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    Winter is fast approaching, and for many hunters that means the end of their season. We can’t blame you; we know that while lots of people love winter that it is most definitely some people’s least favorite season. In fact, we have a few people in our offices who grumble every time someone mentions that winter is coming (and we have one who makes obscure Game of Thrones references every time this phrase is uttered). Regardless of your feelings on winter as a whole, there is one amazing benefit to winter: Winter Buck Hunting. If you’ve never been winter buck hunting it is an experience that everyone should enjoy at least once in their lifetimes. It has many challenges, but once you get your buck the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment makes everything worthwhile. However, winter hunting is a unique experience with unique challenges. Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks to help make your winter hunt successful.

    1. Bring your fully charged Pro-tracker, ultimate recovery system. We made this number 1 on our list because it can literally be a lifesaver. Winter weather is temperamental at best. Often times the weather report will show clear weather, only to have a spontaneous blizzard come seemingly out of nowhere in the middle of your hunt; or maybe you’re a hunter who loves to hunt mid-storm. Regardless of your timing preference in regards to winter storms, there are a myriad of challenges in the snow. Sometimes you have a great blood trail that later goes cold, sometimes you have no blood trail at all, and sometimes the terrain can become slippery and dangerous unexpectedly. This is where our system can help to save you. Our system can help track your animal so that you can recover it quickly in case of an emerging blizzard or to help you find it during a blizzard to help you get home safe with your animal in tow.Get yours here!

    2. Do not rely on your deer stand. While deer stands are a reliable way to get a buck during the main season, this is not the case for a winter hunt. Since food is scarcer, the bucks move around significantly less so the likelihood of one wandering by your stand is slim to none. If you want a winter buck, you have to rely on your skills as a tracker. This aspect of winter hunting is why the reward is so, so good; you have to put in some serious work.

    3. Look for food. This one seems pretty obvious: in winter food is harder to come by, so you’re likely to find them close to a food source. However, this is a key aspect of winter hunting; particularly if there is sleet. Sleet penetrates a deer’s coat, so they tend to hunker down in between trees near their main food sources prior to or after ice or sleet storms. That means if you perch in a spot with a good view your chances of snagging a beautiful winter buck are much higher.

    4. Pay attention to the wind. It doesn’t matter how good of a tracker you are if the deer can smell you a mile away. Winter winds can be notoriously strong and harsh, so you need to position yourself accordingly. You will constantly be changing your position to suit the wind in order to be successful. Wind is also important because bucks tend to use trees to act as blocks from particularly strong, chilly winds. If you know the direction the wind is blowing, you can usually pinpoint 2-3 locations near you that would make a good wind block and therefore will know a good place to bust out your binoculars and glass for bucks that are bedded down.

    5. Carry your bow in a shoot ready position. Since your hunting on the move, most shots will need to be made quickly in order to be successful. Having to shift your bow to a shoot ready position can cost you precious time causing you to lose your animal. The fact that winter buck hunting does require swift shots is another great reason to bring along your Pro-Tracker; often times swift shots are not as accurate as one would hope and our system can help you recovery your animal in case you have a poorly placed shot.

    Those are our top 5 tips for hunting winter bucks. We hope they help you to bag an awesome winter buck and help you enjoy your winter hunting experience! Don’t forget to send us pictures of your winter trophies or stories about hunting with your Pro-Tracker, ultimate recovery system because we love when you share your stories with us! Happy winter hunting!

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TRANSMITTERS & CARRIERS

Transmitter

The Pro-Tracker® Transmitter is a rechargeable, lightweight, water resistant transmitter that disengages from the arrow upon impact; allowing for pass-throughs. The transmitter hooks into the animal’s hide and begins sending Radio Frequency (RF) signals every three seconds for the duration of the battery life (10-12 hours). You will need the Pro-Tracker® Receiver to read and track the signal.

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Carrier

The Carrier is what screws into your arrow and holds the transmitter. It is aerodynamically designed to compensate for the weight and shape of the transmitter. Meaning minimal adjustments to your equipment for the same precision. This item comes in a pack of four.

 
 

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RADIO FREQUENCY RECEIVER

ReceiverYAGI Antenna

The Pro-Tracker® Radio Frequency (RF) Receiver is a compact system with an easy to attach antenna. This state of the art receiver can track up to 6 different transmitter signals at the same time. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on a easy to read LED screen. Available only in the Pro-Tracker© System

VIEW SYSTEM

DUAL CHARGER & CARRYING CASE

Carrying Case

The Pro-Tracker® custom metal carrying case helps you keep track of your Pro-Tracker system and ensures everything stays together. Its lightweight and durable design ensures your equipment is protected while being as easy as possible to carry during your hunting trip and recovering your trophy.

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Carrier

This dual-charging station allows you to charge up to two transmitters at a time. It includes both a USB and outlet adapter. The outlet adapter allows you to charge your transmitters at home while the USB adapters allow you to charge your transmiters in your truck for extended hunting trips.

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STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY

The patented Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will help you locate your kill with durable, state of the art technology. The compact system can track 6 different transmitters while using the same RF receiver with an easy to read LED screen. Best of all, our transmitters don’t require the purchase of batteries and can be recharged both at home and out in the field.

 

UNRIVALED PERFORMANCE

The Pro-Tracker® System has been field tested by top experts in the archery industry. With the Pro-Tracker® Archery System you’ll see virtually no difference in the trajectory of your arrow because of the aerodynamic carrier. Tests have shown the Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will give you many hours of use and the precision to recovery your trophy.

 

ETHICS

deer hunt
As a bow hunter, we appreciate the skill required to take an animal. We enjoy the smell of fresh air and the morning chill that seeps into your bones as you sit quietly and wait for an animal to wander into view. We understand the importance of a steady hand and careful aim; there is no feeling better than letting that arrow fly and hitting your mark. As bow hunters, we also understand the frustration when your perfectly aimed shot seems to go awry (i.e. hitting a branch or an unexpected object). If you miss, you go find your arrow and try again. If you wound your animal you can spend hours or days tracking the blood trail, hoping the weather holds until you find your kill. The sad fact though, is that while many times you will find your quarry, there are just as many times that an animal is unrecovered.
Looking back, you will find studies related to deer loss rates in bow hunting dating back to 1989. When the studies first began, the amount of animals wounded and lost is astounding, but as bow hunting equipment has improved, the number of animal losses has decreased substantially. Unfortunately, even with these decreases, the ratio of unrecovered animals is still causing concern within the bow hunting community and general public. We wanted to look deeper into deer loss rates, and focused on information obtained in two of the better known studies done by Stephen S. Ditchkoff et al and M. Andy Pedersen at al. One study found that of 104 bow hunters, there was an 18% wounding rate. Within a normal hunting season these hunters hit a total of 908 white tail deer, recovering only 746 (Pedersen et al 2008). In another study, it was determined that there was a 50% wounding rate and of that number 14% weren’t recovered. Of these deer 4% died annually from these wounds, while the rest survived (Ditchkoff et al. 1998).

pro-tracker bow huntIn the reports, we found that while many of the deer either die (Ditchkoff) or are recovered within 24 hours (Pedersen), that some can survive 5-7 days with wounds before they perish. When looking at these numbers and percentages for any individual state, the number of animals that are not recovered seems miniscule. However once you look at the entire population of bow hunters within the United States alone, the amount becomes much more significant (Ditchkoff). This more significant number of unrecovered animals has been causing animal rights and anti-hunting activists to state that bow hunting is both cruel and inhumane. It is because of this that the Pro-Tracker was invented. Our goal is to eliminate the possibility of losing even one animal while maintaining the integrity of the hunt. Pro-Tracker has been in use since 2010 and thus far we have a 100% accuracy rate in animal recovery. The Pro-Tracker system, while not ideal for every hunter, is thus far supporting the goal of striving to ensure bow hunting is appreciated for the skill it requires and given the support it deserves, rather than seen in a negative light. With technology and advancement in the archery industry, we can help in recovering the animals wounded and work to improve the loss rate. We all have a responsibility to the natural resources we are given; no one is perfect every time. Accidents do happen, and we need to be prepared for those occasions.

Literature Cited:
1. Ditchkoff, Stephen S., Edgar R. Welch Jr., Robert L. Lochmiller, Ronald E. Masters, William R. Starry, William C. Dinkines. 1998. Wounding of White-tailed Deer with Traditional Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 52:244-248. Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ronald_Masters/publication/237609363_Wounding_Rates_of_Whitetailed_Deer_

with_Traditional_Archery_Equipment/links/54c63cdf0cf256ed5a9d4dfe.pdf
2. Pedersen, Andy M., Seth Berry, Jeffrey C. Bossart. 2008. Wounding Rates of White –tailed Deer with Modern Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 62:31–34
Website: http://www.marylandqdma.com/files/Download/Pedersen-31-34.pdf