Comment Responses

I’ve been away (busy) for a bit and haven’t posted in a while.  So I’ll respond to a few comments that I got since I’ve been away.

(In other news I hope to be re-sorted with my book and hope to have it out in two or three weeks, like I’ve been saying for months.  Curse technology!)

Neu Hombre:

Considering picking up a bow this year, so this was a great read for me.

Request a post on cable guards – roller type vs slide? Not sure what the pros/cons are between the two, and would like to understand that as I look at different bows.

Best new bows I shot in 2013:

  1. Bear Motive 6 – $900
  2. PSE Brute X – $450
  3. Cabela’s (Bowtech) Regulator – $550

So far on the new 2014 bows I’ve learned that I don’t like the 2014 Bear Agenda 6 ($900) draw cycle and PSE forgot that they were supposed to be making parallel limb bows.

2014 PSE seems to prefer inferior pre-2000 vertical limb technology.  Notice these two new $900 bows.  Look at how the Bear bow has limbs attached to the riser at the top and bottom, and how the PSE has its limbs attached at the front.

Bear Agenda 6 (picture and review here)

agenda 6

PSE X-Force DNA (picture and review here)

pse dream season

That’s pre ’00s technology.  And I didn’t know what hand shock was until I shot a 2014 PSE Surge.  (Dear PSE, the Brute X was great, too heavy, but great; make that instead.)

Read Hunter’s Friend’s Compound Bow Selection Guide for a good understanding of what too look for in a bow.

My dad is also looking at getting a new bow this year.  I’ve convinced him to wait until a few more 2014 models come out, but unless one is better he’ll likely get a Cabela’s (Bowtech) Regulator.  (And I’ll junk all of the accessories that come with it.)

I’m not exactly a technical marvel, nor hugely interested in how bows work, but there are some things I know.

The cable slide, or cable rollers, keep the cables (the non-string “strings” away from where the arrow will be.

Cable slide example (picture from here):

cable slide

Cable roller example (picture from here):

cable roller

The first thing that comes to my mind is that my 2007 Diamond Black Ice is great, except that the cable slide that came with mine busted after not too many shots.  Just like everyone else’s Black Ice slide.  And I went to the archery store, spent a buck or three and was all set, and have been ever since.  If you break a cable roller it may mean a whole lot more parts to replace and at greater cost.

Another thought is that some cable slides like those that come with PSEs and the Diamond Infinite Edge allow you to push a cable right out of the slide.  That’s not good when you are shooting.  But it is easy enough to replace with a slide that has the cables fully encased.

I am about to replace my bow string quite soon.  The reasons for this are: better before I need to rather than too late, and becasue my slide is just barely starting to wear on the cables.  (My 5 year old string still looks better than nearly all non-new strings I’ve seen on customer’s bows.)

My opinion on slides vs. rollers is that slides are simpler and simpler to replace, but roller make more [string wear] sense.  But any preference that I have for one or the other is not much relevant becasue I’d take a bow I prefer otherwise with the cable guide I don’t prefer over a bow I don’t like that has the cable guide I prefer.

Lance Burkhardt:

I disagree on the Muzzys. I bought a set that were out-of-spec and the trocar went down over the blades only with great force. Muzzy sent me a new set that I haven’t tried. Since then, I bought some Ramcat 125 gr broadheads and they seem fine at a fair price.

There are things to know about Muzzy fixed blade braodheads.  Muzzy compound bow broadheads need to be assembled.  The better they are assembled the better they fly.  (By “trocar” he means the tip that goes at the front of the broadhead.  The black tip.)  It is very easy to assemble a Muzzy broadhead badly, and it does take a lot of effort to get the tip down that last millimeter.  I assemble mine with as much precision as I can manage.  Nearly all other broadheads do not need to be assembled, and if you do not want to assemble the broadheads yourself, then you should get something else.

As for a “fair price”, nearly all broadheads are 3 for $40 except some Muzzys which are 6 for $40.


Ramcats do have two good arguments over Muzzy 3-blades: 1) a Ramcat is more aerodynamic, which should mean more accuracy and 2) The Muzzy 3 blade with a cutting diameter of 1 3/16″ has the second largest cutting diameter of any fixed broadhead (as far as I know) and the bigger the cutting diameter the more damage done to the deer.  Guess which fixed blade broadhead has the largest cutting diameter?

Ramcat Broadheads


If I were going to switch from my Muzzy 100gr 3 blades the contenders for consideration would be the Ramcat, and Shuttle T-Lock.  I’m sure that there are other good fixed blade broadheads, but those three lead my consideration.

Let me know Lance, how they work on deer.  I’m willing to change any part of my equipment if it will give me an upgrade.  But my Muzzy, with a perfect hit, gave me a foot wide solid blood trail for 20 yards before finding this guy in 2012, and six to eight other bucks have gone down to them:



I bought a Plano Bowguard case and it takes up a ton of room and doesn’t fit the bow with the quiver attached. It’s probably pointless buying a case that doesn’t really protect your bow though.

What’s the $200 sight you like? Spending less on a sight just means more agony sighting it in. I wish I hadn’t skimped on mine.

I have a 2012 PSE Brute X and it seems fine.

The 2013 Brute X was my second or third favorite new bow shot last year, I’d imagine the 2012 one is very similar.

As it turns out, you need a bow case and an arrow case, becasue the two don’t really mix well.  And it depends on what you’re protecting it from.

You reminded me in an earlier comment of the Montana Blackgold bow sights and I’m thinking of getting a custom sight form them.  .029″ green top pin followed by .019″ green, .019″ yellow, .010″ green, .010″ yellow.  But I’ll wait to make up my mind until after I get my string replaced.

I’m looking to gather all of the pictures of all of my bucks for one post, but I don’t have digital versions for each of them yet.

New pictures I have:

  1. Me, gun ’09
  2. cousin, bow, ’11

Deer Tim Gun 2009b

Deer Emily 2011 Bow 1


Whitetail vs Mule Deer

Whitetail Deer:


Location of whitetail deer (source):


Where the biggest bucks have been shot (in the lower 48):


Mule Deer (source for this pic plus following maps):


Location of Mule Deer varieties:


Differences to note:

  • Central/ Eastern N. America for whitetails
  • Western N. America for mule deer
  • Mule deer are more grey
  • Whitetails are more brown
  • Mule deer have bigger ears
  • Mule deer have greyish/ black foreheads
  • Whitetails have brown foreheads
  • [Typical] whitetails have straight G-2s
  • Mule deer have bifurcated G-2s
  • Mule deer grow no or small brow tines (between the ears)
  • Whitetails grow long, or relatively long, browtines



Mule (Source):odochemi


Posting direction?

Thoughts on the Conclusion of 2013

Today will be the last time I hunt the 2013 deer season, becasue I work through Sunday when the season in WI ends. An assortment of thoughts on the past year:

A point my dad learned is that we get little out of hunting the first week or two of October. Here in Wisconsin the archery season starts in the middle of September and the first week or two can be a good time to hunt. But after a week or two the deer seem to disappear until the rut begins in the end of October. Dad wonders if we shouldn’t be muskie fishing for those weeks instead of hunting.

My biggest mistake this past year was to put all my stands up in the same old places. We had a large scrape line in a new spot and it did not occur to me to hunt there until it was too late. I was too set in my ways and old stands to move where the deer were. The buck I did shoot was from the only spot I had not hunted before this season, and the first time I sat there. Next year, I aim to forget about where I used to hunt, and will put my stands in the places that seem best on the lay of the land. I’m going to adapt to my circumstances better next year.

My time working in a bow shop has taught me a few things. More guys than you’d think want to hunt with less efficient traditional bows, traditional muzzleloaders, and bows during the gun season. To get to be an above average deer hunter is not terribly hard; merely prioritize becoming a good hunter and you may well surpass your neighbors in ability and success. DO NOT BUY A USED COMPOUND BOW!!!!! EVER!!

Gorilla Treestands must have gone out of business this year. This is a shame because their stands were arguably the best, and half the cost of the only remaining quality stand on the market: the Lone Wolf Alpha Hang-On II ($250).

The equipment for your favorite hobby should be the best you can get. Saving a few bucks is no excuse for getting less than the best. Don’t buy cheap stuff and then complain about your failures. If something is your favorite hobby, then prioritize your funds to pay for the best.

Aluminum treestands creak in the cold and are therefore useless.

Metal ladder-stands are horrifically awful. You need to be totally out of your mind to buy a stand that weighs near as much as you do. Three men are the minimum for moving a ladder stand. I’m shocked no one was hurt with the one I moved this year. Don’t hunt from ladder stands!

Having all of your equipment ready to go before the season is great. If something was not great for you this past year, then right now is the time to find its replacement. Now, if not sooner.

If you wait until the last minute to get something, don’t be surprised when the store is out becasue everyone else forgot too.

I’m up to four stands where the first time I hunted them was the time I shot a buck there. I doubt the coincidence. My property size is limited and all the spots will have been hunted quite soon. I wonder if the trick is to pick, say, a third of your property each year to avoid hunting, so the deer always have a place to feel unpressurized where you hunt.

More, bigger and better tools should mean that the jobs get done in half the time. With my new atv, do you suspect that I will spend half the time putting things like food plots in, or have twice as many food plots?

How to Identify Good Hunters

As it turns out, there are three ways to identify good deer hunters.

The first way is to notice the guys who wear their hunting clothing outside of the woods.

“I’m a hunter, proud of it (or to cheap to buy another coat), and I don’t care about all the smells I’m adding to my hunting clothing,” they seem to say.

The next way to identify a good deer hunter is to notice how many of his hunting products have TV show logos on them. Because if you don’t have the logo of a TV show on each of your things, then you have low quality stuff. And your stuff certainly won’t attract all the deer and girls, or whiten your teeth while you sleep like stuff with TV show logos on them do.

The most important way to identify good deer hunters is by seeing if the guy has lots of stickers on his truck advertising all the companies from who he bought all of his stuff.

No truck stickers = Not a good deer hunter

That reminds me; always remember to wear hats that have the name of the company of the bow you have, or aspire to have. Otherwise I won’t know if you’re a good hunter.

Madison Deer & Turkey Expo

I went to the Madison Deer & Turkey Expo this past weekend.

Some thoughts:

Whitetail antlers that score more than 170 net are very big and not uncommonly killed in southwestern Wisconsin.

The Muddy treestands, that I thought were the best, if you ignore the price, have bad seats.

It would seem that Gorilla makes the best treestands.

Small tractors, used primarily for food plots can sell for more than $20,000.

There isn’t a whole lot of new hunting stuff to see.

Who buys all of the clothes with all of the logos on it?

I felt left out because I did not have deer related window stickers on my truck.

Several bucks scoring better than 200 were shot during last year’s deer firearm season in southwest Wisconsin.

A lot of stuff gets sold at those shows. I wonder if I’d want a fixed rate or a percentage if I ran the expo.