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Bowhunting Extra Innings For Whitetails
The rut is over, but your archery tag isn't filled yet. Now what? Here's some worthy advice for late-season bowhunting. ... [+] Full Article
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Texas Sportsman
Going Traditional For Texas Bucks
This father-and-son bowhunting team has seen their efforts rewarded with P&Y-quality; bucks from several regions of the Lone Star State. They're here to share some of the secrets of their success.

Bob and Rob Lee pose with some of the mounts from the Texas trophies that the two have killed over the years.
Photo by Jennifer Lee

It was getting late in the day, and late in the deer season, when bowhunter Bob Lee heard a distinct, pig-like grunt: the unmistakable sound of a rutting whitetail at close range.

The two small bucks and single doe already out in front of his well-concealed ground blind snapped their heads to attention in the cool air. Suddenly, the source of the grunt emerged from tangled mesquites and oaks. It was a mature 8-point buck, now walking closer, to within 21 yards. Recognizing the 8-pointer as an old deer, Bob eased the taut bowstring of his 54-pound recurve to his cheek. An instant later, the skinny carbon arrow struck tight behind the buck's shoulder.

After a short time had passed, Bob knelt beside the fallen 6 1/2-year-old buck. Its rack later scored in the mid-130s, easily qualifying for Pope & Young recognition. Yep -- a mighty fine deer for Menard County!

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A couple of weeks later, on that same well-managed ground in Central Texas, another crafty bowhunter connected on a trophy whitetail. This time it was Bob Lee's son Rob who was drawing down on a 140-class 10-pointer. His shot was true, and the old buck crumpled within sight. Another well-placed arrow fired at 20 yards from a ground blind, and two great bucks taken during the 2004 season by a pair of dedicated bowhunters.

So what makes their story unique? Not only that this the two members of this father-and-son team share a passion for bowhunting Texas whitetails, but also that they're serious about their tackle: Both men hunt exclusively with recurve bows.

According to a recent survey by the Pope & Young Club, of the 4,331 whitetail bucks entered during the 23rd recording period from 2001-02, 96 percent were taken with compound bows. Obviously, the modern compound with its faster cams and high let-off is the overwhelming choice of today's bowhunters. But there are still thousands of American bowhunters who shoot quality bucks every year with simpler tackle. Bows with sleek lines, fine woods and no wheels have a certain appeal all their own. Recurves and longbows are deadly in the right hands -- and Bob and Rob Lee of Jacksonville, in East Texas, are two bowhunters whose instinctive aim consistently fills their freezer with tasty venison.

Rob Lee has a 3,400-acre deer lease close to home in East Texas that he shares with a few other local bowhunters. But that's not the only place he hunts: The Lee team annually treks to other parts of the state to hunt with friends. Central and South Texas are frequent haunts when they get an invitation, and they've even been successful in far West Texas hunting big-eared mulie bucks.

The hogs, javelinas, turkeys, elk, nilgai and other species filling their bowhunting trophy rooms were all taken with simple but beautiful recurve bows of the Lees' own design.

The senior Lee, a recent inductee into the National Bowhunters Hall of Fame, and his son shared with me some insight into their bowhunting tactics and details on equipment. Their tips should help other archers successfully tag a buck. Their tips might also help make a smoother transition from compound to recurve for hunters considering a switch.

When I interviewed Bob and Rob Lee, I asked them to share some background about themselves. Bob, 76 years old, has been involved in archery and bowhunting his entire life. He started Wing Archery in 1951. For Bob, the company began as a hobby and evolved into one of the world's premier manufacturers of traditional archery equipment. It was also during this time that he produced the first laminated takedown bow, which established the popularity of the three-piece bows on the market today. In 1968, he sold Wing Archery and was not to reenter the manufacturing world until 1989, when he and Rob launched Bob Lee Archery, their current partnership.

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