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Welcome to the 3Rivers Archer's Den

Archer's Den

Welcome to the Archer's Den. Here you will find a gathering of traditional archery stories, tips and techniques, trophy animals taken with traditional bows, and plenty more. Stay a while and learn something. We hope you enjoy and even submit a trophy of your own, or leave a comment on a post.

Tag Archives: Hog

How to Layer Hunting Clothes for All-Day Comfort

When you layer hunting clothes you control your core temperature in any weather

This story has been re-published with the permission of Core4Element. The link to the original story is no longer available.

One of the most important things a hunter must consider before going out into the field is choosing the best hunting clothing for the conditions. But even the best gear is useless without knowing the best way to wear it. The Core4Element line of hunting clothes is designed to be used as a system of three layers: a base layer, a mid-layer, and an outer layer. Dressing in layers like this allows you to control your core temperature in any weather, which helps you stay focused on the hunt instead of your clothes.

Layering allows you to prepare for all weather extremes, but there is a right way to do it. The first thing you need to keep in mind when creating your layering system is to abandon the thought of wearing cotton on your hunt. Cotton is a light fabric, yes, but it also traps moisture and chafes after wearing it for a long time. These are not ideal conditions for anyone, especially hunters competing with the elements for long periods of time.

Merino Wool Base Layers

Begin your layering system with a base layer. This layer will have direct contact with your skin, so you’ll want to choose something relatively lightweight, breathable and comfortable against your skin. At Core4, we create our base layers with 100% Merino wool, which is soft to the touch, anti-microbial, and has moisture wicking capabilities. Base layers should fit snuggly to make the most use of the wicking technology and allow for other layers to be put on top without bunching up. Depending on the climate of your preferred hunting area, you may want to consider heavier (thicker) or lighter base layers. Since base layers are pretty much impossible to remove once you’re out in the field, do your best to anticipate the weather conditions of your hunting grounds so you can choose the appropriate weight.

Versatile Mid-Layers

Mid-layer hunting clothes allow for a little more versatility than base layers because you can either wear one or several, depending on your comfort level. Mid-layers tend to be looser than base layers, but they do not need to be baggy by any means. The mid-layers are where you really control the body temperature. Adding multiple mid-weight layers for colder temperatures will better protect your from the cold than a heavy, bulky outer layer. Core4Element hunting apparel is tailored to an “athletic fit” to maintain contact with the base layer in order to optimize wicking capabilities. This will keep you warm while still being moisture and odor free. Mid-layers typically have special features to provide maximum comfort and breathability. Core4Element mid-layers often have underarm zippered vents and extra long front zippers for superior ventilation on all-day hunts. Layer the Mid Mountain Vest over the Selway Zip for extra warmth or use the Pivot Shirt as your mid-layer on warmer hunting days.

Protective Outer Layers

The outer layer of a system is going to be the most important layer in terms of protecting against the elements. Whether hunting in rain, wind or snow, Core4 has the high-performance, high-quality gear you need for creating the best final layer to your system. The key to the most effective outer layer is durability. Your pants and jacket need to be able to stand up against tree branches, rocks and whatever else you may encounter in the woods or backcountry. All of our pants and jackets are treated with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) to provide maximum protection against the elements. This is exactly what you want in an outer layer. Pay attention to the weights of the pants and jackets, as some are made for colder conditions than others. Pay close attention to the moisture in the weather. An outer layer protected by a DWR treatment will keep the rain and snow out for a while but if heavy rain or wet snow is in your future you’ll want a fully waterproof outer layer like the C4E Torrent jacket and pants. Torrent is waterproof, breathable, and just as important on the hunt, quiet.

When building your layering system, be sure not to neglect your head, hands and feet. Core4 offers Merino wool or synthetic options to keep you as comfortable as possible on your hunt. Be sure to keep your head covered on bitter hunts, as heat leaves most quickly through the head. Keep extra pairs of wool socks in your pack in case your boots do not protect your feet from water, as they should. Nothing ruins a hunt faster than suffering from soggy socks. Choose a pair of gloves that provides warmth, grip and mobility.

Layering is one of the smartest choices you can make on a hunt. Using the right method, you won’t have to worry about your clothing and comfort for the rest of your hunt, and that’s how it should be. Stay dry, warm and odor free when hunting with the Core4Element layering system. Ready to turn your hunting clothing into a system of specialized gear? Build your system now.

Tales From the Rut: Spur of The Moment Bowhunting Success

By Patrick Kelly

This story has been republished with the permission of Patrick Kelly, who, at the time of writing this article, was preparing to go on a bear hunt.

I was planning on leaving for my bear hunt early Friday (June 12) morning, but I decided to leave Thursday (June 11) instead, so I could make a stop on the way. I cleared it with my hunting partner, and got off of work around 7:30 p.m. on the 11th, and headed home. After dosing a sick horse with some medicine, I decided to go grab a battery from a light by a feeder, so that I could charge it and put it out tomorrow morning before I left, so that, hopefully, it would last through my bear trip.

“No sense in not taking a bow,” I thought to myself. So, I grabbed my Silvertip recurve, and one arrow tipped with a 175 VPA 3-blade broadhead and a lit nock and began the 1/2 mile walk to the feeder.

I got there around 8:30 p.m. and, wouldn’t you know it, there was a hog under the feeder who spotted me and took off – with a raccoon hot on his heels.

“Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained,” I thought.

I decided to back off into a small cluster of trees around 90 yards from the feeder and see what happened in the short time until dark. I promised my wife that I would head home by 9:45 p.m. to eat the steak she was cooking.

A little before 9:30 p.m. came around, and I was just getting ready to head out, and I saw a hog sneak out of the drainage to my east and make it’s way to the feeder. I figured it to be around 100 pounds or so.

I was wearing very faded jeans that seemed to glow in the low light, so waited a few minutes for it to get a little darker to make my move. I slowly moved to the west to put the light (a slow glow light, which was already in position) between me and him, and then headed toward the feeder.

The stalk was a little complicated, because between me putting on some weight and my jeans having shrunk some, they actually were squeaking when I walked, and the wind was dead still. I was also wearing a pair of hard sole Wellingtons and the ground had dried out considerable in the last two weeks in which we haven’t had any rain. I actually covered the distances sidestepping as quietly as I could, while holding my pants to keep from squeaking, all the while bearing in mind that a light wind could swirl at any minute and bust me.

I quickly covered the distance, and as I approached the light, I could see the hog, which now looked more like 175 pounds, under the feeder, and a raccoon feeding between him and the light. The light is not even 10 yards from the feeder.

Just before I made it to the light, the raccoon heard my slight noise, which the hog didn’t hear with his corn munching, and stood on it’s hind legs. He couldn’t smell me, and the light was blinding him, but he knew something wasn’t right. He decided to head for the drainage, and I moved a couple steps closer to the light, now only around 8-10 yards from the hog.

I could see him bending at the knees to get under the feeder, and I could see his front leg clearly, but waited a few moments to see if I would get a better shot. He was facing to my right, and he decided to back up to my left and step just away from the feeder. When I saw his front leg clear the feeder, I quickly came to draw and release. The nock lit up, but the hog took off toward the west (my left), banging the arrow off of the feeder legs and breaking the nock. I heard him circle into the brush toward the south and it sounded like thrashing. I thought that he probably was dead, but I texted my wife to tell her I was on my way to get flashlight, and that I had shot a 150-175 pound hog.

I headed home, ate some steak, and went back out with my wife and the dog to make a quick track and get started. Poor blood on the dry ground, but the dog found the hog in a couple of minutes, and I was pleasantly surprised with my very quick glance that the hog would go 225 pounds. I marked the spot, drove my wife back to the house, headed in to town to pick up a couple bags of ice, then came back to start the field dressing. When I got a good look, I was very happy. I didn’t weigh him, but I am sure that he would go 275 pounds. What a chore it was getting him into the truck. I really had to be creative.

I double lunged him, and he went around 50 or 60 yards, but no more. The arrow stopped on the far side of the shield and broke off when he dropped. Dropping this hog off at the butcher for my mother-in-law, but I’m going to really be needing another freezer if my luck holds up on this bear hunt.

Harvesting a Hog with Hope

This story has been republished with the permission of Randy Madden. Randy was shooting “Hope,” one of two bows made by Bob Sarrels of Sarrels Archery. The bows, Hope and Faith, are identical mirrors of each other – one is right handed and one is left handed. They were made with the express purpose of being donated to raise money for Trad Gang’s annual St. Jude Children’s Hospital auction. Every year, Trad Gang members donate and auction off hundreds of items, worth tens of thousands of dollars – 100% of the money raised goes directly to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. After the bows were made, they were passed around the community for more than a year to drum up interest. While he had her, Randy was able to harvest a prize.

By Randy Madden

I was recently asked if Hope had a new story to tell, and as a matter of fact she does! But I better tell the story, so she doesn’t tell everyone about how fast my heart was beating and how bad I was shaking and how I almost messed the whole thing up!

After gathering with some friends last week I almost decided not to hunt, but my wife said I should go because I only have Hope for a few more days. So, I headed out the door around 6:20 that evening. I climbed up in the same stand that I used in a previously unsuccessful hunt around 6:40 p.m.

My feeder had already gone off, but I wasn’t worried about it. The trail cam pics show that the hogs usually don’t come by until right at dark or a little after. With a storm front approaching my hopes that something would move a little early was high. I didn’t hang my feeder light because these hogs have been hunted and usually won’t commit to the feeder if anything is out of the norm.

So, I sat and enjoined the cool breeze, which was perfect most of the time with an occasional errant swirl. I watched the doves, cardinals, blue jays, and squirrels take turns running each other away to take their turn at the free golden bounty. I sat there just enjoying the evening, contemplating what to do about the coons that seem to get the most of what is meant for the hogs. As the light started to fade I texted my wife and told her that if something didn’t come in soon I would be coming home earlier than normal as I was concerned of shooting something late with the storms coming. As last light came I was mentally getting ready to start packing up. I say mentally because I have to make myself quit or I would have stayed until I got wet.

Then I heard the slightest noise to my left and not very far away. I thought “Oh great, another dang bait stealing coon”.

Next thing I know I see a hog step out on the trail to my left at 5 yards. This sucker snuck to within 5 yards of me and I never knew he was there! Always amazes me how quiet they can be when they have to.

Anyway, I was already standing because I was about to pack it in so I eased Hope off the hook she was hanging on and got ready. I couldn’t shoot because of a few limbs from the cedar tree I was in but all he had to do was take two steps and he was mine. Well, he just stood there staring at my feeder and smelling the wind for a min which seemed like forever then he turned and headed back the way he came! Crap!! I thought he was gone.

After another minute long eternity, he comes out at 15 yards to the left of my feeder and I guess he was convinced all was safe because he walked straight in and started eating. It also amazes me how they can always be broadside to everything except you! I watch him eat for a few minutes and every time he moves, he always stops head on. One time he turns broadside and I start to draw and he starts walking to the opposite side of the feeder and I almost let one fly, but it didn’t feel right, so I let down. This goes on for several minutes and all I can do is pray the wind holds.

He finally walks back to the left side of the feeder and I know he’s going to have to turn around to face the feeder to eat so I put some tension on the string. Sure enough he turns to face the feeder and stops broadside. He’s about 9 yards, head down, wind is in my favor, and I start to draw. I honestly do not remember coming to full draw. All I see is the soft spot above his elbow and the next thing I know the woods erupt with a loud grunt and string is coming out of my tracker so fast I was scared it was going to break off.

After what seemed like forever it starts to slow down, then it’s slowly but steadily coming out. Then it stops. Then it starts going slow again. Then it stops again. Then it goes slow again. The next time it stops it doesn’t move. I keep thinking the worst like maybe the arrow pulled out, so I give him a few more minutes and I call my wife and ask her to bring my spotlight. After she arrives we start the tracking job. We slowly follow the string while constantly searching ahead as far as we can see. All I can say is thank God for my string tracker. Due to the downhill angle and the lack of penetration (only got about 6-7” of penetration, and only got one lung, but my Grizzly broadhead did its job) I only found eight drops of blood in about 250 yards. At the end of the string, I was ecstatic! He was much bigger than I thought, he weighed 272 lbs.

Therefore, I had to recruit my brother to help with the drag. We had to drag him about 150 yards to get close enough to load him in my truck. That was tough. As I pulled into my driveway it started to rain. For once everything went right. But that’s why we do what we do. All the times we fail are washed away by each success!

Definitely my best hog with any bow to date thanks to Hope.

Hope, 54#@28″, Grizzly 175 grain Instincts on D/F shafts, string tracker from Chad Orde.

You can purchase Hope, Faith, and hundreds of other items at Trad Gang’s annual St. Jude Children’s Hospital auction – 100% of the proceeds are donated to St. Jude.

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