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Discuss Barry Wensel's Article on LUCK
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
bowriter 02-Apr-14
TurkeyBowMaster 02-Apr-14
Zbone 02-Apr-14
YZF-88 02-Apr-14
R. Hale 02-Apr-14
CurveBow 02-Apr-14
TheLama 02-Apr-14
Bou'bound 02-Apr-14
Shug 02-Apr-14
habu john 02-Apr-14
bigswivle 02-Apr-14
Shug 02-Apr-14
Scrappy 03-Apr-14
lewis 03-Apr-14
TheLama 03-Apr-14
Bigwoods 03-Apr-14
BC 03-Apr-14
Fuzzy 03-Apr-14
Stan NJ 03-Apr-14
bowriter 03-Apr-14
leo17 03-Apr-14
R. Hale 03-Apr-14
R. Hale 03-Apr-14
Whip 04-Apr-14
Zbone 04-Apr-14
retro 04-Apr-14
TheLama 04-Apr-14
Panhandle Bob 04-Apr-14
loprofile 04-Apr-14
R. Hale 04-Apr-14
TheLama 04-Apr-14
loprofile 04-Apr-14
Gaur 04-Apr-14
Ollie 04-Apr-14
Whip 04-Apr-14
R. Hale 04-Apr-14
loprofile 04-Apr-14
R. Hale 04-Apr-14
loprofile 04-Apr-14
loprofile 04-Apr-14
voodoochile 04-Apr-14
Whip 04-Apr-14
Kevin Dill 05-Apr-14
Boris 05-Apr-14
retro 05-Apr-14
mtoomey 05-Apr-14
mtoomey 05-Apr-14
drycreek 05-Apr-14
TurkeyBowMaster 05-Apr-14
retro 05-Apr-14
Treerat 05-Apr-14
bowriter 05-Apr-14
Gaur 05-Apr-14
R. Hale 05-Apr-14
wifishkiller 06-Apr-14
voodoochile 06-Apr-14
WoodMoose 06-Apr-14
Shoots-Straight 06-Apr-14
NY Bowman 06-Apr-14
leo17 06-Apr-14
Jack Harris 07-Apr-14
Whip 07-Apr-14
ROUGHCOUNTRY 07-Apr-14
ROUGHCOUNTRY 07-Apr-14
ROUGHCOUNTRY 07-Apr-14
Herdbull 07-Apr-14
Medicinemann 07-Apr-14
M.Pauls 07-Apr-14
overbo 07-Apr-14
The Night Stalker 07-Apr-14
Preston Lay 07-Apr-14
Rocky D 08-Apr-14
Barry Wensel 08-Apr-14
Woodswise work 08-Apr-14
BrettH 08-Apr-14
NY Bowman 08-Apr-14
coyote hunter 08-Apr-14
Iowa_Archer 08-Apr-14
Kevin Dill 08-Apr-14
TurkeyBowMaster 08-Apr-14
coyote hunter 08-Apr-14
TurkeyBowMaster 08-Apr-14
coyote hunter 08-Apr-14
TODDY 08-Apr-14
leo17 08-Apr-14
Jon Simoneau 18-May-14
From: bowriter
02-Apr-14
Good article and right on. I've said for years, there are only four things that influence everythng a deer does-Food, Cover, Terraina and Structure. If you understand those four factors and how they influence deer movement, your success will greatly improve.

02-Apr-14
The key to success is doing too many things write. I recovered a huge buck because I sharpened the trailing edge of my snuffer. That's a small thing, overlooked by many but exemplifies my point.

From: Zbone
02-Apr-14
bowriter - 5 things, you forgot the number one - SEX...8^)

From: YZF-88
02-Apr-14
Spot on with respect to studying unpressured deer habits in the winter by backtracking them. Worked awesome for me...not awesome for my buddy hunting the same property who did not spend time doing this.

The difference being four taxidermy bills.

From: R. Hale
02-Apr-14
With all due respect, the area where Barry lives and hunts most is a "hot spot" called Iowa. If he is killing 180" deer in South Carolina and Florida, I have not heard of it. They must exist to be killed. No amount of "Forcing Luck" can change that.

At least he did not repeat that youth should only hunt small game like the Wensel interview stated.

From: CurveBow
02-Apr-14
Barry rocks (so does his brother Gene!)! I have been reading their articles and books since right after Roger Rothaar came out with his first book.

Good article and like, with most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. I would like to hear more though about how he "moves" the deer the 10 yards towards his stand. Blocking runways, brushing things in, etc.

>>>>-------->

From: TheLama
02-Apr-14
I have used funneling tactics before. When I cut fire wood I will pile the uncut branches in areas so the deer have to go down another run that has a more favorable wind for my stand. I have mowed runs in tall grass as the deer like to take the mowed areas more than through the thick grass.

From: Bou'bound
02-Apr-14
Article?

I missed the article part of the feature and only saw a handful of brief paragraphs.

He jotted those five paragraphs down as he was running out the door to scout I think. Good info, but not a lot of detail.

From: Shug
02-Apr-14
Never liked the guy...Two weeks ago in Texas he yelled at me and i cried myself to sleep ....LOL

Funny guy...

From: habu john
02-Apr-14
The Wensel Bros have some great advice and I love that they are willing to share it with us all. Roger Rothaar is like this too. Gene recently during a javelina hunt was telling us about how he at times tries to funnel the deer closer. He was explaining how the best ambush spot put the deer out about 25 yards and he wanted to move them closer so he created a funnel with brush. This turned on a light as I recalled how much that could have helped me with a nice buck a few years ago. I had this buck pass me at 30 yards twice, just too far for my shooting abilities but I could have turned that bad luck around with a windfall.

From: bigswivle
02-Apr-14
With all due respect, the area where Barry lives and hunts most is a "hot spot" called Iowa. If he is killing 180" deer in South Carolina and Florida, I have not heard of it. They must exist to be killed. No amount of "Forcing Luck" can change that. At least he did not repeat that youth should only hunt small game like the Wensel interview stated.

Exactly right. I enjoy his articles and respect his skill but you're only as good as where you hunt.

From: Shug
02-Apr-14
And I thought my post was silly... R Hale andBLGS topped mine.

From: Scrappy
03-Apr-14
I have lived in Iowa now since 07. I have several bow hunting friends that have lived here all there lives that has never killed a buck over 150. So for those that think that all you have to do is live in the land of giants to kill one are way off. Anything you can do to put yourself in close company to upper age class deer is upping your luck no matter where you live.

From: lewis
03-Apr-14
Pat you forgot about the Stovall buck a 204 archery kill on public land in 1999 you never know.Lewis

03-Apr-14
He states in the article's beginning that he has had good "luck" all over the U.S., not just hot spots.

As a person that only bow hunts, I found this article well worth reading. Not saying bowhunting is better than any other approach, it is just better for me right now. I welcome all hunters; however, I think folks that bowhunt only or mainly understand that attention to detail is critical to getting close enough for a killing shot, or just close enough to decide if the animal is one you want to take without using high dollar lenses to make the decision.

JMO, but those that are not as closely identified to the archery approach would be more critical of what he is relating here. I wish I was good enough to always limit my shots to 12-15 yards, but alas I still use a compound because I am just not good enough shooting instinctively.

From: TheLama
03-Apr-14
"Over the years I've been blessed to shoot a lot of great bucks. Some people think I have a super hot spot. I don't. Without bragging, I've done it all over the U.S. for many years. Some people think I'm extraordinarily lucky. I'm not. In fact, if anything I tend to be unlucky in the woods. But I do work hard at it and MAKE it happen."

The first few sentences of the article. Do not see anywhere in the article that mentions 180" or rack size for that matter.

It was a couple of tips to help you close the deal on a deer. I have been doing it for years and I can see how with his range going down in age how this would help him. I have also done this for my dad.

Talk about missing the whole point of the article.

From: Bigwoods
03-Apr-14
With all due respect to the Wensel brothers, I think most anyone could kill a giant in the areas they hunt. I do know that they work their butts off but there are a pile of large bucks there.

From: BC
03-Apr-14
Yeah but consider what these brothers have done in pursuit of big bucks. They eat, drink and sleep bowhunting whitetail 365 day a year. They've made it their life mission to understand the animal, the behavior and the habitat of mature whitetail bucks. Heck, they even picked up and moved their whole families in pursuit of this passion. How many guys do you know who are that committed? The Wensel brothers are the real deal in my opinion. Great article.

From: Fuzzy
03-Apr-14
Yeah, I think they need to stop hunting in Iowa. After all, if I can't, why should they be able to? ;-)

From: Stan NJ
03-Apr-14
I liked the article. I realy like the fact that Barry shared this advise with everyone here. Obviously you can't shoot a 180 in Florida or NJ for that matter...but if you can't take the free information and apply to the woods you hunt....your loss.

From: bowriter
03-Apr-14
...

bowriter - 5 things, you forgot the number one - SEX...8^)

Not a factor at all. If I had time, I'd prove it. But to make it simple: Bucks are looking for/chasing does. What are the does looking for? Back to the four factors.

Except for water in certain circumstances, it is all the four factors.

From: leo17
03-Apr-14
"I have never seen a 5 1/2 year old 110" buck."

Come to NY. Its fairly common that mature deer will have large bodies and smaller racks compared to midwest whitetails

From: R. Hale
03-Apr-14
This topic is marked discuss so I hope dissenting opinions are not out of line if based in fact.

To the poster who commented that "he states that he has had good luck all over the U.S." That statement is untrue. The writer either lacks fundamental reading comprehension skills, has a monumental disregard for the truth, or both. In fact, Barry states that he is not lucky at all and actually is "unlucky in the woods", whatever that means. The inference being that only his superior hunting skills are responsible for his "great bucks."

Secondly, the statement Barry makes is very much open to question, to put it politely. In order to prove it some serious waffling is going to need to take place on the phrase "great bucks" or the phrase "all over the U.S." otherwise, it simply cannot be factual on the type deer he shows in the photos.

When I read the "article" I thought I had missed the body of the text. When I realized I had seen the entire show, my first thought was that anyone who learned the slightest thing from reading it had a lot to learn. Seriously, that is deer hunting 101.

To the poster who thinks the point was missed because of a comment about 180" bucks, it was not. Look at the pictures. Also, if brothers Wensel lived and hunted exclusively in South Carolina, killing 90" knot heads, no one would have ever heard of them, other than their mother.

I could go on but it would not change any minds. If you were enlightened, I am amazed.

From: R. Hale
03-Apr-14

From: Whip
04-Apr-14
R Hale, I see you are from Kansas. As good if not better than Iowa for trophy bucks. I assume your record on big deer is as good if not better than either of the Wensel's?

The article was brief and obviously wasn't meant to be a tell all about how to kill the biggest buck in the country. But even that little bit of information would benefit 90% of the bowhunters out there if they would apply those few simple tips.

Did I personally already know the things he mentioned? Yep. Probably learned it from reading Wensel articles and books for years.

From: Zbone
04-Apr-14
Sex, "Not a factor", come on John... Personally, I'll take a rut crazed buck over any other factor, and the luck to be in the right pinched corridor at the time he passes through, whether behind a hot doe or just cruz'n.

Sure you can help make your luck with the more time spent afield, the better your odds, (especially peak rut), and sure the other factors contribute to does locations, but throw them out the window when she hits estrus and leads him everywhere she goes...

For the remainder of the year, yeah, I'll go along with the other 4 factors, but still reproduction is number one...

Whether by dumb luck or making your own luck, look at most of the world class bucks bowkilled, they were arrowed during November's peak rut...

From: retro
04-Apr-14
Having the luxury of hunting private lands with low pressure and undisturbed deer is what creates "luck". Probably takes alot of time, money and effort to put yourself in a position to be able to hunt those types of properties year after year. The Wensels have proven beyond a doubt that they have figured out how to harvest nice bucks under those circumstances. I believe they would be the first to tell you they wouldnt waste their time hunting any other situation. Many guys for one reason or another will never hunt such properties, and therefore never experience the results they have attained. Could they acheive this hunting anywhere? Of course not. If you want results like theirs, do what they do.

From: TheLama
04-Apr-14
"To the poster who thinks the point was missed because of a comment about 180" bucks, it was not. Look at the pictures"

Well assuming like with most mature whitetail hunters they do not shoot the small bucks anymore there would not be a picture of a 90" knot head in their article. Most deer in the midwest pass the 90" mark their second year.

On top of that it was not about big deer, little deer, tiny deer, huge deer it was about doing the little things that will help you close the deal on whatever you want to shoot.

Some missed the point of the article because all they looked at were the pictures and others because they are trying to dissect the grammar and make something out of nothing.

04-Apr-14
Nice article.

Archery95, if you would like to see some 5 1/2+ year olds that are less than 110", I have plenty of pictures.

From: loprofile
04-Apr-14
After looking at the responses I went back and re-read the article. It all came down to 4 points:

"I mean I set up the situation and then sit back and patiently wait for what I know will eventually come."

"One of my primary hunting strategies is hunting terrain structures"

"Then I manipulate that normal, unrestricted movement IF NEEDED to my advantage"

"Time spent in the woods learning, using woodsmanship and common sense can help dictate your "luck"

These are really not very specific but I don't think that you can disagree with any of them.

From: R. Hale
04-Apr-14
Nope, Deer hunting 101.

Whip, Your assumption is correct.

From: TheLama
04-Apr-14
Not everyone on here has been bowhunting for 35+ years so yes it is deer 101.

Also it reaffirms to some that have a few years under their belt that they are doing methods correctly and with people like me sharing when we do it and not at the last minute before the season starts.

From: loprofile
04-Apr-14
"R Hale, I see you are from Kansas. As good if not better than Iowa for trophy bucks. I assume your record on big deer is as good if not better than either of the Wensel's?"

"Whip, Your assumption is correct."

I have to aske R. Hale how you know exactly what the Wensel's records are on big deer. Pope and Young records?

From: Gaur
04-Apr-14
wow tough crowd here. I don't get why the bashing is needed. Article gave me some good things to think about and I want to get out now and read last falls sign and think about this coming fall, set ups and maybe some brush to move deer where I want them to go.

From: Ollie
04-Apr-14
What is interesting is all the "testimony" letters that Barry receives from former graduates of his boot camp in which they tell Barry that by using information they learned at this boot camp they are now seeing and shooter more mature bucks. Implications that anyone could do the same if they hunted the same areas are laughable. So are the comments that the Wensels are rich. Always entertaining to read comments from knuckleheads who know nothing about which they speak.

From: Whip
04-Apr-14
Nope, Deer hunting 101. Whip, Your assumption is correct.

So what we have then are two very good bow hunters who are fortunate to hunt great States and have a boat load of impressive bucks on their respective walls. One of the good hunters offers up some advice and tips for those hunters who might not yet know everything.

The other good hunter offers only criticism of the first good hunter and blows it off as being only due to where he is lucky enough to hunt.

I've got it now. Thanks.

04-Apr-14
The word luck was in quotation marks, which means something...

Antler size is a function of many variables I believe. Nutrition (soil type matters), age, genetics, herd stress including hunting pressure etc.. A mature buck in any location, defined as 4 and older, would be a trophy IMO regardless of head gear. A mature buck in FL has probably learned as many lessons on survival as a mature buck elsewhere, and thus would still not be representative of the average harvest in that state, thus being a specimen worthy of consideration as a trophy in regards to difficulty of taking.

JMO of course, and yes I will admit to not knowing even close to what the Wensels do or even R Hale does and can learn from them. And did by reading what they have written. Would love to attend their boot camp, but it is a little out of my reach financially.

I grew up in the city with no immediate family members who hunted or even had an interest in hunting or archery or firearms. It was not until after I finished school that I could pursue what I had long dreamed about by reading Outdoor Life, Sports Afield etc. So yes, starting a little later in life I read as much as possible to try and learn. Still doing it and probably will always have to as I lack the natural skill level some are blest with so I make up for it by "borrowing" knowledge from others.

From: R. Hale
04-Apr-14
Whip,

No, you actually still missed it. My concern was that some who have not had success that they desire would feel the need to attend some "boot camp" due to reading a fluff article. That is fine as long as they understand that it is not likely to change the one limiting factor regarding the size of deer they kill.

The bucks you kill are almost entirely dependent upon the bucks you have access to hunt, along with a little common sense, a lot of hard work and some luck. No overpriced hunting lesson will change that. Will some do better than others, of course. But the chief factor is always going to be deer limited, not human driven.

I am not complaining, I have great access and kill great deer. Have been doing so since 1968 in two states. I did not want to say that but if I do not it seems like I am jealous. Trust me, I am not.

Any mature deer of age 4+ is likely just as elusive as the next one. Regardless of where it lives or if it has antlers at all. Ask the guys who target old does! They can be near impossible to get in bow range of from the ground. I am near certain that there are many Ozark hillbillies who could hunt circles around some of us that live in and hunt the big deer states. We do not know them because they do not have access to the land the deer live on. So, they do not have well attended "boot camps". Most of them are generous and would simply tell you anything that would help a fellow hunter anyway.

From: loprofile
04-Apr-14
Bashing Gene and Barry is like bashing Santa or Fred Bear. I have never heard of anyone who has met them that did not like and respect them. A couple of my heros (even thought they only have a few years on me).

From: R. Hale
04-Apr-14
lo,

I realize that many of you see them as heros. That was apparent when Gene said in his interview that "youth hunters should not be allowed to deer hunt, that is what small game is for".

Not one person called him out on it. Pitiful. The men I look up to will be those that introduce youth to ALL types of hunting, not just the scraps. Nor will they attempt to spoon feed knowledge to less experienced hunters at a price in an attempt to avoid gainful employment.

From: loprofile
04-Apr-14
" Nor will they attempt to spoon feed knowledge to less experienced hunters at a price in an attempt to avoid gainful employment.

LOL. Not quite as funny as the Playboy Bunnies on your shaft statement from Bou but close.

From: loprofile
04-Apr-14
I would love to have hunted with Gene and Barry when they were booking hunts in Montana. Have seen some videos and their success rates were outstanding.

From: voodoochile
04-Apr-14
" That was apparent when Gene said in his interview that "youth hunters should not be allowed to deer hunt, that is what small game is for"."

X 2 .......... agree 100%

From: Whip
04-Apr-14
He doesn't need to post pictures to document his skills as a hunter. After all, he lives in a great whitetail state so taking great deer should be expected.

Barry offered a little helpful advice and gets slammed for it. The tips were free for those smart enough to take them in. Maybe not the "Magic Secret To Success", but might help some who haven't yet gotten to that level. Of course Barry does charge for some things, so that makes him bad?

I guess it puts him in the same boat as anyone else who has figured out a way to make a little money doing what they love. People that run websites like this one, the ones that build and market all the gear we buy, outfit and guide hunts, produce hunting videos, write magazine article and books. The list goes on. All just a bunch of whores I guess. Why can't they just be like everybody else and do a job they hate. Sheesh.

05-Apr-14
Mr. Hale is an accomplished world wide hunter having harvested many trophy class animals in a wide range of species. I have been witness to some of these which include a not so small amount of awesome whitetail racks.

He is also a Board member or officer of B&C Club, so he speaks with knowledge.

He has done an outstanding job managing his private property and is a fine steward of the wildlife and habitat.

From: Kevin Dill
05-Apr-14
"Nor will they attempt to spoon feed knowledge to less experienced hunters at a price in an attempt to avoid gainful employment."

Probably one of the more insulting and ignorant sentences I've read on here...smacking of jealousy and judgment.

From: Boris
05-Apr-14
I have met these guys and many of the other so-called experts. They all seem to be very knowledgeable people when it comes to hunting deer. But, how much knowlegde do you need, if you are hunting on private or leased land. Or in States that have limited tags. All these experts are hunting in these areas. Why do they NOT come to Pennsylvania an hunt. An hunt on public land. Where they have to compete with everybody else. Lets see if they can tags a P&Y buck in Pa. using their methods. Believe you me, we have some big deer.

From: retro
05-Apr-14
This is silly. The Wensels hunt mature deer on quality property. Read that to mean private property with low pressure and undisturbed deer. Read their books. Its by design. Ive been waiting for the" I bet they cant do it where I hunt". Your probably right. You know why? Because they are smart enough not to waste time hunting sub-par areas when much better areas are available. Is there anything wrong with this? Hell no! Whats so hard to understand about this? Why do so many people have a hard time with the approach they use? If you want to kill big whitetail consistently, an ounce of common sense would tell you to hunt the best habitat you can find. Take a guess why they picked Iowa to live over Rhode Island? You guys are jealous because they are living the life you wanted. Funny thing is, anyone can do the same thing if you really want to. How bad do you want it? If you do go for it. If not keep your petty jealousy to yourself.

From: mtoomey
05-Apr-14
I heard a speach by a leadership guru, Jim Collins. He basically said there is no such thing as luck. Great leaders, businesses etc. (Add hunters in here as well) are successful because of intentionality, smart moves, and execution. Barry's article confirms that from the hunting perspective. He is intentional. His writings and videos have inspired me and taught me much. I dont always agree, but I highly respect him.

On another note, "small game" are not scraps. To think that way is demeaning to the game, and those who pursue them.

Mike

From: mtoomey
05-Apr-14
I heard a speach by a leadership guru, Jim Collins. He basically said there is no such thing as luck. Great leaders, businesses etc. (Add hunters in here as well) are successful because of intentionality, smart moves, and execution. Barry's article confirms that from the hunting perspective. He is intentional. His writings and videos have inspired me and taught me much. I dont always agree, but I highly respect him.

On another note, "small game" are not scraps. To think that way is demeaning to the game, and those who pursue them.

Mike

From: drycreek
05-Apr-14
Mr. Collins must not be a hunter or fisherman ! LOL ! Luck ( or chance ) certainly plays a part in all our endeavors. However, to a certain extent, we can make our own luck. Or not ! I don't know the Wensel brothers, but it seems to me that they may have benefited from the old saying ," The harder I work, the luckier I get". Nothing wrong with moving to a big deer area to live if your passion is hunting big deer. Some of us were not fortunate enough to be able to do that, but kudos to you if you can. I will hunt where and when I can and be happy for it.

05-Apr-14
Not allowing kids to deer hunt is the most reduculas think I have heard the wnzels say. I was driving to my hunting destination in the back of the pasture and hunting solo at 10 years old. I was expected to hunt everyday whether I wanted to or not. I was also bushhogging on the tractor at 10 and I was a late bloomer. I had friends who raked hay at 7. Hard to believe but true. I called and killed my first turkey at 9.

From: retro
05-Apr-14
Pat summed up the Wensel article about kids perfectly. Its obvious that some didnt read it or were unable to comprehend it.

From: Treerat
05-Apr-14
I agree with Retro, if you want big bucks bad enough and it's that important to you go for it like the Wensels and others have done and make it happen, move to the Midwest or seek out and hunt big buck states. How can you blame them for that. I live in PA and I love hunting mature Whitetails so I have been hunting Ohio since 1987 because I have a better chance killing mature bucks there than here in PA. It's a simple decision go where the big bucks are, why waste time hunting where they are not living if that is what your after. We have some great bucks in PA now that we have AR's and I spend more time hunting here now than I did in the past but every year I spend most of my vacation in November hunting Ohio, it's a no brained.

Mike

From: bowriter
05-Apr-14
I can think of no better teaching too than squirrels. Should a young hunter be required to hunt squirrels? No. But I firmly believe that doing so would ultimately make them a better woodsman and therefore a better hunter of probably all game. Small game are a tremendous teaching tool regardless of the what the ultimate game will be.

From: Gaur
05-Apr-14
Wenzels are all about passing it on to kids from what I've seen. His interview he talked about a guy coming up to him at a show and showed him a picture of a buck that his 2 yr old shot. That was what his comments were about. A kid so young that they cannot understand what they are doing and a sense of respecting the game we hunt that cannot be done at that age. So stop painting his comments so broadly everyone.

From: R. Hale
05-Apr-14
Bowriter,

I agree, squirrels are my #1 quarry. Always have been. When we had quail, they were #2. The most successful hunters I know started shooting squirrels and trapping.

I think all kids should hunt small game. I do not think they should be excluded from any hunting they are mature enough to undertake.

From: wifishkiller
06-Apr-14
Wow the responses here are crazy, common sense is really not common anymore.................

From: voodoochile
06-Apr-14
I got hammered on the illinois site a while back for suggesting that youth seasons are more for the adults than they are for the kids .

Squirrel season starts in August in illinois which gives you many weeks to take johnny to the woods so he can learn gun handling , woodsmanship and taking an animals life .If the kid can shoot squirrels in the head with a .22 rifle unassisted they are ready to move on to larger game .

Sitting in a tent blind and helping your 7 year old hold a rifle ,muzzleoader, or shotgun while he pulls the trigger is not the way to teach johnny how to hunt . It only teaches him how to kill..... 8^(

JMHO

From: WoodMoose
06-Apr-14
excellent voodoochile,,,,agree 100% (you and others that said similar on youth hunting),,,,small game is an excellent starter,,,,guess I am biased as that is where I started,,,,,

Pat - thanks for sharing that,,,,

those who complain just have an issue I guess,,,,

06-Apr-14
Thanks Gene, and Barry, you can both share my fire anytime. (We have shared a deer drive or two).

Great ambassadors for the sport, and at a critical time.

From: NY Bowman
06-Apr-14
Gene and Barry also hunt with recurves or longbows. They do not shoot the arrow launching machines out to 50, 60, or 70 yards. They only shoot to 30 at max.

Getting any mature whitetail into recurve range is tough no matter where you are hunting.

Gene and Barry have done more for the sport of hunting than most all other posters on this thread combined.

From: leo17
06-Apr-14
I have to agree with R.hale, nothing against the wensels because they obviously are doing something right but anyone who ignores the fact that they hunt in the most productive whitetail trophy producing area in the world is drinking some great Kool-Aid

The number one rule of trophy hunting is hunting where the trophies are.

How many elk guys on here bank points for years just to attain that magical Arizona bull tag. Are they doing this because the country is that much more beautiful in Arizona? No?

They do it because thats where the Big ones live.

From: Jack Harris
07-Apr-14
I also got exactly what Gene was refering to with the youth (like 4-6 year olds) killing deer. He was addressing the extreme end of the spectrum which I agree with 100%, as I have been raked over the coals a bit for questioning pics on bowsite with 4 yr old crossbow kills (just feel they are too young to process it all, the age starts around "10"-ish, give or take a few years.)

Thank you Pat for including the Wensel articles - much appreciated and one of the reasons I am loyal to bowsite.

From: Whip
07-Apr-14
leo17, nobody said hunting where big bucks live doesn't contribute to success in killing big bucks. Only that the Wensels are very good at killing the biggest bucks in the area they are hunting. Could they kill a 190" buck in any state in the country? Not likely. But my money would be on them killing one of the biggest deer available in whatever area they happen to be hunting.

The average person hunting in Iowa doesn't kill near the number or size of bucks that the Wensels kill year after year. And that includes those that have access to the same quality of land and deer.

From: ROUGHCOUNTRY
07-Apr-14

ROUGHCOUNTRY's embedded Photo
ROUGHCOUNTRY's embedded Photo
This buck was killed by Barry near Montgomery, Alabama and I hunted some of the same areas on the Southern Sportsman lodge back in the 90's. To shoot a buck like this pre-rut in Alabama with a recurve is special and comparatively is world class for the area.

I tanned the cape on this buck and Denny Behn of Mckenzie Taxidermy supply was so impressed I believe he mounted the buck and featured it in the catalog that year.

From: ROUGHCOUNTRY
07-Apr-14

ROUGHCOUNTRY's embedded Photo
ROUGHCOUNTRY's embedded Photo
Barry killed this buck in East Texas which is not the best area to hunt for big bucks in that state. Mossy Oak filmed the hunt and there is always pressure to hurry up and fill a tag on camera. He was patient and wanted to shoot a mature buck and this is a very good one for the area especially toting along a camera man.

I may be mistaken, but I believe he didn't shoot a buck the first year he hunted east Texas and held to his standards.

From: ROUGHCOUNTRY
07-Apr-14

ROUGHCOUNTRY's embedded Photo
ROUGHCOUNTRY's embedded Photo
Here's one more that I'm familiar with. This buck was killed on public land in the mountains of western Montana in the Bitterroot valley. This area today is a premier special draw unit but it wasn't back when Barry shot this impressive non-typical mulie. He was hunting a community spot on Forest Service land and made one of his best shots, even for him:)

From: Herdbull
07-Apr-14

Herdbull's embedded Photo
Herdbull's embedded Photo
Here is another one of many from Montana. I think this was in 1991. Gene and Barry are bowhunters, often hunting in blaze orange during the gun season with their bows.

From: Medicinemann
07-Apr-14
All I can tell you is that I went to have lunch with Ned Greer and both of them at a Subway during some hunting related convention a few years back. They told great hunting stories, and have a good sense of humor.....might even have a prankster streak in them as well.

From: M.Pauls
07-Apr-14
Those guys are unreal, I don't care what anyone says I lovem and hope to one day meet them.

From: overbo
07-Apr-14
That deer looks like it's just a 8 point. His brother Gene killed like a 20 sum pointer a few years back. What a looser.

07-Apr-14
Fellows it is what it is. I went to one of Barry's boot camps and had a great time. It just so happened that I killed the best buck of my life the very next fall. Pat, I live in NC and if you gave me 500acres for me to manage where I live. I would have a ridiculous amount of shooter bucks in three years. I would have an extensive feed program , timber improvement and most important cover improvement. Around here, the most important thing is to protect them from the good ole boys. Every time I get a good one to hunt, someone shoots them from the road. It is what it is.

From: Preston Lay
07-Apr-14
Gene and Barry are even better people than they are hunters. They give back into rather than just take. Fine examples for anyone to follow. They are what our country seems to have lost these days. Having said that if I was a BIG buck and was hunted, I sure wouldn't want to be Gene or Barry.

From: Rocky D
08-Apr-14
Millennial calls lots some of you guy haters. The question was thoughts on forcing luck. frankly was not impressed with the article. Absolutely believe in the concept of forcing luck.

Also, I believe that when you live the life you chose on your terms with the degree off success that the Wensels have then again I think that you forced luck.

Same could be said about Pat and Charlie I know they get to hunt plenty but I would bet they worked for that opportunity. I have even had my own family get a litte envious when I am planning a trip out West but they never had a desire to hunt elk. REALLY, you hunt and you never had a desire to hunt elk?

Many threads have discussed this same subject but in different ways.

Hunt hard Hunt all day Hunt bad weather and good Go where big ones are killed

You get the idea and it is not very often that I can walk in the wood and learn from many people but I still use every opportunity to learn from all venues.

Last year my brother did not get a shot because of the stand did not allow him to shot to his left. I told him that I would have never got in the tree. It was obvious to me.

I hunt public so I have to create my luck. I have created mock scrapes because I had no tree to hang a stand.

I sometimes travel down the road of discourse but I try to remember which wolf that I am feeding.

Oh, and if there are any great humanitarians out there you can always invite me to hunt big bucks where you hunt. All I have to offer are pigs so my swap hunts are limited.

Hmmm, this may be a forcing function.

From: Barry Wensel
08-Apr-14
I've been busy and just got to this. My apologies the above "article" was short. It wasn't meant to "enlighten" but only stir thought patterns. I sometimes do this in hopes it will get folks to thinking and hopefully some will explore other options. I only touched on: not looking at a big enough picture; structural deviations, backtracking on snow, etc. to whet the appetites and maybe get more guys into the timber. Thank you for all the nice positive comments I received above. I appreciated those. Here's what I'm going to do: Habitat For Wildlife, Frank Syracuse, KS I don't personally know you and as far as I know we've never met. You stated in your above posts you're a person that only bowhunts; you would love to attend one of my bootcamps; you grew up in the city with no immediate family members who hunted, etc. I would like to extend an invitation for you to come to my bootcamp free of charge. No strings attached. The only negative is my last session is April 10-11-12th ( it starts the day after tomorrow). I see you are from Kansas so hopefully you will be able to adjust your schedule at this short notice and drive over. If it will work for you just send me a PM with your postal mailing address and I'll forward you the driving directions to "Whitetail 101". Thanks. BW

08-Apr-14
And there you go. That isn't what I expected when I saw Barry commented on this thread but I'm not surprised in the least. Barry is a hero to many, and not just because he's a great hunter but because he's a great guy as the post above indicates.

From: BrettH
08-Apr-14
I went to Barry's camp in 2006 I think. It was a very enlightening experience. I felt like I learned more about whitetails on those few days then I had in years of hunting them. Since then I have killed 4 of the biggest deer in my years of bowhunting, all over 150" and all on public ground. What I learned has also put me in range of more deer year in and out on heavily pressured public ground. You don't know what you don't know! Barry changed the way I look at the woods.

From: NY Bowman
08-Apr-14
Great gesture Barry!

08-Apr-14
Great gesture by a class A guy ! I have never met either of the Wensel brothers but I have definitely learned a lot by reading their books. I am hoping that there is going to be a boot camp next year I would love to go and take my wife.

08-Apr-14
Wow! I am truly humbled! PM sent.

That is one class act for sure! Thank you very much Mr. Wensel!

From: Iowa_Archer
08-Apr-14
FWIW, I just attended Barry's boot camp a few days ago, so whether that qualifies me to comment on the subject or discredits me as biased in your eyes is up to you. Prior to going to the camp, I knew of Barry and his brother Gene, but did not really know many details about them, nor had I ever met them or corresponded with them.

In short, I felt like the experience was well worth the time and money and I would certainly recommend it to anyone that is considering it. While it is not a cheap weekend and that may be a legitimate barrier for some, it is also very valuable to learn from a true master of our sport. To learn directly from a true master of any given craft is an opportunity that is not always present and I am fortunate to have been able to attend this camp.

Regarding the content presented...there were some things that I felt like I already knew about and/or was doing myself and there were also several things that had not occurred to me that I plan to incorporate in how we hunt our land in the future. Given that I have been deer hunting for over 25 years and managing my own farm for about 12 years, that outcome is to be expected in my mind. If you are relatively new to the sport, I suspect that you would perceive much more in terms of "new" information.

So while I would recommend the camp on just the merits of the content and information presented...that is really just a part of the overall experience IMO. I found Barry to be extremely approachable and interested in answering all of the questions and scenarios presented to him. He is very, very down to earth and a very funny guy to be around. There was NO ego or "look at me" attitude at all. I really felt like I made another friend over the weekend. Also, while he is an experienced, world class hunter to be sure, he may well be better as a story teller! :)

While it is true that he and his brother are privileged to hunt prime land in the heart of big buck country and that certainly plays a part in getting some of the monsters on the ground that they do. I can also tell you that I am sure that no matter where Barry was hunting he would soon zero in on the biggest and best buck in the area and I for one, would NOT want to be that buck.

Disregarding for a moment the size of the rack on a buck, which does vary widely across regions, pay attention to HOW OLD the deer are that hunters like the Wensel brothers commonly take...with traditional archery gear at very close ranges to boot. A 5 year old buck in Iowa will have bigger headgear than the "same" animal in say, North Carolina...but a 5+ year old is true trophy, regardless of the rack size.

As far as I am concerned, I am grateful for the opportunity to have met Barry and learned from him and I appreciate very much that a living legend is committed to helping others and sharing what he has learned over decades of experience.

From: Kevin Dill
08-Apr-14
I hate to ruin Barry's reputation, but many of us have known for years what a gentleman he is.

Classy!

08-Apr-14
I've killed 2 bucks that were 8+, a 6 year old, and a 5 back when we had an overpopulation problem. All 4 of the bucks will not add up to 400 inches. Now I have a shot at a 130 class that is 3 or 4. It sure makes it easy when you don't have to wait until they are so old before there are big enough to shoot. I like it better now.

08-Apr-14
Well don't keep us in suspense Habitat !!! Are you going ? ?? LOL

08-Apr-14
I think the wensels are on to something. Give everyone next level advise and they ridicule you for it...make a few pay for it and you' rd a hero. Nobody would be stupid enough to pay for advise and then say bad things about you. That would make them look stupid. I think I will start a TurkeyBowMaster camp.

08-Apr-14
TBM you make about as much sense as wiping before you poop !!!

From: TODDY
08-Apr-14
Not sure how you do it TBM, but that is most classless statement I think you have ever made.....

From: leo17
08-Apr-14
TBM, I will attend. whats the fee and can you teach me how to track with spiders : )

09-Apr-14
I PMed Mr. Wensel that I cannot attend. I teach for a living and this would not be approved! Also I am 55, so he would probably get a kick out of trying to teach an old dumb dog:)

Most importantly I have an MRI scheduled for Thursday and will schedule back surgery soon after. I could never sit long enough for the drive up. Those of you with herniated discs know what I am talking about.

But, what a kind, gracious and totally unexpected offer!! I hope to meet up with both brothers some day, it certainly will be a privilege.

TBM, no doubt you are an awesome turkey hunter and I think most of us recognize that. The Wensels are also highly recognized and sought after for a reason. Not only do they have the results, they are class acts by all accounts. I am sure we could all learn about more than just hunting mature whitetails from them!

From: Jon Simoneau
18-May-14
I agree with all of the positive comments. The negative comments are laughable. I went to Barry's bootcamp for a for a few reasons. The first one was for fun. The second was to learn how these guys do it and try to find out how and why they are so successful. I learned 3 very important things that I'll keep with me forever. 1 is the level of detail and planning that goes into each and every stand placement. My buddy Kramer and I were blown away by that. I've never seen so many trails trimmed/manipulated to encourage deer movement in my life! 2 is that when Gene and Barry talk about knowing your hunting area they are talking about REALLY knowing your hunting area. One guy asked Barry "So do you pretty much walk every deer trail in the entire woods?" And Barry said "Yea....pretty much.", with a look on his face like "Don't you?" Ha! And you could tell that Barry had indeed walked every inch of every trail multiple multiple times. The 3rd and maybe the most important thing I learned is that anyone really can do it. But most just won't put the amount of effort into it that these guys do. The reason they put such an unbelievable amount of work into it can only be attributed to a very serious passion. If you TRUELY love something and are doing it for the right reasons you cannot help but be successful. Really glad I got to hang with Barry for a few days and hope I can go back for a "second helping."

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