I can’t deny it — the Internet has everything

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My sister says everything is on the Internet. It hurts to admit this, but she’s right. I hope she doesn’t read this. According to Mark Drury, a call maker, archery pro staffer and hunting show producer, time spent on the Internet prior to hunting season can be time well spent.

That Drury proclamation was one of several tips he shared with outdoor writer John Phillips for an online article. How appropriate.

Good resource

Drury suggested a serious hunter could learn a lot by searching a variety of online sources. I agree, having invested more than a few recent hours preparing for an upcoming Colorado hunting trip.

I’ve read several forums about elk hunting in the same unit where I’ll be camped and I’ve studied aerial maps shot from satellites that are nothing short of awesome. By moving the mouse and on-screen cursor I’ve managed to locate our campsite and every detail within a couple of miles of it.

My printer spit out the maps and they are already stored in the backpack I’ll drag around the Rockies. I use the Google Earth site, but I hear other sites are as good or better. Hunters can do the same for local hunting spots and by studying the free maps they can determine the best spots for deer stands

I find it extremely interesting to examine a detailed aerial map, comparing the picture-like real image to the mental map I’ve created by walking a property.

Caution

One caution I can add from experience is to check when the information was published and where it comes from, because if the Internet has a glaring fault, it is a lack of conscience. In short, don’t believe everything you read on your computer.

Add to that the fact that nothing published online ever goes away — there’s no expiration date. A believer might read about a huge number of elk in Idaho’s panhandle but the information might have been scribed years ago, long before hungry wolf packs thinned the herd to bare bones.

Drury also suggested archers ought to be sending arrows to distant targets, some as far as 80 yards or more. I have trouble striking a target at arm’s length and can’t imagine sending a shaft that far downrange.

Strategy

His strategy is to condition eyes and muscles to consistently hit the ten ring of a distant target so that shorter shots are lesser challenges. Drury’s advice makes sense and I do believe it after discussing the issue with a group of archery hunters from Vermont who lease a property in Carroll County near my hunting spot.

These guys confidently arrow deer at ranges up to 60 yards and more. They do this without hesitation because they practice at long ranges. The keys, they agree, is to practice year around using good, fast shooting bows and dependable equipment. Modern compound bows can handle it, but most archers can’t.

About the Author

Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer, and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian. More Stories by Mike Tontimonia

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