Monday, January 31, 2011

The neighbor plans to log!

I've been trying to savor the gorgeous giant pines on our neighbor's land, since he recently told us his intent to have things logged this winter.  I've squeezed in a few trips to the woods via snowshoe.  I took this shot of the towering reds with remnants of a deer stand on the larger of the two.
Sorry for the poor lighting, I get out whenever I can!  Sometimes it's dusk.  These trees are so awesome,  they deserve a pic.  I wonder who hunted here, and how long ago.  The stand seems to have "grown up" some! 

The impending logging is gonna rock our hunting world.  But that's what keeps it interesting, right?  Ok, I won't lie... it's gonna take a lot of work to figure things out.  And I was REALLY getting used to my reliable "tall stand" and we were thrilled with our doe producing corner stand.  Oh well, how lucky are we to have such gracious neighbors?!!!

When making my snowshoe loop, I stumbled upon this peculiar sight. 

Yeah, it's a barb wire fence that appears to have been shot into the tree.  That's one old broke down fence! But in reality, how old is it?  It's an oak, that sucker has been there a LONG time.   This, by the way, is one boundary we don not cross. 
Weird, huh?  I hope I'm not the only person that thinks this is cool.  I just had to share!

Here's a shot of critter tracks.  This is all I've got to show.  I haven't seen a deer in months!  It's still nice to get out and poke around the woods.  Cabin fever is setting in! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Arrow tubes

Winter means league time here, and that requires weekly moving of your bow and gear.  An option for keeping arrow safe are tubes or totes.  Plano and Eastman make holders with padding.  They have adjustable lengths to reduce arrow movement. They can hold up to two dozen.  The Plano is even lockable! 
Left to right: Plano, Eastman

Separating your arrows from your case is wise.  If you clamp them into the holders built into the cases, you know how much abuse they get.  And just throwing them loosely into the case can cause sight pin when they slop around inside by the bow. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Food Plots

Not all of us are lucky enough to have farmland.  For those of you who do, kudos!  But for the rest, it's a struggle to consistantly attract bucks.  If you're trying to draw in more deer to your hunting property, a food plot is guarenteed to help.  For us, it's been a trial and error process.  But you know you're getting somewhere, when you check your property the night before rifle season and there is a 6 pointer standing in your clover!!!  We have found that talking to local feed stores is key. They can recommend what will work best in your location, depending on the many factors involved.  Things to consider are; soil type, moisture level and watering ability, what season you're targeting, and cost. Also make note of certain plants that break down and improve soil quality after the growing season.  Planting wildlife mixes can extend you're crop duration!

Location is also a key element.  With the wolf numbers rising, deer are more leary of wide open spaces than years past.  We don't see bucks out in fields like they show on the television hunts!  We've found that small plots surrounded by ample cover is essential.  And possibly the most ingenious plot we made, was running food plots all the way down our four wheeler trails!  Check it out, here is a photo of the boys standing in a long narrow clover plot!

The second tip we can offer is to compound the appeal of your property by putting out salt or mineral licks annually.  Nothing draws a buck in antler velvet stage like a Trophy Rock!  These are our "tried and true" favorite lick available.  Put one these in by a food plot and a water source, and you've got a regular ol' deer utopia!  You can bank on patterning the deer by finding the bedding area and catch them on their way!  Find a funnel and you've hit a "honey hole". 

Now is a great time to conjure up some plot plans.  Then, come spring the land preperation and discing can commence!  Throw a deer camera up in August to monitor things and you'll be well on your way to seeing and shooting more and better deer!  And if it doesn't pay off the first year, you can still pat yourself on the back for improving the wildlife's forage quality. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Check out this unique Skulz pattern option on the Alpine Soft Loc quiver!  It's a mid priced, lightweight, super quiet detachable unit.  And here at Otter Trail Archery, we've both used this product and can attest to it's durability and functionality. This is the quiver I recommend!  It comes in several camouflages as well. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Feather powder

If you've ever shot arrows with feathers when hunting, then you have likely at some point experienced the frustration of them getting flat when wet.  We have a product that will end those sorrows!  GATEWAY FEATHERS 100% waterproof feather powder is easy to apply.  Just pour the powder into a gallon Ziploc bag, stick the fletching end of the arrows in, and rub it in.  It can be used immediately!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Whitetail secrets!

I marvel at the Whitetail deer and the complexity of the species!  If you pursue this big game, how better to succeed than to know your folly.  The book Whitetails Rites of Autumn breaks down deer behavior and is loaded with professional photos.  It's an older book, from 2003.  Charles J. Alsheimer is the author and you can see his photographs in some current hunting magazines.  He has other books available on his website.

I like this book because it explains the moon phases as they pertain to hunting.  I've witnessed the affects of moon phases on wildlife and it often motivates me to hunt more. Deer still move during daylight hours on "low activity" predicted days, but occasionally you want to plan a weekend hunting out of town and why not increase your odds of success!   Weather is always another factor which can dramatically affect movement, but that's a whole other topic!

 We've been using a calendar with moon phase predictions on it for 3 years now.  Bill Kinney Trophy Whitetails has breath taking photos of bucks.  Each day is marked "L", "F", "G", "B". Theses represent low, fair, good or best.  When the rut starts to kick in, these movement predictions are very helpful.  So consider the calendar as a hunting tool!  They are good quality and have an optional rustic wood frame they slide into.

Monday, January 24, 2011


If you use binoculars or a rangefinder hunting, this product is a must!  It allows for hands free and easy access to your item.  We've found it extremely useful when four wheeling.  No more stopping to dig around in your gear bag!  It completely eliminates the neck pain associated with regular straps.  The system features camo elastic straps.  I've noticed lately that they use them on most of the hunting shows. 

Here is an example of the Bino-System in use.  It's hard to tell because the straps blend in with his shirt and he has several other straps on.  This was a spot and stalk situation in North Dakota.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Property Landmarks

If you're a deer hunter, you probably know your property like the back of your hand.  I remember even as a kid, I spent enough time in my folk's woods to know where the Turk's Cap Lilies bloomed, the best route to bushwhack without getting my feet wet, and where to cross the fence because a fallen tree held it down.  I also knew where a crab apple tree was, the world's biggest poplar tree, and were the steam came out of a neighbor's rock pile in the winter because a critter was hibernating there.  I also found 2 huge antique Hi-Lex bottles and will always remember the 2 largest red pines.  While our parents cut firewood, my sister and I sat under those trees and constructed jewelry one loop at a time out of long needles. 

It's fun to hear what people use as landmarks when discussing possible stand placement with their partner.  Our most unique locations is the snowmobile hood.  Jason's dad actually remembers when that was left there. He found it amusing that it still exists.

Another huge help to our navigation is the drainage ditch.  It runs from town to a small pond, and is actually a property boundary.  It's neat that in the winter, the deer actually follow the ditch when other times of the year they have a few particular crossings.  This fall I enjoyed watching a spike buck drink out of it!

More commonly used landmarks are buck scrapes.  Check out this trail camera pick of a nice deer.  We have many scrapes that have been used for years.  It's fun to keep track of what day they actually start getting used in the fall. Then you know the hunting should start to get more interesting.

And who names their deer stands?  We have the "tall stand", the "far stand", the "wood stand".  Now my uncles and cousins near Cotton have terms like "north country", "outpost", and "K knob".  Those are a little more unique.
I'd love to hear what some of YOUR unique property landmarks are. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shoot like a girl

                                                  This just in...
                                          Pink loop and serving string!!!

               We have many other pink options for archery equipment and apparel. 

The pink Victory V-force arrows are for breast cancer awareness and even donate some of their proceeds.  We have a male customer that shoots pink, just because they're easy to find. 

If you'd prefer just a touch of pink, there are arrow wraps, pink feathers, and awesome wrist slings.  Blazers come in hot pink and pink tiger. Wraps are available in pink, pink tiger, white pink tiger, and pink flame.

Diamond now makes the Razor Edge in "pink blaze" camouflage.

If you really seach the net, you can get your hands on pink Muzzy broadheads, a pink camo Tru-Fire release, pink hip quivers (Neet & Easton), pink Neet armguard and more!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bone Collector

This logo has exploded into the archery market.  Everyone has heard of Michael Waddell and seen his show.  So what's his story?

He's on facebook and also has a good website.

Here are a few items we carry, in case you're a fan.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Looking back at the year

Looking back at 2010, we had good success.  Jason shot a fork mule deer in North Dakota.  He also shot 2 does at home with his bow.  I shot a doe with my bow at home and an 8 pointer with my rifle.  And our son shot his first deer with a gun.  He was very proud of his spike.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Windy winter wonderland

I took the dog snowshoeing.  It was super windy, but the activity kept me warm.  Here are just a few photos.
                 Can you see the wind?  It's so hard to capture the elements on camera.

                            This is one weird tree.  Can you see the squirrel tracks?

                           Smokey is digging for treasure.  Deer poop, gross.

                                      I like how the leaves collect on the path.

                         For some reason Smokey doesn't make the tree look that big.
                                                        I'm waving!

                                                            Deer bed

                                        Tamaracks in winter are so cool.
                                              Barb wire girdling a tree.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blackops Finish

Everyone has an opinion on deer stands.  Some never use stick built, some never use climbers, and some just do what it takes to hunt where they want.  It all depends on personal preference and past experiences.

Now, there are people buying black bows because they mainly hunt out of blinds.  Another reason is because they look really cool!  Blackops is a finish option from Bowtech.  Here is an example on the Destroyer 340.

It will be fun to see what our customers think of the black and how many choose it over the camouflage.