BloodSport
ACQUISITIONS
Plano Synergy Outdoors, a leading manufacturer of hunting, fishing and other outdoor related products has announced its recent purchase of BloodSport, maker of high-performance arrow shafts and accessories.

ANTI-HUNTING
During a court case last week, an attorney for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced the anti-hunting organization intends to target black bear hunting in Maine with another ballot initiative.

COLLEGIATE ARCHERY
Thanks to contributions from the Easton Foundations, USA Archery reports that Collegiate Archery Program clubs may apply for grants to help cover items such as athlete and coach travel, target butts, stands, archery equipment, general supplies and coaching certifications.

CROSSBOWS
Loaded with RED HOT High Performance Crossbow Accessories, the Upgraded Tornado F4 crossbow from Parker Bows comes packed with features to enhance the hunter's experience in the woods.

CULTIVATION
The Firminator got its name from the impressive quality of the seedbed it produces, and one of the great features of this all-in-one food plot implement is an awesome cultipacker.

CWD
Three new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) were detected in the northwestern corner of Virginia during the 2014 hunting season, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).

EVENTS
The IBO Kentucky State Championship, hosted by the Blue Grass Sportsmen's League, will take place March 28 and 29 in Wilmore Ky.

HUNTING BLINDS
SCENTITE Blinds from Advantage are portable and lightweight, so you can spend more time hunting, successfully and effectively, and less time worrying about setup and blind maintenance.

INDUSTRY
Vista Outdoor Inc. ("Vista Outdoor") (NYSE: VSTO), has announced that the company's Board of Directors has approved a repurchase program for up to $200 million of the company's common stock.
Vista Outdoor Inc. ("Vista Outdoor") (NYSE: VSTO), announced today that the company has hired Brett Merrell to serve as its Vice President of Marketing.

KNIVES
Steel Will knives, a new premium brand of knives produced with the highest standards of quality, introduces the Druid 200, a multi-purpose knife for hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts with its sturdy and robust platform and universal cutting abilities.

MARKET RESEARCH
Did you know sportsmen spent $207 million on trail cameras in 2014? Southwick Associates' Size of the Hunting, Shooting and Self-Defense Market Report is available to companies and looking to gain a competitive edge, and is now offered in a single volume.

MEDIA
Now in its seventh year, the Extreme Huntress™ Challenge is a one-of-a-kind competition that continues to set the bar for serious outdoors women, while at the same time providing positive role models for women who are new to hunting, shooting and other traditional outdoor sports.

NASP
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' Archery in Louisiana Schools Program (ALAS), a member of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), will host the 2015 ALAS State Tournament on Saturday, March 7 in Alexandria.
More than 850 competitors have registered for the 2015 National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament, hosted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and held in State College March 13.

NEW PRODUCTS
Retrax now offers both its RetraxONE andPowertraxONE truck bed covers wrapped in a tough and durable 3M laminate vinyl, available in Realtree Xtra® and Realtree MAX-5®.

ONLINE
Rinehart Targets has launched an all-new Rinehart R100 website for the 2015 season and beyond for potential participants to learn why the Rinehart R100 has become such a popular event across the nation's archery community.

ORGANIZATIONS
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation announced last week that natural resource professional and hunter-conservationist Chuck Roady has been named chairman of its Board of Directors.
The 43rd Safari Club International Hunters' Convention in Las Vegas, February 4-7, 2015 brought together more than 20,000 SCI members from 100 countries to support conservation and celebrate hunting.

PARTNERSHIPS
The International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) has announced its partnership with the Youth Outdoor Education Network (YON), a foundation for youth development and character-building through outdoor education programs that motivate students to become engaged in outdoor sports and become conservation leaders of tomorrow
HHA Sports, a 30-year industry leader in single-pin archery sight technology, has become a Gold Sponsor of the 2015 Rinehart R100 tournament season.

PROMOTIONS
Safari Club International leadership has announced that as part of its Membership Campaign for 2015, new members can join SCI for just $35.
The Pope & Young Club has launched a "Members Only" promotion with KUIU, a manufacturer of ultra lightweight, high performance hunting clothing and gear.

REP GROUPS
Outtech, Inc. announced this week that Justin Blouin and Ryan Dusek have joined the company as Regional Managers for its Outdoor Division.

REPELLENTS
ScentBlocker brings two specially formulated insect repellents developed to provide long lasting, multi-species protection from the swamps of southern Florida to Alaska's northern reaches. These two new sportsmen's strength products contain no added fragrances or additional scents.

STATES
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has filed an appeal of a December 2014 federal district court ruling that returned wolves in Michigan and Wisconsin to the federal endangered species list and wolves in Minnesota to federal threatened species status.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has announced the dates and locations of upcoming bowhunter education classes for the northwest region of the state.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is soliciting applications for two contractors to help respond to human-bear conflicts, one in the Highlands County area and another for Lee County and southern areas of Charlotte County.

TELEVISION
Tribe Archery and the Fired Up Outdoors television show are teaming up to share their passion for the outdoors with Tribe bows in hand, airing on the HUNT Channel for 2015 and Pursuit channel starting in 2016.
From bomb squads to hunting with our nation's military heroes, to prepping for disaster, "Amazing American With Sarah Palin" field hosts Tara Conner and Jerry Carroll are called to help share the heart-pounding and explosive stories.

Quotable
"It is always disillusioning to weigh your fish and measure your golf drives. Smart men estimate them."
-Havilah Babcock, My Health is Better in November, 1947

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Submit a favorite quote about archery, shooting, wildlife, hunting, the outdoors or just life in general (along with attribution) to archerywire@gmail.com.

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Late Winter/Early Spring Shed Hunting
Editor's note: This week's feature article was provided by Archery Wire Corporate Member Robinson Outdoors, and written by Jason Herbert. - JRA


Pat Reeve matching a beautiful set of antlers in a frozen bean field
There's not a lot better to beat cabin fever than spring shed hunting! Lately with the winters we've been having, the spring shed season seems like late winter. Either way, here's our guide to finding shed antlers and getting a jump on next season's scouting.

Gear
Like many deer hunting related activities, shed hunting doesn't usually align with the nicest weather of the year. Also throwing a wrench in the works is the fact that finding sheds often requires a lot of walking. That being said, we recommend wearing our ScentBlocker hunting socks. I try to dress as lightly as possible to avoid becoming too hot or sweaty. Our Merino wool baselayers are always in season. With the Merino wicking properties, I stay warm and dry in these baselayers. Also, Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial, so after a long day of walking I don't smell like dank marsh water.

My favorite time to shed hunt is in March just after the winter snow melts. If it's not raining my outer layer will Recon pants, a ScentBlocker hoodie, and rubber knee boots. If it is raining, I'll be protected in my Drencher rain gear. Other people who live in more extreme climates might choose to wear something different. For instance, when Pat Reeve heads north to frigid Canada to shed hunt with Cody Robbins, they're all wearing our Outfitter gear or new Northern Extreme if it's a late winter.

No dedicated shed hunter ever leaves home without a backpack. Not only is the pack handy for carrying sheds, it also doubles as a snack pack. In my Spider Monkey backpack I'll at least bring granola bars, jerky and water, as well as fundamental survival gear that stays in my pack. This includes a lighter, 50 yards of parachute cord, and a reflective mirror.

Once the gear is in place to make the physical part of the shed hunting trip a safe and enjoyable experience, it's time to think about where to look.

Food
"The first step to finding a lot of antlers is to locate where the deer are feeding during shedding season." Pat Reeve's logic makes a lot of sense, yet many overlook it. Each winter lots of well-meaning shed hunters continue their fruitless searches in bedding and feeding areas that were popular during the fall. Unless the preferred winter food source is also the fall hunting area, the chances of the deer still being there are slim. We recommend starting to look right where the deer were feeding. Fresh sign, droppings, and, of course, trail camera evidence will confirm what the deer were eating. Possible food sources could be grain fields, (harvested or standing) oak flats, hay fields, fruit orchards, etc... Each property will be different.

A beautiful set of chocolate-colored antlers Pat matched up this past winter
Often times shed antlers will be near the food sources. Sometimes a buck digging for food under the snow will knock an antler off. Big bucks don't like the lopsided weight that remaining antler creates and generally, he'll soon become annoyed with the other antler and purposely knock it off as well.

Some people even create "shed traps" (where legal). They set up a small chunk of hard wire fencing or bungee cords with a few posts in the shape of a "V". At the vertex of the fence, they drop some corn or hay on the ground for the deer to eat. The intent is that the buck will stick his head into the "V" for a bit of food, and bang or press his antler on the resisting lines and hopefully knock or push it loose. PLEASE do us all a favor though, check local rules and regulations about winter deer feeding and creating shed traps. No shed antler is worth breaking the law.

Trails
Once the preferred winter food source has been located, the next step is to find where the deer are bedding. By "backtracking" the trails to their recent bedding areas, many sheds can be found along the trail. Often the path to the food isn't an easy one, with possible fence jumps, creek crossings, or steep hills to maneuver. Whenever the bucks have to jump, duck, or run they might jostle an antler off as well. When looking for sheds on trails, pay particular attention to obstacles that might jar the animals head or bang the antlers on something.

Bedding
Lastly, we recommend scouring the bedding areas for antlers. Although the trail may be obstructed, most winter bedding areas will not be far from the food. A decent winter bedding area needs to offer enough cover to protect the animals from the weather. In the winter months deer like to use as much of the sun's
The Canadian mountain man Cody Robbins had to use a snowmobile to shed hunt because the snow is so deep where he finds them.
warmth as possible. Look for winter beds on south facing slopes as well as in thermal cover such as spruces and cedars. Pat Reeve said it best, "My ideal winter bedding area would be a southern slope with cedars. If you can find that, there will be sheds nearby."

Often the buck will drop an antler while he's laying down, entering, or exiting the bedding area. Be sure to check all the trails, not just the major ones. Every decent bedding area has a number of escape routes. If a buck is startled and has to use the backdoor to quickly evacuate his bedding area, he may also move just quick enough to knock off an antler.

Closing thoughts
We all know in deer hunting there are no absolutes. These are just a few areas we recommend to begin the search for shed antlers. We've also found them in our yards, on the road, in creeks, on frozen lakes, near barnyards, at corn cribs, compost piles, gardens, and several other places.

Shed hunting is a lot of fun and can be incredibly addictive! It's also a great way to start scouting for the next season. Take the whole family, and maybe even the dog. Be sure to dress appropriately and of course, send us pictures of what you find on Facebook or on our website gallery page. http://www.robinsonoutdoors.com/tech-ed/trophy-gallery/

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Calendar
Mar. 4
Atlatls & Archery: Primitive Hunting Techniques
Missouri DOC District Office, Columbia, Mo.
Mar. 7
Iowa NASP State Tournament
Community Choice Credit Union Center, Des Moines, Iowa
Mar. 13 - Mar. 15

Park Mammoth Resort, Park City, Ky.
Mar. 14
9th Annual Indiana NASP State Tournament
Mar. 14
Indiana State NASP Tournament
Blue Ribbon Pavilion, Indiana State Fairgrounds
Mar. 14 - Mar. 15
35th Annual NFAA Indoor Nationals
Kentucky Convention Center, Louisville, Ky.
Mar. 20 - Mar. 22
All-Out Carp Bowfishing Tournament
Lake Guntersville, Ala.
Mar. 20 - Mar. 22
ASA/Hoyt Archery Pro/Am
Uchee Creek Campground, Fort Mitchell, Ala.
Mar. 21 - Mar. 22
Rinehart R100 Tournament
Mar. 27
Oklahoma State NASP Championships
River Spirit Expo Center, Tulsa, Okla.
Mar. 27 - Mar. 29
Mar. 27 - Mar. 29
Missouri Outdoors Expo
Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield, Mo.
Mar. 28
Michigan NASP Basic Archery Instructor Training
Hartland Middle School, Hartland, Mich.
Mar. 28 - Mar. 29
Arizona Game and Fish Dept. Outdoor Expo
Ben Avery Shooting Facility, Phoenix, Ariz.
Apr. 10 - Apr. 12
Apr. 10 - Apr. 12
IBO Spring National
Pipestem Resort State Park, Pipestem, WV
Apr. 11 - Apr. 12
Rinehart 100 Tournament
Apr. 18 - Apr. 19
Apr. 18 - Apr. 19
First Dakota Bank Archery Classic
Yankton, SD
Apr. 18 - Apr. 19
Rinehart R100 Tournament
Apr. 24 - Apr. 26
ASA TRU Ball/Bear Archery Pro/Am
Laurel County Fairgrounds, London, Ky.
Apr. 25 - Apr. 26
May 1 - May 3
NFAA National Marked 3D
Straight Arrow Bowhunters, Redding, Calif.
May 2 - May 3
Rinehart R100 Tournament
May 23 - May 24
Rinehart R100 Tournament
May 30 - May 31
Rinehart R100 Tournament
June 6 - June 7
Rinehart R100 Tournament
June 20 - June 21
Rinehart R100 Tournament
June 26 - June 28
June 27 - June 28
Rinehart R100 Tournament
The Archery Wire wants to be your complete source for the most expansive listing of upcoming competitions, shooting events, industry gatherings, consumer shows and anything and everything about archery and bowhunting. Send your calendar listings to calendar@archerywire.com
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