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The new IWTA website is now active

Concerned Illinois hunters and non-hunters are seeing the decline of our whitetail at an alarming rate. The new Illinois Whitetail alliance was formed to address the issues we face today regarding the future of hunting. Feel free to contribute your participation by going to:  http://www.ilwhitetailalliance.com/ today!

New Illinois Whitetail alliance

Are you getting sick of the diminishing deer herd here in Illinois? Finally, there’s a new group of guys willing to take on the very people who are responsible for the decline. Feel free to read the new proposal and I’ll update you on any new developments as they come in. Alliance Full Presentation

Turkey suggestions from Montana decoy

Here’s some tips from Montana decoy. I’ve used their deer decoys last year and have tested them in this year’s harsh winter. I’m happy to say they stood up very well all winter. No color fading or failure of any kind. They now have a new download setup guide that’s free if anyone is interested […]

Goat Tuff Equalizer review

I love introducing not only great products but great ideas! Sometimes ideas are so simple, yet work so well, I ask myself: “Why didn’t I think of that!” Here’s a product that has been on the shelves for a few years but needs to be re-introduced, in my opinion. It’s the Equalizer release manufactured by […]

The new IWTA website is now active

Concerned Illinois hunters and non-hunters are seeing the decline of our whitetail at an alarming rate. The new Illinois Whitetail alliance was formed to address the issues we face today regarding the future of hunting. Feel free to contribute your participation by going to:  http://www.ilwhitetailalliance.com/ today!

wta

New Illinois Whitetail alliance

Are you getting sick of the diminishing deer herd here in Illinois? Finally, there’s a new group of guys willing to take on the very people who are responsible for the decline.

Feel free to read the new proposal and I’ll update you on any new developments as they come in.

Alliance Full Presentation

Turkey suggestions from Montana decoy

Here’s some tips from Montana decoy. I’ve used their deer decoys last year and have tested them in this year’s harsh winter. I’m happy to say they stood up very well all winter. No color fading or failure of any kind.

They now have a new download setup guide that’s free if anyone is interested in it. You can go here to view it: Turkey Setup.

turkey

Goat Tuff Equalizer review

I love introducing not only great products but great ideas! Sometimes ideas are so simple, yet work so well, I ask myself: “Why didn’t I think of that!”

Here’s a product that has been on the shelves for a few years but needs to be re-introduced, in my opinion. It’s the Equalizer release manufactured by Goat Tuff Products of Tucson, AZ. and made in the USA! It’s not just another release, and I’ll tell you why.

gt1

First and foremost, if you shoot a short draw length, this release will increase the distance of your draw length by repositioning the point of where your arrow is nocked, and by moving the trigger forward. Because of this, you can now add distance to your bow’s draw length by up to 3″. Not to be confused, your bow’s performance increases the longer your draw length is, so by moving the catch of the release aft and the trigger forward, you are now able to adjust your bow to a longer draw length. So if you shoot a 28″ draw length, you can adjust your bow to a 29″, 30″ or even a 31″ draw length thus increasing your bow’s speed.

Why do I think this is a great idea? Here are some reasons:

If you choose to drop your bow poundage due to age or physical limitations, you now can opt for the Equalizer to offset any loss in speed due to reduced poundage. If you want to speed up your bow without having to purchase another bow, this is a viable solution. If you want to bring your 20-30 yard pins closer, again, this will increase your speed and help you obtain your objective. I could go on, but I think you get the idea!

gt2

The release trigger is smooth, precise and comfortable to wear. If you decide to purchase one, make sure you set some time aside to readjust your pins and to practice with your new speed demon. Pricing on the release runs about $169.00 on the internet. It’s a cheap solution to a new bow!

I’ve been testing Goat Tuff products for years now and I am very satisfied with their products. In fact, their arrow vanes are my vanes of choice. I’ve stuck many a buck (and hundreds of targets) with their vanes and glue, with absolutely no issues whatsoever. They’ll back their products and to top it off, they’re one of the very few companies left manufacturing hunting products here in the USA. I like that! To read more on the Goat Tuff Equalizer, visit them at Goat Tuff Products.

gt4

 

Low on Bucks

I picked up my first recurve bow at age 12. Over 40 years later, I’m still chasing the calcium atop a 4 legged animal with the same enthusiasm I did when I was an adolescent. In the late 60’s when my love for hunting was kindled, whitetail deer were a phenomenon where I lived even though Mel Johnson had arrowed his world record buck just minutes from my hometown. Mel harvested that behemoth of a buck from the ground with a recurve bow, a feat which is considered amazing even to this day.

mel

Even though a tree stand was common back in the day, their popularity has become exponential. Better alloys, engineering designs and safer by-products have since been created and developed not only for security reasons, but also to increase the chance for success. We now have tree stands that don’t squeak, are quickly assembled and dismantled, have padded cushions, gun rests and can even be mounted on crooked trees. Hunters are climbing higher and higher with the intention of diluting their human scent and avoiding be caught red-handed in a tree holding a weapon. Whitetails are getting equally educated as they become accustomed to looking up after being shot at numerous times, in addition to being trained by unnatural sounds going up and down a tree. When maneuvering through a whitetail’s living room, one must be incognito at the very least, to be consistently successful when hunting mature bucks.

Being successful with mature bucks requires being at the right place, at the right time, due to their ever changing biological behavior. Being in the right place requires a ton a scouting and having a tree stand in all of these seasonal locations too! Add scent control, proper camouflage, packing in food and water, etc. and you have your work cut out for you. Even though most of us have methods or techniques in place and are ready to initiate them every season, most of these ideas are losing out to the ever adapting whitetail, especially the mature buck. Many of today’s techniques lack refinements and are merrily exercised by rote, a form a repetition. Some hunters have expanded outside of their comfort zone recently only to experiment with other options related to ambushing mature whitetails. In the last decade, ground blinds have become a popular way to hunt deer but if that idea would have be mentioned as early as the late 80’s or early 90’s, a person would have been subject to ridicule much like I was after I went to a ground assault on mature bucks in a Ghillie suit.

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The biggest problems we face as hunters, in my opinion, are ourselves. Sometimes we’re not allowed to think but rather “instructed” what is proper and what isn’t. Granted, much of today’s products and ideas are ever expanding and with the inclusion of the internet, many ideas are shared. Those ideas can be proven though trial and error, or simply shut down by an armchair critic. Sadly, many great ideas never leave the paper it was written on because of negative responses by others who have never put these ideas to the test. Having being distraught by watching monster bucks elude me over and over again from the 60-90 yard mark, I opted to start hunting big bucks like turkeys, despite the verbal static.

After careful consideration, I went to a ground game in the early 90’s simply because I was sick of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course that scenario is inevitable sometimes, but many times it can be dealt with just the same. My turning point was having a 200” Illinois giant 90 yards out from my tree stand and heading in the wrong direction. After having uncanny luck with this same situation more than I would like to admit, I was fed up with seeing quality deer and unable to do anything about it. As an avid turkey hunter, I thought to myself: “Why can’t I hunt him like a Tom?” That’s exactly what I ended up doing! With a Ghillie suit already on my body, I crawled out of my stand and walked across a field where the monster had exited over a hill. Unbeknown to me, he had only descended half way down the hill and had decided to turn around and come back up. With my body silhouetted against a cut bean field, I had no choice but to squat down like a bush. Much to my surprise, he walked right past me and began to feed in the bean field. Only 30 yards away from me, I sent him a special package via airmail compliments of Muzzy. The bruiser ran a short distance before collapsing. The 204” beast never knew how close to danger he was but seemed to elude me all year prior to that from a stand. That was my turning point!

From then on, I started doing some in-depth research. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get quality advice from many of my peers for two reasons; first, they’ve never tried this type of hunting and second they stated they never would. So I was on my own for the next decade experimenting with my newly found discovery hoping I could conquer the other critical elements associated with hunting mature deer.  When I was instructed numerous times, that whitetails couldn’t be hunted from the ground, I simply reminded them that the tree stand had only been around less than a century and man nearly hunted deer, turkeys and many other species into extinction from the ground prior to that. I also mentioned to go back 2000 years and count how many tree stands were used to hunt prior to the 1800’s and the conversations usually go quiet. Sometimes we simply forget to look beyond our surroundings. I decided that I needed some real data if I were going to be successful with this “new” type of hunting, so I began researching the most critical areas of concern for whitetail hunters.

prehist

Scent control, camouflage and ambush techniques all had to be put to the test and I was pleasantly surprised with the data. Let’s start with scent control. I have found that it’s easier to control human scent from the ground than it is from the air. That’s a statement that gets a lot of attention in my seminars! Basically, everything being equal, scent travels longer and at a much greater rate from the air than it does from the ground. Think about this; from an elevated position, theoretically @ 1 Mph your scent is broadcasted I mile in 1 hour, ½ mile in 30 minutes, ¼ mile in 15 minutes and 1/8 mile in just 7.5 minutes, which is the approximate time it takes you to climb a tree and get set-up! From the ground, your scent travels to your surroundings and in a downward pattern. Usually your scent will travel no more than the 30 yard mark and if it does, you’re most likely ready to shoot him anyway. Having said that, I have rarely been busted from hunting on the ground. A simple shower and good scent control practices should have you covered!

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Regarding scent control, a great deal of hunters forget one of the most important areas of their bodies; the mouth. When you clean your body, you are cleaning about 864 square inches of skin area. When you breathe; you are exhaling about 388 cubic feet of air per day, or about 16.1 cubic feet per hour. That’s a lot of bad air! If you’re a meat eater, which most of us are, animals can smell carnivores from great distances. When you are sitting in your stand (or hunting from the ground), your body is emitting odors that are radiating from your torso every minute. What do you think is happening to your immediate hunting area when you are exhaling 16.1 CUBIC FEET of bacteria-ridden air from your lungs? You are polluting your territory with a “Danger” sign that will ward off deer and invite insects. Planning on sitting in a tree stand for three hours? You’ll be pumping out over 45 cubic feet of odor and bacteria, making your scent-free clothing saturated with human waste. For these reasons, I always wear a cheap carbon activated mask and saturate my Ghillie suit in a carbon bath prior to hunting with it. A clean body and proper scent control will lessen your chances of getting busted wherever you decide to hunt.

Camouflage for the ground requires some good 3-D garments for whitetails. The human silhouette must be disfigured or you’ll get busted. Think about this: When you hunt, you’re constantly looking and searching through acres of timber and brush. Many times you’ll only see a part of the animal from those distances but because you’re a seasoned hunter, you know exactly what it is. If you see a hind quarter, or the face or even the tail of a deer, you know what it is. Deer do the exact same thing! If they see an arm, leg or any part of your body, you’re busted! Ghillie suits or 3-D camo, hide the human silhouette and really throws them for a loop. I can’t tell you how many times I have deer within the 6 feet mark from me. It’s the ultimate trick!

Luke Terstriep

Finally, ambush techniques are not difficult from the ground and many of them are the same techniques you would use from a tree stand. The biggest obstacle is actually self-inflicted and that is your movement. Because deer have more rods in their eyes that pick up light and movement, they have the ability to catch the slightest movement from afar. Because of that, I’ll usually draw my bow behind a tree or simply wait until they pass me before I draw on them. If you’re a thrill seeker like me, there’s nothing like having any size deer walk past you just a few feet away. In fact, I have several videos of bucks within 7 yards of me without any indication of my presence. I also have several videos of me trying to run them off and having difficulty doing so! They just don’t know what you are and rarely seem spooked by your presence.

Here’s what I like to do when hunting from the ground:

¡  1. If at all possible, pick windy or breezy days.

¡  2. Wear a Ghillie suit, no exceptions.

¡  3. Bath each and every time you hit the timber with no-scent soap.

¡  4. Wash your Ghillie suit in a scent- and UV-free detergent.

¡  5. Soak your Ghillie suit in a carbon bath product and let it drip dry outdoors.

¡  6. Wear old tennis shoes (soaked in a carbon bath) or light boots.

¡  7. Use a self-containing arrow rest so your arrow doesn’t flop around.

¡  8. Use high-quality sight pins with ample light gathering capabilities.

¡  9. Lighted nocks can help.

¡  10. Remove all glaring items like watches, etc.

¡  11. Always walk in the shadows of trees if possible

First and foremost, keep in mind that I am NOT stalking deer! I’m still scouting and preparing a location for my ambush but instead of climbing a tree, I’m using the ground. Sometimes I use a small tripod stool, sometimes I stand next to a tree, but simply put; I blend in with my surroundings. I still cut shooting lanes if necessary and I always test the area by drawing my bow and analyze all possible scenarios. If I constantly see deer from afar, I can simply relocate without a fuss and with minimal noise.

Since I’ve been writing about ground techniques, my email box has been flooded with remarks from individuals who have given up hunting because they can’t climb stands anymore and from stores who are now selling products to customers who believed they were out of the game. Ever since going to a ground assault on big bucks, success with filling my tags have quadrupled. That statement alone is why I went “Low on Bucks” and have retired tree stand hunting over a decade ago.

Help with applying for Illinois conceal carry permit

http://chicagogunsmith.com/blog/how-do-i-apply-for-my-illinois-carry-concealed-license/190/

Electronic fingerprinting fo Conceal Carry

Here’s an update for my central Illinois readers from Kevin Moody who teaches the CC classes here:

All,

       I am going to have a clinic to assist with electronic ID’s and online CCW applications at Providence Church 401 S Carol Ave. in Morton. Clinics will be held a couple nights a week through the month of January from 5:00 pm to 9:30ish pm.  There is no charge for this, although I will be accepting donations for range maintenance and Providence Church for hosting.
         I know a lot of you still need your fingerprints done (You do not have to get fingerprinted, but not getting them allows the State an additional 30 days to issue permits).  Joe Hulsey from Promised Land Firearms will be there doing Live Scan prints for $60.  They can issue your TCN on the spot so you can apply that night.
        If you need fingerprints or assistance with your online application or both, please respond with one of the tentative dates listed below and what you need done.  I am going to give everybody a time slot so we don’t get overwhelmed.  We will be able to accommodate appx. 20 people a night depending on what they need. I want to avoid people having to make two trips and make sure everybody gets helped.
Dates are Wed. 1-8 and Fri. 1-10.
       We can add dates depending on demand. I would like to see how many of you are needing help or prints before I book the facility and have Joe come down from Toulon.
       If you live closer to the Toulon/Kewanee area than Morton, or the dates don’t work, you can contact Promised Land Firearms directly at (309)973-6006 for fingerprints.
Best Regards,
Kevin Moody

(309)642-0582

NRA Certified Instructor
Illinois CCFL Instructor
NRA Chief Range Safety Officer

Elmwood area CC class soon!

For the Elmwood area folks who’ve been emailing me for something close by, here’s a class that’s happening soon!

Illinois CCW ClassDave Shipley is hosting Illinois Concealed Weapon class Dec. 14 & 15, 2013Jan. 11 & 12, 2014
This is the two day 16 hour training class you need to get your Illinois CCW card.
Upon completion you will receive 2 certificates; 1 Illinois CCFL Training certificate and an NRA Basic Pistol certificate.

Kevin Moody will be your instructor – Kevin is a NRA Range Safety Officer • Former Marine, qualified expert rifle and expert pistol. • Field Artillery cannon crewman • Competes at Camp Perry National Matches (M1 Garand, antique arms, Springfield) • Competes in PPC (Police Pistol Combat) civilian division • Competes/Member IDPA and IPSC • NRA Basic Pistol • NRA Basic Rifle • NRA Basic Shotgun • NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home • NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home • Illinois Carry Conceal License Instructor

Call Dave Shipley to reserve your spot 309-369-5343 or Email (Ships@elmnet.net)
Fee is $225 per person

 

Illinois Conceal Carry course highly recommended!

I just completed my Illinois conceal carry class and received my graduation certification. As many of you know, Illinois was the last state to legalize CC and didn’t want it, but due to a Supreme court ruling they had to comply. Beginning January 1st 2014, Illinois will begin the authorization of CC permits.

Illinois Carry Conceal Instructors

As of lately, classes are popping up offering the required training needed to possess the Illinois CC permit. With January just weeks away, now is the time to get on board with good instruction! I reviewed and participated in this class from KAM Shooting Sports with Kevin Moody and Ken Simmons as lead instructors. I was very impressed and satisfied with the instruction! They took their time, offered an open forum where you could easily and comfortably ask questions along the way, in addition to keeping the shooting phase completely safe and smooth running. Nobody was rushed and everybody had more than adequate one-on-one time if needed.

I especially appreciated the fact that our instructors had decades of military and law enforcement experience. That’s important because a person can get a better understanding of what should be done from a police officer and ex-marine’s perspective.

Here’s their credentials:

  • Prior Military (both)
  • Prior Law Enforcement (Ken)
  • Expert Marksmanship Badges (Rifle and Pistol) (Both)
  • NRA Basic Pistol Instructor (Both)
  • NRA Basic Rifle Instructor (Both)
  • NRA Basic Shotgun Instructor (Both)
  • NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home Instructor (Both)
  • NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructor (Basic and Advanced) (Both)
  • NRA Chief Range Safety Officer (Both)
  • USCCA Handgun Instructor (U.S. Conceal Carry Association) (Both)
  • Competitive  in IDPA, IPSC, PPC (Police Pistol Combat), Camp Perry National Matches (Both)
  • Additional Training at TDI Ohio (Defensive Handgun 1 thru 5) (Ken past 15 yrs)
  • Additional Training through PDN (Combat focused shooting) (Kevin)
  • Gun smith and Glock Armor (Ken)

If you are interested in taking this class, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Handgun (NO Magnums)
  • Holster (strong side NO cross draw)
  • 2 Magazines or speed loaders
  • 60 rds. minimum of ammo (recommend 100)
  • Eye and Ear protection (shooting day only)
  • Concealment garment (Jacket or vest or anything that will completely cover your firearm)
  • Copy of your DL or State ID and FOID card (FOID only if IL resident)
  • Copy of any “Prior Training” documents or Military form DD214 (FLA. CCW, Utah CCW etc.)
  • Pen, Pencil, Notepad and highlighter
  • Positive Attitude

KSS

Below is what the state requires and also what they’ll give you credit for. 

Here is a list of training courses acceptable to satisfy the prior training requirements, consistent with Sections 75(g) and (i) of the Act, and the appropriate credit to be applied for each. It is the responsibility of the instructor to verify successful completion of prior training and apply credit as listed. Once this credit is combined with additional training hours provided by the instructor, the approved ILCCF Instructor will certify the 16-hours were met. Approved ILCCF Instructors should inform applicants how much credit they will receive for their prior training and remind them the prior training certificates must be submitted with the ILCCF Training Certificate when they apply. This list will be updated as additional courses are submitted and approved by the Department.
Course Title Acceptable Credit

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Illinois Hunter Safety Course ………………………………………………………….. 4 hours
Utah Concealed Carry …………………………………………………………………….. 4 hours
Florida Concealed Carry ………………………………………………………………… 4 hours
Nevada Concealed Carry ………………………………………………………………… 4 hours
Missouri Concealed Carry ………………………………………………………………. 4 hours
Kentucky Concealed Carry ……………………………………………………………… 4 hours
Michigan Concealed Carry ……………………………………………………………… 4 hours
Chicago Firearms Safety Course ……………………………………………………… 4 hours
NRA Basic Pistol ………………………………………………………………………….. 8 hours
NRA Personal Protection in the Home ……………………………………………… 8 hours
NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home ……………………………………… 8 hours
Active, Retired, or Honorably Discharged member
of the United States Armed Forces …………………………………………………… 8 hours

Here’s a copy of the list of functions you’ll learn as you participate in the curriculum:

First 8 Hrs.  Prior training and/or Military is exempt from section’s 1, 2 and 3.

1. Firearm safety;

______ a. 4 basic firearm handling safety rules

______ b. Home storage

______ c. Vehicle storage

______ d. Public Storage

 

2. Basic principles of marksmanship;

______ a. Stance

______ b. Grip

______ c. Sight Alignment

______ d. Sight Picture

______ e. Trigger Control

 

3. Care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealable ? rearm;

______ a. Gun identification: revolver, semi-automatic, misc.

______ b. Ammunition identification and selection

______ c. Safety and cleaning protocols

______ d. Cleaning equipment

______ e. Loading and unloading

Second 8 Hrs.  NO exemptions

4. All applicable State and Federal laws relating to the ownership, storage, carry, and transportation of a firearm;

______ a. The Act in its entirety,

1) with emphasis on 430 ILCS 66/10(h) which includes instruction on the appropriate and lawful interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm.

2) with emphasis on 430 ILCS 66/65 which includes instruction on prohibited areas and the parking lot exception.

______ b. The FOID Act 430 ILCS 65/1 ET seq.

______ c. Relevant portions of the ILCS including but not limited to

1) 720 ILCS 5/7-1. Use of force in defense of a person**

2) 720 ILCS 5/7-2. Use of force in defense of dwelling**

3) 720 ILCS 5/7-3. Use of force in defense of other property**

4) 720 ILCS 24/1 ET. Seq. Unlawful Use of Weapons**

** Must define dwelling, aggressor, forcible felony and unlawful use of weapons pursuant to the ILCS.

 

5. Weapon Handling;

______ a. Dry fire practice drills, handgun fundamentals

______ b. Dry fire practice drills from concealment

______ c. Live fire practice drills, handgun fundamentals

______ d. Live fire qualification with a concealable ?rearm consisting of minimum of 30 rounds which must include 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards; 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards; and 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards at a B-27 silhouette target approved by the Illinois State Police.  See http://www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/ccw-faq.cfm for more info.

Classes will be held at the Deer Creek American Legion and utilize the KAM Shooting Sports range for the practical firearm shoot.  Please realize there is no 12 hr. curriculum, only 8 or 16 hrs.; you can combine any prior training to add up to 8 hrs. and 8 hrs. is the maximum credit any person can receive.  

December class dates:   Dec. 14/15 this a hosted class in Elmwood

Sunday   Dec. 22nd 8 hr only starts 8:00 am at the Legion 

January class dates:   Jan. 4/5 Full 16 hr class Saturday and Sunday; starts 8:00 am

                                 Jan. 11/12 Hosted class in Elmwood

                                 Jan. 18/19 Full 16 hr class Saturday and Sunday; starts 8:00

                                 Jan. 25/26 Full 16 hr class Saturday and Sunday; starts 8:00 am

For people taking the full 16 hr.’s of training, they will receive (2) certificates; 1 NRA Basic Pistol certificate and 1 Illinois CCFL certificate.  The NRA certificate is accepted by Florida and Arizona for their CCW applications.  People that take 8 hrs. will receive an Illinois CCFL certificate.  Florida and Arizona will also accept a Military form DD214 or active Military ID

Please Contact Kevin Moody at (309)642-0582 to schedule a class or email him at kam.shootingsports@gmail.com. I highly recommend this class for anyone looking to carry a concealed weapon legally, safely and intelligently! Get on board and don’t be the next “Knockout game” victim.

 

Some happy hunters!

You can click on the pictures up to 3 times to enlarge them!

 

“It was a great day of Bow hunting!This Marc AnthonyGhillie Suit and Carbon Synergy has changed the way I bow hunt…forever !”

Jerry Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke Terstriep below:

Luke Terstriep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Just want to give you guys some good press. I ordered a gillie suit on Sept 8th. I shot 3 does in NJ during the September and October season. All using the gillie suit. So now I was comfortable using it. Then came my annual trip it Illinois. On Wednesday evening I decide to sit on the ground with my Gillie suit. See Picture attached. I’m convinced. I shot this buck at 14 yards. Rough score 150

Thanks

Cliff Jones”

cliff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fernando Knipp’s buck.

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My buck from this year.

72b - Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travis Joe Hirt

Travis Joe Hirt