'll see. The beautiful thing about archery is getting to start a month earlier than everyone else. That's what I really want to take advantage of.

Nathan Coleman
(RockChucker30) - M
Re on 12/11/2013 06:31:55 MST Print View

Its good to see other hunters/bow hunters here! I shoot both compound and recurve and hunt small game, deer, elk, or anything else I can. I've done backpack hunts for large game but never for small game. I think a trip like you describe would be a lot of fun.

Ditto some of the others on judo points. Shoot them into the ground and you're good, though they can be lost in deep grass or if the arrow skips off a rock or hard patch of dirt.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
small game on 12/11/2013 09:31:24 MST Print View

I had marginal success this year killing grouse for food with trekking poles. My rock throwing skills are pretty comical, else I would have done much better.

I hunted with a compound growing up, and have been thinking about getting a recurve. A light semi-auto .22 pistol seems like a more pragmatic, though less fun solution.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Any bowhunters here? on 12/12/2013 09:32:24 MST Print View

I have never hunted. But my wife enjoys bow hunting.

Below is her latest kill.






































bows

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: small game on 12/12/2013 09:58:14 MST Print View

"I had marginal success this year killing grouse for food with trekking poles. My rock throwing skills are pretty comical, else I would have done much better. "

I suppose trekking poles are pretty good, but I'd award more UL style points for bagging one with a titanium cook pot lid, discuss style. :)


I'm going to wait on the bow until next season. I think I need some new arrows and points and don't want to spend the money right now. I'll be backpacking tomorrow night. I plan on getting up early Saturday to hunt cottontail with the .22LR. I'd love to take a quail but you've got to be pretty lucky to stumble on one with a rifle.

I've been on a pretty big kick about putting my own food on the plate lately. Between my chickens' eggs, garden, and fishing, I'm averaging about one fully self-sufficient meal a day over the last couple weeks. I want to add more of my own meat besides fish….









You wife looks like a real bow killer Nick. I take it she hunts Macy's quite a bit. (We should get out to the desert together soon!)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: small game on 12/12/2013 15:00:16 MST Print View

" I want to add more of my own meat besides fish…."

Keep an eye on your hens' egg production. When one starts to tail off.....
That's also a great incentive for the remaining hens. Nothing like a public execution
to concentrate minds, even chicken minds. ;0]

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: tasty birds on 12/12/2013 15:35:17 MST Print View

My boss had two feral roosters take up residence in his wood pile last month. Judging by their musculature and stomach contents they had been avoiding the coyotes and cats all summer. They made some very tasty BBQ.

I was blown away earlier this month at how good snowshoe hare tastes. Super complex dark meat, has to be cooked long and slow to break down all the connective tissue.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Hares on 12/12/2013 17:54:29 MST Print View

Not many people here eat jackrabbit, but I like it. I wonder if it's similar to snowshoe hare. Not many people make the distinction here, but jackrabbits are a hare, different from a cottontail or the likes.

I know cooking jackrabbit is the same; long and slow to break it down.
Many recipes I know call for par-boiling it, then letting it sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours with a marinade of wine and olive oil (with additional seasonings) to break it down a bit and reduce the gaminess. I know this sort of recipe is really common amongst Italians and in the Mediterranean. The grandfather of a good friend of mine is an old-school Basque hunter and prepares it in a similar way, typically braised after the long marinade.


Yeah Tom, we'll be watching our chickens...
One was recently eaten by a skunk or opossum. I had to kill another a little while back but was afraid to eat her because she was ill and we didn't know what she had.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Hares on 12/12/2013 18:26:48 MST Print View

I grew up eating hare ( and rabbit), pheasant, wild pig, quail etc. Some of the best, I mean best ever ragu was made with hare meat. I'll pm you the recipe if you want. Over tagliatelle or some other egg-based wide noodle pasta. Making me hungry right now.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Going retro. on 12/12/2013 19:04:51 MST Print View

I know several serious bowhunters here in Alaska, including one who got his last moose with a bow. Probably the most common use is on feral dogs (no gunfire in city limits, or if the feral-by-day dogs sleeps at your neighbor's house), but they'd be great at feral bunnies which have really taken off up here.

But let me propose a few, lighter options. As someone posted, a small .22 pistol is lighter and far more compact than a bow. Easier to use without massive practicing. A "wrist-rocket" sling shot is good to 10 yards with practice, maybe 15-20 yards with lots of practice. The $6 ones have a steel frame; perhaps some component of a pack frame could multi-purpose as the frame for the surgical tubing.

Potentially very light options:

I've played with blow-gunning darts from aluminum tent poles. As the pole-length exceeds 3 feet, it gets decently fast. A length of nail or metal rod inset in the tip of a 1/4" wooden dowel makes a heavier dart and helps stabilize it in flight. Tiny feathers or a streamer in back can serve as fetching. You know how the blow guns in the Amazon are SO fricking long? Like halfway to the monkey in the tree? We played with different designs in an engineering office and longer is always better. Out of a 10-foot blowgun, even a mini-marshmellow hurts. Multiple, nested tent poles might allow you to do that, with the only excess weight being the MYOG darts. Paint the darts a bright color.

And then there's the traditional sling. A friend saw a Afghan bean an eagle across a canyon with such a sling. With modern cordage, it could be VERY light. Practice, practice, practice. But not on eagles.

I've developed some atlatls from modern materials but I wouldn't suggest them for most things. Bows are more powerful and longer range. And the larger atlatl dart is overkill for birds or rabbits. I'd use a .22 or bow before an atlatl, although they were impressively better than hand-thrown spears.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 12/12/2013 19:07:10 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Hares on 12/12/2013 19:22:14 MST Print View

Be careful with those jackrabbits, I've heard about diseases and parasites and such with them, especially in dry desert areas (not sure why).
You know if you carry a whistle with you, when you spook the rabbit and blow on the whistle the rabbit will freeze and stop, giving you a chance for a shot. Kinda cheating but it works ;)

Edited by justin_baker on 12/12/2013 19:32:55 MST.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Hares on 12/12/2013 20:13:25 MST Print View

"Not many people here eat jackrabbit, but I like it. I wonder if it's similar to snowshoe hare. Not many people make the distinction here, but jackrabbits are a hare, different from a cottontail or the likes.

I know cooking jackrabbit is the same; long and slow to break it down.
Many recipes I know call for par-boiling it, then letting it sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours with a marinade of wine and olive oil (with additional seasonings) to break it down a bit and reduce the gaminess. I know this sort of recipe is really common amongst Italians and in the Mediterranean. The grandfather of a good friend of mine is an old-school Basque hunter and prepares it in a similar way, typically braised after the long marinade."

Sounds good. I like young jackrabbit BBQued after marinating.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Hares on 12/12/2013 21:31:48 MST Print View

How about jackalope?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Hares on 12/13/2013 08:25:31 MST Print View

"Be careful with those jackrabbits, I've heard about diseases and parasites and such with them, especially in dry desert areas (not sure why)."

Interesting statement coming from a guy advocating eating tree rats. :)

I think a lot of the fear of jackrabbit is hype.
Most western rabbits/hares/rodents are potential Tularemia carriers. I think that's what everyone is afraid of and word spread., though most don't know what disease they're actually afraid of. As long as you wear gloves when cleaning the animal and minimize blood exposure, you're OK. Apparently it's completely neutralized with minimal cooking. When cleaning, you inspect the liver of the animal for white spots/streaks as an indicator of the disease. No spots/streaks, you're good. I've never seen it.

The other bit of negative hype about jackrabbit is parasites. Again, I don't know what people are talking about. I think it's become a bit of an urban legend. I suspect someone killed a jackrabbit full of botsfly larva and freaked out…which can happen to them and is more common in the summer. But I'm not really sure how common it is. I don't know anyone that's seen it. When people say "parasites" I don't know what they're talking about. Everything is full of worms and critters on some level. But you don't eat those parts and with cooking, you're fine.


@Kat: I'll definitely PM you about a recipe.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Squirrels on 12/13/2013 08:39:40 MST Print View

Squirrels are hunted and eaten regularly in these parts. I spent a lot of my last backcountry trip talking about squirrel hunting with a couple of friends.
They went out of favor for awhile because of a scare that they caused some disease. I think the theory was generally discredited. Its my understanding they are good to eat as long as you stay away from the brain. Young squirrels are much better to eat. Older ones must be stewed a long time to be very edible. Kentucky burgoo is a traditional stew of the older squirrels.
As to hunting them, a rifle is the preferred method. Backcountry squirrels can be elusive (much more so than suburban squirrels) and are very fast. They are a little hard to get even with a rifle. A bow will be tough but not impossible for a skilled bow hunter.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Squirrels on 12/13/2013 11:32:48 MST Print View

The disease is Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) - a degenerative neurological disorder caused my mis-shapen proteins that is incurable and invariably fatal. I knew someone who died of old-style CJD (not variant CJD from British beef) - it is not a pretty way to go.

From Wikipedia (although I remember the medical-journal article*): In 1997 a number of people from Kentucky, USA developed CJD. It was discovered that all the victims had consumed squirrel brains, although a coincidental relationship between the disease and this dietary practice may have been involved. (Tongue in cheek comment: possibly coincidental because apparently ALL people in Kentucky eat squirrel brains).

*Berger JR (August 1997). "Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and eating squirrel brains". Lancet 350: 642.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Squirrels on 12/13/2013 11:36:32 MST Print View

"As to hunting them, a rifle is the preferred method."

I think a 20 gauge shotgun is the best/easiest, those little buggers really test your marksmanship.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: squirrels on 12/13/2013 12:08:06 MST Print View

Squirrel pot pie is a beautiful thing, though with our little squirrels you need 4-5 per pie.

Hunting them with a .22 and a 4x scope is the most sporting way, but when I want to fill in the corners of the freezer I pack the 16 gauge and #8 shot.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
@ Craig-Re: Re: Bubonic plague, etc on 12/13/2013 15:30:50 MST Print View

" but rodents are also a major plague carrier in Southern CA and much of the southwestern US. Squirrel is closed year-round in So. CA because of this."

According to this study by the USFS, so are jackrabbits.

http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/animals/mammal/leca/all.html The paragraph below is far down in a very detailed study, so I copied it in for you.

Human Health: The black-tailed jackrabbit is a reservoir for several
diseases transmittable to humans including tularemia, bubonic plague,
and Lyme disease [24,53,81].

Handle 'em carefully, Craig.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Squirrels on 12/13/2013 15:53:04 MST Print View

"Backcountry squirrels can be elusive (much more so than suburban squirrels) and are very fast. They are a little hard to get even with a rifle."

+1 It's a lot easier to hunt them, at least in forested areas, with 2 people. They will always scurry around to the back side of a tree when they see you, at which point one person goes around to that side of the tree and when they scurry back, POP! And yeah, they make great stew. Remove the hind quarters and simmer the rest of the carcass with onion, garlic, celery, or whatever you like until the bones are soft and what little meat there is falls off the bones. Remove the carcass, add potatoes, carrots, etc and simmer until done, remove veggies then thicken the liquid(lots of ways), return the veggies, correct seasoning, and enjoy. You can cook the hind quarters in the stew, too, but I think they're much better parboiled, dusted with seasoned flour, and pan fried. But that's just personal. At any rate, if you're worried about plague, it seems that all of the small game animals carry it and other diseases. My 2 cents.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Any bowhunters here? on 12/13/2013 15:54:17 MST Print View

Jakelopes look like good eating http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFsLNK85hPI

I must admit that when I looked briefly into bow hunting it just didn't seem as humane as rifles/shotguns to me. Not trying to start a flame war here. I hunted regularly into my late twenties. However, I would be interested in what people think.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Squirrels on 12/13/2013 15:55:59 MST Print View

"I think a 20 gauge shotgun is the best/easiest, those little buggers really test your marksmanship."

A shotgun sure messes up a lot of meat, IME.