Tag Archives: Bowhunting


Successful Bowhunting: A Complete Guide To big Game Bowhunting. by M.R. James, Editor and Publisher of Bowhunter Magazine

Pronghorn Jerky With Raisins and Madeira

Pronghorn Antelope

Incoming! Jerky On The Hoof



  • 3-4 pound rump roast or similar cut
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4  cup Good Madeira
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Salt


Cut meat into 1/4″ strips. Place remaining ingredients into blender and mix well. Then pour mixture over meat and refrigerate for at least 48 hours. Dehydrate for 8-10 hours, or until done.

Pairs nicely with the remaining Madeira, but then again, that’s the general idea.


– Bear in mind that this jerky does not call for any type of added preservative. Refrigeration, or freezing,  is best for long-term storage.

Recipe by Michael Patrick McCarty

Pigeon Jerky

Most people don’t think of making jerky out of this common and often underrated bird, so good pigeon jerky recipes are scarce as hen’s teeth. Either that, or our fanatic pigeon shooting friends are holding them quite close to the vest.

We’ve been experimenting a bit with pigeon jerky and we have a few ideas. Many beef jerky marinades seem to work fairly well. Duck or goose jerky recipes can be adapted too. We’d love to hear about some of your favorite creations.

Soy and Ginger Pigeon Jerky

  • 6 pigeon breasts
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Pound and flatten pigeon breasts in an effort to make them as uniform as possible, then cut into thin strips about 1/4″ thick. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the breast meat. Marinade for 4 to 12 hours in refrigerator, then dehydrate for about 8 hours at 155 degrees. It is done when it cracks easily when bent.

Serve with some creamy goat cheese of your choice on a good artisan cracker and a glass of good Port to wash it down. Guaranteed to stump the crowd, because almost no one can guess it’s origin. They will, however, want more.

Meditations / Pixabay


Like Father, Like Son

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey (Images of America)

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey cover 22 percent of the most densely populated state in the country. It is the largest stretch of open space between Boston, Massachusetts, and Richmond, Virginia. It reaches across 56 municipalities and 7 counties. The name came from early settlers who thought the area was a vast wasteland, but it is anything but barren. Underneath this incredible natural resource lies almost 17 trillion gallons of some of the purest water on earth. Stands of pitch pine gave birth to the charcoal industry, and its acidic swamps were used first for bog iron and later for cranberry production. Many firsts came from this area, including cranberry sauce, cultivated blueberries, and grape juice. Numerous industries have risen and fallen over time. Remnants of forgotten ghost towns bear witness to that history, but the real stories come from the people who lived and worked there.
New From:$12.99 USD In Stock

Born To Hunt…


Memorial Day, Any Year

It has been said that hunter’s are born, not made, and perhaps this is true. Far be it for me, to disagree.

Hunter’s eyes are born of blood, and I, like my father, and his father before him, would seem to prove that out. Well-worn deer trails, mist-filled bogs, and oceans of pitch pines and blackjack oaks were always a large part of our daily landscapes. I cannot help but think that we were all so much better off for our youthful visions.

Just below is a long forgotten photo of my Dad’s first white-tailed deer, taken with a hand-me-down shotgun in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. As you can see, it was a good one too. He was sixteen years old.

I never did hear the story of that first buck, but I have no doubt that it was a big adventure of some kind. Or at least I would like to think so, knowing my father’s penchant for getting the job done. South Jersey was still a wild place in the 1930’s, and a boy could really stretch out and do some roaming. I surely would have loved to have explored it all back then.

Below that is a photograph of my first big game kill with a bow & arrow, taken not very far away from where my father stood for his photo.  I was also sixteen at the time, and I could not have been more excited, and proud.

The doe may have been small, and the picture is now tattered, and faded, but the memory is not. I remember everything about that hunt as if it was yesterday, and it remains a thrill that has not nearly begun to wear off after all of these many years.

There are far worse things in life, than to be born a hunter…

Good Memories!


A vintage hunting photograph of a Teen-Aged Boy Carrying a Buck White-tailed Deer Over His Shoulder Which He Harvested With a Shotgun in the Late 1930's in Southern New Jersey. The deer hunter is Mark A. McCarty Sr.
Mark A. McCarty Sr. With His First Whitetail Buck. Circa 1939
A Teen-Aged Boy and a White-tailed Doe, Taken with a Bow & Arrow in the Mid-1970's in Southern New Jersey. The deer hunter is Michael Patrick McCarty
Michael Patrick McCarty With His First Bow Kill Whitetail. Circa 1974

*My father became an avid bowhunter in the 1950’s, and I am sure that he would have hunted his first deer with archery tackle, if he could have. New Jersey did not hold its first special bow & arrow deer season until 1948, only ten years before I was born.

See Some of the History Of The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Here

By Michael Patrick McCarty

You Might Also Like The Gift

A vintage hunting photograph of Mark A. McCarty Sr. with a harvest of white-tailed deer, taken during shotgun season in southern New Jersey in the 1930's


“A Bowhunter is a Hunter Reborn – Forever…” – Michael Patrick McCarty



A vintage hunting photograph of Mark A. McCarty Sr. from southern New Jersey, circa 1953, holding shotgun. Location unknown

In Memoriam

For Mark A. McCarty Sr.,

United States Army Airborne Ranger

Who Fought and Bled, for Us, in World War II

May You Find Good Trails to Follow



A Silk Commemorative Scarf, Cut From My Father's Parachute and Custom Sewn in Europe After His Last Jump in World War II. It Includes Patches of The 504th and 507th Parachute Infantry Divisions
A Silk Commemorative Scarf, Cut From My Father’s Parachute and Custom Sewn in Europe After His Last Battle Jump in World War II.
A Custom Sewn Silk Commemorative Scarf, Cut From a Parachute, Showing The Parachutist’s Badge and Paratrooper Glider Patch
The Parachutist’s Badge and Airborne Paratrooper Glider Patch


"Thunder From Heaven" - The Airborne and Special Operations Patch of the 17th Airborne Division, Which Was Over the 507th Parachute Regiment During World War II
“Thunder From Heaven” – The Airborne and Special Operations Patch of The 17th Airborne Division


The "All-American" 82nd Airborne Division Patch, Earned While Serving With the 504th Parachute Infantry During World War II
An Airborne and Special Operations Patch From The “All-American” 82nd Airborne Division


The Biggest Day in the World!

Michael McCarty, originally from southern New Jersey, poses with his first bow and arrow. A hunter is born.
Is There Any Gift Better Than Your First Bow?

Here is a snapshot of one of the biggest days of my life, circa 1967 (I’m the tall one on the left).

In this case I got exactly what I wanted, at exactly the right time in my rapidly expanding universe. I am forever grateful, for a bowhunter was born!

As you can see, my little brother is quite happy too. My sister never became a hunter, but I give here credit where credit is due.

She had to live with us, and later, deal with whatever game we managed to drag home for dinner.

Long live young boy’s, the still wild piney woods of southern New Jersey, and bows!

My First Bow Was Part of The Scout Fiberglass Archery Set. Does Anyone Know Who May Have Manufactured It?

Michael Patrick McCarty


Friends of The Hunted: A Story For Boys by John Howard Jewett. Front Cover Illustration. Decorated Boards.
A Friend I Am

*For Sale:

Friends Of The Hunted: A Story For Boys

by Jewett, John Howard
First edition. Hard cover. Dodge Publishing Company (1909)
Very good. No dust jacket. Signed by previous owner. With gilt decorations on front cover and spine. Bound in red cloth, with some light wear at edges. Internal crack. Quite scarce in any condition, particularly in First Edition

$75 plus $4 shipping (in U.S.)


The Improbable White Beast Of Another Big Adventure

skeeze / Pixabay


June 15, 2015

By Michael Patrick McCarty

A seasoned and wise old billy of the mountain goat kind is many things, yet above all things, an extreme and elemental force defined by chilling winds, lightning,  and mother nature in all her raw and naked glory. He can be found, if you dare, in that dizzying land of avalanche chutes, jumbled boulder fields, and rarefied air far above timberline. And find him you must, for he will not find you.

Add to this mix a man who longs to do just that, yet wonders if the body will still follow the wishes of the mind. Somehow the mountain slopes have become even steeper over the years, and the realities of the inevitable aging of flesh and bone are fast approaching like ominous, black-dark thunderheads over the peaks. This combination of animal and man may or may not be  a match made in heaven. But it is a miraculous association none the less,  built solidly upon a foundation of hope and lofty dreams.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I was successful in Colorado’s annual big game application lottery this year, and I don’t mind saying that I must have been a perplexing sight at the Post Office a few weeks ago. Only another big game hunter would recognize the shell-shocked posture, wide open mouth, and classic thousand yard stare of a person holding that coveted, newly printed tag.


A hunting license permit issued by Colorado division of Wildlife for Rocky Mountain Goat GMU 12 Game Management unit 12, for my rifle goat hunt in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness
A Most Valuable Piece of Paper

Ten years are a long time to wait for a hunting permit, so I hope you will forgive me for not being able to think too clearly just yet. The receipt of what is most likely a once in a lifetime permission slip  has a way of immediately reorganizing one’s pressing list of priorities.

You might say that the mere thought of this adventure gives me considerable pause, as well as a strange and vague uneasiness in the innards. After all, mountain goat hunting is not for the faint of heart under almost any circumstances. Stories of its practical difficulty and sheer physicality are legendary, and in fact, sometimes terrifying.

Just two years ago a goat hunter died not far from where I will be hunting, and I doubt that I will be able to discount that kind of fact. He had been successful too, but then fell from a cliff while packing out his goat.

My license is for Game Management Unit 12 in the Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness Area near Aspen, and it would be hard to find a more picturesque backdrop for a backcountry expedition. It may also be one of the more challenging units in the state due to limited access and other factors. In other words,  it is brutally rugged and unapologetically unforgiving.  The goats are a long, hard hike with a heavy pack from most almost any trailhead.

Legally, I may  harvest a male or female goat, and it is a rifle tag. However, in Colorado the regulations allow me to hunt with a bow & arrow if I so choose, and I do. I was born a bowhunter, and a man must stay true to himself in matters such as this

Perhaps it is testing the fates to leave the rifle at home, since it is not easy to get the job done no matter what the weapon. I would also like to locate a mature billy and place myself within range of my recurve bow, a short-range instrument to say the least. But I’ve never had trouble creating boundary stretching goals for myself, and there’s nothing wrong with setting the sights on high.

It would be easy to become overwhelmed with all of the logistics involved.  A great deal of contingencies must come together to be successful, which means of course that a lot of things can also go wrong. It would be fair to say that this hunt begins when you open that long-awaited envelope, and I suspect that I will never really feel fully prepared. And the fact is, even though I hunted them in Alaska forty years ago, I really don’t know all that much about goats.

Luckily, Douglas Chadwick does.  A wildlife biologist, Chadwick spent many years studying this fascinating animal and famously called him “The Beast The Color of Winter”, in his book so aptly named. He was the first biologist to immerse himself in their everyday doings so completely, and to read his words about his life among the goats leaves one in awe and admiration of an animal that frolics so easily upon a place of such majesty and formidable beauty.

Every aspect of a mountain goat is improbable. At first glance their outward appearance can severely contrast with the splendor around them, for they do seem to be built from an odd and incongruent collection of body parts.  They perform highly impossible, unbelievable feats in impassable terrain, clinging to tiny footholds on cliffs where even angels fear to tread.

Few people get to spend much time with them, if at all. If you do the encounters are more like the desperate escapades of a tethered astronaut who must return to base after a measured length of  time, or face terminal consequences. To hunt them is a hard-won and precious gift.

Yet, Chadwick also refers to them as creatures of habit, perhaps to a fault. Throughout the year they move from winter and summer ranges as conditions dictate, returning to the same areas each season. In late summer and early fall they will often feed in the same sunlit meadow in the early morning, and then return along a well-worn path to bed for the day on the same protective ledge.

skeeze / Pixabay

That’s a very exciting bit of news, since I am a creature of habit myself. I also have a large reservoir of patience, gathered over a lifetime of hunting experiences.

There’s some other things I know too. Concealment and ambush are the bowhunter’s stock in trade, and it is an extremely effective hunting strategy under the right circumstances. It is one of the few advantages in our little bag of tricks, and if you know anything at all about the severe limitations of archery equipment, you will know that we need and welcome any advantage that we can find. It’s not much, but it is…enough.

And so, the time is at hand. The exercise program and the preparations have begun.

“Let the games begin”, I cry, and I pray that the arrow flies swift and true. I plan to savor every breathless, lung-busting, leg-muscles-turned-to-jelly thrill of it all.

A photo of an example of the type of terrain that you can expect to find when mountain goat hunting in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area in Game Management Unit 12 gum 12 in colorado
Just Exactly How Do You Kill a Mountain Goat Here? Hard to See, But Three Big Billies Are Escaping Up One of the Center Chutes.

You can believe that I will be in that special place called mountain goat country this September; watching, high on a ridge where brilliant blue sky crashes hard against rock and snow. I shall sit with back to granite, eternally waiting for that great white beast to turn in my direction. Hanging there on the mountain, part of it, with a shining smile upon my face and a razor-sharp shaft on the string.

Wish for me to possess, if just for a moment,  the fortitude and wilderness spirit of the goats themselves. Wish me the providence and predatory skills of all high country hunters everywhere, be they two-legged or four.  I am no doubt going to need all the moral support I can muster, and perhaps a portable oxygen tank to go.

It is what mountain dreams and big adventures are all about, and it looks like I am on my way at last, god willing…

By Michael Patrick McCarty

P.S. Stay tuned for more goat hunting updates to come.

Recommended Reading:

A Beast The Color of Winter: The Mountain Goat Observed. Chadwick, Douglas H. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, Ca., 1983.

We generally have a copy in stock, and for sale. Quote upon request.


a vintage photo of legendary archer Fred Bear, one of the father's of modern bowhunting and manufactuer of archery equipment, posing with a mountain goat trophy he took on a bowhunting expedition to british columbia with a recurve bow
* “The Spirits of the High Places” – Quote Taken From An Old Fred Bear Bowhunting Film

You Can See The End Results of Our Hunt HERE


Fedora Bows – More Than A Match For Any Game

A Few Words On My Weapon of Choice

A 560 Hunter Takedown Recurve by Mike Fedora of Fedora Bows. A Fine example of a custom bow for the archery and bowhunting enthusiast.
A 560 Hunter Takedown Recurve by Mike Fedora

Not all hunting bows are created equal, and that can certainly be said of my 64″ 560 Hunter Takedown Recurve built to order by Mike Fedora more than 20 years ago.

A friend who is a martial artist and fellow archer was duly impressed when I handed it to him last week. He realized immediately that he was holding something special, but what he said was not what I expected. He called it a “bow of war”, which gave me pause since I had never looked at it that way. I tend to evaluate it along more artistic and romantic lines, but I suppose I can see what he means. There is no doubt that this bow means business, and it has the look and feel of a serious broadhead delivery device.

Close-up view of the Bear Razorhead broadhead, with insert. A go to broadhead for the traditional archer.
The Razorhead by Fred Bear – My Broadhead of Choice Since 1969

With a draw weight of 73# at 29 1/2″, it is in fact somewhat of a battle to get it back to anchor point. As you may know, recurve’s do not break over to a lesser hold weight as you complete your draw, as do most modern compound bows. What you’ve got is what you get, right to the end, and anything over 70# can really get your attention. I also tend to stay at full draw before releasing much longer than the average bowhunter, an ingrained habit left over from my target shooting days that really does not make shooting it any easier.

So, at the risk of stating the obvious, you might say that I am a bit over-bowed at this time in my archery life. It’s not the bow’s fault, however, because it draws smoothly and doesn’t stack. The real problem lies in the fact that it was built for a much younger, and stronger man – which I no longer am. Still, I can manage to get by if I work my way up to it by staying in shape and shooting some lighter bows during the year.

It’s particularly good at mid-range and longer yardages, and for me it is point on at a more than surprising 70 yards. It casts a heavy arrow too, and very few recurve’s are capable of delivering that kind of punch downrange.

It is a joy to carry in the wide open spaces and rugged terrain of the west, and to be frank, it has become an old and trusted friend. Most importantly, it also tends to hit where you are looking, more often than not.

It just may be the perfect recurve for a mountain goat hunt, or big bears, or moose, or whitetails too.

I can’t wait for my next bowhunting adventure. In the meantime, I think that I will order a second, lighter set of limbs – just in case…


Built For Business - More Than A Match For Mountain Goats and Bears. The Custom Fedora Hunter Takedown Recurve, the custom choice of traditional archers everywhere.
Built For Business – More Than a Match For Mountain Goats and Grizzly Bears

I should also take this time to give credit where credit is due, with heartfelt thanks and some long overdue praise. Mike Fedora has been a master bowyer for more years than most in his stock-in-trade, and I won a lot of tournaments with his target bows in the 1970’s too. I simply can’t say enough about the man and his line of archery products.

If you are looking for a traditional bow of beauty and unparalleled quality that will stand the test of time, than look no further than Fedora Custom Bows. You will be so glad that you did.

You can contact them by clicking on the link here.

By Michael Patrick McCarty


Forever Humbled – An Elk Hunter’s Journey

Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope and Other Antlered Things

This is not your father’s venison cookbook. Buck, Buck, Moose is the first comprehensive, lushly photographed, full-color guide to working with and cooking all forms of venison, including deer, elk, moose, antelope and caribou.
Buck, Buck, Moose will take you around the world, from nose to tail. The book features more than 100 recipes ranging from traditional dishes from six continents to original recipes never before seen.
You’ll also get thorough instructions on how to butcher, age and store your venison, as well as how to use virtually every part of the animal. Buck, Buck, Moose also includes a lengthy section on curing venison and sausage-making.
Peppered throughout are stories of the hunt and essays on why venison holds such a special place in human society. Venison is far more than mere food. It is, in many ways, what made us human.
New From:$21.08 USD In Stock

“A Bowhunter is a Hunter Reborn – Forever…” – Michael Patrick McCarty
October 15, 1998
Two Bull Elk Fighting in an Open Meadow, with One Bull Goring the Other as Cow Elk Look on. Painting by Walter A. Weber
A Most Dangerous Battle. Painting by Walter A. Weber

“Obsessive pursuit finally led the bull of his dreams. Then something else took him over”.

There is a place I have been that many elk hunters must eventually visit. The mountains may shine amidst spectacular landscapes and it may look like typical elk country, but somehow things are different there. It is a land of mystery and natural forces inaccessible by horseback, jeep or other conventional means. Inward rather than outward, it is a journey of the heart on a path unique to each individual. It is a place you only know once you get there.

I found myself in such a place some years ago, while archery hunting in the high desert country of northwestern Colorado. Elk hunting had been my passion for a couple of decades, more often than not with bow and arrow as the weapon of choice. I’d hunted more than a few of Colorado’s limited-entry units with a fair amount of success. And my overwhelming concern had always been the pursuit of the big bull – the bigger the better.

He filled my dreams and consciousness and became part of my daily motivation for living and working in Colorado. I would find him, and I would launch a broadhead deep into his chest. Of course, with that event, fame and fortune would soon follow.

I have always paid attention to “The Book”, and to who shot what where. I wanted very badly to be one of those fellows with the 27 record-book entries, who had just returned from Montana or Mongolia, or that private ranch many hunters drool over. You know the ranch of which I speak, the one with a Boone and Crockett bull on every other ridge. I wanted all of it, the recognition from my peers and the life that would come with my great success. The more entries the better and as fast as possible. I ran for the goal and rarely looked back. I can’t say nothing else mattered, but by god it was close.

Then, one long-awaited day, I found myself hunting a special-permit area in Colorado. It was indeed the land of the big bull, a trophy area of epic proportions and about as fine a spot as one could hunt without paying the big money. The animals were there. I had a tag, and I would fill it. I would take what was mine and move on.

I hunted a grueling 10 days. The terrain was rocky and mostly open, with occasional brush patches and stunted cedars. It looked like a moonscape compared to the timbered high country I was used to hunting. Getting close enough for a shot was tough, yet I was able to pass up smaller bulls and often found myself within arrow range of elk that would make most hunters lightheaded. They made me lightheaded. They were the biggest-bodied elk I have ever seen, with towering, gleaming branches of bone. They looked like tractors with horns.

As so often happens in bowhunting, however, something always seemed to go wrong. I made so many stalks and had so many close calls, the events are just a blur. I eventually missed not one but two record-book animals. Each time a shaft went astray, I screamed and wailed with self pity, cursing my rotten luck and the useless stick and string in my hand. The prize was so close, yet always so far away.

Toward the end of the season, I glassed a small herd a couple of miles below me. Two were big bulls. One had cows, and the other wanted them. They were bugling back and forth and generally sizing each other up. I hurriedly planned a stalk and rushed downhill toward my dream.

I stalked and weaved and became enmeshed in a moving, mile-long skirmish line. More than once I slipped between the two animals as they worked their way through the brush and cedars. I saw flashes and patches of hide but was never able to loose an arrow. I knew that within  few minutes a monstrous set of headgear would be laying at my feet. I felt I had been waiting for this moment all my life.

Soon the largest bull swung into the open sagebrush a couple of hundred yards below me, followed closely by a small herd of cows. Words cannot describe his magnificence. He was one of the finest specimens of elkness I have ever seen, with muscles that bulged and rippled under his skin. He was a bull of unique and exceptional genetics with a massive and perfect rack that appeared to stretch behind forever as he laid his head back to bugle. He was certainly at his absolute prime and, if the truth were known, perhaps a bit past it and didn’t know it. He took my breath away. Then I remembered why I had come.

Meanwhile, the smaller and closer of the two bulls had become even more vocal, and soon it became obvious he would pass very close to me on his way down the hill. He was not quite as large as the old bull, but he was big enough all the same. My bow was up and my muscles taut as I began my draw – and suddenly he was running and he was gone. I watched spellbound as he broke into the open and headed for the elk below us.

It was one of those unexplainable moments when time stands still, and you become something more than yourself. I could have been a rock or a tree or an insect in flight. I was at once both an observer and participant in the great mystery, a part of something far larger than myself.

The air was electric and my body tingled as the two warriors squared off. The cows felt it, too, and crashed crazily over the ridge. It was as if they knew something extraordinary was going down and wanted no part of it. The bulls screamed and grunted wildly at each other from close range, with quite a bit more intensity than I had ever witnessed. And suddenly they were one. They would have made any bighorn ram proud, as they seemed to rear up on their hind legs before rushing and clashing with a tremendous crack. I watched as they pushed and shoved with all their might, a solid mass of anergy and immense power surrounded by flying dirt and debris.

They showed no signs of quitting. Soon it dawned on me that they were too preoccupied to notice what I was doing, even though there was virtually no cover for a stalk. My legs carried me effortlessly over the rough and broken ground, and I was giddy with the exhilaration of the end so close at hand. The larger of the two was obviously tiring, and I remember feeling a pang of sorrow for an animal that would soon be beaten, probably for the first time in a very long time, and would now have to slink off humiliated and cowless.

They pushed and they struggled and, for a few moments, seemed to have reached a stalemate as I neared bow range. The old bull hesitated, then pushed, and when the other bull responded, the old bull spun like a Sumo Wrestler, took the uphill advantage and charged. I stood dumbfounded as the two hit the top of a shallow ravine and disappeared from view.

When I reached the edge of the drop-off, the fight was over. The old bull crawled slowly out of the ravine, managing to keep the only two trees between us all the while. He moved sorely and looked like he had just survived 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. I was probably the least of his problems.

I found the other bull where I knew he would be. I sent a shaft his way and ended what remained of his life, although his fate had already been sealed. A very long tine had done its job as well as any arrow ever could.

I collapsed by the side of that marvelous creature as if I were the one who’d just been beaten, and in a way I had. I stared off into space, confused, a little angry, and barely able to grope around in my pack for a gulp of water, half laughing, then crying. I don’t know how long I remained there before a distant bugle brought me back into the moment, reminding me of the work at hand and the long uphill walk back to my truck.

His head hangs in my den now, and I still stare at him in wonder and amazement. When my friends and family ask why I didn’t have him officially scored for the record book, I usually mumble some vague and incoherent answer, as the right words never seem to come.

For some reason, antler measurements have ceased to matter to me. It has something to do with realizing animals are much more than the sum of their parts. Hunting and the hunted remain a significant part of my life, but my reasons for hunting, and my life in general, have changed in some way I have yet to fully understand. Perhaps more than anything, I realize just how much I love to hunt. And that in itself is more than enough reason for doing it.

The bull’s proud head on my wall will always serve to remind me of that special place I have visited and hope to never forget.

I am, and will always be,  forever humbled. Perhaps you have been there yourself.


A limited edition print of two bull elk fighting with one bull goring the other artist unknown
Death Is A Most Serious Business


Unknown Artist Signature
Unknown Artist Signature
Unknown Title
Unknown Title

Directly above is a photo of an original print from my personal collection. I have owned it for several years, and in fact found this at an antique store not long after I wrote this article. As you might imagine, it means a great deal to me.

I am unable to translate the title, nor identify the artist. I would love to do both, and also give proper attribution to the artist.

Can anyone help?


—”Michael Patrick McCarty, longtime bowhunter, buys and sells rare tomes and texts from his bookstore in Glenwood Springs, Colorado”

–Originally published in Bugle Magazine, May-June 1999.

You Might Also Like An Elk Hunter Looks At Fifty or How It Ought To Be


The World Record Stag of The Woodlands

Bush Pilot Angler

Perhaps the world’s foremost salmon angler, the late Lee Wulff wrote of his adventures as airplane pilot and explorer in Bush Pilot Angler. This book tells the story of when Lee pioneered the fabulous salmon and brook trout fisheries on the remote Newfoundland coast. Bush Pilot Angler is a marvelous story of courage, love, flying, and fishing.
New From:$15.00 USD In Stock

A photo of the former world record woodland caribou shot by Dempsey Cape, found in the 1993 Pope and Young bowhunting Record Book
A Rare Set of Antlers – The Dempsey Cape Stag

May 20, 2015

By M.R. James

48-Year-Old World Record Shattered!

Jeff Samson had been thinking more about tasty blueberries than record-class caribou antlers in early September of 2013. But as Jeff and his wife searched for patches of ripe berries in the Middle Ridge area near Gander, Newfoundland, the sudden sight of a giant woodland stag feeding nearby snagged their attention. One look was enough. Jeff hustled home to grab his bowhunting gear.

Several frustrating stalks later, everything finally fell into place when Jeff managed to slip within 15 yards of the browsing bull. A single well-placed arrow dropped the caribou and in due time rewrote the Pope and Young Club record book.

See Original Article About the Samson Stag by M.R. James



World class animals of any species of big game are hard to come by, and the taking of a world record animal can make some big news in the bowhunting world. Obviously, this is old news for some, but I have only recently discovered it.

I must tell you, it really sent me back in time.

My father, Mark A. McCarty Sr., was an archer and a bowhunter before it became more widely popular. The art and challenge of the sport truly appealed to his character and can-do attitude. He was a rifle and shotgun hunter from an early age, but put them both away for good after killing his first white-tailed deer with the bow & arrow.

He fell in love with the idea of Newfoundland after meeting legendary sportsman and filmmaker Lee Wulff. Mr. Wulff was known primarily as a fisherman, but he was also the first person on the island known to have killed both a caribou and a moose with archery tackle. It was not long before my dad had made the first of several bowhunting trips to Newfoundland.

He fished and hunted for moose, black bear, and caribou, but it was the Woodland Caribou that enthralled him. He very badly wanted to take one home.

He did just that in 1966, and oh what a caribou it was. In fact, it would have been a world record animal had it not been bested by the stag taken by Dempsey Cape and two other bulls killed at about the same time, though I am not privy to the exact chronology of the events. Apparently, 1966 was a very good year for Woodland Caribou hunting in Newfoundland.

I remember how excited he was when he returned home. His success created quite a stir among his friends and his taxidermist, who was also an official Pope & Young Club Scorer. The news of the Dempsey Cape bull or any of the others had not yet reached him, and from what he could tell he had just taken the new world record.

I remember his astonishment when the word came down, and I would not be honest if I did not report that he was just a little deflated when he realized that his accomplishment was so short-lived.

Such is the nature of records, I suppose…

A Custom-Made Leather Hip Quiver, circa late 1950's (Maker Unknown), Carried By My Father on His Woodland Caribou Hunt . Pictured Here Alongside Some Vintage Arrows From Bear Archery. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty
A Custom-Made Leather Hip Quiver, circa late 1950’s (Maker Unknown), Carried By My Father on His Woodland Caribou Hunt . Pictured Here Alongside Some Vintage Arrows From Bear Archery. Photo by Michael Patrick McCarty

Nevertheless, he was happy for the hunter and more than willing to give credit where credit was due. After all, he knew first hand what it took to get the job done in that wild and hard-won country. He had quite a difficult hunt himself.

The story goes, as I remember it, that he had returned to hunt caribou here for the second or third time. After several days of hard hunting and several close calls, he and his guide spotted a bull that really got their attention. It was tough going, and no mater what they tried the stag remained just out of range for several hours. The moss and muskeg took a heavy toll on their legs, and he was just about done-in when he finally worked his way into position.

He said it was quite a long shot for his Black Widow Recurve, but it was that shot or nothing and he had to try. He launched a cedar shaft with a  Hilbre broadhead at about 65 yards, and was elated to see the bull react to what was an obvious hit.

Unfortunately, the celebration was rather short-lived too, as he soon discovered that the arrow had hit towards the rear of the animal and was now lodged in the hindquarters.

The bull was obviously compromised, but far from ready to give up easily. Knowing the toughness and moral constitution of my father, neither was he. He told me that he stalked this bull for another mile and more, and even watched helplessly as it swam across a good-sized lake.

But the bull was beginning to tire. Finally, after working their away around the lake, near the end of a long day, he was able to  get another arrow into the boiler room from a distance of forty yards. And, as they say, the rest is bowhunting history.

I have lived with that story, and others, for nearly fifty years. It is one of the reasons that I became a hunter, and more to the point, a bowhunter. It has led me on many outdoor adventures, for game small and large across North America. I would not have had it any other way.

I have yet to see this magical place called Newfoundland, but I want to, in fact yearn to, and it is at the very top of my bowman’s bucket list. I doubt if I could ever come across a stag as fine as Mr. Sampson’s current world record, or one as special as my father’s. But that won’t keep me from trying.

Bowhunting means everything to me, and it is the thrill of the chase and the sheer magnificence of the Woodland Caribou that keeps me going. In my time I will hunt one up in honor of those who have come before me, and for all of those who can’t wait to get there too!

The stags are waiting…

Posted by Michael Patrick McCarty


a photo of the top entries for woodland caribou in the 1993 Pope and Young Bowhunting Record Book
A List of Giants – Click on Photo to Enlarge

*I have used the 1993 record book as an example, as I do not have the most recent record book in hand at this time. As you can see my father took his bull at King George IV Lake. I believe that this area may be now closed to hunting, but I am not sure of the details. My father passed along several years ago, and the mount of his caribou was lost in a fire. I did, however, have a good long look at it. It remains stored in a good place, right at the forefront of my archer’s dreams.

Anyone know where my father’s bull stands at this time?

You Might Also Like Our Post About The John Plute Elk

a photo of the front cover of the dustjacket of the Pope and Young Club: Bowhunting Big Game Records of North America 1993 Edition
The Book To Be In

We have a selection of big game record books in stock and for sale. Pleas email huntbook1@gmail.com for more information.

*Painting at top of post by Walter A. Weber.

Blacktails and Bowhunting – The North American Deer Slam Completed

Black-Tailed Deer of the Great Northwest

Many hunters and wildlife photographers consider the Black tailed Deer the most elusive and alert American Deer species Their amazing speed and blistering quickness make it very difficult for humans to get close whether hunting or for that rare close up shot In his passionate quest to photographically capture the wily deer in their natural unguarded behavior James R Harris demonstrates a sniper s skills in patience stillness quickness and accuracy as he presents this breathtakingly rare peek into the deer s secret life at its unbridled best The Black tailed Deer of the Great Northwest collection portrays the black tail at their various stages of life from fragile white spotted fawns to protective mothers bonding with their fawns to bucks chasing does in rutting season Under Harris watchful unseen lens the deer are exposed in spontaneity while in hot pursuit of a female in full alert for predators or in deep cover
New From:$35.87 USD In Stock

Michael Patrick McCarty


A Bowhunter Poses With a Pope & Young Record Class Columbian Black-tailed Deer Taken in Oregon With A Recurve Bow
A Great Day In the Northwest


Ray Seelbinder of Western Colorado has recently completed the North American Deer Slam  with his latest trophy – A Columbian Black-tailed Deer from Oregon. More impressively, he did it all with traditional archery tackle and a bow that he built himself.

It looks like a good one too.

Congratulations Ray! You are an inspiration to us all.


A trophy class set of black-tailed deer antlers in a backpack in preparation for the return to camp. Tken with Traditonal Archery Gear.
The End of a Long Road – Or Perhaps…the Beginning


Antlers From A Pope & Young Class Columbian Black-Tailed Deer in a Hunting Pack, Taken In Oregon by A Bowhunter with A Recurve Bow
An Impressive Trophy, and a Great Looking Bow Too!

– Word Just In – It looks like this buck might just make the Pope & Young Record Book by about 1″ (green score). Hopefully, it won’t shrink much during the P&Y required waiting period. I’ll cross my fingers for Ray!


*The North American Deer Slam includes the fair chase harvest of a mule deer, white-tailed deer,  coues deer, black-tailed deer, and Sitka Deer.

**”Two forms of black-tailed deer or blacktail deer that occupy coastal woodlands in the Pacific Northwest are subspecies of the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). They have sometimes been treated as a species, but virtually all recent authorities maintain they are subspecies. The Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) is found in western North America, from Northern California into the Pacific Northwest and coastal British Columbia. The Sitka deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) is found coastally in British Columbia, Southeast Alaska and Southcentral Alaska (as far as Kodiak Island).”  – Wikipedia


For an excellent reference on the deer of North America, you might wish to purchase:


Mule and Black-Tailed Deer of North America: A Wildlife Management Institute Book. Wallmo, Olof C (Editor)


Mule and Black-Tailed Deer of North America: A Wildlife Management Institute Book. Edited by Olof C. Wallmo.

We usually have a copy in stock. Please email us at huntbook1@gmail.com for more information.



A traditional archer poses with a pope and young class mule deer buck taken in northwestern colorado.
Ray With One Of His Many Colorado Mule Deer Trophies

You Might Also like to read a little about his latest Coues Deer buck at Coues Head Soup.