I figured I would start a journal for the 2015 season as I wait for my new Bowtech 360 RPM to arrive.
Trail Cams were set and licking branches started back on Aug 1st.
After setting up a few bows for guys this year and after years of testing bows I finally got tired of my old compound and ordered my first new Compound bow in 30 years (for the last 9 years, when I hunt with a compound I've been using a used 2006 Bowtech)
I picked up some stuff to get ready waiting for the new shooting iron to arrive.
I like heavy arrows and heavy broadheads but this year I plan to use Slick trick magnums but they only weigh 100 grains so I picked up a few packs to mess around with.
I got some Maxima Reds and will replace the nock and collar with lighted nocks.
The nock and collar weigh 14 grains and the lighted nock 20 grains. Im not a fan of adding weight to back end but 6 grains isnt much.
Im replacing the 14 grain aluminum inserts that came with the arrows with 60 grain brass inserts since I will only be shooting 100 grain heads. This adds 46 grains to closer mimic shooting 150 grain heads.
I picked up a G5 Drop away for the bow.
and I will use a Copper John Dead nuts pro, 5 pin with extended bar.
Once the bow gets here I can figure out the length I want to cut the arrows and tune and sight in the new rig.
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2015 5:54:55 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
Spent a few hours at the dealer setting up the new bow. Changed my mind on the G5 Cmaxx drop away and bought a Rip Cord instead. The new bow didnt fit in my SKB hard side case so for now I bought a plano. All the gear is mounted and after about 200 arrows I will paper tune.
Now its time to find the sweet spot (performance wise) so I know what weight arrows to shoot.
Last Edit: Aug 18, 2015 4:33:46 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
Like every other bowhunter that with a new bow, I need hunting arrows. We need to select a brand and a spine and a length and a broadhead and eventually a final total projectile mass that will hopefully maximize the bows potential output while keeping in mind speed/trajectory. If I care only for speed, it would be simple. I would select the proper spine for the shortest arrow I can shoot with the lightest head and paper tune for that. The other option is to build long arrows, a heavy head and add weight (like brass inserts and weight tubes) to shoot as heavy as I can ignoring speed and trajectory.
With that in mind, I broke out my chronograph, grain scale and a variety of weights (both tip and inner weight tubes) and tried to find not only the sweet spot but the point of diminishing returns for my final arrow/broadhead weight considering speed/trajectory, K.E., MO, efficiency rating, Noise, vibration, etc. to help me get to the arrow I need to tune for as I go through the break in string stretching shots.
Bowtech literature states I ought not shot a total projectile weight less than 5 grains per pound of draw weight lest I wreck the bow and void the warranty. Since I set the bow at 57 pounds, the lightest arrow/head I could test would be 285 grains. I struggled to create an arrow so light and got within 5 grains of that minimum but shooting a 295 grain projectile. At the other end of the spectrum I built up a heavy arrow at nearly 10 grains per pound of draw making the heaviest arrow/head for my evaluation at 557 grains.
I know before I start that I really don’t plan to hunt with either of these arrow extremes but they represent the min and max starting points for my investigations as I work to determine the final arrow weight I will hunt with.
Below is the info I gathered shooting a variety of projectile weights. Right off the bat, I will say that I am impressed that a bow set at my hunting weight of 57 pounds can not only reach the 300 FPS mark but reach 330 FPS and beyond that, also produce 70 Ft/Lbs of KE. If I were into the current speed fad, I could stop right there and tune that arrow and have KE in excess of what is required for the deer I chase.
My former hunting bow (now 9 years old) was a Bowtech set at 64 Lbs and the 410 gr hunting arrow I used topped out at 245 FPS and developed 55 Ft/Lbs so right away I can see that I have way better performance while having getting to lower my draw weight 7 pounds. (SWEET!)
The data suggests that the sweet spot for K.E. and MO output for the effort of drawing 57 pounds would be for me to shoot a 486 grain projectile which represents 8.53 grains per pound of draw. after that point, performance began to decline. In the end I opted to build up these arrows/broadheads to a final weight of 420 grains. At that weight I’m pretty close to maximum achievable performance but still have a pretty fast arrow at 278 FPS. Once I send a few hundred arrows through this bow and the strings settle, I will set about tuning this setup for that arrow/head selection.
The generally accepted minimums for KE that can be found anywhere on the web state that the minimum KE your setup should produce for deer is 40 Ft/Lbs. For lager game (re. elk) 50 Ft/Lbs and for dangerous game like brown bear, moose, African game 65 Ft/Lbs. While there is no plan to hunt anything but deer, its nice to know that should something go wrong in regards to a hit on a deer, 72 Ft/Lbs will increase the odds of a pass through. I don’t think I will have a problem getting to 420 grains with a heavy weighted FOC arrow and may even add a 10 grain ”All Blade” head between the brass insert and the slick trick head. I bought a few because they caught my eye. Their claim is that you can kill game with the “All blade” head behind a field point but I don’t think I would try that so placing one "All blade" head behind a slick trick (since I have quite a bit of KE) will result in additional carnage.
All this extra KE means its time to build a new broadhead target since broadheads is all I tend to shoot at home. This giant foam domino measures 40 x 32 x 24 deep. I painted dots on both sides to extend the life.
Last Edit: Aug 18, 2015 17:34:40 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
While doing a little blank target shooting from 30 yards and seeing how a bow mounted camera will work with the new bow yesterday, I felt like I was being watched. Mamma and her little one wandered into the yard. Mamma watched while I closed the distance to 15 yards before she ducked back into the cover of the woods.
While I like the new bow, I am a fan of heavy and today’s bows are built pretty light. I am also a fan of having the bow balance in my hand right after the shot. The riser design of this bow puts the bulk of the weight out in front of the grip (see vert black line in image below.) The sight only added more forward weight. To add some weight and to get the bow to better balance I need to add some rearward ballast. There is a hole available to attach such a rearward weight. Time to start tinkering.
This looks like a great place to mount a reverse Stabilizer.
I made the parts from steel and an old carbon arrow. I used brass inserts in the arrow.
Since there is a fair amount of weight that I dont want spinning I added a rotational stop,
Im making a silicone rubber damper for the end of the rod nearest the weight. Im making a DIY version of Sugru by mixing silicone, oil artists paint and corn starch. Iv made bow grips and a lot of other stuff from this concoction. Silicone is not moldable straight from the tube since it sticks to everything and it take forever to cure. Corn starch causes a more rapid cure without sacrificing the silicone properties. It can be molded like clay but in this case Im forming a sheet of silicone.
The paint is just a colorant. Any color of oil based paint will work. here I want grey.
I mix the color and silicone to make sure I have an even mix. It helps to make sure that when you add the corn starch there are no streaks.
An Equal amount (by volume) of corn starch is added.
I rolled it between two sheets of freezer paper and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Then I cut discs that will slide over the arrow shaft.
Last Edit: Aug 20, 2015 16:37:18 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
I like bowjax products and the metal ball weights encased in rubber.
but I cant find a really large version with a hole so I figured why not try and make it. I printed a mold that will hold brass weights that will be encased in silicone.
Then I mixed and colored another batch of silicone, paint and corn starch and brush the mold with petroleum jelly as a mold release and then filled the mold and covered the open face with freezer paper and let it cure for a half hour.
It removed well and then I trimmed away the excess.
I cut small discs from the sheet of silicone I formed earlier that will be attached (with silicon) on the front and rear face to keep the brass weights in place and to hide them.
Not to bad for a first attempt. I can see other applications for dampers using this process. Any color, any size, any shape. The bow really has no shock ot noise to speak of but Im having a good time exploring. The joy is in the doing.
The Maxima Red 250's were underspinded because of the extra weight of the brass insert and extra broadhead (Its like shooting a 150 grain broadhead) so I bought a dozen 350's. While Im waiting on them to arrive in the mail I paper tuned with a 350 I had on hand. I will make sure the tune is still good when the new arrows show up and then I'll do some walk back tuning before I sight it in.
With 72 ft/lbs of KE and lots of speed Im going to give 8 blades a try. A 4 blade slick trick magnum up front and behind that a 4 blade "all blade". It adds only 10 grains (and I like adding the weight up front)
Im almost ready to sight this new rig in. Im loving only drawing 57 lbs.
Last Edit: Aug 24, 2015 20:23:30 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
Last night I refined my paper tuning by doing walk back tuning to 40 yards since the winds finally calmed down. I got 20, 30 and 40 yard pins set and will work on the 50 and 60 tonight. Ive never owned such a fast bow. It was a struggle to get the 30 yard pin any closer to the 20 yard pin due to the size of the metal around the pin. They are slammed together. Once I get all the pins set using field points I will switch to broadheads.
Im doing additional experimenting with modified silicone to add weight to the bow that acts as vibration dampening.
Another 3D printed mold.
Filled with the silicone/cornstarch mixture and brown oil based paint.
After an hour I pull it from the mold.
I have to split the two edges with a razor in order to get it on the bow limbs and then reseal the splits with silicone to glue the split.
I'll add another to the bottom limb and shoot the bow to see the effect but right off the bat, this stuff is heavy but its a good, vibration absorbing weight. If it makes sense and feels right, I will keep them on the bow.
Last Edit: Aug 27, 2015 5:22:28 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
In the last week I have tried a variety of arrows with interesting results. I primarily care about broadhead flight and I practice with broadheads out to 70 yards, not because I will shoot game at that distance but because tuning issues show up at those distances and because I really enjoy shooting this bow. The 250s I initially started out with did not tune well and broadhead flight was poor. I thought 350’s would be better. That proved incorrect. I bought Carbon Express Maxima BLU RZ 150’s and they are flying like darts out to 70 yards even with the brass (60 grain) inserts. To look at the Carbon Express shaft selection chart there is no way this should work but it does. Im really liking these slick trick magnums.
Because Im using a replaceable blade broadhead for the first time in decades Im forced to address the issue of re-sharpening the blades after practice as well as improving the out-of-package sharpness that Im never happy with. To that end I creating a jig/fixture similar to the KME sharpening system. More on that later.
Tomorrow I leave for the WBH annual Broadhead shoot where for the 8th year in a row I will be running a broadhead novelty shoot. I’ll be there for all 3 days of the event.
Post by Ron Kulas on Sept 13, 2015 18:27:03 GMT -6
I drove up state on Friday night to get ready for Saturday morning's opener. The forecast for opening morning was lows 40's and no winds. (I like a little wind).
Rise and no shine was at 4:45 am. I could see my breath. Based on my goal of testing out the new rig on the first deer to cross my path and based on the fact that the trail cam card being full at the site where an apple tree stands 10 yards from an Oak raining down acorns on the edge of a corn field, I headed for that stand. The woods breaks downward pretty quick from the edge of the field. Even though Im in a 15 foot ladder stand, a few feet from the stand Its more like being 20 feet up. Here is a brief video of my view from the stand I took shortly after sunup.
I wasnt in the stand long before the first acorn hit me in the head. There was a constant shower of acorns. I recent started wearing hearing aids. I cant believe all the sounds I was missing. It was great to hear everything again. The acorns, the crows, the small rodents feasting on the nuts, the geese and cows in the distance. It was pretty sweet.
It was still too dark to shoot when the new hearing aids picks up the distinct cruncha-cruncha-cruncha of a deer walking through oak leaves. Below me was a lone deer looking for a morning snack. I watched (and heard) the doe crunching acorns like they were going out of style. She was like a vacuum cleaner. I would have thought the apples would have been better but Im not a deer. After 15 minutes and no other deer showing up and more than enough daylight I clipped on and got ready. By now the deer was directly beneath me and slightly quartering away.
Bend at the waist, Draw, kisser in the corner of the mouth, nose on the string, line up the peep and since the deer in only 6 feet from the base of the tree, I place the 20 yard pin on the horizon line of the deer's side just behind the near side front leg hoping to exit the the far side leg. Finger on the release and squeeze. As expected, the lighted nock disappeared just above where I aimed, through the loin and through the off side leg.
Ive never heard this sound from a deer before but on impact, it woofed like a bear that gets hit with an arrow. It was a barking woof and and a mule kick and then it was off to the races and straight into the corn field. The doe ran straight down a row that allowed me to watch the entire departure. It lasted less than 10 seconds. The rear legs kept getting wider and wider apart and then the crash and all was quiet.
I sat in the ladder and enjoyed the sights and sounds and the sunrise. After 10 minutes I pulled out the camera and shot the video you just watched above. Then I shot this video as I killed time before climbing down.
I climbed down to inspect the arrow and even though I knew where the doe laid, I still tracked her. The corn made the blood show up pretty well.
The far side leg.
After testing out the new over-the-phone deer registration (which is sweet) It was time to skin and get on ice. Through the near side loin and out the far side leg.
I put up another stand in a location that I will use later in the season and then headed back to the apple tree for the afternoon hunt looking for another doe. They showed up but were skittish (probably doe to my taking a deer there in the morning.
A doe and two spotted fawns showed up. A few other loan does came in but did not present a shot opportunity.
Here is a video of some of the deer that showed up.
On Sunday morning I sat in a different location about 300 yards from the apple tree. The first deer to show up was a small spike. He got a pass. Then the doe with the spotted fawns came by. No shots were taken. Then it was time to butcher and fry it up with veggies from the garden. All in all it was a good opening weekend.
Post by Ron Kulas on Sept 20, 2015 20:13:29 GMT -6
I drove up state early Friday for weekend 2 of the archery deer season. The plan was to sit the apple tree stand Friday afternoon. Here is a brief video for Friday afternoon, Sat morning and Saturday Afternoon.
25 minutes after sending an arrow though the quartering away doe, I climb down to collect my arrow.
The flow is strong right from the start.
The last stand before the wobble only 50 yards from where it began.
Entrance. Back of the scapula
Exit, Right above the elbow and through the top of the heart and both lungs.
A very bloody nose.
Total run time from arrow impact to the crash was about 8 seconds. Two sits over the weekend had deer bedding under my stand. All were down wind of my location. The buck bedded with his rear facing the wind. The two does bedded facing into the wind. Having deer bed so close and staying so long is a bit more exhausting than when no deer are present. You cant get away with much but they will alert you to everything going on if you watch them and their ears. Also when one deer sneezes, the other deer freaks out. LOL
Two weekends of the season complete and two deer in the freezer.
Post by Ron Kulas on Sept 22, 2015 19:40:54 GMT -6
Im loving these slick tricks. They are robust. Ive shot two does with the same head. They resharpen easy. I used my 3D printer to create a honing guide/jig. Here are some pics of an out-of-the-package blade and one I resharpened.
Twice used blade (still has a bit of dried blood on it) after resharpening.
Post by Ron Kulas on Sept 29, 2015 16:54:25 GMT -6
Im an idiot. I put on a string loop and was sighting in. I NEVER shoot at the same dot on my target but I have so darn many dots, I lost track at 30 yards and paid the price.with a slick Trick tipped arrow. :doh:
I took a few weeks of vacation to do some rut bowhunting. I saw a lot of deer and passed a many bucks and does. It was an enjoyable time. Towards the tail end of the trip the farmer who land I hunt said he wanted a deer and if I had the chance to shoot one for him I should.
The final hunt for me was the morning of Nov. 11. At 8:30 in the morning I shot a buck with my slick trick magnum broadhead. Im only shooting 57 pounds and the buck was 30 yards away and 30 feet below me. The arrow entered as shown below.
I didnt notice a hole in the hide on the far side and the arrow broke on impact or when the deer moved both legs. It broke about 4 inches from the insert. The buck expired quickly due to both lungs being perforated. Then I deboned the deer and found the slick trick and arrow.
The broadhead smashed the far side leg bone right above the elbow. The broadhead was in great shape. The blades were not really that dull.
A little time spent with the sharpener and its ready to kill another deer. This is the third deer I killed this year with the slick trick magnum. Im pleased with the price, the flight, The damage they do and the durability.
Now I will return this deer, cut and wrapped to the farmer.
Last Edit: Nov 13, 2015 7:34:10 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas
I have the deer processed and this year I opted to pre-make the bacon wrapped loins. IN the past I would freeze loins whole by wrapping with cling wrap and then paper and then thaw and wrap with bacon before cooking. This year I decided to pre-wrap them and use vacuum sealer bags instead. I wrapped them and froze them before using the sealer so they would hold their shape under the rigors of the vacuum. Now it’s just thaw and cook.
Last Edit: Nov 25, 2015 7:08:41 GMT -6 by Ron Kulas