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    Tree Stand Safety – Don’t let This Hunting Season be your Last

    Tree stands are a very useful invention that has helped archers all over get more animals, however; every year there are 1000’s of people hurt and even some killed while using a tree stand. This is an ever growing issue as people buy tree stands and fail to get familiar with it or read the instructions on how to use them. So to help make sure that you greatly reduce your chances of getting hurt or worse, here are some safety precautions to keep in mind that will help keep you safe.

    There are many different tree stand company’s and a wide range of tree stand designs. It is not advised to buy a second hand tree stand off of somebody without first checking it over. Make sure you check it for any damage or excessive wear. Check for cracks or bends that do not belong there. If you’re looking for information as to how different tree stands perform there is a wealth of information on hunting forums or other hunting websites. Almost all manufacturers will be more and glad to answer any questions you may have about their stands.


    As men most of us know very little of the term Instructions. For most of us when we get new things the first thing we do is take out the product and throw the rest away. Well for those of us who are guilty of that, in this case reading that piece of paper or booklet called the instructions could keep you from spending hours in the hospital or save your life.

    The first thing you should do after purchasing a new tree stand is to read the instructions till you fully have an understanding of them. If you know someone that uses that same stand have them help you familiarize yourself with the new tree stand.


    choosing the right tree to hang a tree stand is just as important as knowing how to use the stand properly. The ideal trees to look for have strong, straight trunks, with no dead tops or limbs that could fall and injure a hunter from the wind. Trees with medium-rough bark such as oaks hold stands very well. Rough bark trees such as hickory, or smooth bark like birch trees can cause the stands to slip. Your tree stand should be put at a height of 12 to 18 feet as this is adequate for most hunting scenarios.


    You should always make sure the steps or ladder leading to the stand itself are free of snow and ice. Ladders and steps can usually be cleaned off by a gloved hand. The steps or rungs of the ladder should be coated with some no slip tape to provide you with a better and safer surface to work with. The floor of the tree stand should also be clear of snow and ice to ensure a proper footing(it wouldn’t hurt to put non slip tape on it as well).


    Basically put hunting without a safety belt and harness is just asking for trouble , you may get lucky a few times but you will end up getting hurt. Safety Belts and Harnesses are NOT an option for tree stand hunters they are a NECESSITY. Many stands come new with belts and harnesses supplied in the box that the tree stand comes in.

    Today’s belts and harnesses come in a variety of designs in order to fit your hunting style and preference. You need to read the instructions that are included with your safety harnesses/belts and be familiar with the proper use of each of them. I can tell you right now that 18 feet in the air is no place to learn how to use them.

    When buying your tree stand be sure to look for the Tree stand Manufacturers Association sticker. Always familiarize yourself with your new tree stand at ground level before using it out in the woods. Always learn what your new tree stands strengths and limitations are.

    If you can, always try to use a full body harness. If you must use a safety belt make sure it is strapped right at your underarms and not your waist. The attachment of your belt or harness around the tree should be above you and around the main trunk of the tree. There is no need to have to have the belt/harness so tight that you can’t move, make sure that there is enough slack to allow you to move easily and yet not too much to be unsafe.

    When installing ladder stands, or even using a ladder make sure that it is on level ground and that the ladder/stands are safely tied to the trunk of the tree to prevent them from shifting or falling over.

    ALWAYS use a safety restraint while putting up your tree stand. They make the job a whole lot easier and safer. You will also want to inspect both the stands and safety gear before each use for flaws and damage that could have occurred.

    Always use a rope to hoist and lower your bow and equipment up to stand once you are settled in and ready this will leave you with both hands for climbing and will cut down on the chance of you hurting yourself with your weapon. Never modify a commercially made stand or safety device. It was designed that way because it produces the optimal performance.

    All in all this is nothing more than common sense, even though today its not very common but if you use it it will make your hunting trip and experience a lot safer and enjoyable.

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    Will Shooting without a Peep Sight Benefit you?

    A vast majority of archer’s today whether hunters or competitive shooters use peep sights. Basically for those of you who don’t know what that is, it is a doughnut looking piece of plastic that fits in between the string so that when you draw the bow you have a specific hole to look through and aim. While this method works very well and has been in use for years there are a few things about peep sights that may start you thinking about going peep-less.

    You may be thinking I’m crazy right now and don’t worry I felt the same way when I was told I should try it. I had been shooting for over 5 years with a peep and the sudden notion that I should try going without it seemed like a pretty crazy idea. Needless to say I switched and to be absolutely honest I would NEVER go back to using a peep.

    Let me explain to you why this is, you see after shooting with a peep for so long and then switching to peep-less you begin to realize the advantages of doing such, as it eliminates two of the problems that come with a peep.

    The biggest problem I found when shooting with a peep was that frequently the peep would twist and move as the string started to stretch and wear, or even in temperature changes. For those of you who are new to this sport this may not sound like a big issue but imagine pulling up on an animal or target and at full draw you go to aim and your peep sight has twisted so that your staring at the side of it or on an angle rendering your ability to aim useless. Its actually quite frustrating. Moving to peep-less completely takes that problem away as there is no more peep to twist or move.

    The next problem I found I would sometimes run into was that with only being able to use one eye it restricts the detail of your view especially as it becomes darker. As it becomes darker the amount of light that enters that little hole is dropped quite a bit and it really becomes much harder for your one eye to be able to focus on the intended target. Using only one eye to aim really kills your depth perception as well.

    Although peeps weigh very little when they are eliminated from the bowstring there is a noticeable change in the amount of vibration and speed in the bow. For example a small peep sight will take away anywhere from 3-5fps and that is without the tube to keep it from turning, while a bigger peeps with the elastic tube could take as much as 8-10fps away.

    The biggest thing to remember when going peep-less is FORM,FORM,FORM. The reason for this is that there is no longer a hole that you can line up with your eye to let you know that you are aiming with the form that you sighted in with. For this reason you must develop an anchor point that you can repeat every time you draw your bow. For me I have 2 anchor points one is putting my index knuckle behind my ear lobe and the second one is resting the string on the tip of my nose.

    By doing this I know that every time I draw my bow I will have the same form. Going peep-less is not in the least bit necessary. Its going to be one of those things that you either like it or you don’t. But its definitely something I would suggest even just to try, you never know it may just be what you need to improve your shooting.

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    How to Determine your Drawlength

    Determining your draw-length is a crucial part of archery. If you have a bow that is too long or short in draw-length your shot will be negatively affected. It is a very easy process to find your draw-length and I will show you in these next few steps.

    1. What you need is an arrow shaft with no point on it.

    2. Get a tape measure and mark lines on the arrow for every inch after 15″.

    3. When you have finished marking the arrow, your going to take the arrow and place the back end of it in the part of your neck just above your collar bone.

    4.Then extend both of your arms until they are at a comfortable length. Make sure you do not try to stretch your arms out for added length you just want it so that your arms are stretched to a comfortable length.

    5.Record the results of your measurement.

    This measurement represents your “true draw-length” However when purchasing a bow you need a bow that will be 1″ less than your “true draw”.  Knowing this measurement will ensure that you get a bow that not only fits you but has the potential to maximize your shooting potential.

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    How to Determine your Dominant Eye

    Just like hunting with a gun, in archery you will need to determine which eye is your dominant eye for shooting a bow.  This is a very simple yet effective tutorial that will teach you how to easily determine your dominant eye.

    1. Make a triangle with both of your hands by overlapping your thumbs and the top half of your fingers.

    2 Put your arms out in front of you and pick a target in the distance to look at

    3 Look through the triangle made by your hands and look at the target.

    4 Keep your hand-triangle small enough so that only one eye will be able to look through it when your hand has reached your face.

    5 Keep both eyes open throughout this procedure.

    6 Move your hands back to your face, still looking at the target through your hands. Make note as to which eye you find your hands gravitating towards.

    7 Just to make sure you can repeat the process, holding the triangle at arms distance again and closing your non-dominant eye. The target should remain centered in the opening.

    The result will be your dominant eye which means that this is the eye that you will be aiming with when shooting your bow.

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    How to Survive in the Wilderness

    Getting lost can be a very nerve racking experience especially when you are all alone out in the wilderness and night starts rolling in. People who get lost usually do so because they are ill prepared or because they don’t know how to use the tools available to them.

    Being a hunter if you do get lost you should have a day pack with you that will have tools and rations in it that will give you an advantage in surviving, if not then it may be a little harder for you. You may be thinking, how do I survive, and what should I do to find my way out of the bush.

    *NOTE: Before going into any forest or wooded area make sure to take a reading of the location of a road, camp or any other landmark so that if you do get lost you’ll be able to easier find your way back to a main road or your camp using your compass.


    One of the biggest reasons that people get into trouble when they get lost is because they panic. The most important thing to remember when you find that you have no idea where you are, is to STAY CALM and dont panic. People who start panicking and freaking out start to run in every direction not only becoming more lost but also causing the body to lose energy and water that you will need to conserve.

    Panicking also causes you to lose your ability to think clearly and rationally which is ultimately whats going to keep you alive. If you do in fact get turned around instead of losing it just stop and analyze your surroundings.

    As you analyze your surroundings you should be looking for anything that can be used as a shelter. Shelter can be found in openings in cliffs or under a group of pine trees or even under a fallen tree. You basically want anything that will keep the wind and rain/snow off of you as the nights do get fairly cool.

    Once you find shelter you may need to fix it up a little, what works very well is lushgreen pine branches. Break or cut off as many as you need and lean them up against or on top of your shelter to keep you dry.


    Now that you have found shelter you need to start a fire in order to keep warm throughout the night. Depending on the weather things may be dry or wet. Now if you have fire-starters in your pack, that’s a bonus, if not then you need to gather easily combustible materials such as pine needles, dead grass, leaves, etc. to start a fire, and then some twigs and small branches in order to keep it going.

    In the event that it has just rained or snowed and these items are frozen or wet then you\’re going to have to look a little harder for these materials that are dry. Look for these items under trees that have a lot of foliage or under fallen trees. Once you get a small fire going you can gather some bigger stuff for fuel, starting out with some softwood and working up to hardwood that will burn for a longer period of time.


    Whether you think you need it or not your going to need to get some sleep. The reason for this is that when you become tired your mind isn’t as able to think logically and you begin to lose your the accuracy of your motor skills. Rest revitalizes your body and mind and that way your mental focus and alertness will be renewed and you can function more effectively and efficiently.

    Never go to sleep in wet clothing your body will lose more heat and use a greater amount of energy trying to keep you warm. Instead take off your wet clothes and lay them by the fire to dry up. Use your coat or space blanket to cover you up.


    Chances are that you are not very far from your camp or intended destination, which you often may miss in the dark. So after a night of tried rest you will now have a better overall view of your complete surroundings. It is now going to be your mission to find out where you are and where you have to go. Now if you were smart enough get a compass bearing of your camp or a road or another can’t miss object then finding your way should be fairly simple just follow your compass.

    If you forgot then your best chances are to signal fire that can be made by throwing living grass leaves or other living vegetation into the fire. Next find the highest ground possible, even if it means climbing a tree. More than likely doing this will help you to see a land mark or smoke from your camp site or something that you will remember and you can follow. Before getting down from your high spot take a compass bearing that you can follow once you get down.

    *NOTE If you are hurt and unable to move around or if you do not see anything upon getting to higher ground then your best bet is to stay where you are and keep the signal fire going. Also grab out your signaling mirror or anything metal that will create a glare in the sun because you may be there for a while.

    Finding water is going to be crucial to your survival if you are lost for more than a day. Finding water out in the wilderness can be tough but is achievable if you know what to look for. Keep your eye out for lush greenery or a gathering of birds as this usually means a water source is nearby.

    Common areas for water are: ponds,lakes,rivers,streams,rain/snow, and dew/condensation. Try to get water that hasn’t been sitting for awhile like in swamps or puddles, look instead for faster moving water such as streams or rivers. Another option is if you have a plastic bag tie it around a tree branch with a lot of leaves on it.

    When the sun hits the bag the heat will draw the water from the leaves and condense in the bag leaving you with drinkable water. You can do the same with morning dew, take a piece of clean cloth and soak the cloth in the dew then squeeze the water from the rag into your mouth.

    It is very important to note that all water sources are not drinkable as they are some need to be purified, you should never drink any water without at least first boiling it first unless there is no other choice as there bacteria and minerals that are harmful to the body.

    There are 3 things you can do to clean the water up and reduce the risk of getting sick from drinking it.


    This will get rid of any sediment or objects that may be floating in the water. This can as simple as putting the water through a piece of clothing, or anything else that is porous.


    This is a very important step as boiling the water will actually kill the germs and bacteria in the water. It is important to note that boiling the water can not guarantee the EVERYTHING has been killed in the water but usually its enough to make it safe.


    If you have any water purification tablets or any iodine that you can put into the water, this will increase the chances that everything will be killed in the water that may make you ill, if not and the times are desperate than boiling the water is for the most part good enough.


    Finding food is essential to a humans survival. The most important things are protein and fats which is commonly found in meat, fish and bugs such as termites, grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, grubs, etc. note* Unless familiar with a certain bug stay away from hairy insects as some are poisonous.

    Now you may be cringing at the fact that I would even entertain the thought of eating bugs, but believe me if your starving it’ll be like a treat from heaven. Plants are also a great source of nutrients, however; choosing the right ones are important as there are probably an equal amount of plants that are poisonous.

    Most commonly but certainly only a small hint is to stay away from plants that have a milky sap or white berries. The best way for you to tell which are poisonous and which aren’t are by getting a book and learning about the different plants.


    So there is no getting around it, Getting lost sucks but it does happen and the best way to survive it is to be prepared for it. Make yourself up a survival pack before going on any type of adventure into the wilderness.

    Also know how to read a compass and take a reading of your camp or something big and obvious before you go into any forest type situation. When prepared and you have the know how to survive if you get lost you will better your chances of making it back alive.

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    Carbon VS Aluminum – Which is Better?

    “Should I be shooting Carbon or Aluminum Arrows?” This is a very common question I hear from a lot of archers. The truth is, is that there is really no set answer it is basically a case of your personal preference. As with any products there are always pros and cons to them. In this article I am going go through some of these pros and cons with you.

    Aluminum arrows have been around for decades, since about 1939 when James Easton created the aluminum arrow shaft. There are upsides to using aluminum arrows such as aluminum arrows have been tried and tested for years. Aluminum arrows also offer more of a size selection usually at a cheaper price than carbon, which is what makes them a popular choice. When it comes to shooting at targets because aluminum arrows are usually bigger around they are a whole lot easier to pull from the targets.

    There are some downsides to aluminum however. The biggest issue with aluminum arrows is that they bend very easily and are less durable than carbon. Over the last few years the prices while still lower than carbon in most cases are going up and are expected to become pretty close if not match in price.

    Carbon arrows have only been around since about the early 80′s and is a fairly new and evolving technology. Due to this carbon arrows are more expensive than aluminum arrows and there are not as many sizes available. Carbon arrows if damaged and shot have been known although rare to explode or shatter.

    Carbon arrows however will not bend and are more durable than the aluminum. Carbon arrows because of the increase in strength and durability in the shaft does allow for deeper penetration. As the technology advances carbon arrows are slowly coming down in price.

    In my honest opinion I would recommend using carbon arrows and there are a few reasons for this. The biggest reason is that they do not bend and this is huge. I have seen a carbon arrows stepped on, deflected off trees, and fences and put through absolute hell and they are still as straight as the day they were bought.

    Now obviously for safety reasons I would not recommend purposely sabotaging your arrows because although the cannot bend they can be cracked or stressed and if damaged bad enough could shatter upon shooting. Also carbon fiber allows for more flexion so when the arrow hits the target and vibrates because of the sudden stop it will be less likely to stress the arrow shaft and cause it to weaken.

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    What you Should Know Before Buying a Bow

    So your looking at purchasing your first bow, or even a new bow. You walk into the store with really no idea as to what you’re getting or what to even look for. Naturally you walk over to the archery section and head for the section of bows. You get up to the isle and notice that there are dozens of different bows from different companies. You start picking up different bows that appeal to you and you look down at the prices and you just can’t help getting a sense of helplessness as to what to buy.

    Just as you place a bow back on the rack, from around the corner the salesperson comes strolling up to you and starts trying to work his magic. An hour goes by and the next thing you know your walking out of the store with your new bow and all the accessories to that go along with it, still not knowing completely what you just bought or how to use it.

    If this has happened to you then your not alone, but after reading this article you should have a better knowledge about what to look for when purchasing a bow. The first thing that I want you to know is that although the old saying “You get what you pay for” still stands it is not always true. You’ll notice that with big names just as any other product you’re paying for that name.

    To help with this there are a couple of things you can do. The first would be to look at forums and customer reviews of the different bows out there, to gain a general knowledge of what companies to go with and which ones to stay away from, the more you know about bows the less of a chance your going to buy one that is unreliable. The second thing you can do and should not even think twice about it is to try the bow before you buy it. This will give you a feel for the bow and it will also let you know how it shoots.

    I cannot stress this second point enough “BOWS ARE NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL”. I have seen it way too many times where a person will go into a store and he/she will be sold a bow and the bow will be way too short or way too long for them and they are unable to remain consistent or even hurt themselves.

    Before purchasing any bow, you need to find out your true draw-length and your bow has to have a draw-length of 1″ less than your true draw. If you have purchased a bow that is too short or too long, most bows have modules that will govern the draw-length of the bow. They are not usually very expensive and you can usually get them from anyone that owns a archery store, or deals in archery equipment.

    Within the last couple of years the world of bows has taken a turn towards a new system called vertical limb technology. What this means is that the limbs of the bow are on more of a horizontal plane in relation to the riser of the bow. Why is this important when buying a bow, well this new technology stops the bow from wanting to jump forward after being shot. This in turn reduces the amount of vibration and movement in the bow, giving you a smoother more comfortable shot.

    The reason this works is because the older bows have limbs that are more upright when the bow is drawn the limbs bend back and upon release the limbs shoot back forward causing a forward jump of the bow. This new technology when released instead of both limbs being thrown forward, both limbs are thrown in opposite directions therefore the energy cancels each other out; eliminating the jump.

    If you’re a hunter than another feature to look for is let-off. This is the amount of weight that is taken off the pull of the bow at full draw expressed as a percentage. So lets say you have a 60lb bow that has 85% let-off, at full draw you would be holding a total of 9lbs of weight. This feature is definitely nice to have when your sitting there in the cold with your bow drawn back waiting for that desired shot on the animal.
    Generally speaking the best tip of advice is to simply do your homework before buying a bow. Bows are fairly expensive and the last thing you want is to purchase something that you can’t even effectively use.

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    The Importance of Paper Tuning your Bow

    Bow tuning is not very commonly practiced by a majority of bowhunters. This is more than likely due to the fact that it is fairly time consuming and does take a bit of knowledge to do. Some archers are under the impression that if they go out and buy the most expensive rest and sight that this will help them to avoid having to tune their bows. Unfortunately it will not work like this.

    It MAY lessen the frequency of tuning you have to do but you will still have to tune your bow. Tuning your bow is just the act of basically moving your rest up/down/left/right so as get your arrow flying out of the bow as smoothly as you can.

    Tuning your bow is not necessary but it is recommended for a few reasons. Tuning your bow not only helps to improve your shooting and reduces the amount of wear to your equipment but also keeps your arrow shooting as straight as possible.

    Now you may be asking yourself does it really make that big of a difference, well let me assure you that it does and could mean the difference between getting your trophy animal and kicking your self in the behind for missing. Let me explain what I mean.

    An arrow that flies from a none tuned bow will most definitely have a wobble in the back of the arrow, now that wobble may not be serious enough to hurt your shot a great deal on a calm day but lets throw some wind in there and you have yourself a huge chance of that wobble becoming worse as it is caught by the wind. The wobble also creates more wind drag that will slow your arrow down causing less penetration.

    An arrow that is shot from a bow that is not tuned has 4 possible outcomes these are that the arrow will either be kicked out so the back of the arrow is pointed down, up, to the right or left. This plays a huge role on how your arrow will fly and how it will hit and enter your target.

    For example if your arrow is kicked out and the back of the arrow is pointing downward the arrow will try to stabilize as much as it can before hitting the target but more times than not when the arrow hits the target the arrow will be going in on an angle, which greatly reduces the penetration of the arrow. Paper tuning makes tuning a bow a whole lot easier and less painful as it serves as a visual aid so that you can see how your arrow is flying from your bow.

    When the arrow goes through the paper if it is not going straight in, it will actually make a tear in the direction that the back of the arrow is pointed. This will take the guessing work out of tuning your bow and cut the time down as well.

    So whether your a competition shooter or a hunter you will benefit greatly by spending an hour or so tuning your bow to guarantee your arrows are flying straight. If you would like to know exactly how to paper tune your bow look in our tutorial section.

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