Monday, 18 October 2021

Being versatile whilst out hunting

 Being versatile whilst out hunting

Here's a true story:

Travel over 650km in the car to remote wild property west of Tamworth NSW. It's a sheep station (as of the time of writing this article it is to my knowledge no longer run as such but as a sort of family get away into the wilderness!) which had plenty of wild goats and pigs competing for the scarce food with the farmer's sheep. He took on responsible bowhunters (and used to take "piggers" but no longer when we went as he said there were too many "lost dogs" killing his sheep; and he even offered us money for every dead dog we produced!

We were to hunt several times there over the coming years.

Steep rugged country with pristine creeks laden with rainbow trout, man what a great place.

We had planned for ages to get to this place and had been practicing everyday for weeks. Everything was set! off we went.

Arrive at the place and meet the landowner. He had a chat with me and my mate and decided that we seemed like a couple of decent guys and even invited us if we got anything that we could used his deep freezer to store our game (it was summer). That was the first hurdle and things were going well. He told us where to drive to a remote campsite some distance away from the homestead, where we could set up our camp.

Upon arrival at the camp site, it was perfect, a flat grassy area right next to a great creek! Plenty of fire wood and water! Now let's unpack and get the bows and the rest of the gear out!

OH NO! My mate has forgotten his hunting knife! In fact he has forgotten even a SAK!! The next day I got a really nice goat and after processing it where I shot it, bagged it up and off for the long walk back to camp. My mate was not impressed LOL but I BBQed some leg and what i didn't eat i took with me for lunch the next day! Well during lunch the next day I managed to cut myself very nicely on my left hand (luckily, I'm a right handed bow shooter) index finger second knuckle joint! ouch! I had to make a makeshift splint and of course bandage the finger. My first thought was damn! No more hunting for me this week! But my second action was to see if I could still hold my bow properly! LOL! No problems!! After all my index finger doesn't rest upon the grip. I then radioed him and told him of my (stupid) accident and his reply was that I was out of the league now LOL! Not so, another goat was bagged with an index finger in a crude but effect wooden splint. Boy was my mate shitty (in a good way though) when he saw me walking into camp with another goat! 

Now the next day my mate got lucky and with nothing but a spare broadhead, he gutted and skinned his prize billy and it only took him 30 minutes! We had such a good laugh about this and remarked how one has to be versatile!

The following day we watched with amazement how 2 big roos out ran and then out swam two wild dogs chasing them off the side of a mountain and then into a creek. The roos left the dogs behind once they got into the water! Later my mate caught a huge trout and then came face to face with a nice black snake (luckily for him!) all before the day was out. That was it, a successful bowhunting trip and plenty of meat to take back to the big smoke!


the following day my mate got one too but we were hunting alone and were communicating by walkie talkies. We both had first aid with us as well, maps etc.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Hatsan High pressure PCP Pump Features and benefits for PCP air Rifles

 Hatsan High pressure PCP Pump Features and benefits for PCP air Rifles


Example PCP Air Rifle

I bought this brand for no other reason other than it has long been established in the PCP world and it was "affordable" for my budget. Also my local gun shop stocks lots of spare parts for it and has experienced staff that can service such a pump, should I be stupid enough to cook the O-rings whilst using the pump.

A quick run down of the various key parts:

Note he "pump locking stud" is to lock via twisting the pump piston so as during transport these sections can not come out and be possibly damaged due to bending etc. This is a very good idea/feature. The overall feel is one of sturdiness and this hand pump is actually quite heavy, so whilst these PCP pumps are designed for portability and or mobility; allowing one to fill their PCP tanks anytime** and basically anywhere, they are NOT light at all.

** On the note about filling anytime, this is not exactly correct because these kinds of pumps dry air by the air passing across some sort of desiccating agent such as silica gel- (which is not the best desiccant for rapid removal of moisture). So one should avoid pressurising their PCP cylinders during humid weather or in the rain.

The pump handle contains the moisture desiccant and the air intakes sport two sintered brass filters like what can be seen on high end air filtration setups.

Steel and brass construction throughout

I removed the Hatsan high pressure adaptor and replaced it with my Reximex HP adaptor for the Reximex throne, note the inclusion of the HP seal, however, I may remove the HP seal and use (sparingly) gas rated PTFE tape as the Reximex adaptor is shorter by approx 5mm than the Hatsan adaptor and we are talking 3000PSI pressures. So if it leaks etc or I will just go back to PTFE and remove that HP washer.

Friday, 15 October 2021

Hunting trip stories from the vault

 Here's a quick blurb about a recent hunting trip!

In order to get to a cool hunting site I need to cross either a very dangerous bridge or ford a river on foot or by 4WD*.

Ok why is the bridge dangerous, well because it is falling down and actually shakes when you walk on it. It's not a pedestrian bridge over this river but an old vehicular bridge, so you get the idea of how big it is and the fact is is literally "bouncing up and down". The reason being is that during the last snow melt, the spring waters have moved the pylons and they no longer properly support the deck, Mmmmmm!

Ok so shoes off and cross the icy waters, it's not far only about 50m or a bit less. Boots back on and off we go.

Get to site, start to build a hide but somewhere along the way the wind starts to play havoc with the hide and it has to be stitched up as it were. I have no idea how but a damn wasp, probably on the material I was picking up from the ground,  got under my shirt and proceeded to sting me several times right on my damn tail bone! I got it out and it met with my foot. I could not yell out, swear, exclaim anything lest I frighten off and ruin any chances of getting anything. But wait there is more! After about 1.5 hours of patiently waiting for game, We had to stand up and flex our legs but of course, no problems as we had been keeping a diligent eye out for game and we were ok to stand up.

No No No No!!

 LOL, no sooner did we stand up then two choice Pheasants which were less than 20ft from the hide burst out of the grass LOL and flew maybe 30ft away, this was pretty good for us as they usually fly further when startled. Had we waited just minutes more they would have been in the clear ie our sights. So there you go. Maybe some of you know the feeling, stalking a goat, loose sight of it momentarily then realise it is almost right next to you but you are no longer in a good position!

Better luck next time!


*easier to go on foot or bike to this site.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

WISDOM LAMP 4 Revisited A great Caving Light

 WISDOM LAMP 4 Revisited A great Caving Light, especially f one uses the diffuser if they do not like the killer beam of this cap lamp.

Ok So first up I'm going say that this light, the Wisdom Lamp 4 really holds a charge. I haven't been caving in almost 2 months and I thought maybe I had better give the light a bit of a charge op up etc. LOL! No need, I plugged it in and batteries are still fully charged (green light). This is testament to WISDOM using quality Panasonic Lithium Ion Batteries (18650's) inside of this cap lamp, which are obviously slow to discharge over time.

Vortex Crossfire® Red Dot 2 MOA CF-RD2


Vortex Crossfire® Red Dot 2 MOA CF-RD2

Quick run down by BCT

Obviously the box!

This model has a 2 minutes of angle dot. The battery longevity is rated at 50,000hr? I find this hard to believe??? That's a whooping 5 years if used at medium brightness!

What's included?

Low profile Picatinny rail mount; Torx type star key (for locking the the Red Dot to the Picatinny rail of your rifle/pistol; battery; instruction book; screws; 2 dust caps and a microfibre cloth (see below).

Just in case you forget, the type of battery is listed upon the side of the main housing! This Red Dot comes already mounted to a high platform. The battery is housed within the illumination knob (a coin can be used to access this port).

Why did I choose the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot scope?

Unfortunately I'm not 25 years old anymore, I'd love to be!

I also work primarily as a scientific and wildlife filmmaker and as an ex research scientist with a strong background in Neuroscience and applied physics I had to use constantly numerous forms of imaging equipment and still do. 
As a consequence of "getting old" (heck what is that????) one's eyesight gets weaker generally with age and I found that I must keep both eyes open using electronic viewfinders for video cameras (that's a good thing anyway, in order to know what's happening with the wild life on one's periphery). 

Why not close one yes?, everyone else does? Well I found that the eye which was closed for maybe some minutes at a time, when reopened it took sometime to be able to refocus again. What do I mean by "some time"?  I mean like 5 minutes or more! That's way too long in my view. Making a choice for a standard rifle optic where generally one eye is closed would just make shooting a bit more of an unnecessary stress for my eyes. Yes, one could probably do the 2 eyes open thing but a rifle scope is not intended to be used like this.

The alternative was to go Red Dot or holographic (out of my budget unfortunately). Also for my intended purpose, my range to target would never be more than 50m, I believe I can "get away" with using a red dot. But where to start looking? There are so many choices!

I'm looking for durability and warranty

Warranties are a big thing for me when it comes to camera optics and no reason why it is not important for  rifle optics.
Vortex offers some crazy warranty, the device is weather resistant and it has, according to the instruction booklet good battery life. Plus I did watch a rather convincing YouTube video where the You  Tuber poured water all over one , and then belted it against some fake doors and then fired off many rounds of his AR15?

Anyway I don't suffer from astigmatism, so I should be ok with this red dot, time will tell.

Instruction book and microfibre cloth. The cloth did not come in a plastic sleeve, so be careful if u buy one of these sights, the cloth can accidentally fall out on the floor or ground and trust me, you are then better off chucking it out as small dust and abrasive dirt particles will ruin your outer optics if u decide to use that cloth!

Using the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot
The large dial adjusts the dot brightness and you can see the top of the windage and elevation knobs. Two rubber dust caps are included and joined together by a sort of rubber band (not visible in this image). The windage and elevation dials move in distinct "clicks"and the booklet says that each "click" is equivalent to 1 minute of angle. There are detailed enough instructions for zeroing although the instructions seem a little funny as they suggest to use either the "raised bar" to turn the knobs or a coin???? presumably they mean use 2 coins either side of the bar in order to move them?? I don't know. I think my finger strength will be more than good enough??? 

Ok I will now explain it properly! Covering the windage and elevation controls are dust caps which are sealed with an O-ring. The seal is not a typical O-ring seal in that the inside body of the cap comes down over the )-ring but rather the base of the cap simply squashes the O-ring. This I feel, if one was to really crank down hard these seals, will quickly damage the O-ring/s.

One these caps have been removed to change the windage and elevation one needs to use either a flat headed screwdriver and or a "coin" as they suggest in order to achieve this. This is I guess  feature to prevent accidental movement of these controls should they get bumped (which is impossible, even if the cap is left off because the controls are recessed below the body of the Red Dot scope.

Sighting In

They suggest to use a "bore sighter" in order to properly site in the Crossfire. Or to visually sight it in via the bore, because this scope has been designed for use on a rifle and not a PCP, so  guess these steps would have to be skipped as it is not possible to easily sight down a PCP barrel, just do it the regular way for a PCP, ie some target shooting to check for zero alignment at whatever one is going to shoot at. me personally, I'll be sighing in at less than 100m (50m) or 100m, we shall see.

The crazy thing is that is an Unlimited and Unconditional warranty with the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot; weather proofed, and shock proof as i have already stated.

Vortex is a USA company but for the price (approx 150-180 USD depending upon where one looks these days) of this RED DOT, we find it is made of course in China. Let's hope it is indeed made to a high standard. 

Stay tuned for a proper field test.


Saturday, 9 October 2021

Reximex THRONE PCP Quick tour

 Reximex THRONE PCP quick tour

Ok, so I spent quite a bit of time researching PCP rifles and finally after some months of research, I settled upon the REXIMEX THRONE 0.22cal PCP

Now I will tell you in detail why I selected this rifle over the bazillion of models out there. Firstly, this is not going to be some tech head gunsmith article, so don't worry here, secondly this will be one of many articles on this subject i hope to bring to you both here and on the channel bushCampingTools.

The first thing, is that I want to clear up any confusion out there as to Reximex and King arms otherwise known as KRAL Arms, These are not the same company and are located quite some distance away from one another in Turkey. However, I believe the owner of Reximex is the son of the late owner of Kral arms. The map below shows the location of REXIMEX (White heart shaped marker) and KRAL Arms (marked as King Hunting). It doesn't take long if one searches for Turkish arms manufacturers you will find many such companies within Turkey.

Image courtesy of Google maps

Rifle Aesthetics of the REXIMEX THRONE PCP

There was no doubt in my mind when it comes to aesthetics, Turkish produced fire arms look really nice. Famed for the use of Turkish walnut in stock production and attention to detail, in fact not only that but Turkey exports walnut to many countries, as this dark wood appeals to many in the gun and knife manufacturing trade as well as cabinet makers world wide.

The REXIMEX THRONE whilst not made with a walnut stock is none the less of aesthetic design with clean lines, smooth comfortable corners featuring a synthetic, steel and aluminium construction throughout. The company states that they are using both Turkish and Italian produced metal alloys and that there is much CNC going on with production. In fact all of the metal parts, in particular the receiver construction I found to be very well machined (why wouldn't it? as the cnc mill only does what the programmer instructs it to do, so the design from both aesthetics and functionality are the critical step here (and in any cnc produced device for that matter). With the exception of the Mil std rails there are no "uncomfortable" protrusions upon this weapon.

There are many PCPs out there, maybe even more models than conventional firearms? Generally, I've found but not without exception, European* produced  PCPs to  be not only functional but aesthetic as well (if this is important to you).

On this note, many PCPs also look like they came out of a "Meccano"** factory and if you are not familiar with this analogy then they look like they resulted from a rushed design with no thought to comfort and only had "cheapness" in mind. I should say there may be no relationship between function and aesthetics when it comes to firearms. But let's face it if you are to spend good money on such purchases then better to buy something you could not have made on the school cnc mill and with a half baked design program, don't you reckon? 

For example: simple design features like having a proper butt, not made as a straight line because no one's shoulder in the human race is flat; all of these PCP's that feature a flat piece of metal terminating the stock, clearly indicate regions of cost cutting in production and little thought to long time usage IMHO. And just because something is SWISS made doesn't mean it has to be aesthetic (although a Swiss friend of mine once said when I asked her if there were any shit made Swiss products, she said without hesitation but with a little laugh; NO!

The butt end of the REXIMEX THRONE is made of a comfortable hardness rubber (and adjustable-up and down-however no angle adjustment)

More on this subject later!

Did REXIMEX copy the Swiss made FX?

Well one only has to look at the two rifles side by side to see that the obvious answer is NO. They don't look anything like each other, it's like saying Yamaha bikes are copies of Honda!

** No offence to Meccano-I still love the stuff even as an adult, although they could bring back more open ended kits.

(Turkey is not classified as being within Europe but borders with South Eastern European countries)

If you have travelled these regions you will have noticed similarities amongst the cultures.

The REXIMEX THRONE comes under the design of a "Bullpup" configuration, ie the action is behind the trigger, hence one can have the same length barrel as a regular rifle but in a shorter more manoeuvrable design.

External indicators

There are are two mini manometer gauges on the Reximex THRONE; one for tank pressure (0-300Bar)  and one for the regulator (0-250 Bar). My only gripe is that the high pressure gauge could have been more carefully designed so that when the gun is horizontal the gauge marking are also horizontal, although this is not really a problem as what's important is that the gauges read accurately.

Such gauges could easily be replaced with digital gauges. the bodies are metal, as to what sort of metal it is not possible to tell until the paint gets chipped off, but tey feel sturdy enough, time will tell.

The above picture shows my only genuine gripe and whilst it in no way reflects the operation of the firearm, it clearly got past QC. I do not believe i'm being picky either. The trigger safety mechanism was clearly damaged during manufacture (only cosmetic) and installed regardless. This is NOT a cheapo rifle and for a new company (2015 inception) trying to get out there. 

One of the deciding factors for me in the purchase of the Reximex THRONE was what we can see in the above image. and I don't mean the tape measure LOL!

The design of many PCPs, the barrels, no matter what are their lengths are only held captive by a very small amount of metal prior to the magazine and injector assembly. This to me is a big big design fault but also a result of cutting production corners to keep costs down at the expense of possible loss in accuracy and or a big big potential site for accidental damage to the barrel and or change of alignment. Ok how the heck do I come to these conclusions? Having a long piece of metal protruding from just a small piece of metal, the longer pice acts as a lever. One slight bang on that lever and this will put undue strain upon the mounting region of the barrel. no rifle is built like this, at least no good rifle that's for sure. Ok so one is not supposed to accidentally bang or bump the barrel of a gun but it can happen. i guess if you are only going to the range and carrying your PCP around like it is made of glass then ok, this will not be of any issue.
Now the barrel of the REXIMIX THRONE travels through a very hefty and rigid receiver and then locked in place at the rear of the gun (see image below showing the barrel unlocking screw knob). This is an important feature for me and I believe accounts for the consistent results shooters are getting from the THRONE, because the barrel is secured very rigidly within the frame/body of the rifle. Instead of having 58 cm sticking out of the receiver body, the barrel is instead held rigidly captive and less subjected to variations of temperature change/vibration, etc. during extensive firing and handling long term. 

BTW not all Bullpup PCP designs have their barrels so securely mounted as the REXIMEX THRONE. You can see this (the barrel mounting) on more expensive brands.

Features (for me) at a glance:
Hefty feel of robustness,(it's not a lightweight gun weighing in at 3.75 Kg, so basically after about 1km of waking this equates to 4kgs in my book LOL!.

Fully shrouded barrel (past the receiver), the barrel BTW is nicely blued. The REXIMEX THRONE also features a built in sound moderator (as part of the shroud-which BTW is metal) and came with an air stripper fitted!

All graphics are LASER engraved into the Aluminium body.

Serial number and calibre is clearly LASER engraved upon the receiver. Here in the above image you can clearly see the plastic covering over the barrel. this plastic feels really strong and as i said later on, it does not feel flimsy at all.

The cocking lever came for right hand use but can be changed over for left handed cocking: here is a link to a video where a you tuber shows how to accomplish this.
Note all of the exterior bolts are of the more  professional socket head design and hence less likely to be stripped like a flat head or Phillips head configuration. Note just in case one forgets, in big white (actually it's the silver color of raw Al) letters is a reminder of the maximum working pressure of the tank!!

The top Picatinny rail (MIL-STD-1913) features both 11 and 22mm dimensions, the lower rail is only 22mm.

What this means basically you could fit anything to the THRONE.

A 6.5" lower Picatinny rail is fitted, the newer THRONE Gen 2 features a much smaller rail in this position (according to the media blurb on REXIMEX's web site).

The safety mechanism is part of the guard and is intuitive to use. Speaking of the guard, the whole machining of the receiver/guard etc is very sturdy looking.

The included carry case was the only negative. It is sort of a Pelican case copy and like so many other manufacturers they can only copy but not duplicate the excellent construction and durability of the Pelican case for which pelican reigns supreme IMHO based upon over 20 years experience travelling the globe using Pelican cases.

The case for the THRONE is way too big as well IMHO and only possibly suited for air travel but certainly too big to chuck in the truck or car and travel to some range or hunting site. I mean I could probably put my compound in the case at the same time LOL. Also the hinge pins can easily come out?? What the heck? Also my case was missing one cir-clip off one of the transport wheel's axel. While this is certainly no disaster, it is a slight black mark. 

But heck I'm really only interested in their gun making skills because if one wants a good case you go to a specific case manufacturers like Pelican.
Ok but  the inclusion of a hard case is great and don't get me wrong I'm not complaining but hey they could have thought this out a bit better. As to where the case is made, I will ask them but my guess is China?

More on this later. 

The REXIMIX THRONE comes with a very large carry case. It's 50 inches long! (I guess if one decides to put on an aftermarket moderator and leave it on; a big riflescope and carry other items, the case can soon be filled out.)

The filling port comes with a nicely fitting protective cap to keep out dirt and dust.

All text is LASER engraved.

Power adjustment, ie "hammer adjuster"

Pellet pusher, showing the region to place the pellet pusher removal tool if one wants to change barrel calibre. Also shown is the "Transfer port" adjuster screw, this essentially can either restrict the degree of air entering the barrel. (here seen set at a maximum). This Reximex throne BTW is the Version 2 as version one did not include a transfer port adjustment.

Here are the specifications at a glance:

 Caliber: 4.5 mm 177 cal / 5.5 mm 22 cal / 6.35 mm 25 cal
 Barrel Length: 58cm / 22.8"
 Tube Air Volume: 200 Bar / 425cc
 Overall Length: 87.5cm / 34.4"
 Trigger Distance: 37.5cm / 14.7"
 Stock: Synthetic
 Weight: 3.75 kg
 Magazine Capacity: 14 shots 4,5 mm / 12 shots 5,5 mm / 10     shots 6,35 mm.

What about the weight distribution and does this matter for such a short rifle configuration?

The weight distribution centres around the middle of the guard (note I checked this when my bottle was only just under half full but since this is such a small bottle i do not believe a full bottle would change the weight distribution much at all.

Included in the box came the following items:

Spare O-rings
X1 large Allen wrench to remove the lower grip to access the trigger adjustment.
X1 filler quick release (brass construction).
X2 plastic construction  0.22cal magazines.

X1 Instruction booklet which also contains  a full parts list. For the parts list one will need "microscope eyes" in order to read what these parts are and REXIMEX could have done a better job here as the manual, although very brief, does in fact describe how to basically partially strip the weapon for safe adjustment of the regulator pressure setting and also demonstrates how to change out the barrel for a different calibre (my gun did not come with the special tool require to remove the pusher but this could be easily rectified). Although this latter point might only be relevant for the newer THRONE Gen 2?

The images of the parts are just way too small and the actual O-ring sizes are not given, which is a bit of a pain because these will be the first thing to fail in any PCP. I will endeavour to measure them accurately and post the actual sizes here at a later date.

Thus the instruction booklet is very brief and most of it concentrates (as one might expect) upon safety issues should instructions not be followed to the letter. As a note to myself, just for the heck of it, I might rewrite the manual.

What is on the REXIMEX site?

Is it still available and or supported by REXIMEX? I do not know, all I know is (and I am awaiting confirmation here from REXIMEX) that my gun shop said it only had a 6 months warranty, this seemed kind of short to me?

The Reximex THRONE no longer appears on the current REXIMEX website  (THRONE Gen 2 is supposed to be coming out???) although many dealers/retailers still have the THRONE  for sale. It did come out around 2020? and it would be nice to see some details about it on their current website. There appears to be a growing strong following worldwide of the THRONE, this does not surprise me at all. It was the first THRONE model sold by my gun shop.

There is NOTHING flimsy about the THRONE and it appears to be very user friendly. Note for the THRONE  Gen 2, they changed the "spoon" type lever action for a more "Biathlon rifle" type lever. For me personally this is not a problem as it is on the THRONE.

Anyway, once I've got my sights zeroed in and taken out for some shooting, i'll get back to you all.

The REXIMEX THRONE was supposedly also available in some sort of "Skull patterns"over everything except the receiver, it looks cool but also looks yobbo-ish at the same time. Pro matt black is the choice. 

I'm using a foot pump for portability although those pumps are hardly light weight LOL! Plus I will think of a more convenient way to transport the REXIMEX THRONE nationally as the "crate" it came with is really only suitable for air travel I believe.

Finally, sorry for the crap photos, not my usual style but very excited to get this overview out here. i know the gun has been on the market for a year now and that length of time has enabled many before me to post stuff about it independently on one another and given me a wealth of info to go on. As I said there is a plethora of PCP rifles out within the light calibre ranges such as .177 to .22 and also within the more heavier calibre models out there. Where to start????


Thursday, 23 September 2021

How I got my Bowhunting skills

 Hunting skills, how to develop them.

I'll confine this discussion to just hunting with a bow. I have "gone shooting" for kangaroos working briefly for a private contractor for pet food in Australia (obviously). However, I do not call this "hunting" but rather shooting, as the aim was (no pun intended) to dispatch as many suitable subjects as possible for the sole purpose of generating an income. There was no "sport" of any kind involved as we were using all aids necessary in order to achieve such goals.

Now that I have cleared up that definition, let's talk about Bowhunting skills and how I got them.

For me it started at the Orange and District Bowhunters club, many moons ago. A friendly bunch of people and one particular member took me under his arm when he saw how ridiculously I had made my arrows, and actually broke the ice by saying the following just seconds before introducing himself:

"Who the heck taught you to make arrows like that"? 

Then with a friendly smile, introduced himself and then said, if I had time I should come to his home and he will fix those poorly made arrows and tune my bow! Well I had only just moved into this town and that was a damn friendly gesture. I decided to take him up on his offer and one night (it was getting on to winter approaching) visited his place. His wife answered the door and said, "Wal's in the lounge room, go right on in."

I proceeded into a lounge room where all of the furniture was situated around the room, I realised I was standing upon a very large plastic sheet covering most of the carpet on the floor. In the middle of the room was a fairly big section of a tree trunk and on that a sheep carcass. Standing facing me with a raised cleaver in hand, my host greeted me by waving this thing at me (whilst smiling) and saying: "You're next"! 

I knew I was saved when one of his kids entered the room in their Pjs, at least I believed I was! Seriously, once the family butchering job was over, he did indeed take me into some shed and proceeded to explain why my arrows were too long and my fletchings a bit clumsy. After getting epoxy all over his fingers (I was freaking out as my new job in this town was working with very toxic compounds) but he nonchalantly wiped them clean with Kleenix tissues! He then went on to  tune my BEAR bow and welcomed me to the club and hoped they would all see me again. I have my friend Ian and colleague at work at the time for taking me there to this club all those years back.

Anyway I'd like to think I didn't make myself a nuisance out at the range for the next 2.5 years or so, although I did apparently annoy a few by winning the meat raffle three times in a row, the third time I donated it back to be won by someone else LOL! That was back in end of 1985! Same year in Nov i got my SCUBA ticket as well.

Ok, practice at the range. I also went to the range many times to practice either by myself or with others. I also went to the range just to practice sneaking up on kangaroos (unarmed of course) to see how close I could get without them knowing, especially to see if I could sneak to within a respectable shooting distance. I also took every opportunity to go hunting whether for rabbits, pigs or goats. I went not just on regular hunts but also after work in the evenings as well. This latter aspect I was lucky for as I was already living in the countryside and only mere kms from good hunting grounds, which made it possible to go after work for several hours. 

So the formal practice at the range, combined with just improving my stalking skills without bow and actually hunting as much as practically possible was paying off with meals of goat, goat skin rugs (developing tanning skills), rabbit meals, although a little tough LOL) and other.

Training and Tracking

However, I'd like to think the key "training" if you like was the practicing of stalking close to one's game. This could mean on two legs or  crawling along the ground on your guts-QUIETLY!, It doesn't matter but I think one needs to become skilled at both techniques. To perform successfully the latter, one needs to be able to carry their bow without damaging it or any accessories on that bow. The key thing here is not to destroy your string! When I started out with a FRED BEAR recurve of 58# I always carried a spare string with me (and of course bow wax) hunting. Later with a BEAR compound, I also carried a spare string (It had eccentric wheels) but these days with compound bows which require a press in order to string them, one has to be very careful of a ground stalk; essentially because one sharp rock will end your hunting trip if it snags your string!

You may be saying OMG get over it! No one is hunting like this any more! Well let me tell you, there is much excitement to be had with a ground stalk to within metres of your quarry and even within such a short range one simply jumps up and says out aloud: "It's your lucky day" much to the amazement of your quarry, before it bolts off at a hundred miles an hour! Because at that point, one knows they could have taken it down with their bare hands (within reason of course, game dependent!).

Yes there are those who "hunt" from hides, while there is considerable skill in doing this, personally I do not consider it hunting as it doesn't not involve any tracking of your quarry but just baiting. However, baiting one will always have a better chance at bagging something then going on some day march off into the wilds actually looking for some quarry. 

Learning to recognise different animal tracks and whether they are fresh tracks and the approximate age of them is key to becoming a good hunter IMHO.