Category Archives: Maryland Bowfishing

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Maryland Bowfishing at it’s Finest

Something I have always wanted to try, I finally got the chance to this weekend cause of a great invite from Steve Poddo, @TheDuder8 from The Iron Kin Hunting Club, @IronKinHC out of Frederick, Maryland. I have been seeing tweet after tweet from these guys at @IronKinHC as they continued to slay the fish into summer. Unfortunately my schedule just has not allowed me time to get out there and join them until this past weekend. Steve and I talked, came up with a plan, a meeting place, and we were off. Having not bowfished before, I was stoked but didn’t know what to expect, especially since I didn’t even how a bowfishing rig. No problem with me, I just grabbed my Bowtech and a couple of my not so great arrows, and I was off. I met Steve at 6:30 in Frederick, and after a brief introduction, and a few stories we were off. Since it had rained all morning, we had a long walk in the mud and slop until we arrived at the river, and then it was on. Now the river wasn’t at it’s finest cause of the rain, but you could certainly spot the carp with not much of a problem. Steve took a few minutes to explain how we were going to do things, gave me a few pointers, and the stalk was on. We slowly walked up the rivers edge steadily staring into the water looking for those dark shadows, or puffs of mud from the river’s bottom identifying the carp we were after. Steve was more than generous offering me the first fish, but since I didn’t have a bowfishing rig I was waiting for the perfect shot. It was all Steve, and my man hit his mark as he pulled the first carp out of the water.

2012 07 14 08.20.461 1024x768 Maryland Bowfishing at its Finest

Yeah that’s my man Steve with his first carp of the day but certainly not his last. We continued down the river, stalking this fish, and as I waited for my first opportunity the anticipation was ever so growing. Not having a bowfishing rig, I was waiting for the most perfect shot I could get as I figured I would loose my arrow, so I wanted to make it count. Finally, I got my first shot, MISS, man it was definitely not what I expected. Aiming was definitely harder than I imagined, as the glare on the water made things difficult. My hat off to Steve, as he had taught himself to shoot his bow instinctively and man was this guy deadly. As you could have guessed, Steve smoked his second fish, after another miss of mine, LOL.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah I know I’m two down, but I do make a little come back. We continue our quest down the river, and we both have a couple more misses, but more good times. We finally get to a point, and Steve spots this giant carp very close to shore, so I got out the camera, and the stalk began. As Steve crept up on the fish, I was slowly following behind trying to keep the camera steady. He got where he felt comfortable, steadied himself, and slowly drew his bow back, “TWACK”, as the water went everywhere, we realized that Steve had just shot over the fish, disappointing but that wasn’t the worst thing that had happened. On this particular shot, Steve’s arrow had made it’s way down to the river bed, and had gotten stuck to never be found. Luckily for Steve, he had another arrow in the truck, and luckily for me we found the dumbest carp in the river. On the way back, while crossing the river, Steve motioned at me, as we both noticed this good size carp swimming right at us. I quickly nocked an arrow, came to full draw, and found my mark. At nearly five yards my arrow pierced the carp, and it was lights out as quick as it happened. My first fish with a bow was incredible.

2012 07 14 09.39.58 768x1024 Maryland Bowfishing at its Finest

Oh yeah, I was finally on the board, and more pumped than ever. I had no idea bowfishing would be such a rush, oh yeah, I was PUMPED! After our celebration, Steve proceeded to head back to the truck to get another arrow, and I’ll admit, while he was gone, I spotted another fish, but missed again, too fun. When Steve got back, we hurried back down the river to where he lost his arrow, and continued upstream as Steve kept telling me it’s better up here, it’s better. I had no doubt and followed him with great anticipation to see what we had in store for us. Well we got where we were going, and I’ll let the following footage explain it all:

Bowfishing

I think the video says it all. I didn’t know what to expect but I had an absolute blast on the river that day, so if you’ve been thinking about it, don’t delay, get out there and try it. I’l sure you’ll love it as much as I did. You can bet I’ll be getting a bowfishing rig as soon as I can, as I can’t wait to get back out on the water with my bow. It wasn’t a deer, but it sure was a hell of a good time during the hunting off season. I want to thank Steve Poddo, @TheDuder8, and The Iron Kin Hunt Club, @IronKinHC. Remember us boys here in Maryland, we BRING IT.

Bow-Fishing, Feeding the Passion when Deer Season is Out.

Just recently I published a story about two great fellas, Tuck (@Prez_Tuck), and his brother Steve (@TheDuder8) , and they are the founders of The Iron Kin Hunt Club. These guys have built the club around three things, Faith, Trust, and Honor. Really what else do you need if you are surrounded by family and friends that live by the same motto, and have a love for the outdoors. In talking with these guys I learned that not only are these guys huge bowhunters of deer, but these guys don’t stop when deer season is over, they have taken it to the next level and have found other critters to go after. Tuck and Steve have certainly made the most of their free time from deer hunting to learn the art of bowfishing. I thought I try and take advantage of all the seasons but it seems as though I’ve been missing boat, and these guys have been hitting the mark, or carp I should say. I don’t wanna give too much away so please take a moment and read this great story written by Steve below:

As a hunter I try to take advantage of every season that I have to legally harvest animals.  I’m always looking for something new, and my first experience was this past year when bow season ended and I was introduced to rabbit hunting.  Rabbit hunting was a blast, and working behind my buddy Stanger’s (@bowfanatic81) beagle was amazing.  As rabbit season passed, I also had an opportunity to hunt some geese for the first time.  We learned a lot on that trip…but that is a story for another time.    Before I knew it April was upon us, and I had nothing to hunt until turkey season.  I still remember asking myself, “What in the world am I going to do until September?”

 

Little did I know the answer was staring me in the face at our local bow shop; Jefferson Archery (@jtownarchery).  I was in there one day and talking to some of the guys that just got back from a bow-fishing trip.  They were very enthusiastic about the experience and knew I would be interested.  So I purchased a very old Parsons compound bow for $20 and the AMS Bow-fishing kit (@AMSBowFishing) for $150 and I was in business.  They helped me get set up, and I was ready for another experience out in the woods at the local creek.

 

Well the weekend came and @bowfanatic81 and I headed to a local creek to test out our new bow-fishing rigs.  The creek was loaded with carp ranging from 5 to 40 pounds.  It was “on like Donkey Kong, JACK!”  The first couple of shots we took missed way high, but  once we figured out that we needed to aim about 6 inches low, the carnage began.   There is nothing quite like hearing your buddy yell “GOT EM!!”, from 50 yards down the shoreline.  We celebrated together, high-fived, took some pictures and then went back to the carp stalking.  That Saturday we ended up shooting 30 carp.  For those curious, I only shoot carp.  (Please respect the fish and check your state regs on what you are able to shoot with a bow).

Bowfishing Bow Fishing, Feeding the Passion when Deer Season is Out.

I know a lot of people bow-fish from a boat and seem to think that is the way to go.  If I had a boat set up with lights and generators I would think the same.  However, I am very content stalking the carp on the shorelines.  It’s a very unique experience to creep up on a feeding carp about 5 yards off the shore.  They are extremely skittish and roll out quickly if you don’t tread lightly in your stalk.  I now find myself spending many days out in the creek during the summer staying cool in the water with my bow in hand.

Bowfishing2 Bow Fishing, Feeding the Passion when Deer Season is Out.

From this experience I found that bow-fishing does not have to be limited to fish.

Stanger (@bowfanatic81) has a pond that was also loaded with frogs.  At night I would walk around the pond with my head lamp shooting frogs.  I tried stalking them in the day time but they would jump in the pond before I could get close enough to shoot.  I started using my bow-fishing rig instead of my deer bow because the arrow is much sturdier and can be shot in the ground with out causing damage.  The first time I tried my deer bow, I shot some frogs using my 50 yard pin at close range but broke $40 worth of Axis’ arrows (no bueno). Regardless, we now have a freezer full of frog legs to eat.  And they are some “good eats” for sure!!

Bowfishing3 Bow Fishing, Feeding the Passion when Deer Season is Out.

It is amazing to know that as bow hunters we can hunt critters all year long.  The state of Maryland only requires you to have a fishing license to bow-fish.  I recommend checking your state regulation book for the specific guidelines in your area.  For anyone out there like me, bow-fishing is an awesome way to enjoy the great outdoors and still feed your passion to hunt when deer season is out.  Give it a try if you have the opportunity, it’s a blast.