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  1. Earlier
  2. My good friend, John Pruitt, made a couple traditional smokepoles for my dad and me and asked me to make him a shooting bag as payment. I finally finished it yesterday. What is really special about this piece is that the body of the bag is made from the hide off the moose I killed with my longbow in 2015. The light brown dotted leather is ostrich hide and the colored leather is ostrich leg skin. The trim and fringe are deer hide and I carved the buttons out of the antlers off a buck I killed with my longbow. Everything was sewn by hand using artificial sinew. The bag has one external pocket and two internal pockets. I hope he likes it! Darren
  3. Love the spalted wood. Even the riser seems a have a bit of spalt going on.
  4. Beautiful bow Darren!
  5. This beatiful bow came about in a moment of weakness. I had just gotten out of the bush on my early September caribou hunt in northern Quebec and was killing time at base camp waiting for the plane to take us to Montreal. Wifi was avaliable at camp so I turned on my phone and hooked up. Not really wanting to sift through the gobs of email I had waiting for me, I surfed the internet instead and went to one of my favorite sites, thewoodvault.com. There, Curt Noetzold has some of the finest looking bow limb veneer on the planet! Anyway...In a moment of weakness, I bought this beautiful spalted mango and a chunk of curly chocolate mango riser wood to go with it. So now I had some bow making material, I just needed someone to turn it into a bow for me. That's where my good friend, Mike Dunnaway, of Wild Horse Creek Bows, comes into the story. Mike had come out with a new model longbow, the Destiny, about 18 months ago and I was itching to have one in my collection. So I called Mike up, told him that I had some raw materials for him, and he took it from there. I was in no hurry for the bow so I told him I would pick it up when I saw him at the United Bowhunters of Missouri Festival in February. Putting the bow out of my mind, I continued to use the Quest longbow that Mike had made for me for this season. Then Mike called me in mid-November to say the bow was tillered and he had a string on it. If it would make the weight I wanted then he would have it finished soon. Woohoo! Now the Valentine's present to myself had been bumped up to an early Christmas present! The bow came out of the finish room last Sunday and Mike put it in the mail the following day. Bow specs: The bow is a two-piece takedown, is 62" long, and pulls 51#@28". Mr. Dunnaway has a plus-or-minus 2 pounds on his bow weight. I wanted 53 pounds so 51 made the limit. The limb core is bamboo and the veneer is spalted mango. The riser is curly chocolate mango with cocobolo accents. I got to shoot it for the first time yesterday and there will be little transition between the longbow I'm shooting now and it. I might even get to kill something with it this season! The veneer in its raw form the chunk of riser wood various photos that don't really do the bow justice One of the cool things that Mike does is make an arrow footed with the wood from your bow riser and send that along with the bow. Darren
  6. We had a blast and it looks as though this is going to become an annual event.
  7. My wife has some relatives near Canton and when we go down to visit, she and her cousins always run up to that flea market. It's quite a spectacle from what I understand. Darren
  8. Heading up to Canton, TX this weekend to bring my wife to the Trade Days up there. Supposed to be the largest flea market in the country. She really enjoys that sort of thing so taking her, along with another couple, to allow her to enjoy the type of hunting that really gets her excited.
  9. Made a trip to my old stomping grounds on public land in Avoyelles parish Louisiana to battle the orange army in the 3 day either sex weekend. The weekend started off slow with no deer sightings Friday or Saturday. Sunday it was time to make a move closer to a doe bedding area that I typically save for prerut in mid December. As the sky began to glow with the first hints of morning I stood in my stand for more maneuverability if anything should approach. Within just a few minutes of having decent shooting light I heard rustling in the brush to the north of me. In a small clearing I saw ears flickering....I grabbed my bow and got in position to make the shot. There were 3 does on a trail that would allow me a 20yd shot. I had a hard time getting on the first doe so I moved to the second one. She paused in just the right spot. I released and watched as the arrow slammed into her shoulder. She tried to run but only managed to drag herself 60 yds before collapsing.
  10. Looks like a great weekend Darren. Congrats! Always good to meet and make new friends.
  11. Had a great weekend with my new friend, Joe Hollingshad, the owner of Devil's Backbone Wilderness Outfitters near Dora, MO. Joe invited me to hunt on his place with my longbow a couple of weeks ago and learned that I also hunt with a traditional muzzleloader. Not having anyone else to play with, he invited me to come back the second weekend of our firearms deer season to hunt with a smokepole. We had a great time dressing up in our leathers and telling stories of past hunts. Joe has some very nice bucks on his place but we were both hoping just to get some meat. The weather sucked on Saturday with the mach 4 winds but Sunday morning was prime. Within a couple of hours of daylight we both had does on the ground and Joe's grandson, Levi, killed his first deer ever; a nice 8-pointer. Can't wait to visit with these fine folks again! Darren
  12. Sweet buck. Congrats!
  13. Love seeing the young ones out there hunting. Congrats to her!
  14. Super buck. Congrats!
  15. Very Nice Buck, congrats !! Well done
  16. 10/24/17 Decided to sit a stand that was set up on an oak ridge that showed lots of sign of buck movement through this area....lots of rubs and scrapes. Along with sign of deer feeding on acorns. Wind is a little stronger than I like but not long after daylight a young forkhorn buck works his way through the oaks. A little later I hear crunching in the leaves and look on the next ridge over to see a good buck making his way across the draw onto the ridge I am sitting. I give him a few grunts to slow him down and possibly work him into shooting range. He stops and begins working his way toward me but a closer look through the binos reveals he is not what I drove to Iowa for. Right before I get down for lunch a spike works his way through the oaks cruising. That afternoon I am sitting in an opening between 2 cedar thickets that borders a standing cornfield. Saw 1 deer but my movement caught its attention before I could tell if it was a buck or doe. Thus ends day 1 of my hunt.
  17. 10/23/17 Scouting continues. Starting to narrow down some sort of pattern for feeding and traveling/deer movement. Began setting stands.
  18. 10/22/17 Began scouting field edges and areas that I had picked out studying maps that I had ordered earlier in the year. Deer sign is easy to find. Hard to decide which area is better than others. Did notice that all acorns from oaks have already dropped.
  19. 10/21/17 Arrived at Pisgah city park and set up camp. Went into Onawa for church/mass that afternoon. Will start scouting tomorrow.
  20. Congrats, sounds like a great trip.
  21. Killed a big doe earlier in the trip also.
  22. So Wednesday I found an old grown up field littered with sign. Checked wind direction for the following day and set a stand accordingly. Thursday evening I climbed into my setup around 2 pm. The afternoon was very uneventful and saw me scrolling thru forums and Midwest Whitetail videos on my phone as well as keeping tabs on all my buds out hunting in the woods around the country. So 5:30 rolls around and I lean back in my stand. I think I may have even closed my eyes for a minute..... I hear crunching in the leaves behind me and to my left. I slowly turn my head and see a doe in the edge of the field making her way in my direction. She passes to my left within 10yds. That's when I hear more leaves and brush breaking in the same direction she came from. I don't want to move because the does is so close but eventually I'm able to get my head and eyes around to the point I can see a nice buck at the tree line working an overhead branch with his antlers. He steps into the field about 60 yds out. By this time the doe is right below me feeding on some little berry things that have never seen before. While she is occupied I reach for my bow and clip my release on. I can see 9pts on the bucks rack. If he follows the doe's path I will have a 10yd shot. But he doesn't. He veers out into the field keeping a bit of distance between he and her. There is very little in the way of markers in this field of shoulder high grass, but earlier I had ranged some different colored weeds and he was heading directly for a group of these weeds that are 30yds away. He pausing every few steps to nibble on the tops of some of the grasses/weeds. When he approaches the stuff I had ranged I come to full draw(the doe is oblivious still what is going on above her). He pauses...I center my 30yd pin on his shoulder....squeeze the shot off....and I hear that vacuum breaking sound as the arrow passed thru his chest. The buck kicks straight up into the air and runs headlong to the corner of the field in front of me....he stops and all I can see are his head and his tail. His head is hanging low and his tail is flickering back and forth at a feverish pace. I think to myself, "he's gonna go down right there!" But I lose sight of him and a minute later I think I hear a crash. That's when the shakes set in. I give him 45 minutes and get down. The impact site has good blood but in the dark and tall grass I can't find any more. I walk to where I last saw him and to my disappointment he isn't there....and no blood....and to make matters worse a deer blows at me from the brush and I think that I have just jumped him. I turn off my light and sneak out heartbroken. I drink a few beers to help me get to sleep and am back at the last place I saw him at daylight Friday. But this time the sun allows me to see what missed last night...blood and lots of it. Just a little over 20yds into the treeline off the field there he is in all his glory. I practically fall to my knees thanking God for this opportunity and for making me a bowhunter! And I have another surprise....he's a 10 with a kicker on his right base. My best buck ever!
  23. That's a fine deer! It's better to be lucky than good. Congratulations! Darren
  24. It's been about since 2012 since I've been on here, had to go through some old post to even find my user name, that being said I arrowed a nice buck last Sunday morning, I had actually started my morning off in a different stand, and got busted by a doe. So I did something I had never done before, and went to a different stand in the middle of a hunt. Pulled the SD card out of my camera got in the stand and started looking through the card pics and noticed this buck had been to my stand the day before at 8:30 a.m. I looked at my phone it was 8:28 a.m. I looked up and he was jumping the fence 20 yards from me.
  25. Awesome!
  26. Good for her! That will be some fine eating! Darren
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