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PostPosted: January 26th, 2012, 9:55 pm 
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Location: Annapolis, Maryland MD
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Hello All,

As some of you know, I am a Hunter Safety and Bowhunter Education (IBEP) instructor here in Maryland. During the normal class structure for these courses we as instructors don’t have the time we would like to cover a number of topics in the level of detail we want to and that we feel students deserve.

As a result, I and some other instructors are putting together a series of workshops/seminars on outdoor skills and equipment topics. We would like your input on what topics to cover and how to present them. The instruction would be part classroom/lecture but more importantly it will also include hands on sessions so that the students will walk away knowing that they can do what they were taught, like how to use a map and compass or how to build a fire and make a shelter if they have to spend a night in the woods.

Our target audience could include anyone who doesn’t have these skills but we are focusing on new hunters or those who don’t have those old Boy Scout/woodsman skills to comfortably hunt more than 50 or 100 yards from their vehicle. Our focus will be on the Eastern Hunter as there are already courses out there that address the skills needed for hunting in mountains of the West or Alaska/Canada.

The list of topics we are considering currently includes the following:

- Tuning your equipment (What to look for in a bow and in an arrow, how to tune the bow and how to tune the arrows to it, making it all quiet, etc.)

- Survival skills (survival kits, fire building, water purification, building a shelter, signaling for help)

- Land navigation (using a compass, using a map, using them together, and also using a GPS)

- Basic First Aid and Wilderness Preparedness

- Sharpening Edged Tools

- Scents and Calls

- Camouflage Principles

- Field Dressing

- Scouting Techniques and Reading Sign

- Track and Tree Identification

- Weather Interpretation and Forecasting

- Backcountry Gear and how to use it (packs, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, stoves, food and cooking, water filters, shelters)

So, I’d like your opinions on two things. First, what you would add or delete from the list and what you think is most important, and two, how you would like to see it presented, a three day weekend where the students camp out or stay indoors with their own sleeping bags, individual half day sessions so no overnight accommodations are needed, a mix of sessions over a Saturday and Sunday, etc. We have an idea from our classes and discussions with students what to offer but we want to see what other experienced hunters think should be covered, and what the new folks here wish they knew but don’t have anyone to teach them.



Thanks to all of you,

Larry Schwartz


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PostPosted: February 29th, 2012, 12:46 pm 
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Now--Don't laugh--and realize, I had no bowhunting mentor early on---And I learned all things the hard way. I also started bow hunting deer at age 15---



I wish somebody would have told me the most effective defense that a game animal has is its NOSE---

For my first couple of years--I was oblivious to the fact that one should avoid allow the animal to smell you--Or, that a deer even could smell you---

:oops:


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PostPosted: March 12th, 2012, 12:29 pm 
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I assume reading sign pertains to living animal signs. I don't know if reading signs includes mock blood trails, and what type of hair is found on the trail (which would show where on the body the hit is). These I think are very important features to be taught for any bowhunter. Also, daylight and nighttime trailing on a blood trail, since they're different.


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PostPosted: May 3rd, 2012, 10:40 am 
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Larry,

Yes, reading sign would be about finding and interpreting sign left by animals AND also following sign as in trailing an animal after the shot to include not just blood sign but turned over leaves, broken spider webs, distrubed foliage from the animal walking through the brush, etc.

Larry


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PostPosted: May 4th, 2012, 12:17 pm 
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All good stuff Larry! It would kind of make a difference where they are going to be using the skills. Some things for mountain hunting & other skills for hunting whitetails.
Yardage estimation is covered in the bowhunter ed class but is worth more discussion.


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PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 9:01 pm 
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Field dressing,Blood trailing,hunting the wind,basic compass use,basic sharpening.


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PostPosted: July 30th, 2012, 10:00 am 
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I grew up hunting....deer, upland, hogs....but with rifles and shotguns. Deer drives with dogs were a time honored tradition here in our swamps and lowcountry marshes when it came to deer and hogs. Nobody I knew bowhunted or owned a bow. My uncle gave me his target bow when I was in middle school...a Browning Prep I think. I had no idea and strung it backwards as that was easiest and shot it like that until it delaminated and was thrown away.

My ability to shoot accurately over a soybean field or with a shotgun during a dog hunt were without question. I could gut and skin a deer in short order....dress and prepare upland birds mostly quail and dove...and de-glove a squirrel as well.

In military I really got urge to bowhunt....I was in Holland and ordered a Browning Badger, energy wheel bow....read Bowhunter magazine and still have the Bowhunters Encyclopedia by Chuck Adams. That is my source for everything...but right away I decided it was tiring and unfullfilling to constantly want to upgrade my rests, my sights, etc. I slowly went to a single pin set at 20yds, a Saunders Fab Tab for my fingers, and Gamegetter arrows with (yes, cringe a little...Rocky Mtn Supreme broadheads). Then I dropped the sight pin altogether...went to a Weather Rest....and put a Satellite broadhead on...think it was the first 2 blade I used.

During this time I saw ad in Bowhunter about PBS...joined and started reading the PBS magazine as my only contact with anything traditional. To me the PBS was a bowhunting organization nearly all members shot recurves and longbows and where the hunt itself was the focus...and the kill was the reward for hard work, perseverance, focus and woodsmanship....where ethics and fair chase were the norm rather than launching arrows at great distances...where I first read that a total miss was the SECOND BEST shot a bowhunter can make (perfect lung/heart was first)....and that being able to get within an animals "danger zone" is a feat that most hunters will never experience.

I returned to states in April 1989 and hunted with my barebow for that year in Ft Walton Beach area...then moved to Sumter SC where I went and visited Owen Jeffery in Columbia SC to talk and ask his opinions on bows and just talk with someone that was in the recurve/longbow fraternity as I still did not know anyone personally. I bought a recurve from him, sold my compound to a friend...and found a local shop that the owner was half traditional and half compound and had quite a few trad members...even held a traditional only shoot once a year...Lost Mine Archery. This was my beginning....

Fast forward 20 years and I am just now getting where many of you were in your teens....I wasted a lot of time hunting with a bow using tactics tested and proven with firearms. I had hundreds of hunts where the deer were 30-60 yards out....but no shots taken. I finally got to where I would pick better stands after 8 years......missed a few bucks not realizing that you will shoot high even from 10 yards up in a tree stand....only to have the deer go 45 yards, and bed down for a nap while I watched and fumed over my miss. During time I took many squirrels, rabbits, pheasants, nutria, opossum, raccoons....but no big game with bow.

Now here I am 10 years later....finally putting things together in my home state where the season is long but there is no bowhunting season on private land.......it is firearms from 15 Aug through 1 Jan...where I still have no guys that are friends that shoot recurves and longbows other than ones I have converted myself......and I have property to hunt but am not allowed to bring anyone...so it is me and my experiences and plans on 105 acres of majesty...full of turkeys, full of deer, full of opportunities. I had two turkeys I took shots at with a Strunk selfbow this year...I learned that setting up my blind location facing the morning sun is a mistake if you want to pick a spot on a dark turkey walking fast 20 yards out. I missed both...one less than inch over back.....second less than inch from beard....not picking a spot...but finally getting a bird that close with my bow was nerve racking. I have shot multiple turkeys with shotgun....but three years ago went bow only on them....still trying to draw on one without being spotted or make the shot count.

I wish I would have had a mentor to teach me the proper way to shoot a recurve, a longbow, a selfbow....

I wish I would have had someone to teach me how to follow a growth ring on osage or hickory.....

I wish I would have had someone to teach me to play the wind, to see the buck trails faintly APART from the doe and yearling trails....

I wish I would of had someone to give me inspiration and confirm my path was pure and right....


Now I am trying to be that person...though not finished in my own traditional bowhunting walk....so that my nephew can learn from my mistakes, misunderstandings, and pitfalls. To teach him that a doe or spike buck is a rewarding result of a hard hunt and that you dont need to kill a P&Y buck for your FIRST BUCK....that you need to earn it and feel the defeat but also the victory in learning and overcoming.

I would not have it any other way....to think back...as the first kill ( I wont use harvest) of any game animal is always filled with emotion for me......I am going for my first ever velvet buck this year after hunting hundreds of early season days in the past here in SC during opening weeks starting 15 Aug each year. Family again telling me to fill the freezer with my rifle and get a velvet buck first before I go "play with my bow and arrows again"....but my desire to hunt exceeds my desire to do it easily. My wife is well past questioning why I hunt with my bow...many times to only come home with memories and stories of the one that was 30, 40, 50, 80 yards out and unaware of my presence.....or that was on the wrong side of a thicket not offering a shot with my bow.

I dont ever want to lose that feeling when the arrow connects and the animal is recovered....if I do, then what will I hunt for...as that chance at success and that wave of emotion is what keeps me going every year, every season, whether I use my recurves, my longbows, or my selfbows....

Thank you PBS....

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In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
– Theodore Roosevelt

USAF (Retired)


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PostPosted: March 31st, 2013, 2:26 am 
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Shoot from every position possible. Never knew how often I would end up shooting from my knees.

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Is it April yet?


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PostPosted: March 31st, 2013, 6:20 pm 
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Ditto to what PJ said. I'm self a self taught hunter. Didn't pay any attention to wind for longer than I care to admit.


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PostPosted: March 8th, 2015, 7:46 pm 
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Not that I expect you to get into it in much depth in your classes, but I wish someone would have adequately impressed upon me early on that making an efficient wooden bow and arrows by hand and hunting successfully with them had been done for many thousands of years, was entirely possible today, and heightened the challenges and rewards.


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PostPosted: March 14th, 2015, 7:46 am 
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New hunters need to be mentored to learn that the journey can be just as much fun and important as the final destination. They need to be taught that bowhunting is supposed to be difficult and demanding and that they should embrace the challenges. New hunters need to have realistic expectations. They see videos that result in everyone killing a big buck in less than 15 minutes and they think that is what they should expect.


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PostPosted: March 15th, 2015, 8:59 am 
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Larry Schwartz wrote:
what the new folks here wish they knew but don’t have anyone to teach them.



Thanks to all of you,

Larry Schwartz

Patience


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PostPosted: March 15th, 2015, 9:28 pm 
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What skills ? Hmmm!!!
Just about all them.
But if I had all of them it would not be the journey that it has been,and at the twilight of my 50's I still have so much to learn,and what I have soaked in hope to pass on to others that are interested.
Never trapped beaver before and got my first one today.
So the journey continues.


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PostPosted: March 15th, 2015, 11:28 pm 
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Good question Larry...and some very good responses by all.

For me, as a 13 year old it was:

1) Knowing about bow stringers to prevent twisted limbs
2) Knowing how to track, (not just blood trailing) and
3) Ditto to Mike, having patience
...then
4) Learning the value of a good hunting partner
5) How to pick a spot...prior to quiver emptying!


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PostPosted: February 16th, 2017, 11:59 am 
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I can't remember how old I was,but I do remember the bow as being painted blue, and was given to me by my parents for a birthday present. I'm guessing I was around six years old. I was a right handed thrower,but shot the bow left handed, not knowing which hand to put it in. When I was maybe twelve, I went to a Sears store, and purchased a lemonwood longbow, at 50 lbs. That was the only bow they had, so that is what I bought. Little heavy, right? Anyway I could never figure out why I always hit to the right of the target. At about twenty two, I finally read in Bow & Arrow Magazine about right/left eye dominance, and realized I was right eyed dominant, but shooting left handed. I came across a cheap solid fiber glass bow, and in my basement one winter, I switched to right handed shooting. It was difficult to place and hold the arrow on the string. Many arrows into a 20" Saunders burlap covered target and I made the switch. From then on I was able to make shooting progress. So, I do wish I would have had guidance because-------the fall before the switch, I missed the biggest buck I have ever seen in the wild. He was a perfect 12 pt. and at less than 15 yards, I missed him with all five of my arrows. He was in full rut, and was looking for me, as the noise maker in the briar patch. Sorry to say about one week later he was hit by a car and killed. I feel that buck would have scored 200 inches


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PostPosted: July 4th, 2017, 5:52 am 
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I wish I had the skill to think on my own and not choose gear, tactics and techniques just because that's what everybody else was doing.


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