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by Cutch

Cutch's Compound Bow Tips for DH2005

November of 2004

Having trouble using the compound bow? Here's how I use "The Silent Killer.”  ;-)  You folks who aren't having any problems, please disregard these tips and keep doing your thing.

1.         Go into setting, video, and change the meters to yards;

2.         Create a Custom Bow and set the range at 55 yards;

3.         Use only the TOP PIN for aiming, Forget the other 2 pins, pretend they're not there;

4.         Try to shoot at a buck while he is standing or walking;

5.         I never shoot at a monster buck farther than 40 yards; and

5.         I use only the rattling horns, no scents, no calls.  

Now, go to the target range and use the spotting scope or one of your firearms with the 12x range finding scopes, position yourself 25 yards from one of the buck targets.

In the single person view, put the top pin at the bottom of the buck's chest. (broadside or coming at you). The arrow will hit the buck in the heart or lung area.

Position yourself at 35 yards.  Put the top pin in the middle of the buck's chest. The arrow will hit the buck in the heart or lung area.  At 40 yards, aim at the top of the buck's back with the top pin. The arrow will hit the buck in the heart or lungs.

In order for this to work, you have to get within 40 yards of the buck.  Most of my shots are between 18 and 35 yards. I scout the maps and find areas that are fairly open where I can see the deer at about 200 yards. I find areas that frequently have deer... and hunt them (you can find these areas in the zoned maps).

Here's how you get within bow range. I walk around the map with the wind in my face or at least have a crosswind.  When I spot a Monster I want to shoot, I check the wind direction.  While facing the buck I sneak towards him and while I maneuver to get into position for a shot, I use either the A or D key in combination with the W key to circle the buck until the wind is in my face while looking at the buck.  Stay out at a distance and the buck won't spook... about 150 yards or more.  I walk towards the buck until I'm within 125 yards, then I drop to a crouch.  At about 75 yards, I drop to a crawl.  I crawl to with in 50 yards of the buck. If the buck is walking towards me all this time, I never use the horns... just let him walk to me.  At 40 yards, I stand up and press the shift key (if the buck doesn't drop, I chase him). Somewhere between 18 and 35 yards, I shoot the buck.  If the buck is walking broadside, when the front of his chest meets the top pin, I release the arrow. At these short distances, the arrow will hit the buck in the heart or lungs.

If after spotting a monster, you've circled him to get the wind in your face and he's walking AWAY from you, the buck has to be turned so he's walking back towards you.  This is the only time I use the horns.  You have to rattle several times to turn the buck... it may take up to 6 times, using a 3 or  4 rattle sequence, to turn him.  After he turns and starts walking towards you, start your stalk in the manner I've described (crouch and crawl using the A or D keys).



September, 2004

After retiring from tourneys a couple years ago, I entered ACL's bow tourney about a month or so ago... lucked out and won. I hunted this tourney hard like I used to in earlier Dh2, Dh3, and Dh4 contests.

When I received the invitation from Honeywest to play this tourney, I thought, "Cutch, have you still got it in you to win a big tourney?"  I decided to answer that. I hunted this tourney hard, sometimes 4 to 5 hours a day, that's how I used to win many tourneys years ago.  I used the same tactics as I explained in my bow tips posted at ACL.  I found about 6 good spots on each map and used the "Trotline" method of hunting.  I lucked out on Monday and got the Muley with the 45/70 single shot pistol. I nailed the Whitetail Tues. with the single shot 7mm. That gave me Weds., Thurs., and Friday to get the Blacktail WR with the bow... couldn't hunt Sat., had plans. I wanted to send in 3 WR's.

I had a tough time finding the Blackie WR. I nailed 13 trophy bucks ranging from 170 to 179 before I found the WR. After I found him, I nearly blew it.  I spotted 2 bucks in the NE corner of the map. Using only the horns, I started rattling after I sneaked closer to the river they would have to cross. I did this because there isn't much brush along the rivers, giving me a clear shot, and bucks don't start that silly (and unrealistic) bouncing after they leave the water.   As I watched the small 6 point and dandy trophy buck walk towards me, I see a huge typical come over the top of the hill behind them, and catch up with the other 2 bucks.  He came across the river first.  At about 21 yards, he was walking broadside to me.  As soon as I released the arrow, I knew I hadn't lead him enough.  I hit him too far back and he ran over the hill to the North.  I noted the direction he fled and turned, dropping the trophy buck in his tracks. The small buck was approaching from about 40 yds, just leaving the river. I slowly crawled backwards distancing myself from him so he wouldn't spook... I had plans for him.   After a bit he started walking east.  I waited until he was about 75 yards away and started sneaking after him.  On the way, I bagged the 177 buck I had shot.  After I followed the small buck a hundred yards or so, he turned 90 degrees and headed north towards the first buck I had wounded.  I slowly followed in the 3rd person view watching out in front of him to spot the wounded buck.  I knew they would join up sooner or later. As you know, it's very hard to get within range of a wounded buck, as they won't respond to calls.  After about 6 minutes, I saw the wounded buck walking down off the ridge to join his little buddy. I was within about 75 yds of them.  I had used the horns to get the bucks within bow range at the start of the hunt, so this time I used the doe bleat twice. The small buck stopped and turned his head in my direction.  I doe bleated twice more. He turned and started walking towards me.  I spotted a clump of brush in line with the approaching bucks with my spotting scope, I noticed it was 17 yds from me. Too close; the small buck would spook before the wounded buck was within range.  I carefully and slowly crawled backwards until the brush was 21 yds from me.  As the small buck walked a couple steps past the brush, I had the top pin aimed in the middle of the huge wounded buck and let fly. The monster dropped in his tracks and as the small buck ran away, I said to myself, "Thanks little buddy, you were a wonderful guide and gave me a chance to win this tournament that I wanted to win so badly.

Now that I've proved to myself that I can still hunt like I used to, I'll settle back and hunt the few tourneys I enter... just for fun again. ;-)

I had a wonderful time in this tourney, playing with my friends.  Thanks for inviting me.

Editor's Note:  No, thank you, Cutch, for hunting with us!



Let's start from the beginning for the benefit of those folks who haven't tried bow hunting yet.  First of all, I will tell you the weapons and equipment I use.  My primary weapon is the compound bow. I have the crossbow as a backup weapon, but rarely use it. I tried the longbow, but you have to shoot in the 3rd person view, no fun, don't try it.  I take cover scent, (don't use the other scents), deer food, electronic call, doe bleat, horns, GPS, spotting scope, and tripod.  This is what I use in all hunts, in all seasons, no exceptions. 

First thing, I would go to the target range and practice until you can accurately shoot between 20 and 30 yds. I sight in my bows and practice in the Dutchman's Target Range map (excellent map for Muleys and Blackies also).  Start out with the round targets, not the deer decoys. Using the spotting scope, position yourself 25 yds from the target.

Now, some of you are going to balk at what I'm going to tell you next. But, it's the way I've been shooting the bows in all the Sunstorm games and it works very well for me. OK, the compound bow has 3 pins, USE ONLY THE TOP PIN, don't argue, just do it. LOL  Pretend the middle and bottom pins aren't there (compound bow & crossbow, I use the crossbow scope).  At 25 yds put the center of the top pin in the middle of the bullseye.  Shoot at least 3 times from that distance.  If your arrow is a little low, move one step towards the target.  Move one step until you find out exactly where your arrow hits the middle of the bullseye.  REMEMBER that distance, that's where you'll make 90% of your shots at deer.  Now move ahead until you're at 20 yds.  Now, aim at the bottom of the red bullseye.  Your arrow should be in the center again. Move back to 30 yds from the target.  Aim about a foot above the center of the red bullseye.  You should be very close to the center of the bullseye again.  Practice this for an hour or more until you're confident at hitting the bullseye at 20 to 30 yds.

Ok, let's move to a deer target.  Position yourself broadside to the target and shoot at the same distances you shot at the bullseye.  At 20 yds, aim at the bottom of the deer's chest behind the front leg (heart & lung area). Your arrow should hit the deer in this area.  Move to 25 yds and aim at the middle of the chest.  Then, move back 30 yds and aim at the top of the deer's back, above the lung area.  Practice at these three distances until you hit the kill zone (heart & lungs) consistently.  After you're confident with your shooting, move so you're in front of the deer as though it were walking toward you.  Do the same thing at the three distances you've been practicing at.  At 20 yds, aim at the bottom of the deer's chest.  At 25 yds, aim at the middle of its chest.  At 30 yds aim at the middle of it's neck (Adam's apple).



Ok, you have been practicing with the compound bow.  Now, at the Dutchman's Target Range you can break 3 bottles at distances of 20, 25, and 30 yards, and seldom miss, right?  Ok then, let's find some good bow hunting spots on a map.  I like a map with meandering rivers like Northern Kansas or Central Texas.  Where the rivers take sharp bends, it leaves areas with water on 3 sides.  These are the areas I choose, IF they have thick trees.  I find more monster bucks in trees than out in the open.  If the maps don't have rivers, I pick thick wooded areas, always thick wooded areas where I can see in at least 3 directions.  For example, let's start with Northern Kansas, one of my favorite bow hunting maps.  In this map, the rivers run North to South (like most maps) so, my favorite spots will be along the river and it's forks.

I enter a map in many spots to find the areas that suit my style of bow hunting before I start hunting.  I do lots of scouting just like in real life.  I find several good looking spots along the river and a couple in the NW, SW, SE, and NE.  There's a reason for this, changing your hunt direction when the wind changes.  After entering the map in many places and checking them out, I narrow it down to about 12 spots, 4 along the river, 2 in the NW, 2 in the SW, 2 in the SE, and 2 in the NE.  (The number of spots doesn't matter, I usually end up with 10 to 12). I take a screenshot of the map and mark these areas and number them #1 to #12.  I print the map and keep it by my computer.  I do this with each map because I can't remember these spots.

I hunt using the "Trotline Method" Henry Booth and I developed over 5 years ago in Sunstorm's DH2 game.  I've hunted all deer hunting games since using a trotline and it works well in DH2004.  For those who don't know what a trotline is, I'll explain: In the South, folks tie 12 to 15 drop hooks or more from a mainline for catfish.  These dropper hooks are about 5 feet apart baited with whatever catfish eat.  They string this main line across a river and leave it overnight.  The next morning, if they're lucky, several cats will be on the line.  That's how the term trotline came about and why Hunter Booth and I used this term in our series of pre-picked hunting spots.  I always start my hunts at noon because there is more light and these old eyes can see better.  Start when you want, I've found the time doesn't matter.  I've nailed as many monsters at noon as I've nailed at dawn and dusk.  The Trotline Method of hunting is fairly simple. You check the wind position before you enter the map and plan your hunt.  If I can, I'll hunt from the North to the South, or from the South to the North; depending on the direction of the wind.  Let's say the wind is blowing from the South to the North.   I'll enter my Northern spot I've picked along the river.  I immediately spray cover scent 5 times.  I set out the electronic call and put 5 piles of deer food by it.  I walk backwards 17 steps with the wind in my face.  This puts me 23 yards from the call.  (Your steps may vary, check the distance with the spotting scope and adjust as needed).  The compound bow is dead-on at this range.  You can either hop on the tripod or crouch, I crouch so I can see under the trees.  Use whatever works best for you; try both. While waiting, I will rattle the horns a couple times every 3 minutes or so. ,I use the keyboard arrows to slowly turn 360 degrees, watching for deer coming in.  I still hunt this spot for about 12 minutes, (real minutes, my time is set at 1 minute = I minute), then checking the wind direction,  I walk to my next spot.  (I don't use the ATV or horse).  I walk into (or at least a crosswind) to the next spot and hunt it about 12 minutes.  I repeat this, always checking the wind before I move to my next spot.  When I leave a spot and walk to my next spot, at about 70 yards I crouch, look the area over, and sneak in for my next setup.  Many times I've spotted a buck or 2 in these areas and by rattling the horns, the bucks head towards me, and I'll nail a buck or 2 before I get to the setup.  After I bag my 2 bucks, I exit, check the wind direction and repeat the hunt again.  Many times I'll be bagged out by the 3rd spot on the trotline.

 NOTE:  You don't have to use the deer food or electronic call.  To make your hunts more realistic, just grunt and rattle the horns a couple times every 3 minutes or so when you're set.

UPDATE - MARCH 7, 2004


Ok, you can shoot an apple off some one's head at 25 yards, you have all the items I've suggested to take on a bow hunt, and you've scouted a map by entering it at many places.  You've picked several good spots and marked these spots on a map for your trotline, printed that map, and have it by your computer for reference.

Now you're ready to hunt.  I explained how I hunt previously in part 2 of my articles.  Here are some tips that will give you the advantage over these wily old bucks. These tips have increased my one arrow kills by 50%.  I don't wound as many bucks as I did before I started doing the following things:

1.         As soon as fawns and does come within range, I shoot at their feet and spook them.  I don't want them near when the bucks come into range.

2.         If I can spot the buck I want to shoot out beyond 75 yards or so, I go after him.  What I mean by that is… once they come in close to the food or to where you're set up, they start weaving back and forth making them a difficult target because you have to lead them.  Instead of waiting for them to come to me, I sneak in a crouch to my electronic call (if used), pick it up, then I start sneaking towards the buck.  I don't want the buck concentrating on the electronic call any more, that's why I pick it up.  I want him walking towards me and concentrating on my calling and rattling.  While sneaking towards the buck, if he loses interest and starts walking away, I rattle the horns a couple times or doe bleat.  Try either or both until the buck turns and starts walking towards you again.  I drop to a crawl, get in 3rd person view, and continue crawling towards the buck until I'm about 35 yards from him.  I then pop back into single person view, and at 18 to 23 yards, I shoot them in the middle of the chest most of the time.  The advantage of sneaking out after them is that most of the time they are walking right at you and you don't have to lead them like you do when they're weaving around the electronic call and food... and, sometimes you get a standing shot. You won't get a standing shot around the call and food.

3.         If you are hunting rut and a monster is coming in with his doe and spooks, don't shoot the doe or go after the buck if it's in thick trees and brush.  Watch the doe and follow her... she'll lead you to the buck.

            4.         If you are hunting pre-rut or rut and have 2 or 3 bucks coming in and the biggest one spooks, or you miss him and he runs off... don't shoot the smaller bucks.  Follow them at a distance and they will lead you to the bigger buck.  Also, if you wound a monster with a couple smaller bucks, follow the smaller bucks and they'll lead you to the wounded buck.

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