With the first day of fall approaching quickly I am wrapping up all my preseason preparations for the Pennsylvania archery season. Many of my friends have travelled to Tennessee and Kentucky to take advantage of the early season. I did not have the chance to travel to Kentucky this year but I have been very busy getting everything ready for the first day here in PA, which is September 29th.
Shooting all of the legs of the IBO gave me plenty of time to practice for the World shoot. Now that the IBO tournaments are over I have hung up the Athens Ascent and started tuning the Athens Altitude. The Altitude is my hunting set up for this year. My Altitude is 33 inches axel to axel, 60 lbs. limbs, and is dipped in Evolve Camo. This bow is a shooter! I have the bow decked out with an HHA Kingpin sight and Dead Center Archery Product stabilizers. The bow draws silky smooth, hold level, is extremely quiet, and is dead in my hand on the shot. I used this bow on my Axis Deer hunt and is was a dream to shoot.
The Altitude will be shooting the new Black Eagle Spartan arrows this fall. I spent a lot of time building these arrows. The Spartans are an 18 series, medium diameter, arrow. I am shooting a 300 spine Spartan that is 9.0 grains per inch. The Spartans come with Bohning blazer vanes, 26 grain stainless steel inserts, 10 grain stainless steel nock bushings, and 9 grain Black Eagle R nocks. I have pulled the BEAR Nocks out and replaced them with the new GloryNocks. My total arrow weight is 315 before I add the new 100 grain Grim Reaper Fatal Steel Mechanical Broadhead. That brings my total arrow weight up to 415 grains and gives me close to 70 lbs. of kinetic energy. I will be shooting a new Stan’s SX3 thumb release. This release fits my hand so well and goes off crisply each time I shoot. I am very pleased with this set up for hunting whitetails.
Setting up my bow isn’t the only task I have been completing. I have spent a few days in the woods placing SpyPoint cameras. After looking at a few different trail camera options I decided to give Spypoint Cameras a try this year. Spending some time on their website I decided to get the Force 11D camera and the Link Evo Cellular camera. Both of these cameras have been working flawlessly! The 11D takes crisp pictures and has a nice viewing screen. It is easy to set up and use right out of the box. The Link Evo is the best camera I have ever used! Spypoint offers an app for your phone that allows you to control the camera from anywhere! Right now, I have both cameras on picture mode but I can easily switch to video mode on the Link Evo from my phone. Early in the summer I was using Cherry Bomb by Saul Good Products out of Kentucky. The bucks were drawn to this product right away. It is a wonderful attractant to use in front of your cameras. Now that September has come I can no longer use any attractants with my cameras. This is why I have switched to mock scrapes. I am constantly getting messages on my phone from my SpyPoint Link Evo when deer are hitting my mock scrapes. The .007 trigger speed gives me great pictures all the time. Both cameras have a 2-year warranty and are worth every penny!
The SpyPoint cameras have been capturing many different bucks, on two different properties, where I am running mock scrapes. I am trying a new method this year by using grapevines as my licking branched. I found some grapevines by my house and cut them about 10 feet each. I drilled holes in one end so I could thread twine through them so I can hang them up in the tree. On one farm I hung the grapevine near three existing scrapes. The only scents I will use are Smokey’s deer Lures. On the end of each grapevine I have placed Smokey’s Preorbital deer lure and Forehead gland lure. In the mock scrape I put Smokey’s Interdigital Buck lure. This new method has given me a good list of “Hit List Bucks” to hunt! I am very confident that this strategy will help me seal the deal on one of the nice bucks I have visiting the mock scrapes.
Taking advantage of some cool days in August I hung all of my Advanced Takedown Treestands. Each of the stands have Stealth Steps on the tree leading to the stand. These steps are easy to hang, quiet to climb, and super strong. They also blend in with the tree so they do not attract any other hunters. Along with the Stealth Steps I have lifelines so I can use my Treestand Wingman each time I hunt. The Wingman is a must for any archery hunter because you can use it with any harness and it will keep you safe from falls and suspension trauma. I am confident I will come home to my family each time I go to the stand.
Over the past few years, if you have followed my articles, you have seen me in G-Force Evolved Camo. Just this year Evolved Camo was purchased by another owner. It is now called Evolve Camo and they are getting ready to launch some new products. The camo has been tweaked a bit and it looks amazing. All of my existing Evolved camo has been washed and treated in Nature’s Essence Products. These “All Natural” products are celebrating their 32nd year on the market. From Clothes Wash, to Body Wash, to Essence of Fall cover scent, in my opinion there is nothing better. This year Nature’s Essence added a new 24 oz. spray bottle of Essence of Fall. I will be using plenty of this cover scent this year to help me stay scent free.
The last step in my season preparations is to load all of my Buck Cages. Buck Cage comes in three colors, Green Camo, Pink Camo, and Orange. I load all of my green camo cages with buck scent, my pink camo cages with doe scent, and the orange cages with curiosity scent. Buck Cage allows me to use any scent I want and also saves me money. Each cage only needs a ½ ounce of scent to be activated. My favorite scent to use is Evercalm liquid. I always keep one Buck Cage loaded with this scent so I can hang it in the tree with me. The cages hold scent for up to 3 weeks and can be reloaded when the scent gets low.
As each day passes and I get one day closer to the season opener I am happy that I have all the pieces to the puzzle in order. The kids and I will be eagerly waiting to spend some quality time together in the stand. Whether or not we fill any tags I know we will spend some special moments together each time we take to the Pennsylvania woods! Best of luck to all who are in the woods already and best of luck to those waiting patiently for their season to open.
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