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Big scrape below my tree stand on Thursday night.


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This nice looking nine point came out about 6:15 Thursday night. He was following two does with his nose to the ground. He is going to be a very big buck someday.


You can tell by his "race horse" build that he is most likely a 3 or 4 year old.


This broken up ten point came down the same trail behind the nine point and does. I grunted and was able to get him to about 20 yards with my recurve, but decided to pass him up.


Licking his nose, he was trying to circle downwind to smell the buck that was grunting.




This 2 1/2 year old buck has got some serious potential. Here he's working a scrape about 40 yards from my tree.




Missouri Bow Hunt

by John Paul  on 20. October 2010 21:57

This past weekend I was in Missouri for a few days of bowhunting with my good friends Trace Ayala and Scott Eslicker. We had some great hunts regardless of the hot weather, seeing lots of deer and a few nice bucks. I watched Scott take a old doe at about 40 yards on Thursday night. Trace told us about hearing some bucks fighting in the dark before the sun came up, sure enough when we checked the game camera we found this picture just 20 minutes before shooting light.

Trace was able to take two does and saw what he estimated to be 50 deer on Saturday night. While I did not take any shots with my recurve, I had several close encounters and saw several up & coming young bucks. We had a great weekend in the Missouri woods and after seeing lots of ducks and pre rut activity, I cant wait for colder weather and the fun that comes with it.


Bow Hunting


Hunting the Banded Peaks

by John Paul  on 5. October 2010 23:12


Elk Hunting in Southern Colorado with Traditional Archery Gear (September 23rd, 2010) 



     The last weekend in September is an amazing time of year in Southern Colorado. The temperatures begin to drop, the aspen trees are turning brighter yellow with every passing day, and there are the unmistakable sounds of the Wapiti echoing through the mountains. Every year since 2001, my dad and I have traveled near Pagosa Springs to hunt with our good friends Clay Allison and Santa Fe Outfitters. There is nothing I look forward to more than chasing bull elk through the mountains of Banded Peaks Ranch with my bow and good friends. If you have never experienced a bull elk bugling in the wild, its something you must cross off of your list.

     Joining my dad and I on this hunt were Jimmy & Angie Ryan, their grandson Hunter Moates, Kerry & Taylor Earnhardt, and Clay Self. With some veteran hunters and two first-time elk hunters, the week should be filled with memories and stories. My week began with a call from Clay Allison, my good friend and Outfitter at Santa Fe Outfitters. He said that the weather was cooling off in southern Colorado, and that the bulls were getting fired up. We discussed a few things, one of which was bringing some Montana cow decoys with us to the ranch. I explained that I wanted to hunt with my recurve this year. I had been shooting my recurve daily and was getting better with every shot. I felt comfortable shooting a bull up to about 30 yards.

     Before I knew it Thursday was here, after my 12 o’clock class I headed to the airport. We arrived at the ranch about 5:30. We rushed to get our gear on and shoot a few shots to check our bows. We were on the mountain and out of the truck by about 6.




Walking up from the truck to start the hunt

     With about an hour and a half before dark we wasted no time in chasing the closest bugle. Some 300 yards from the truck we were stopped in our tracks by a close bugle. With my dad and his video camera in tow, we quickly set up by some reeds in a small opening. The bull caught our wind or did not like our cow calls and soon moved off into the distance.

     We wasted no time in moving towards the most frequent bunch of bugles. After about 30 minutes of hustling down the mountain we were back within a hundred yards of multiple bulls. We crept in as close and as quiet as possible to the Jamboree of bulls. I quickly set up behind a split tree, my dad over my right shoulder with the video camera. With an arrow nocked, Clay began to cow call and held the Montana decoy in front of him to break up his outline and keep the bull’s attention away from me.

     The bull got closer in a hurry, before long I could here him breaking brush. I stood my 58” recurve into shooting position. The bull came strait to us and upon seeing the decoy he charged up to about 15 yards. After letting out an ear-piercing bugle, I drew, aimed, and released in one smooth motion. The arrow struck the bull in the neck, cutting the carotid artery and continuing into his lungs, burying up to the cresting and shield feathers. The bull spun and stopped at about 20 yards, pausing for about 5 seconds. He was losing lots of blood and I felt confident that I had just taken my first elk with a recurve and my 8th bull in nine years in Colorado.

My dad and I with my 5x5.

     With darkness falling over the mountains, we turned on our flashlights and took up the trail. We followed one of the most prolific blood trails I have ever seen for about 200 yards to a very respectable 5x5 bull. He wasn’t the biggest bull I have ever taken, and was far from the biggest bull on the mountain, but I was as proud of my first bull with a recurve as any elk I have taken.

     The rest of the week turned out to be a little slow. Clay Self and I were the only two hunters to harvest bulls. After some tough luck, Hunter Moates and my dad were unable to find their bulls. Taylor and Kerry Earnhardt had many close encounters and given a step more on a few occasions may have come away with their first Rocky Mountain Elk.



Clay Self with his nice 6x6

Regardless of some slow hunting, we had a great time making new friends, spending time with old friends, and enjoying Jesus’ Rocky Mountain Band in one of the prettiest places in the great outdoors.




( From Right to Left: Angie Ryan, Jesse, Jimmy Ryan, Clay Allison, Dave Collis, Clay Self, Thad, Alan, Johnny, Taylor Earnhardt, Dick Cole, Kerry Earnhardt, Me, Hunter Moates, and Jared Letterman. )



Gear List

·      58” Black Widow Recurve @ 54 lbs

·      Carbon Express Heritage 350 arrows @ 29 ½”

·      150 gr. Magnus Stinger w/ Bleeder Blades


·      Redhead Backpack



Giant Oklahoma Grass Carp

by John Paul  on 24. May 2010 07:06




 I drove over to Tulsa, Ok to see my friend, Scott, for a few days of golf and some bow fishing. Scott knows about a small lake with quite a few monstrous grass carp in it, close to where we played golf on Friday Afternoon. We have been twice before, but because of high water and lack of cooperation by the fish, we were unsuccessful.

As grass carp feed in shallow water, their tail often comes out of the water. Scott found them doing this about four years ago, and killed one that weighed 67 pounds. We figured these giant fish had to have grown quite a bit since, and were excited to see one out of the water. With help from the land owner we estimate the fish at over 25 years old.

After almost two hours of cruising around the lake with no sightings, we finally saw a huge wake in the back of a cove.  We quickly covered water until we got about one hundred yards from the cove. As we got closer, we could see the his fins break the surface every so often. I jumped out of the boat and began sneaking down the bank. I watched as the carp’s tail came out of the water several more times, giving away his exact location. I was able to sneak within about 12 yards and set up for a good shot. Af ter a minute or two with no signs of movement, a tail broke the surface. I drew back as slowly as possible, not wanting to spook the fish. I sat at full draw for about 45 seconds when his body made a shadow on the surface of the lake. I settled my single pin just below the shadow and shot.

With one powerful whip of his tail, the fish covered 20 feet and ran into the shallows of the cove. My line did not start moving and I began to kick myself for missing such an easy shot and a monster fish. Just then my line took off as the fish headed towards deeper water. Scott brought the boat down and jumped out to help me land the giant fish. Without a backup bow or a gaff we were very careful when fighting the fish. It took about ten minutes to tire the fish out enough to land it on the bank. 




When we finally got it on the bank, it was clear just how big the fish was. We hurried back and weighed the fish on a hand scale, 81 lbs. putting the fish just over the state record. We loaded up our gear and looked for a certified scale and a fisheries biologist. After no luck finding scales friday night, and an overnight stay in a walk-in cooler, the fish fell just short of breaking the record of 77lbs. What a monter fish and a great afternoon.



I Installed this set-up on an old deer hunting bow, the 60 lb. maximum draw weight and short draw length make it perfect for big fish.


  • AMS Slotted Retriever
  • Whisker Biscuit Rest
  • Innerlock 3- Barb Arrows
  • 200 # muzzy line
  • Single pin sight
  • Polarized Sun Glasses (lenses should match the color of the water, Brown- dirty water, dark- clear water)




Mountain Lion Hunt

by James Reynolds  on 18. May 2010 11:08

This is a short video of a hunt for Mountain Lion with a Recurve.

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