After the Heartland Wildlife writers camp and bowhunt was over Jay Liechty and myself drove to the Ryan Outdoors headquarters. I had business stuff to do first. Jay intended to bowhunt.
Bruce Ryan had booked us reservations at the Middle Mountain Outdoors. This is a big sporting goods store with a convenience store, a restaurant with breakfast and lunch and lodges for hunters. They also are outfitters for whitetail deer, black bear and wild turkey. It’s quite an operation.
Matt Higgins owns the whole thing. He is a genuine West Virginia character. A fun guy. And a bit of a prankster.
We unloaded our stuff in our room and went to dinner with Bruce and Nancy Ryan. The next morning Bruce, Jan and I had a meeting about internet marketing for Jay’s company Grim Reaper Broadheads. Afterward Jay went hunting and Bruce and I continued our meeting.
Jay met Matt Higgins and Matt took him and his daughter Alicia out to bear hunt. They took an ARV in and dropped Jay off on a flat where 3 wide trails intersected. Jay climbed up 35 feet to the treestand. An hour passed and a young buck came up behind Jay’s tree and watched the area, obviously looking for does.
The weather was cool and comfortable and Jay had a good feeling about the hunt today. After the sun dipped to what Jay calls, “that magical time of the afternoon” Jay noticed a black blob 90 yards off into the woods.
It was a nice sized black bear and it appeared to be getting closer. As it got closer Jay noticed it was on a trail that went right by his tree.
The bear paused at 18 yards. Just as Jay shot the bear stepped forward and the hit was back. The bear ran 40 yards and went down. But in 30 seconds it walked another 40 yards and disappeared behind a tree. When it didn’t come out the other side Jay thought that it might have gone down.
Jay waited 20 minutes and got down to check it out while it was still daylight. When he got close he saw the bear lift its head up and he shot it again. It ran into some nearby pines. Matt sent his employee Jay to pick Jay up and he arrived just after the bear ran off. It was getting dark fast.
They tracked the bear 30 yards on a very good blood trail. Suddenly, 20 yards away, their flashlight beams picked up two glowing bear’s eyes watching them.
They backed out and decided to return in the morning to recover the bear.
Jay Liechty shot his West Virginia Grand Slam with:
- Hoyt Alpha-Max – set at 70 pounds at a 29 inch draw. He likes this bow. It is fairly lightweight and balances nice. The cams are not radical but it shoots fast. The loop string material is fast flight material and is flexible. It prevents bad arrow flight because it doesn’t torque the string.
- Gold Tip Arrows – the 7595 Pro Hunters.
- Lieca 1200 Range Finder – It is small and light weight. Easy to use. Really good optics.
- Carter Ember 2 Release – a thumb activated pressure release.
- ASAT Leafy Camo – Jay has had very good luck with this camo pattern. Animals don’t see him.
- Grim Reaper Whitetail Special – a 2-inch cut, 100 grain, 3-blade expandable. The bear took a step right as Jay released the arrow and it hit back further than expected, so it was a marginal hit. The arrow penetrated the bear completely and the blood trail was easy to follow. The bear went less than 100 yards. The turkey went 10 yards and the deer went 60. The exit holes were the size of a softball. This is a very strong broadhead, it doesn’t break or bend. And it is made entirely in the U.S.A.
This hunt is hosted by Middle Mountain Sporting Goods in Elklin, WV and and Ryan Outdoors.
Also Sponsored by:
This years Bowhunting.net Whitetail Hunts are Sponsored by: Wildlife Research Center: ‘America’s Top Brand’™
and Hang-On Buddy Universal Treestand Mounting System
and AZ Rim Country maker of the AZ E-Z FLETCH