We embark on another...
As was the case in 2008, we piled into the van and left Colorado just before sun-up with intentions to run straight through to Amarillo. This time, instead of staying with my sister, we made arrangements to stay a nearby hotel. Cheri took the first leg out, which left me time to tinker with the video camera. I attempted to get some good video of the clock and the sunrise, but the ride was just too rough to provide any useable footage.
As I’m sure all of you know that have been on trips, whether it be for business or pleasure, there seems to be an undercurrent, a theme, if you will, that defines it. This trip was no exception, and I eventually titled this trip “Sounded like a good idea at the time”. I think that will be my epitaph.
A month or so before, Becca and I were target shooting. I spent some time talking with a gentleman who was shooting a traditional bow. Like all fans of the sport, we compared our bows, technique, and other equipment. I noticed that his arrows were really moving slowly in the air, but when they hit the haystack target, they were hitting with amazing power. I asked him about that.
“Oh yeah,” he said rather proudly, “I took some all-thread and cut it down to about 75 grains each and glued it into each shaft just behind the inserts. I’m going after water-buffalo in March and I need to get my arrow weight up.”
I’m sure something in the back of my head said, “Don’t do this!”, but I was awed by the impact these arrows hit with, and I must have ignored it.
As soon as I got home, I ran to my then functional garage/bow shop and started slipping drill bits into arrows until I found a snug fit. Then I cut down 2-2x4s to about 8 inches each, clamped them together, and drilled 6 holes on the seam down to about 1” depth. Then I went to my tackle box, (fishing tackle), and grabbed all the bass-sinkers I could find.
From there I took the die or jig, the sinkers, and an old pot to the stove, melted the sinkers down and poured them into the wooden die in order to cast weights for my arrows. I was shooting 29” Easton Axis arrows at 10.3 grains per inch, 145 grain Steel Force Phat Heads, and I estimate the lead sinkers added around 75 to 80 grains to the arrows, which meant I was shooting around 523 grains of arrow out of a 62 pound bow. My intention was to hit the hogs with enough force to drop them in their tracks. Sweet! I wish I would have been able to chrono those arrows…
For those that read First Target: Hogs, you’ll see that while in fact I had learned some lessons, I had obviously gone to the other extreme. I will say this much for myself though: After tuning the bow to those new bomber arrows, I was seeing absolutely incredible target penetration. So much so that I had to re-fletch my arrows almost every time I shot them. I lost one arrow completely because it hit the little red target so hard that it knocked it over, snapping the shaft as it fell. I got good groups… not as good as my untainted arrows, but good enough. So I deemed the effort a success and continued on.
We arrived in Amarillo faster than we ever had on previous trips, thanks mainly to a GPS program Cheri downloaded to her phone. I was amazed. I tried for additional footage while on the road and at one point I got a sleepy-eyed interview with the kids when we stopped for gas in New Mexico. The audio was horrible mainly because I had covered the camera with camo-duct tape, to include the surround-capable microphone. Of course I didn’t realize I had done this until we got home and the trip was over. Again with the theme??
We met my sister, had some dinner and giggles, then off to bed we went. The plan was to meet Kevin at his home and pick him up, then meet Randy and Terry at our final destination in Alto. Terry was there already filming his wife and another hunter, and Randy was assisting. We met Kevin, got a tour of his great house and land, met the dogs, and off we went.
We quickly realized though that as we left Amarillo, hours before leaving Kevin's house, that Cheri’s GPS program was great… so long as it was receiving a cell signal. We also realized that just outside of Amarillo, Cell coverage was spotty at best. We stopped for gas, and Cale looked at one of the ads on top of our pump, and saw that the truck-stop had a true GPS unit on sale for $79. We grabbed it. Once we had Kevin loaded up and we were on the road, we tried like crazy to follow directions he had printed out from MapQuest on how to get to Alto.
No good. We were officially lost. Oh wait… all we need to do is load the ranch’s address into the GPS unit and we’re good! No good… no address… Hmmm.. Ok. Load Alto, Texas into the city finder program of the GPS. No good… Can’t find it, but here’s how to get to Alto, New Mexico. Kevin called Randy and just got him as he was headed out to the stands… and the directions were great.
By the time we arrived at Cedar Springs Ranch, Terry’s wife Dawn had shot her first hog ever. Not only was this her first hog, it was her first animal with a bow. To add to it… she had the bow for less than a week and… she was on film for the first time to boot. She really performed under pressure. There was a problem with a bow she had ordered and the company they were dealing with at the time kept pushing the ready-date back until finally Terry just grabbed a bow off a rack and had her shoot the tar out of it. Obviously, it wasn’t a problem and he and Dawn would be headed back to Illinois with great meat for the freezer. All they had to do was recover it.
I sincerely hoped with all I could muster that their recovery was easier than our previous attempts at 4D, but I couldn’t spare much time to express that to them because as soon as we arrived, I was up. I shook hands with the owner Mike, and Kevin and I quickly changed into our camo. It was time to put my arrows to the test.
Last edited by Colorado Rick; 04-16-2010 at 12:55 PM.