Bow Bucks When the Weather Sizzles
Day 1: Former Major League Baseball Player Travis Fryman Hunts around Water in Hot-Weather Conditions
Editor’s Note: When temperatures range from 60 to 90 degrees, bagging a buck presents problems for most bowhunters. As we hear and read more about global warming, hunters throughout the nation will continue to face the problem of how to hunt bucks in very-warm weather. Let’s talk with some of the nation’s bowhunters, and learn the tactics they use to take bucks when the weather sizzles.
Former Major League Baseball player Travis Fryman, formerly of the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians and today a Cleveland Indians’ hitting instructor, has been known more for his exploits on the baseball field, rather than for his woodsmanship and archery skills. As a past member of five All-Star teams and a major-league player for 12 years, Fryman’s career as a professional ball player skyrocketed. However, with the same accuracy and precision as he hit a 90-mile-per-hour baseball over the fence, Fryman also draws his bow and bags bucks. “Because I hunt primarily in northern Florida and south Alabama, I hunt during hot-weather conditions most of the year,” Fryman says. “I like to hunt around water, especially in flooded-timber areas that even during drought conditions may hold ankle- to knee-deep water.” Because odor control remains such a critical part of the hot-weather hunter’s game plan, Fryman believes hunting in the water gives him an advantage over bowhunters who don’t hunt in water. “I wear knee-high boots,” Fryman explains. “As I go to my stand, I carry a pair of pruning shears to clip limbs and brush in front of me. Then I won’t touch them with my clothing. By wading in the water and not touching any foliage, I leave very little, if any, scent in the area I hunt. I often have stands in the water that face the shoreline. Or, if I hunt from shore, I’ll approach my stand by water and travel no more than 8- to 10-yards from the water to reach my stand.”
Once Fryman arrives at his stand, he takes-off his shirt, sprays his body with an odor neutralizer and puts on a clean, unscented shirt from his daypack. The sweaty shirt goes into a plastic bag in his daypack. “If you hunt on private land, I recommend using a fixed-position stand and either screw-on or belt-on type steps,” Fryman suggests. “If you put your stands up before the season, then when you go to hunt, you can get into your stand without making as much noise as you will with a climbing stand. You also won’t get as hot and sweaty going up the steps as you will if you have to work a climbing stand.”
To learn more about bowhunting deer, see John E. Phillips’ book “The Master’s Secrets of Bowhunting Deer” at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com/hunting/mastersbow.htm.