Making It Through a Long Bow Season

October 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Brad Tansey

brad-tanseyOhio’s bow season opens the last Saturday in September every year. It ends February 2nd. That definitely makes for one long season. I love hunting just as much as anyone else, but a season that’s around five months long can take a toll on even the most dedicated hunter. I’ve found that pacing myself through the season helps me stay dedicated and positive each and every day.

Here’s a list of the ways I’m able to make it through the long archery season.

  1. Don’t overhunt too early: It’s easy to overhunt a particular stand or blind. I try to change it up almost daily. There are a couple of different reasons for that. No. 1 is I don’t want too much human scent to be in a particular stand. I killed a doe about 2 weeks ago in a stand that I hadn’t hunted all season. I haven’t been back in there yet. My plan would be to head in this weekend and try to see what kind of buck activity is going on. A second reason the type of deer visiting past stands. If I’m doe hunting, I’m obviously going to head to a spot where I’m seeing and getting a lot of trail camera photos of does. If I’m after a shooter buck, I’m going to head where I have trail camera photos of him and try not to be tempted by a big ole backstrap queen.

  2. Hunt smarter, not harder: This was really hard for me when I was younger. I felt like if I wasn’t in the deer stand as much as I possibly could be that I wasn’t a dedicated hunter. I’ve learned to try and hunter smarter and use wind & weather patterns to maximize the potential I have for seeing and killing deer. I try my best to hunt stands only on good winds even if that means waiting a day until it’s 100% perfect. When I was hunting in stands no matter the conditions, I didn’t have a whole lot of success. I spent more time in a tree twiddling my thumbs than actually looking at deer.

  3. Don’t lose sight on what hunting really is: This is probably the most important tip I could give to someone. Hunting is a passion of mine that I would consider fun and relaxing. If it ever goes away from one of those two, I’ll quit hunting. Let me tell you a short story about a time when I stopped having fun. I was a part of hunting TV show that aired on the Pursuit Channel. At first, I thought it was great to film my hunts and be on TV. After a while, I realized it was becoming more and more like a day job, something I never wanted hunting to have to feel like. So, I stopped filming for the TV show. Despite having the opportunity to be on TV, hunting was becoming a chore, and I would rather just hunt and share that passion with family & friends. I haven’t regretted not filming my hunts anymore because I can truly say I’m happier and more excited about hunting season knowing the pressure of having a video camera is off of me.

These were three tips I’ve learned that help me make it through that long, amazing time we hunters call archery season. Do you have any tips that help you make it through bow season? Share them with me on Twitter @BradTansey.

Dog Day Productivity

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Let’s be honest.  Does anyone get excited about the month of August?  Other than birthdays and the great Grange Fair, August is a dull time of the year.  It’s hot and muggy and the fishing is almost nonexistent as the water temperatures rise and the creek beds go shallow.  Time seems to stand still as a fisherman during this sluggish season, but anglers can still be productive!   Follow these hints to breeze through August:


1)  Shoot Your Bow

Although fishing is my number one passion I still get a strong case of buck fever every year.  Do not let your whitetail seasons creep up on you before you know it.  Whether you’re an archery or rifle hunter, there is no better time to start practicing your shot, and August is the perfect month to do so.  With the day light still persisting well past 8pm, shooting in the late evening after work or class is a great way to finish the day, relax, and get some needed practice in.  Remember, you don’t want to wound that buck, you want to kill it on the spot.


2)  Plan a Trip

Fall fishing is often overlooked.  The fall is a great time to catch some big spawning steelhead or feeding bass prepping for winter.  Call up your buddies and plan a weekend trip to a body of water you do not usually get to. Every year I team up with my fishing buddies and head to Erie, PA, for lunker steelhead and have an awesome time. Lodging rates usually drop in the fall and the cooler weather is perfect for a fun fishing trip.  Don’t miss out on the feeding frenzy.


3)  Learn to Make Beer/Wine

Fall means football!  And football means tailgating!  August is the perfect time to learn how to make some homemade brew in preparation for a tailgate party.  The months that separate August from football season are the perfect time period to allow your beverage to age properly.  Not only is a tall cold glass of your own brew satisfying with friends at a tailgate, it is also relaxing after a long day in the woods or on the water.  I have a gallon of wild black raspberry in the basement aging right now!  You will impress your family and friends.


4)  Tie or Paint

If you think home brewing is satisfying, wait until you catch a fish on your own lure.  Stocking up on flies or lures in preparation for the fall fishing frenzy is a must for fishermen.  The long hot days of August are perfect for getting down in the cool basement to paint your own jerk baits or tie your own flies.  You don’t want to run out of what is hot and be high and dry on the water, so take time to get crafty.  Make many and make multiples.  You can also save a few bucks by making your own as well!


5)  Work Out

This is a must.  Unless have been out on a regular basis hiking mountains and stacking firewood at your camp, if you do not hit the gym right now you will be gassed on the first hill on the opening day of hunting season.  Take the time now to get into shape so you will be able to hike long drives, trek up and down mountains, and be able to drag out a big deer or bear after a successful day.  Trust me, you will feel better and your body will hold up longer throughout the long weeks of the hunting season if you get on a workout routine now.  I suggest higher repetitions with lower weight AND cardio work.  It will help you.


For more advice, tips, trips and more check out  Have a fantastic August!

Best Season Openers

April 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Pittsburgh Pirates Home Opener

Pittsburgh Pirates Home Opener

Written by Pro-Staff Team Member Matt Truesdale

On Thursday, April 7, I had the opportunity to continue a tradition started by my hunting buddies and me - the tradition of attending the Pittsburgh Pirates home opener.  This is the 3rd consecutive year that we have been to the home opener, and regardless of whether the Buccos win or lose, it is still an extremely enjoyable time. Nothing can compare to a full day of tailgating in the parking lot with the American and Jolly Roger flags flying high, supporting our favorite ball club at one of the best ball parks in the country and throwing down a Primanti’s sandwich with an IC Light.

As the game rolled into the bottom half of the 7th and we sang “take me out to the ball game” I began to wonder what are the year’s best season openers?  Here at Collegiate Camo, we not only get pumped up for the start of hunting and fishing seasons, but for athletic seasons as well!  Because of the bonded love affair of outdoorsman sports and athletic sports being a common trend that we all share, I have put together what I consider to be the most anticipated opening seasons of each year from the least popular to most popular.

12)  NHL and NBA: I understand that these two sports are completely different, especially during playoffs in the post season.  Heck, the playoffs for both of these leagues are an entirely new season and a different more exciting game.  Even though I am a fan of the NHL I just cannot get as excited for the first game of the year like I can other sports.  I’ll just wait for the start of the playoffs…

11) Small Game: Have you ever felt that heart pounding, nervous, exciting feeling as a big fox squirrel slowly comes down the path toward you?  Yeah, neither have I.  Although I do enjoy small game hunting and the camaraderie with my friends, small game is more of a thrown together afternoon activity than anything else.  Even grouse and pheasant are more annoying and frustrating than they are enjoyable to hunt.  But seriously, have you ever heard of “squirrel drives”?  Exactly.

10) College Basketball:  How long is it until March?  This year VCU proved that the college basketball regular season does not matter and the big tournament is the only excitement worth watching.  Yes, the end of the season tournament may possibly be one of the most exciting post seasons in any sport, but the opening game is just a tease until all the madness.

9) Waterfowl: I will hand it to the waterfowl hunters.  I have yet to get fully enveloped into the sport, but these guys are crazy.  Blinds, decoys, boats, face paint, calls, you name it.  This season requires a lot of attention to detail, equipment, management and site location which could only lead to excitement on the opening day.  Seasons in, migration’s cancelled.

8 ) White Tail Deer, Archery: Why did I separate archery and rifle?  If you have to ask this question, than you must only hunt deer with a rifle.  There are not many feelings that come close to having a deer walk within yards from you, and the practice and preparation needed in order to slay a buck with a broad head.  Unfortunately, the first day of archery cannot quite contend with the first day of rifle.  Be sure to bring enough scent eliminator as the first of archery always seems to be too hot, sticky, and muggy.

7) NFL: The NFL opener is similar to a family reunion.  Every year there is a reunion, you generally see the same people, there is usually something or someone new that brings interest and then there is something or someone that embarrasses you.  The majority of NFL fans already know what they have regarding their teams.  The NFL opener is exciting, but the NFL opener lacks some of the glamour and anticipation of other season openers.

6) NASCAR: Yes, NASCAR.  I know you are all wondering how and why NASCAR is as high as it is on this list.  The answer is that the “Super Bowl” of NASCAR is the Daytona 500, the season opener.  You can disagree all you want, but you cannot argue the fact that Daytona 500 is a hugely popular event full of everything needed for a great opening day.

5) Turkey: The elusive thunder chicken is by far one of the most frustrating and fun species to hunt.  Combine this birds characteristics with the preparation it takes to bag a bird and 2 opening seasons throughout the year, you can’t beat turkey hunting.  No other species or sport has 2 openers in a year, and doubling proves this sport aint no turkey.

4) MLB: Our nation’s pastime.  The spring weather.  Smells of popcorn, hot dogs and beer.  9 innings of excitement and a packed house.  The MLB season opener matches and exceeds the excitement, anticipation, and popularity of any sport.  Yes, the 162 game season is long, but every game counts in the attempt of achieving one of the few post seasons spots.  The fact that the MLB opener does not just bring baseball back, but also brings back the warm weather and the thought of summer heralds the MLB opener high in this list.

3) Trout:  The opening day of trout season may be different for many people throughout the country.  But where I come from, the trout season opener is a right of passage for children and a day long family fun event.  Everyone, literally everyone comes out to the streams for the first day of trout, which does have a drawback.  Although some lines may get tangled between those fishing, the trout opener continues to be a spectacle year in and year out.  Each cast of the line holds suspense of the possibilities of pulling back a 24 inch brownie, or just a 8 inch rainbow.

2) College Football: Do I honestly have to make an argument for this one?  College football is simply American and brings an eruption of pent in anticipation into each fall from the past season.  Every year is different in college football.  Unlike professional sports, lineups and rosters change on a routine basis, keeping the game fresh and new.  But most importantly, with the college football comes the tailgating.  Other sports have their loyal and crazy fan base that do provide a spectacle of amazement when showcasing tailgates, but college football fans do it best and on a larger scale.  Every school has their traditions, their massive tailgates and their crazy fans.  Walk around any college stadium on any home Saturday afternoon and you will find the most die hard and loyal fans of any sport.  The fans and tailgaters could only relate to college football as having the best season opener of any athletic sport.

1) White Tail Deer, Rife: I should not have to explain why.  There is no more popular, exciting, anticipated day for any outdoorsman than the first day of rifle season for deer.  There is nothing more important for an outdoorsman than bringing home the venison and bragging about the previous days hunt over the water cooler at work.  The first day of rifle for deer is essentially a national holiday in most areas.  No other season opener is built into work and school schedules, allowing individuals the day off to continue the American tradition and to spend time with family members at camp.

Pro-Staffer’s Deer Taken in Kansas

December 17, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

This beautiful deer was taken in Kansas during archery season by our own Pro-Staff member, Jeremy Romain. Nice deer, Jeremy!

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