Swhacker 100 Grain Crossbow Broadheads

10 10 2013

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I have been using Swhacker Broadheads for the past several years. I have built up a tremendous confidence in their products, so when they came out with their new Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads it was a natural transition to start using them. The 100 grain expandable broadhead incorporates two razor sharp .032″ thick stainless steel blades that measure 1 inch in flight and 2 inches after penetration–a lethal combination for any game animal I have plans to hunt. The broadheads themselves are tough, but in the event that you bend a blade or damage them otherwise during your hunts, all replacement parts to rebuild them are available for purchase.

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Sarah with her Gobbler taken with Tenpoint Crossbow and Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads
Photo Credit: Diane Hassinger

Sarah, my 10-year old granddaughter, used my crossbow and the Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads during the Spring Turkey Season. Sarah dropped her Gobbler on the spot with the Swhackers. This was the second gobbler with Swhackers; her first with the Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads.

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Spring Gobbler taken with the Tenpoint Crossbow and Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads
Photo Credit: Diane Hassinger

This June, I used the Swhacker Crossbow broadheads on my Saskatchewan Black Bear hunt in combination with my Tenpoint Stealth SS Crossbow. These broadheads truly fly like a field tip. The main blades are designed to open only after the high carbon steel point and wing blades have penetrated through the hide and ribs; therefore, leaving a fresh set of blades to cut their way through the vitals for an exit would that is unbelievably large.

I was hunting in poor conditions for both bear and archery. The winds were blowing hard and rain was falling fast.  My bear crossed to within 10 yards of my treestand when I let my Swhacker fly!  The broadhead performed flawlessly!  My bolt passed right through the chest cavity and lodged in the dirt on the other side.

The 7′ black bear traveled a mere 15 yards before crashing to the ground.  Even if I had not seen the bear go down, anyone–yes, I mean anyone–could have followed the blood trail.  The blood trail looked as if you painted it with red spray paint. The exit wound was a 2″ long slice.

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7′ Saskatchewan Black Bear taken with my Tenpoint Crossbow and Swhacker Crossbow Broadheads
Photo Credit: Diane Hassinger

The Swhacker Crossbow broadheads have a MSRP of $34.99 for a set of 3 broadheads. You can find this product at most sporting goods retailers and they will soon be available on the Swhacker website at  http://www.swhacker.com/swhacker-products. In my opinion, with my experience using this product, they are well worth the money.

Swhacker Logo is the sole property of it’s rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.

 

 

Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

 

This post was published on Ladies in Camo at http://ladiesincamo.com/licpr/2013/09/02/swhacker-100-grain-crossbow-broadheads-diane-hassinger/, and also at Bowhunting.net at http://bowhunting.net/2013/09/gear-review-swhacker-100-gr-crossbow-broadhead/

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Junkyard Bear-Tails of the Hunt

10 10 2013

This post was published originally at Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/09/09/diane-hassinger-junkyard-bear/

Every hunter has their favorite type of hunting; for me it is Black Bear hunting with my crossbow.  I have taken several trophy bear with my Tenpoint, and each hold their place of honor in my memories.  This years bear was no different, well maybe just a little.

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Junkyard and his girlfriend. You can see how bad the rope had cut through the hide. Photo: Diane Hassinger

Dale and I arrived in Deschambault Lake to tales of a huge black bear that had been spotted on cameras,with what appeared to be a rope tangled tightly around his neck.  Our Outfitter Mike Grundmann asked if one of us would be able to target that bear, since his health was declining due to the ever tightening rope.  Dale and I both agreed one of use would focus our attention on him.  Dale started out his hunt looking for him, and for 3 days Junkyard was not seen, even though his big blond girlfriend would come by every evening.  On the 4th day, Dale moved to a new stand, and I moved into the stand to wait on Junkyard.

The weather turned horrible as soon as we left the lodge that evening.  Rain was pelting us, and the trees were swaying.  Not a nice evening to be outside, and definitely not a good night for bear hunting.  Erin was filming me that night, so we got settled into the stand and tried to stay dry.  It wasn’t long before I spotted black circling the area.  I nudged Erin and asked if she could see any better.  See quickly responded “It’s him, it’s the Junkyard Bear”.  As he came closer, I could see the rope swaying as he walked, but as he turned sideways I could also see white flesh where the rope had cut through the hide.  He glanced at the bait barrel, but decided to just move on.  As he walked under my stand, I let loose my bolt, and watched as it hit it’s mark perfectly.   I got a complete pass through with my Swhacker Broadheads.  Junkyard only went 15 yards before he expired.

It didn’t take us long to determine;

1.  We couldn’t move him ourselves and

2.  We were getting soaking wet just standing there.

So we headed back to camp, and to enlist some help moving him.  Dale and Mike returned just minutes after us.  They also had taken a huge bear that night; a 7’6″ behemoth.  So with the 4 of us working together, it took no time to get Junkyard back to the camp, and get dry.

I really feel I was in that stand that night to help Junkyard out of his pain.  I regret that infection made it impossible for us to use any of the meat, but Junkyard will live on in lots of memories and stories.  And because of his big blond girlfriend, his genes will be around for generations to come!

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Junkyard with his embedded rope. I will remember this hunt always!
Photo: Diane Hassinger

 

 





South Africa’s Grey Ghost

10 10 2013

This post was originally published on Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/06/20/south-africas-grey-ghost-diane-hassinger/

We traveled several miles from the lodge, to an area that was known to hold big kudu.  They are known as the Grey Ghost, and they certainly lived up to their name.  We would catch fleeting glimpses of their horns glistening in the sunlight, then they would be gone.  Several times we tried to stalk.  Once we came close enough that when they sensed our presence, they almost ran over top of us fleeing.

The following morning we were again going to search for an elusive Grey Ghost, when we spotted a trio of males in the distance.  We slowly and methodically closed the distance to 80 yards.  At that point I braced my gun and took a shot at the biggest male.  That is almost an oxymoron statement; of course I would shoot the biggest one!

The 2 smaller ones turned and ran back the way they had come, but my buck forged ahead, crossing into a tangle of mesquite type bushes.  Everyone was so certain I had had a perfect shot that we took off at once to find him.  There was no blood, not even a drop that I could find, but everyone was still confident.  Sure enough about 40 yards off of the trail laid my kudu!

I don’t understand what the physical differences are from our North American animals, I had heart shot this kudu, and he didn’t leave a blood trail, and my guide and tracker were at no point alarmed by this.  Your emotions can run the entire gauntlet of feelings in just a few moments of hunting; the elation of a good shot, the disbelief of no blood trail, the fear that your animal will not be found and the elation again when your trophy is found.

Diane with her very real Grey Ghost, aka Kudu

Diane with her very real Grey Ghost, aka Kudu                               Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger





Water’s Edge Water Buck

10 10 2013

 

 

 

 

 

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We were traveling close to the Limpopo River for my Water Buck hunt.  The terrain changed so much in just a very small area.  We went from arid desert like conditions to tropical and lush.  The Limpopo River had been dammed up to provide irrigation for a ranch, and in the process, they created a multitude of man-made lakes and marshes, perfect habitat for water bucks.

Shortly after lunch, we spotted a trio of water bucks.  One of them stood out from the rest.  We tried and tried to put on a successful stalk, but the winds kept swirling, and even though they were not spooked, they were uneasy.  Later in the afternoon, my husband and our tracker raced up to where we had just completed a stalk.  That had spotted an even bigger buck!

We quickly made our way over to the area.  Sure enough there stood a magnificent water buck and 2 does.  Altus quickly set up the shooting sticks, and I took aim.  I actually suffered from buck fever at this point.  I was so nervous about making a bad shot.  I took a cleansing breath and squeezed the trigger.  The way he hunched up and tucked his tail, everyone knew I had hit him good.

My tracker immediately took off to look for his trail.  We followed behind, certain that we would find the buck right inside the tree line.  Problem was, he wasn’t there.  My niece spotted him walking toward the water.  I pulled my gun up, and waited for Altus to verify that he was the same buck.  We couldn’t be sure, so I waited.  We went back to where I had shot him, and started tracking from the beginning.  The trail led us right to the water’s edge.  There was a barrier of reeds 20 feet or more thick.  We couldn’t enter the water due to the possible presence of crocodiles and hippopotamus.  Almost on cue, we could hear hippos barking or grunting, it was an eerie sound coming from behind the reeds.

Pete. My tracker, and I heard what sounded like crashing into the water.  I was sure it was my buck, and he was down.  Despite the thought that we were so close to him, the decision was made to call it a day, and start looking again in the daylight.  That made for a long night.

The next morning, Altus, Pete, my niece Morgan and I picked up the trail again.  We circled the lake to see if he had exited the water, and the only trail we found was coming out right where he went in.  We found him not more than 20 yards from the water’s edge.  I was so happy and relieved at the same time!!  He was beautiful!!

Over all he had only traveled 150 yards, then back 20 yards closer to where we had started.  My tracker theorized that the buck exited the water shortly after we left, choosing to bed down under a corpse of trees.  I am so thankful he did.  I feared he would be eaten by crocodiles or so water logged the meat would be ruined.  Instead here he was, and not one bit of meat would go to waste.

 

This post originally was published on Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/06/10/waters-edge-water-buck-diane-hassinger/





Simon Says-with a Blue Wildebeest

10 10 2013

This post was originally published on Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/06/09/simon-says-with-a-wildebeest-diane-hassinger/

Who would have thought, all those years ago, playing Simon Says would have been preparing me for hunting skills!  Recently I had the opportunity to test my Simon Says skills with a Blue Wildebeest.  He of course got to be Simon. 

Simon Says “run quietly”.  Simon Says “Creep low to the ground”.  Simon Says “Back step”.  FREEZE!!  Oh no, Simon didn’t say so!!  You get to start at the beginning again!  I swear I could hear the local birds were laughing at us when we would get busted.

So my stalking went for 2 days with my target Wildebeest, Simon, calling the shots.  I would get close, but no shot opportunity existed.  

On the morning of my 3rd day, we spotted a bachelor herd, and in their midst was my shooter male.   The wind was perfect for a stalk.  We started our game again, but this time the odds seemed to be going my way.  When we crept along the brush, we were perfectly camouflaged to the wildebeest.  We took an hour and 15 minutes to cover 60 yards.  Sometimes we would gain only inches, other times we would stand frozen for several minutes to alleviate any concerns the herd might have.  Finally my PH Altus set the shooting sticks up, and I knew the right bull was in range and open.  About 50-60 yards away were 7 bulls, I had 2 openings in the brush , but the one on the far left and in back was the biggest male, and the one we were searching for.  As I waited for a clean shot, I calmed my racing heart and evened my breathing.  Finally the bull in front stepped away, and I squeezed the trigger on the one in the back.  Altus whispered “Perfect Shot!!” and we watched and listened.  The herd ran to the right around some brush, and we heard a crashing in the brush.  The herd then raced back to the left without my bull in tow.  We waited only a few minutes then headed off to start the tracking process.  Pete immediately found a pin head size spot of blood, and my heart sank, that’s it?  I was going over the shot in my head, over and over, when Pete yelled something in Afrikaans.  I didn’t understand the words, but I knew my bull was found.  He had only gone about 30 yards from my shot; he was indeed what we heard crash into the brush.

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He measured 27 1/2 “wide, with great bosses of 10 ½” for each circumference.  A few more measurements and Altus informed me that he should easily make the SCI Records.  My bull will be always be known to me as Simon, and I will cherish the game we played that day. 

Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger





Heart Shot Impala

10 10 2013

This post originally was published on Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/06/09/heart-shot-impala-diane-hassinger/

It was finally time!  We were about to take off for our adventure in South Africa.  We had been planning and saving for this trip for a long time.  I knew the different animals, the shot placements and their habits.   The only thing I had not researched enough was the airlines.  We had a lengthy delay in our first airport, which led to our plane landing after our flight to Johannesburg was due to take off.  Luckily a Gate Agent was waiting for us, and whisked us off at a very quick run, to our departure gate, where they had been holding the plane for us.  The flight was as good as you can get, for being stuck in a seat for 17 hours.  My sleeping bills that the Doctor prescribed wore off not even half way thru the flight, so I fidgeted and flopped around like a fish out of water.  There is just no way to get comfortable after that amount of time.

We arrived in Johannesburg the following day, and immediately tried to claim our bags.  We had a bit of a language barrier, and then it became apparent that we had no bags.  Both gun cases and the 4 suitcases were all missing.  I filed the necessary claim with the agent, who informed me that our bags were still in Washington, DC.  ?????  They wouldn’t put them on another flight until our claim was filed.  So the earliest we could expect our clothes and guns would be in 2 days.  After arranging for the gun import permits to be awarded without our presence, we made a quick detour to a Woolworth’s.  Of all things my first purchase on our trip of a lifetime would be for socks and under garments.

The evening we arrived at Amanita Safaris, we took a quick ride around the area to scope out the terrain and wildlife.  This was our first opportunity to view Impala, Giraffe, Kudu, Gemsbuck and more.  The morning could not come fast enough!

As all of luggage and guns were lost by the airlines, I was loaned a 30-06 by Erik.  After just a small adjustment, the rifle was sighted in.  Our hunt started and I was in awe of all the magnificent animals we were able to see.

We tried several spot and stalks, but the wind was swirling, and the impala would bound away from us.  Finally we spotted a huge herd of Impala, with one male that stood out.  As we crept through the brush I kept reminding myself that the shot placement is different than our North American animals.  We slowly got into position, and my PH Altus quickly set the shooting sticks.  I placed the crosshairs on the Impalas shoulder and prayed it was the right spot.  I fired.  The Impala dropped right where he had stood!  A perfect heart shot!!  That was a confidence booster to be sure.

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When we took my trophy back to the skinners, they informed me that I had hit the heart perfectly in the center; it was as if it had been measured out!  Boy did I need that to assure myself.  This was going to be our dream trip of a lifetime after all!

Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger





My First Big Game Animal-How I got started hunting.

10 10 2013

This post originally appeared on Ladies in Camo website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/05/04/diane-hassinger-my-first-big-game-animal/

Life is not fair!  Or at least that is how it seems to a twelve year old.  Add to that wanting to hunt and fish when neither of your parents enjoys either.  Add to that being a girl in 1972.

I wanted to hunt so badly, I would check out every magazine and book on hunting I could find at our local library.  Outdoor Life and Field and Stream became my educators.  I asked so many dumb questions of anyone who even vaguely knew anything about hunting.  I spent hours weekly riding the deer trails on our horses, observing the patterns of the deer.  I could ride right into a group of deer without them taking too much notice.

It seemed like divine intervention when my friend Cheryl talked her father into taking us for our Hunter Safety Certification.  We had about 30 participants in the course; 28 boys, me and Cheryl.  We took a lot of ribbing from the boys, and even a few of the fathers.  They felt we had no place in a “boys” class.  We didn’t mind, or at least didn’t let on to anyone that it bothered us.  Cheryl’s dad, having 6 daughters, was very supportive of girls being able to hunt.  His support made a huge difference in the tender sensibilities of a teenage girl.  By the end of the course, only 2 students rated a 100% on the test; me and Cheryl.  Instead of the boys being happy for us, they made sure we knew that hunting was a male sport.

I spent my teenage years fishing, hunting small game, riding horses, and high school sports.  I didn’t have the opportunity to do a big game hunt (anything bigger than a turkey) until I married Dale in 1979.  Both of us hunted to feed our growing family, and after the kids got big enough they joined with us.

My first BIG game hunt was for Elk of all things.  I had always enjoyed shooting my bow, but lacked the courage to try to hunt with it.  Finally I gave in to my need to go further with hunting and scheduled a hunt.  To say I was scared is an understatement.  I had studied shot placement till everyone was sick of listening to me question them.  I was shooting my bow hundreds of times a day to build up to a higher poundage.  I have the need to over study and research anything I am doing.  I guess that is my OCD.

Finally the day arrived and we took off on this next chapter of my life.  Dale was and still remains very supportive of me.  So I needed to do this not only for me, but to prove to him his support was not wasted.

I remember climbing into the “tree stand”, which was an old pallet nailed into a Y of a tree.  I had to watch where I placed my feet, for fear of slipping through the slats.  When I think of this now, I have to wonder “What the heck was I thinking!” No harness (no one wore them then), no pull up ropes, you toted everything up on your back, no cell phone, radio or gps (GASP!).  My tree stand was on a well-worn trail on the side of a steep embankment.  I tried to listen to every little noise, and kept glassing, looking for any sign of movement.  I did have a range finder with me, and had ranged several trees and rocks in hopes that I could use them as a range indicator.

Suddenly I hear what sounded like a stampede.  There were several cow elk and a 4X4 bull elk coming into range-fast!  I drew my bow and waited for the 4X4 to get close enough, and shot!  He turned tail and ran back down the hillside.  My guide who was a short distance away, heard the commotion, and headed over to me.  I still don’t know how I got down that rickety wood ladder; my knees were shaking something terrible.

We waited a short while, all the time my guide was asking was it a good shot.  HUH??  I think so, I don’t know, I was so nervous I couldn’t even remember.  Finally he gave up trying to get any useful information out of me, and we started after my bull.  We found him about 60 yards below my stand.  However he was still on his feet, although he was swaying back and forth.  The guide said to stick him again when I had a shot.  I told him I could shoot now.  He said “no you can’t”.  I said I could and released the arrow.  My shot was perfect!  He dropped instantly, of course rolling further down the hill.  “I can’t believe you made that shot” to which I replied “I told you I could”.

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The bad part of all this was that my elk was now at the very bottom of a very steep incline, and the truck was at the top.  By the time we had it loaded onto the truck, I was exhausted, but still exhilarated!  Later when we butchered the elk, we found that my first shot clipped the heart.  He was dying, just didn’t know it yet.  The second shot was right through the heart and 1 lung.

My 4X4 was mounted and hangs on our living room wall.  He is not a trophy to a lot of hunters, but he is a trophy in the true sense to me.  He was a big part of my confidence in my hunting abilities to be able to go on any hunt that catches my attention.

To this day I feel the pressure to prove myself capable, to prove my abilities, to compete with ghosts of my past.  Now I know I am up to the challenge!

Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger

Excerpts from Huntingmotherearth.com in Hunter Safety Course 1972  https://huntingmotherearth.com/2012/03/15/hunter-safety-course-1972/