Heading Out West 0
It is hard to believe we are half way through August already and the cooler nights are getting me excited for another fall! Although most people are waiting for the Oct 1 bow opener in Michigan, there is a sizeable group of people waiting on the September bow opener (my self included) out west in states like Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana.
With only a half a month to wait now it is the time to be thinking about the products you may want to purchase for your trip. Western hunts are much different than our tree stand hunts we do here in Michigan, and though most of our equipment will work well in both places, there are some products you may want to think about to make your trip easier and more successful. Below are some of the products we can help you with.
1) Optics: A good set of binoculars and a spotting scope can save you hours and hours of walking and help you fill your tags. When heading West I prefer a set of 10x42 binoculars for my glassing and use a 20x-60x spotting scope to size up the trophy caliber animals. One thing to be noted with is the quality of the glass in either binoculars or spotting scopes is the less quality the glass is the more eye fatigue will set in. My personal favorites for the money are a set of Styrka S7 binoculars and spotting scope, but we do offer Vortex as well.
2) Clothing: Having the right set of clothing for the hunt you are on can make or break your hunting experience. If you are cold and/or wet your hunt will quickly go from a dream hunt to wishing you were back home. Clothing designed for the tree stand hunter is designed differently than those hiking up and down mountains. Having clothing that is extremely breathable while hiking and then insulating layers to add on while glassing or taking a break will help make your hunt more enjoyable. Looking into a full system of clothing is more important than any single one piece.
We can help you build these systems depending on the time of year you are hunting and the location. For my mule deer/elk hunt in Wyoming this year my clothing goes as following.
Sitka's core light weight base layers: These will help pull moisture away from the body. keeping me cool while moving and warm while stationary.
Sitka's Timberline pant: I chose this pant for several reasons. The first being the built in knee pads. There is nothing worse than a pin cushion cactus to the knee! Also, they have reinforced knee and butt areas that are 100% water proof. This will keep me dry whether I'm stalking or sitting on a log glassing. These pants are also extremely comfortable for the weather we will be hunting which can swing from low 30's to mid 70's in the same day.
Sitka's Mountain Vest: A good vest is always needed in my opinion and this vest is built with Gore wind stop. Having Wind Stopper is important to keep your core from loosing valuable heat, especially in the high winds of the mountains.
Sitka's Kelvin Active coat: I chose this as my insulation piece. It is built with 80 grams of Alpha insulation. This will help when sitting on a rock outcrop for hours while glassing then pack down to nothing while stalking or walking to the next vantage point. The Kelvin active coat combined with the Mountain vest for a good blend of Gore wind stop and insulation is a great layering piece to stay warm.
3) Back Pack: Which pack to get really depends on the type of hunting you will be doing. If your hunting out of a base camp a good day pack is all you might need but if you plan on setting up spike camps a larger pack is recommended. Remember you will need to quarter and pack out your game if successful! We have both types of packs if you are in need. The accent 12 is a great day pack and the Bivy 30 is great for packing out game or extended stays.
4) Boots: Make sure you have a good set of boots that are broken in before you head out there. Hot spots and blisters for a week are not much fun and will ruin the hunt for even the toughest of hunters. We carry several pairs of boots from Danner. Look into the High Grounds or the Gila's. Both are great boots! The Gila is designed for a little more rugged terrain and has a stiffer sole. Because of this they need a little more time to break in.
5) Calls: If your chasing elk with or without a guide having at least one cow call in your pocket is a great idea and if your like me, a DIY'er, a good bugle can help you find the herd. We carry a good assortment of DUEL elk calls to help you out.
6) Arrows/broadheads: Although most arrow and broadhead combinations will work for most North American game there are a few things I look for when choosing the combination for larger game. With arrows I like a small diameter arrow to help with wind drift and penetration. I believe the arrow is the number one factor for this followed by the broadhead and then the amount of weight you are pulling. Some good arrows to look at are Victory VAP TKO's, Black Eagle Deep Impact, and Easton's FMJ and Axis line in the 4 or 5mm.
If you ask a hundred people about broadheads you will get a hundred opinions. I prefer to stick with 1.5 inch or less cut for elk. I mostly recommend a fixed blade like a G5 striker, muzzy trocar, or Dirt Nap. With mule deer and antelope where my shot are longer and more open terrain I do like a mechanical such as a Slick Trick Raptor Trick, Grim Reaper Pro series or a rage hypodermic.
I know I am counting down the days until September and if you are too hopefully we can help you be as prepared as possible before you leave! If you are still waiting on October yet, I hope this blog gets you day dreaming of planning your next dream hunt or even about the big buck up north!
- Dustin Miedema
- Brandon Miedema
Proper draw length: Why it's important 0
Below is an article from Elite Pro shooter Nathan Brooks on how to determine draw length and what goes into it. Just as he says in his article, to get an approximate length is pretty simple, but there is more to it than just wingspan divided by 2.5 and that is where we come in to help shooters out. These differences can be from how each shooter holds and anchors a bow, the manufacture of the bow, and the bows Axle to Axle length. Every year we end up changing many new customers draw length and anchor points to allow for a more consistent and natural shooting position in which they have seen an increase in their performance.
The shooters draw length coupled with the appropriate length D-loop for their release and hand size (d-loop length does not change your draw length) will maximize their anchor points on their nose and jaw line to give them the most consistent groups. It will also allow the shooter's body position/form to be in proper alignment for a clean release and follow through. If the draw length is too short the support shoulder will tend to rotate out of the socket, cause an exaggerated bend in the elbow which can lead to inconsistencies, or the shooter ducking their head towards the string to find the peep sight. If the draw length is too long then the shooters elbow will be overextended and will tend to get caught up in the path of the string which will effect the shot. Too long of a draw length will also put the string past the proper anchor points on the shooters face.
The more concrete anchor points we can stack in our favor with the proper shooting form the better chance there is of making consistent and accurate shots time after time, because consistency = accuracy. As always this is only one small piece of the equation in which we will continue to chip away at. If you would like to know more about proper draw length and/or anchor points stop on in the store and let us check.
How do I know if I am shooting the correct draw length?
The answer is simple - yet complex.
Before we go much further, I must advise the reader that these methods of determining draw length are for compound bow shooters using a release and a 1” string loop.
There are couple of different methods that work well for determining your exact draw length. The Calculated Draw Length method is the simplest way to find draw length. It has been used for many years by archery shops across the country and around the world.
Calculated Draw Length is measuring the armspan of an archer then dividing it by 2.5.
To measure armspan accurately, put your back against a wall and stretch your arms out as wide as possible. Have a friend take two small pieces of masking tape and stick them against the wall where the tips of your middle fingers end. Take the measurement of the length between the pieces of masking tape to find your armspan. Once the length is determined, divide the number by 2.5 and round up to the nearest 1/2”. For example, if your armspan width is 73”, dividing by 2.5 will yield 29.2, and rounded to the nearest half inch will be 29.5” (which will be your estimated draw length).
If you are new to archery, this method is fantastic! I have used this to help many people purchase their first bow and get started on the right path to good and proper form.
However, I have found that many archers shoot more accurately at lengths that do not necessarily match this method. It sounds confusing, but as in all things archery, this is where the answer gets more complex.
Archery is a learned discipline. Repeating a process exactly the same over and over are the requirements for accurately hitting the target. That is the goal - to hit the mark every time without fail. Since I compete on a professional scale, I have the opportunity to shoot and collaborate with some of the best archery minds in the world. These shooters use every advantage they possibly can to be the best and repeat their process time and time again. I’ve found that the Calculated Draw Length method gets them close to where they want to be, but ultimately, they micro-adjust their draw length to find their most comfortable hold position. This can only be determined through lots of shooting, practice, and competition to find what feels best.
The way a bow feels at full draw and its let-off can affect the draw length as well. If I am shooting a bow that has low let-off, then I typically use a shorter draw length than a bow with high let-off. Also, I’ve noticed that using a cable stop on a bow versus one using a limb stop requires me to use a slightly shorter length.
In its truest form, archery is about feel, how the grip the feels, how the bow feels when it is drawn, how the anchor point feels, how the bow feels when it is shot, and how the follow through feels after the shot. Feeling is incredibly important. When all things are working properly together, including the draw length, an archer will have their best chance to feel all of these factors work together successfully.
There is no substitute for good practice and training. Knowing that you and your equipment are fitting together for peak performance will give you the most confidence in your ability to hit the mark every time. And ultimately, that is the goal!
Written by Elite Pro Shooter Nathan Brooks
- Brandon Miedema
Bowtech Give Away! 0
Treestand Safety: A harness alone isn't good enough. 0
Pearl, MI -(AmmoLand.com)- Gravity never falls asleep. It never loses focus. It never gets tired. It never gets distracted. It never varies and never makes a mistake.
Human beings, on the other hand, do all of those things from time to time. That's why falling from treestands is the single most common cause of death and serious injury for deer hunters.
But many hunters don't know that relatively few of these falls happen from the treestand itself – they happen as the hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. An even more surprising fact: nowadays over 80 percent of hunters who are seriously injured in a fall were wearing a safety vest when they fell.
The safety vests didn't fail – the hunters wore them, but didn't have them hooked to a safety line while they were climbing in and out of the stand. They may have been safely secured while they were sitting in their stands for 12 hours, but when they got ready to leave, they unhooked their safety vests and tried to climb down unsecured.
The people at Millennium Treestands want to change that. Over the years they've built a reputation for producing sturdy, safe and effective stands. They know that building a safe product is no accident. But for their customers to be even safer, Millennium has taken that extra step.
This year Millennium becomes the first treestand manufacturer to ensure that their customers have the proper gear to be as safe as possible by including their new SafeLink Treestand Safety Line with the purchase of any hang-on or ladder stand.
Millennium's SafeLink is a 35-foot-long safety line with a Prusik knot and carabiner rated to check the fall of up to 350 pounds, allowing the hunter to hook his vest to the SafeLink for a risk-free ascent into and descent from the stand. In Millennium's 2-man stands, the SafeLinks come with double Prusik knots and two carabiners.
Prusik knots – a friction hitch that does no damage to the main safety line – are used in mountain climbing as a matter of routine, mainly because, like gravity, it doesn't get tired and it always works.
For Millenium Treestands, going the extra mile for safety has always been part of their mission. Now they're taking a big step forward in safety, to make sure that every step their customers make is safe too.
About Millennium Treestands:
Millennium Treestands have long been recognized as the most quiet and comfortable stands on the market. Every angle, hinge and weld has been tested under the most extreme conditions by the most cynical and scrutinizing hunters.
For more information, please visit www.MillenniumStands.com.
Father's Day Sale 0
We just wanted to let you know we are running a Father's Day Sale until June 16th. We will have special pricing on Elite and Bear Archery (crossbows and compounds). With this special pricing on the Elite Archery bows you will also receive a free 1/2 dozen Black Eagle arrows with the purchase. Other specials include:
Ruger 450 Bushmaster American Ranch rifle: $475 + 10% off two boxes of ammo
Smith and Wesson M&P Sport II AR15: $569.99 + 10% off accessories
Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 9mm $499.99 + 10% off accessories
Smith and Wesson Shields 399.99 + 10% off accessories + $50 factory rebate
Remington UMC 115gr 9mm ammo: 12.99 per 50/box
- Brandon Miedema
Boyne Mountain 0
***The shop will be closed from 17-19 June for this event so that the Long Range Archery staff and Prostaff can attend the shoot.***
Boyne Mountain, MI 2017
If you haven't heard of the Prime Total Archery Challenge (TAC) you are seriously missing out. This is one of the funnest archery courses our team has ever shot. 2017 marks the second year that TAC will be here in Michigan at Boyne Mountain. Michigan's 2016 premier was the largest first year turn out for the TAC event, which travels across the country setting up some very cool and challenging courses. What you can expect from this course is to take a ski lift to the top of the mountain and pick one of 3 adult courses or two kids courses. The following is just a little bit about the event.
100+ 3D archery targets
You can do any course and start at any time within the open times. Remember this is a fun shoot.
Multiple Courses for different skill levels. (You can shoot any course and scoot in to a comfortable range)
Locals Course-15-40 yd shots with minimal angles
Prime Course (toughest course but a lot of fun)- Rocky Mountain Western Shoot, 40-100 yds with steep angles and tougher shots
Mtn Ops Course– 25-65 yds with steep angles and good shots that test your skill
Stationary Kids Range 10 target shoot at dinosaurs and Zombies!
Kids Course- 12 target from 5-20 yds. This is a great beginners course and fun kids shoot.
So how do you get ready to shoot 100+ yards? The proper arrow and sight selection will save you a big headache and get you in the right direction.
Arrows: For long distance shooting, proper arrow selection can make a huge impact on performance. We look at a few main factors besides having the correct spine of arrow for your draw length/poundage. The first is selecting an arrow from a reputable company and choosing a shaft tolerance of .003 or less. The shaft tolerance determines the straightness of your arrows and is a good starting point when selecting a high performance arrow. The second factor is shaft diameter and overall arrow weight. The thinner the shaft diameter, the less wind drag the arrow will have. Factoring in wind drag at distance is very important for two reasons. Less surface area on the shaft limits the effects that wind can push an arrow left or right as well as retaining velocity for maximum stability. Going back to the overall arrow weight works towards the same goal as the shaft diameter. We like to have an overall arrow weight between 380-400 grains which we have found to be a good ratio of speed and the ability to buck (resist) wind drift.
(Left to right) Victory V-force standard diameter, Victory TKO with 35 grain Insert/outsert, Black Eagle Deep Impact with 140 grain glue in point, Victory VX-25 with 120 Grain glue in point.)
Lets take a look at points/tips as it relates to the overall weight, as well as what is call Forward Of Center (FOC). If we are looking for a high performance arrow we are looking for the most concentric and streamline arrow for the least amount of flight disturbance. This can be achieved by selecting a glue in point instead of an insert/field point combination. Glue in points minimize the seams and edges as well as loose field points which can cause inconsistencies during flight. The FOC aspect describes the percentage of the overall weight at the front of the arrow. Why is this important? It is important because an arrow with FOC tends to be a more accurate arrow. Instead of the vanes of the arrow steering from the rear, a higher FOC will stabilize the shaft from the front.
The last major part of the arrow is the vane size. Going along with the overall theme of a streamlined profile, we suggest a smaller/shorter vane. These shorter vanes are going to help stabilize the arrow without sacrificing the velocity or adverse wind drift we have previously discussed.
(Bottom to Top: Blazer, AAE Pro Max 2.0, AAE Pro Max, Fusion 3".)
Sights: Having the ability to aim accurately on your target and have the adjust-ability to reach out to those 100 yard shots is a pretty important part of what we are talking about here. Typically you will see movable single pin sights or the newly trending three pin movable sights. These allow the scope housing (pin) to be adjusted to the precise yardage of the target which takes the guessing out of shooting between yardage pins. When it comes to the actual pin size, we recommend a fine diameter pin such as a .10 fiber. However, not all sight companies pin diameters are the same. This is due to how they melt the fiber to keep it in place. The fine pin diameter allows for a precise aiming point and helps minimize the amount of "blooming" that happens when too much light is emitted through the fiber.
Another feature to look for in a sight is the ability to have what is called 2nd and 3rd axis adjustments. What this means is the ability to align the scope housing (pin) true level with the bow in two directions. This is crucial at further distances and while shooting up or down hill (like Boyne Mountain). If you do not have a true level on your axis's then you will end up shooting left or right (depending on which way the axis is off) of where you are aiming. The amount of deviation depends on the distance to the target and is known as angular deviation.
We hope that these two topics helped put a little bit of perspective into what can help you get ready for an event like the Prime Total Archery Challenge. All of this however is negated if you don't have a properly tuned bow or technique. These are topics that are better suited for a conversation in person, so don't be afraid to stop into the shop and pick our brains. If you are planning on heading up to the course stop by and say hi. We will be in a sea of green shooter jersey's with Team Long Range!
- Brandon Miedema