Saturday, October 3rd, marks the beginning of the archery deer season here in Texas. If all goes as planned, I will be sitting in a treestand for the better part of the day this Saturday. Although my scouting cameras haven't captured any pictures of bucks that I would consider a shooter yet this year, I'm still optimistic about this season.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department implemented several changes to the deer hunting regulations this year. One of the big changes was the new rule that legalizes crossbows during the archery-only season. In the past, crossbows were only allowed during the regular gun season or they could be used by persons with an upper-limb disability during the archery season. Another change was the increased bag limit for a number of counties throughout the state. The county I hunt in has previously had a bag limit of 3 deer (1 buck and 2 antlerless). The new bag limit is 5 deer (2 bucks and 3 antlerless). Along with the increased bag limit, the department has also implemented antler restrictions for this county which defines a legal buck as one that has: 1)at least one unbranched antler, or 2)an inside spread of 13 inches or greater. Only one buck with an inside antler spread of 13 inches or greater may be taken. In addition to these changes, a special late season for antlerless and spike deer has been added for January 4-17, 2010.
Whether I get a deer or not this year, I will still enjoy being outdoors and taking in God's creation. I look forward to the crisp mornings and hearing the woods come alive with the sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling. The success of the hunt isn't always determined by harvesting something. But, some of the guys at work have been wondering when I'm gonna bring in some more deer sticks! Hopefully I can at least get a doe to put some meat in the freezer.
Over the last several weeks I've been customizing some arrows to get ready for the opening of archery season. I've been using the Cabela's Carbon Hunter arrows for several years now, mainly because they are fairly cheap compared to other carbon arrows. Out of the box the arrows look like this:
I take a razor blade and strip all of the fletchings and dried glue off the arrow, and then I clean it with a solvent to remove any remaining glue residue.
Then I put one of these self-adhesive arrow wraps on.
Then I decide what color vanes and nock I want for the arrow. I use this fletching jig to attach the vanes.
This is what the whole box of arrows looked like when I finished. You might be wondering what difference it makes to have those fancy colored fletchings compared to the plain ones that come on the arrows. Well, the main benefit is that the bright-colored wrap makes the arrow a whole lot easier to see as it is flying through the air, and it is much easier to find after the shot. It just kinda adds a custom flair to it. Looks like I'll be hunting in style this season!
I tipped a few of these arrows with some 2-blade Rage expandable broadheads. I've never used these broadheads before so I thought I would give them a try and see how they work out. As you can see, the blades deploy from the rear upon impact, creating a two-inch wide cutting surface.
The weather forecast is calling for some slightly cooler weather for the next few days and I can't wait for Saturday morning!