2018 Browning Strike Force | Trail Camera Review

2018 Browning Strike Force Pro XD Trail Camera Review

Trail cameras have become the cornerstone to every hunter’s scouting game.  Their invention has allowed hunters to learn greater detail about their game, adjust their plan accordingly, and simply hunt more efficiently. This has led to improved success across the board.  Every hunter can benefit from the data they gain from a trail camera. However, just like with any technology, not every trail camera is created equally.

When deciding on the right trail camera; numerous features need to be considered.  These include:

  • Photo Quality 
  • Video Quality 
  • Night Quality 
  • Memory Capability 
  • Ease of Setup 
  • Battery Life 
  • Convenience 
  • Portability 
  • Affordability 

Of course, one of the leaders in these technologies is Browning.  This year, they knocked it out of the park with their entire lineup of cameras. One of the favorites for this year’s lineup is the Strike Force Pro XD. It’s a feature-rich, incredibly affordable trail camera option for the avid hunter. It features dual lenses, fast response times, high quality images and video while still staying compact and portable. However, one of best advancements is in its night capabilities.


Although not the most compact of the Browning line-up, it’s still comes as a very portable package. The camera is sized at 4.25” X 3.75” X 3.25”.  It’s also easy to mount with a built in steal adjustable metal bracket and mounting strap.  It comes in Mossy Oak camo where it blends into nearly any environment it will be mounted in.  However, the design doesn’t stop there. Many of its major design features also includes: 

  • built in viewing screen 
  • dual lenses 
  • IR flash 
  • expandable SD storage 
  • 12V external jack 

It’s an absolutely loaded design that has managed to stay compact while keeping an affordable price.

Photo and Video Quality

The Browning Strike Force Pro XD has incredible lens features. It comes with dual lens. One designated for day and one for night. It has one for day and one for night. 

It also includes a 24-megapixel camera, complete with a .15 second trigger speed and .5 second recovery time. It’s motion detection can reach up to eighty feet; allowing you to capture plenty of action farther out from the camera. When movement is detected; there is only a .15 second wait until the image is captured.  It’s fast recovery time also assures you’ll get numerous photos of the same deer if desirable. 

As for video, it shoots in full 1080 HD and of course includes sound.  The upgrade in video quality is impressive especially when combined with its ability to take longer length videos (up to two minutes). This allows plenty of time to capture any intriguing moments while keeping it easy to manage and power efficient. 

However, it’s most striking improvement is in its night time performance.  It’s night time designated lens, in combination with its red glow IR flash, allows for stunning footage in low light conditions. Not to mention, it’s 120-foot flash range is impressive; allowing users to have a crisp view of overnight activity at a distance. The IR flash range is also adjustable, including a power save, long range, and fast motion mode.


Power is an important, but highly over looked, feature of trail cameras.  At this point in technology, cameras should be incredibly efficient, lasting months in the field without any hassle.

This type of power efficiency is necessary for two main reasons: 

  • To keep a spot from being disturbed through excess activity and scent 
  • To assure valuable photos and video are not lost due to power failure 

When power does run out, their choice of batteries should also be easy to buy, affordable, and have excellent duration.

Additionally, for hunters who live a long distance away from the property, they can rest assured that the camera will still be operating weeks or months after it’s been mounted.

Therefore, finding a camera that has long lasting battery life and won’t break the bank when it needs replacing is crucial to overall camera quality. The Strike Force Pro XD trail camera has exceptional power efficiency while only needing AA batteries to operate.

In fact, it works on six AA batteries; which are both easy to purchase and affordable. Battery lifespan is highly variable based on the demand a user puts on the camera.  However, one source cited that if the camera took only 35-day and 35-night photos every 24 hours; it would last 10.3 months without needing replacement.  Considering the improvements in photo quality and features, that’s an impressive number.

Memory Capability

Another important component to consider when purchasing a trail camera is SD card storage.  The longevity of the battery only matters if there is enough storage capacity to handle the data.  Not to mention, nothing is worse than checking a camera and realizing it ran out of storage two weeks ago (or that it copied over the first two weeks of images!). Therefore, what is the solution to this? It’s finding a camera that has expandable storage.

The Browning Strike Force Pro XD provides just that.  Not only does it allow for expanded SD storage up to 512GB (which is quite a lot of space I may add) but it also allows for on device memory card management. This means you can save and erase files right on the spot.  This is incredibly convenient when you need to clear space on a whim.

Ease of Use

The Strike Force XD’s 1.5” color view screen and simple keypad helps make programmable adjustments a breeze.  The keypad is well lit for lowlight conditions and the design is easy to use.  The camera has an easy to find SD card reader slot to hold its cards (ranging up to 512 mb in size).
This well design camera makes viewing and managing photos on the spot a breeze.

One of the Best Cameras for 2018

The Browning Strike Force Pro XD is a feature rich device that will be hard to beat for 2018.  

It provides incredible day and night picture quality, HD video, efficient power, expandable storage, that all fits in a well-designed container.

Additional settings include rapid fire images, multi shot images, time lapse mode, programmable picture delay, and more. It’s compact size, vast features, and exceptional photo quality makes it an incredible bargain.

Coming in at only $199 it’s going to be hard to beat.

“Archery Fit” Archery Tips | Single Versus Multi Pin Bow Sights

Single Versus Multi Pin Bow Sights

Today’s selection of bow sight options offers the bow hunter the ability to select just the right sight for their needs. When selecting a bow sight it is best to use a step by step process based on the intended purpose and end use. The first decision is for what purpose is the sight intended, hunting or target? As we are focused on hunting bow sights in this discussion the next consideration is, “What is being hunted and under what conditions?

Single Pin vs. Multi Pin

Hunting sights are available in single moveable pin and fixed multiple pin models. Single pin sights are often preferred by hunters who find multiple pin sights confusing or with archers who are also dedicated target shooters and are simply more comfortable with a single pin sight. A single pin sight has the advantage of offering the shooter a single point of focus during the shot. The disadvantage is that the sight must be set for a specific distance before the shot and under hunting conditions that can and often does quickly change. Setting or changing the sight setting requires an extra step in the shot sequence. Once game is spotted the distance must be determined by mental calculation, pre-ranged-in markers or the use of a range finder, all of which require time and movement before taking the shot. When using a multiple pin sight for which the distances have been sighted in it is a simple matter of selecting the right sight pin for the distance and holding accordingly. Sounds simple but there are more considerations when choosing a multiple pin sight.

Eastern bow hunters targeting mainly whitetail deer will find the majority of their shots at ranges under 30 yards in wooded conditions. The average shot is normally under 25 yards with shots not uncommon at 15 to 20 yards. Western hunters find entirely different conditions when hunting deer and elk in open country where shots of up to 70 yards can present themselves. 

When it comes to selecting a multiple pin sight consideration should be given to the number of pins required to meet the needs most efficiently. The final number of pins selected is determined by both the game being hunted and the equipment being used. The flatter the bow and arrow combination shoots the closer the pin gaps will be. Therefore a slower bow will use more pins to cover a specific distance range as opposed to a faster set-up that may use less pins. The object is to use all the pins that are required but the least number of pins to get the job done. Multiple pin sights are available with from two to seven pins so it is easy to find the right sight to fit any need. Pins can be removed or added if required for a truly custom set-up.

Pin Size

A major consideration when selecting a sight is pin size. Most manufacturers offer a variety of pin diameters with the most common sizes being .010, .019 and .029 inches in diameter. While most archers tend to select smaller pins, larger pins have a definite advantage that should be considered. First is eyesight of the shooter. Eyesight ends to reduce as people age and the changes are often so small it is hard to detect. However small sight pins can get blurry and may even tend to be hard to differentiate when set close together. Hunting shots often present themselves in early morning or late afternoon when the light quality can be poor. Struggling to see the sight pins can make the shot more difficult. Smaller pins cover less of the target and it is often thought that the smaller the sight pin the more accurate the sight. While this is true it must be considered under hunting conditions. A hunting sight is not intended for 10X accuracy and if the target is game as opposed to the X ring a larger sight pin may be the best overall choice. It is also common to outfit a bow sight with larger pin diameters for closer ranges and smaller pins for greater distances.

Mounting Bracket and Fiber Optic Options

Hunting sights also come with the option of different mounting brackets. While some sights mount directly to the bow with a short compact bracket others offer extended mounting bars which allow the shooter to adjust the sights distance from the bow. While both work well the extended sight bar has some advantages to consider. The greater the distance between the string peep and the sight pin the greater the accuracy. The major advantage of a movable sight bar however is one seldom considered. Most sights have a round pin guard designed to protect the sight pins from damage. While many shooters attempt to center each pin in the string peep a better method is to sight-in centering the outside diameter of the pin guard in the string peep. This allows the use of a larger peep sight which lets in more light making shots in low light conditions easier to make. Because the accuracy is still based on the centering of two objects, the inside of the string peep and outside of the sight pin guard the accuracy is actually increased. The movable sight bar makes this process easier as it allows the sight to be adjusted forward and back to make the round pin guard fit comfortably within the string peep regardless of size. This is a quick and easy way of obtaining excellent sight alignment with increased light gathering capabilities.

While all sight pins today are light gathering fiber optics the amount of light gathered varies with the amount of light gathering material exposed. For those seeking the ultimate brightness there are optional light systems that can be added to the sight. Some manufacturers even offer light adjustment features so the amount of light can be regulatedproviding control over the sight pins brightness. This is a desirable feature as in low light an overly bright pin can actually make the pin fuzzy or appear to have a halo making accurate sighting difficult. In bright light the sights pins might tend to blend in or fade and additional power to the light is desirable. In either case having the ability to regulate the brightness of the sight pin is a definite advantage.


“Archery Fit” Archery Tips | The Importance of a Square Nock End

 The Importance of a Square Nock End

While today’s arrow shafts are extremely consistent compared to those manufactured just a few short years ago they are still a manufactured product and like any product subject to manufacturing tolerances. One of the advantages of fletching your own arrows is the fact that you have more control over the quality of the finished product and that starts with the simple step of making sure that both ends of the arrow are square and true to the center.

How Arrows Are Made

Aluminum arrows are normally produced though what is known as a “drawing process”. During this process, aluminum tubes are heated and “drawn” or pulled to obtain the desired outside and inside diameter which results in an arrow suited for a specific draw length and bow weight.

Carbon arrows, on the other hand, are commonly made by “wrapping” a carbon cloth to form the arrow. In either case, each method is designed to produce a product that is as uniform as possible throughout its length. However, simply due to the manufacturing process, the arrow is most consistent throughout the middle of its length than either end. That means that when cutting a 28 inch arrow out of a 32 inch bare shaft it makes the most sense to take it out of the middle and cut two inches off of each end of the arrow as opposed to four inches off of one end only. This cuts the finished arrow out of the most uniform and therefore most consistent portion of the bare shaft.

Cutting & Squaring Your Own Arrows

For those of you that have your own cut-off tools, this is a simple matter. However, if you have your shafts cut at a pro shop you will have to make your desires clear to the shop technician. It is common practice for most pro shops to simply trim the one end, if they do so at all, and take the excess shaft from the other end in one cut. There may be a slight charge for the extra cut but it is well worth the cost.

However, when the arrow is cut to length the job is not done, it is just starting. The next and most important step is the squaring of the arrow ends. A high quality cut-off saw will do a good job when cutting the arrow but the blades on a cut-off saw are thin and flexible and depending upon the amount of wear on the blade the cut can be a little “wavy”. Also depending upon the experience of the operator it is possible for the cut to be at a slight angle, not visible to the eye, if the shaft is not held tightly against the cut-off saw guides. Regardless of the reason it is important to square both ends of the shaft to ensure the quality of the finished product after the shaft has been cut to length.

All manufactured items are built to within a tolerance range of plus or minus. When you put together several items those tolerances add up so to maintain accuracy it is important to eliminate or minimize any potential tolerance build-up whenever possible. When inserting a target point or hunting insert into a shaft there are several tolerances to consider, first is the difference between the inside diameter of the arrow and the outside diameter of the insert plus the squareness of the insert shoulder and the squareness of the shaft end. For best possible overall alignment the better the shoulder of the insert and the end of the shaft fit together the closer the insert will be centered with the inside of the arrow and any point, field tip or broadhead will, therefore, be more closely in line with the center of the arrow. This difference may not be as noticeable with a field tip or target point but when mounting a broadhead which again has its own set of manufacturing tolerances the difference can be quite dramatic.

All of the same truths can also be applied to the nock end of the arrow. If the nock end is out of square it will not allow the nock to properly seat in the arrow when inserted. This condition, in turn, can force the nock to make contact to the side of the actual center of the arrow shaft. This difference may not be noticeable to the naked eye but it is definitely noticeable to the dynamic forces to which the bow and arrow are subjected when the string is released.

The instant the bow string is released the power stored in the bow limbs is transferred to the arrow through its contact with the string. That power transfer is transmitted through the nock and into the arrow shaft itself causing the forward motion of the shaft. It is important that this power transfer is done as smoothly as possible and also as centered as possible. The ideal and most efficient situation is to have the force concentrated on the center of the arrow shaft. If the force is applied off center it creates unequal pressure on the arrow during the shot and with each arrow being different if the ends are not squared this condition gives more variation shot to shot resulting in inconsistencies.

For an example suppose your truck was sitting on a piece of slick ice and was out of gas and you had three buddies who were going to help push you down the road. The ideal situation would be to have one at each corner of the truck and one pushing in the middle which would equally apply their force across the back of the truck. This would equally apply the force to the truck which would also be centered moving forward. Let’s suppose on the other hand that all three pushed from one corner of the truck. Their total applied force when applied off center would have a tendency to move the truck at an angle to the side. Their applied force would not be properly directed resulting in a waste of effort and lack of control or induced error. This same logic applies to the square end of an arrow. Making sure the nock end is square enables the nock to fit properly with the shaft and ensures the power transfer from the string is as close as straight down the middle as possible.

PHOTO: Squaring the ends of an arrow is the first step when it comes to ensuring perfect nock alignment to ensure proper transfer of power from the string to the arrow. Squaring the end of the arrow also provides better point alignment and broadhead flight. A squaring tool allows the squaring of both ends of bare shafts before fletching as well as the nock end of arrows already fletched.

Simply sanding the end of the shaft may make it smooth but it does not guarantee that it’s square. Squaring the shaft ends is simple, takes only seconds to do and is well worth the time and effort.). A Squaring tool is designed to square arrow ends to ensure the proper fit for activating  Nockturnal Lighted Nocks it is also ideal for squaring both ends of the arrow for the reasons described above. A squaring tool is a simple v-rest tool with a sand paper disk at one end against which the arrow end rest. A few simple turns of the arrow against the disk and any irregularities or high spots are quickly removed leaving a smooth flat square surface perpendicular to the center of the arrow. If you cut-off your own arrows having one of these tools makes the job complete. Ask your pro shop if they have one available for squaring your shafts if you have shafts cut there. If they do not provide that service consider making the investment yourself if you intend to build your own arrows.


Some shooters might ask, “Is all this really necessary, after all, does a little bit really matter?”. If you ever lost a tournament because one of your arrows is “just out a little bit” you would not ask that question. Every serious archer, be they a tournament shooter or a bow hunter should strive to be the best they can be. Success in both fields is often determined by fractions of an inch. With equipment and shooters today being highly focused on every aspect of their game there is little room at the top and often the second place is quite crowded. To be your best and stand above the crowd it is necessary to ensure your equipment is performing at its best and the place to start is with the squaring of your arrow ends.

“Archery Fit” Archery Tips | Fletching Arrows

Fletching Arrows | Fletching Jigs, Helical, and Offset Vanes

A direct comparisons can be made between a hand loaded rifle shell and an arrow when it comes to accuracy and group size. We all know rifle shooters who obsess over the combination of bullet weight, shape, design, amount of powerprimers, built-up pressures, trajectories, and various combinations of all when seeking the ultimate load for a particular rifleAn archer seeking the best arrow for a particular bow or a specific purpose follows much the same path and the ability to fletch and refletch arrows as required is an important part of the process. A growing number of archers understand the advantage of fletching their own arrows. While buying finished arrows is quick and convenient it does not allow for custom tuning and is like buying “factory ammo” off the shelf. It works but does it provide the greatest accuracy and smallest groups?

Anatomy of a Hunting Arrow

An arrow is made up of several basic components. The arrow shaft, point weight and design, nock and fletching. When selecting an arrow shaft there are several considerations, shaft weight, straightness, stiffness or spine and the tolerance to which each shaft is held. Obviously the tighter the tolerance the closer matched the arrows will be in a given set. When it comes to arrow spine some shafts have indication marks which if aligned when fletched will position the stiffest portion of the arrow in same direction to increase the consistency of each shot.

Point weight is dependent upon the end use. Heavier points are often preferred by hunters seeking large game to increase penetration. Heavy points are also used by target shooters when shooing long distances in windy conditions to minimize wind drift. Lighter points are favorites of archers desiring to achieve maximum arrow speed and flatten trajectory. Changing point weight also impacts the spine, (stiffness), of an arrow and can be used to make minor changes when tuning a bow. The addition or removal of weight to the point can stiffen or weaken an arrow shaft and also impact the arrows FOC, (Front of Center balance point). The addition of weight weakens the spine and the removal of weight makes the arrow tune stiffer.

Nocks which are the smallest but important component are selected on arrow type and string fit. A nock must be just snug enough to remain on the string during the draw but leave the string with minimum interference upon release. Most quality nocks have a slight, “snap-on, feature which satisfies both requirements nicely. For most hunting arrows, most hunters also seek lighted nocks that cover these requirements.


When it comes to fletching there are numerous styles on the market from which to choose. At one time natural turkey feathers were the accepted fletch and while they had the advantage of forgiveness when crossing the rest they were inconsistent in weight and thickness and did not perform well in wet weather. Feathers are still popular today especially among traditional shooter and in some cases indoor shooters looking for ultimate forgiveness or shooters desiring a large stabilizing fletch. Feathers were an important part of archery’s history and will always remain so but today’s plastic vanes control the largest market share. In addition to being weather resistant and much more durable then feathers, vanes are also consistent in shape, thickness and weight. These characteristic have greatly increased the ability of the archer to produce more closely matched arrows and tighter groups.

Vanes are available in a variety of shapes and lengths which offers the archer numerous options when selecting the vanes that will produce the tightest groups. In addition and equally if not more important is the angle at which the vane or fletch is applied to the arrow shaft. That angle can be varied from right to left with anything in between a slight offset to a hard helical. Fletch angle is directly associated with arrow spin and stabilization. The harder the angle and more helix applied the greater the generated spin which increases stability to a degree but which can also reduce speed impacting trajectory at long ranges. Fletch angle is a series of trade-offs and experimentation is required to determine what works best for what purpose.

All of these options are available to the archer that chooses to fletch their own arrows and it offers not only convenience but the ability to experiment with the combination of arrow components that produces the best results for the intended purpose.

An arrow set-up for indoor shooting is often different than an arrow set up for 3D or one set-up for long range target shooting. The same is true with hunting needs. A broadhead tipped arrow that is perfect for hunting whitetail at under 35 yards is different than the best arrow set-up for elk or caribou where a 65 yards shot is common. Could one arrow work for the various aforementioned examples? The answer is definitely yes, but that does not mean that one arrow is the best for all situations. The easiest way to find the best arrow for your specific set-up is fletch your own arrows which gives you the ability to experiment with different components to find the best arrow for your intended purpose. Fletching your own arrows gives the archer the same ability as the hand-loading rife shooter to find the best load for a particular rifle and purpose.

Whether you are interested in fletching your own arrows for convenience or in order to fine tune your set up it is basically simple and requires only a few tools the main one of which is a fletching jib. Fletching jigs come in various price ranges and designs. Some jigs fletch one fletch at a time while others can do three fletch at once. Actually the number of fletches applied should be the least consideration. When selecting a fletching jig it is important to select one that is easy to use and is accurate allowing the user to install each fletch in exactly the desired position and to repeat that for each vane including one that might have to be replaced in the future. This eliminates the need to strip all the vanes from any arrow requiring repair.

PHOTO: The Vane Master Pro, (VMP), fletching jig from Last Chance Archery is simple, flexible and easy to use. It is also extremely precise allowing for the accurate placement of vanes in any desired configuration.

One of the most accurate and versatile fletching jigs on the market today is the Vane Master Pro, (VMP), fletching jig from Last Chance Archery. The all-new Vane Master Pro is an innovative tool made to provide perfection and consistency when fletching arrow to arrow. The VMP is designed to accommodate every arrow size with little or no adjustment. Arrows can be fletched at 0-5 degree helical, left or right, with the ability to hold vanes up to 4 inches in length. This jig has the ability to fletch 3 or 4 fletch configurations (4 fletch knob sold separately) while using Vane Flat Technology. Vane Flat Technology uses two wires to hold the vane, allowing  the clamp to perfectly contour around the shaft, for perfect vane adhesion every time. Aoptional  crossbow adaptor has recently been added to the line-up which allows the VMP to be used to fletch crossbow arrows regardless of the style nock used.  Last Chance Archery has upgraded its three fletch, or 120 degree knob for its VMP fletching jig. Not only can you now fletch 120 degrees spaced vanes while aligning your nock with your cock vane up, but you can also fletch 120 degrees and have your cock vane align at 90 degrees for recurve shooting or for those utilizing a rest requiring this nock positioning. This knob is standard on all new VMP jigs and is also available as a retro fit for older models. 

PHOTO: The VMP utilizes flexible wires to hold the vanes in the proper position during the fletching process. These flexible wires allow the vane to easily contour to the shaft surface regardless of shaft diameter and desired angle of vane ensuring accurate placement and maximum adhesion between the vane and shaft..

A precision tool like the VMP allows the archer to easily try different shapes and angles of vanes to determine which combinations produce the tightest groups as well as perform accurate vane replacement when required.

The choice in vanes is almost staggering with new ones being introduced continuously. While in some ways today’s vanes appear similar to the ones introduced years ago, the changes have been dramatic. Today’s vanes offer new technical shapes specifically designed to provide sufficient guidance and quick arrow correction with minimum drag. The material itself has greatly improved and now posses better memory avoiding vane distortion from pass-troughs. Today’s colors are widely varied and highly visible allowing for individual creativity for those with a flair for fashion. Recon Archery Products will be introducing a line of vanes shortly which will incorporate these features in a new highly efficient performance vane.

For those new to fletching the best advice is to pay attention to the fletching directions included with their shafts or vanes. Make sure shafts and vanes are clean before fletching, closely follow cleaning directions and use the recommended adhesive for trouble-free results.

Photo: Levi Morgan shoots arrows with fletching that has a 2 degree offset as he shoots long distance most of the time. Unless you are shooting a light arrow it is hard to put a lot of helical or offset to arrows as once the arrow gets passed 50- 60 yards it begins to over control the arrow. This is called the arrow parachute effect, essentially the back of the arrow slows creating an arrow that has decreased accuracy.

Fletching arrows yourself allows you to control the end quality of your arrow as well as try different combinations of vanes, shafts, points and nocks to develop the best finished arrow for your intended purpose, tightening your groups, putting more points on your score card and bigger trophies on your wall. It is definitely worth the extra effort.


Archery Fit Archery Tips | Centering Nocking

Center Nocking and Tuning a New Bow

Setting up a new bow is always a challenge and can at times be frustrating. The best approach is to make the process as simple as possible and minimize the frustration by developing a step by step procedure to use as a guide.

Tuning a New Bow

The first step is to adjust a new bow to the desired draw weight and draw length plus properly timing the cams. Once that is accomplished the next important step in the process is the centering of the nocking point between the axles of the bow. This is simply done by measuring the distance between the axles and using the midpoint to locate the position of the physical nocking point. This is the initial step in what can be a prolonged tuning procedure but it is the best place to start as it develops a base around which the remainder of the process centers.  The nocking point and the horizontal position of the arrow rest are at the heart of a well tuned bow. By centering the initial nocking point between the bows axles and adjusting the arrow rest accordingly with the string splitting the arrow when viewed from the string side it puts you in the ball park. (Note: The horizontal position of the arrow rest indicated is for a release shooter. Finger shooters may find the point of their arrow laying slightly outside the string when viewed from the string.) This now becomes the basis for the tuning procedure.

Ultimately bow tuning is a series of adjustments followed by trial and error. There is no one size fits all. Everything you do, touch, or adjust when tuning a bow does not act by itself alone. It is combined with the entire bow and you as the shooter. So when you make a slight change to the nocking point you could find you may also have to make a slight correction to the position of the arrow rest which in turn could require another very slight adjustment to the nocking point. This is not meant to be confusing or intimidating but to stress that tuning a bow is a series of steps each of which brings the bow closer to a perfect tune. Centering the nocking point between the axles helps minimize the number of steps and changes required as it puts you closest to what will be the final position for the nocking point. It also helps minimize the total number of steps required in the tuning procedure which makes it a very logical first step.

The results of a perfectly tuned bow should be a bow/arrow set-up that hopefully produces perfect arrow flight but also a set-up that not only shoots well but one that is forgiving and minimizes shooter errors.


Shooting machines eliminate the human element and therefore human error. They are excellent for the testing of new products such as arrow rests, stabilizers, different styles and fletching shapes, broadhead flight, and a whole host of other tests that have led to some major advancements in archery technology. In addition they are capable of shooting exceptional groups and can clearly show the difference in arrow spine and fletching combinations. They also can produce excellent groups from an outoftune bow because the “machine”, unlike a human archer shoots every arrow exactly the same. An archer should strive for a bow that is tuned for not only the mechanical components, bow, arrow, rest etc. but for the archers form as well. The ultimate bow is one that minimizes human error as much as possible and allows what should have been a 10X to be a 10 if form is not perfect instead of a nine or even an eight. 

Bow Tuning Methods

There are numerous methods used for bow tuning from the bare shaft test to paper tuning and all can produce excellent results.  All involve a series of shots followed by recommended adjustments and retesting. When using the method of centering your nocking point between the axles of the bow physically it may not be necessary to move your actual nocking point if the tuning method you are using suggest to do so. Moving the arrow rest vertically will accomplish the same desired result. Raising the rest actually lowers the nocking point while lowering the rest raises the nocking point all while keeping the nocking point centered between the axles. It is also important to note that effective changes can be made when using certain arrow rests without actually changing the rests physical position. When using an arrow rest with an adjustable spring tension, tightening the spring tension will act the same as raising the rest while weakening the spring has the opposite effect. When using a springboard or lizard tongue style rest, changing the thickness of the rest will act in the same way. A stiffer, (or thicker), launcher acts the same as lowering the nocking point and a thinner, (or weaker), launcher acts the same as if the nocking point was raised. 

Normally when making adjustments most archers simply reshoot the bare shafts or perform another paper tear test. This is fine, but adding another “group test” after each adjustment is highly recommended. Sometime the smallest change will change the size and shape of the group produced.  Make up a series of simple targets with the same size aiming dot. Fire four to six arrows at the same distance after each adjustment. Number each target and record the measurement of each group overall noting anything unusual. Note on each target the adjustments made and number the targets in order of sequence. As the groups grow tighter repeat the shooting part of the test from longer ranges again noting conditions and changes. Observe your targets for the tightest groups overall over a series of shots. The tightest groups will also be from the most forgiving set-up for your shooting style. That now becomes the ultimate set-up for that bow.

Once you are done with the tuning process record everything. Note the vertical and horizontal position of the arrow rest, the height of your peep from the nocking point, the distance between axles etc. This is valuable information if in the future you have an equipment failure or as a reference guide when you go to set up your next new bow.

When shooting different bow models and different bow manufacturers pay particular attention to the ones that “feel” the best. All modern bows are basically good shooters but some bows will fit your shooting style better than others. Many shooters think they can buy accuracy by spending more money but accuracy comes from shooting, shooting and more shooting. When you have enough shooting experience you can actually feel the difference between different bows. When selecting your next bow don’t immediately spring for the most expensive one but instead go for the one that “feels the best”.

How to Properly Anchor Your Bow: The 3 Point Process

Archery Tips | A Consistent Anchor Point

Whether it’s for competition or for hunting, a consistent anchor point is a crucial component to shooting your best. Accurate shooting is repetitive shooting, and to be repetitive, you need to have an archery form that you can repeat subconsciouslyThis means knowing how to properly anchor your bow. There are three main components when developing a consistent anchor point: release-to-hand contact, hand-to-face contact, and string-to-face contact.  All of three of these points are crucial in assuring repeatability in your form and becoming the best archer or bow hunter you can be.


The first point to focus on is where the release sits within the hand. Altering this position can affect form, draw length, and subsequently, accuracy. That’s why finding and practicing with the release in only one position of the hand is crucial in your success as an archer.

There are two aspects to consider when finding the correct release-to-hand contact position.  These are comfort and consistency.  It is essential that your release of choice fits comfortably within your hand. Secondly, this comfortable position needs to be repeatable.  That’s why I recommend marking that comfortable spot, either with a marker or a piece of tape.  This will help you to assure that you place your release there every time, until it’s the only place comfortable place to do so.


PhotoThe first point to focus on when developing a consistent anchor point is where the release sits within the hand. Altering this position can affect form, draw length, and subsequently, accuracy.


Once you have the release in a comfortable position in your hand, you need to find a consistent position to mount your hand to your face. When doing this, it’s important to make actual contact without pushing too hard.  No contact makes it nearly impossible to be repetitive, while pushing too hard makes it difficult to execute the shot.

I personally use my first and middle knuckle and lightly anchor it against my jaw bone, avoiding excess pressure. This is both comfortable and easily repetitive.


Photo: When it comes to hand-to-face contact, I personally use my first and middle knuckle and lightly anchor it against my jaw bone, avoiding excess pressure. This is both comfortable and easy to repeat.


The third anchor position is “string-to-face”.  This is the position where the string makes contact with the face, which for most people, is the nose.  It’s common to touch the string either to the tip of the nose or to the side of the nose, and although there isn’t a right or wrong, I find one to be more consistent than the other.

Many archers will choose to anchor on the side of their nose, which is fine as long as they can keep it consistent. However, I find it difficult to make contact on the same spot every time. That’s why I personally use the tip of my nose.   

How much pressure you apply to your nose is important as well. Many hunters find themselves putting too much, or too little, pressure against their nose as well. That’s why I recommend very lightly touching the tip of the nose.  This leaves less room for error, and therefore improving shot consistency.

Consistency Matters

To be accurate is to be consistent. This means there isn’t a “right” or a “wrong” shooting form, but rather a form that is repeatable. To be repeatable, your gear needs to fit you correctly and your anchor position needs to become a habit. That’s why I recommend practicing consistent release-to-hand, hand-to-face, and string-to-face anchor points. The combination of these three components helps assure consistency in your overall form and therefore improve your performance as a hunter.

How Competition Archery has Made Me a Better Bow Hunter

Transitioning from Competitive Archery into Bow Hunting

Being competition shooter has no doubt made me a better hunter. Every week I compete, I’m faced with the same pressure I experience during that decisive moment of a hunt. The stress of shooting at a deer’s vitals is the same I experience trying to keep myself together when shooting that final arrow in competition. The level of preparation and mental toughness I’ve learned from being a professional archer has allowed me to excel under pressure when in the stand bow hunting.


Finding Gear 

Many people get caught up in gear brand and types, when they need to focus on fit. Finding the right gear, the basic process for competition shooting and bow hunting are the same: decide on the gear that fits you well.

Gear brand isn’t as critical as gear comfort. In today’s industry, most top end bow manufacturers make quality products. The key to shooting these quality products well is searching for brands that feel comfortable to you. When you shop, try every bow you can.  Put it in your hand, shoot it, and concentrate on how it feels.  It has to feel right to shoot right. 

Once you have equipment that feels right to you, you can balance and tune it with precision (paper tuning for example). A properly tuned bow creates a more forgiving shot in the field and the stand.  I have an entire video playlist on how to properly tune your bow and some top notch archery tips.

Proper Archery Form 

Target shooting has defined how I shoot. Whether you’re shooting at a deer, or shooting at a target, it’s important for you to be straight.  This means you should be in a straight line, feet shoulder width apart, with no leaning or tilting.  Your arm should be “straight relaxed”. However, despite understanding these basics of shooting a bow, I don’t want you to get caught up in the details. Why? Because I’ve been by guys that have a form that you would never find in an archery book. Whether you’re bow hunting or competing, there is no such thing as “perfect archery form” despite what many people have you believe.  In fact, there isn’t a right or a wrong form. Success simply depends on how repeatable your form is. 

Some of the best shooters in the industry don’t shoot by the “book”.  They simply have a process that they can follow time and time again. They know this process produces results, and it allows them to focus on simply aiming, rather than hitting their target.  

The same theory applies to bow hunting. If your form is repeatable, your shot will be repeatable when you need it the most. When you pull back on a deer, you shouldn’t be thinking about proper form, you should be thinking about aiming and the end result. This is crucial when developing your shooting process.

Develop a Process 

Developing a process is critical in competitive archery. Developing this type of process can improve anyone’s success when bow hunting. If all you’re thinking about is not messing up the shot, then you’re likely going to mess up the shot. That’s why you need to think about a single step of the process, and rely on your instincts to follow through with the rest.  

So how do you develop a repeatable process?  By breaking your goals into small steps.  You need to be able to think about each of these steps rather than focusing on the big situation (like not missing that deer). The right process is one where you think about aiming, and everything else just happens.


My shot process looks like this: 

  • When a deer is coming in, I only focus on ranging him.  By focusing on how far he is, my mind isn’t focused on the situation. This keeps the pressure under control. 
  • When I come to full draw all I focus on then is aiming. I literally tell myself time and time again to “just aim”.  You should never be focusing on firing that release.  The release should be a subconscious movement, your consciousness should be focused on aiming that pin.  

Below are a few drills I recommend to develop this shooting process: 

  • Aiming Without Firing an Arrow 

Hold it for as long as you can until your form starts to break down.  You learn to ease your mind and the anxiety when firing your shot.  You are also building your stamina. 

  • Blind Bailing 

This is where you walk up within 2 or 3 yards of a target and close your eyes.  Picture your pin being in the middle and practice firing over and over again. Learn what that surprise release feels like. Doing this will create a much more fluent shot.  

  • Long Range Shooting 

Shooting from a distance magnifies everything. That’s why long range shooting is my go to drill for competition and archery. If I need to shoot from 40 yards, then I’ll practice at 80.  Doing this magnifies any issues I might be having with my bow or my form.  This also makes shooting closer seem so much easier.

Handling Pressure 

Where target experience shines is when a person has to deal with pressure as a hunter.  There are many similarities between archery competitions and hunting situations, and pressure is a big one. With bow hunting, you’re faced with the pressure of “one shot”.  You have only one chance to execute this hunt.  With one mistake you could miss the deer and the opportunity will be over.  As a hunter, you may only experience this feeling a few times a year, so it can get the best of you.  

However, with competition archery you experience this feeling every week. You learn to excel when put in high stress situations week in and week out.  This constant pressure builds mental toughness. This is a toughness you can take to the stand. 

By practicing the tips above: finding a comfortable bow, properly tuning, developing a process, and practicing, you can overcome any target or buck pressure.  Remember to break your goal down into actionable steps that will allow you to focus on aiming, and not panicking, during the shot.  

Putting it Together  

Many hunters practice a few days before season, at twenty yards, and call it good.  However, that won’t result in a successful (or ethical) journey as a hunter.  It’s your responsibility to make the shot at your highest potential.  

Much of my success as a hunter comes from the time I put in as a tournament shooter.  As a hunter, it’s your job to put in time, every day, to assure you are successful as well.  I can’t emphasize enough the importance of learning how to develop a process and focusing on the individual tasks of that process. To do this, you need to create subconscious actions you can only achieve through practicing. Remember to reach your full potential, learn how to keep your mind on aiming at full draw and letting the process handle the rest. Then you’ll find success too.

Levi Morgan’s Aggressive Whitetail Hunting Tactics

Bow Hunting Tactics | Aggressive Whitetail Hunting

I love the entire whitetail hunting process. From sitting in the deer stand to the never-ending battle searching for that mature buck, whitetail hunting has been at the forefront of my archery career. This passion has led me on hunts from Ohio to Oklahoma, Pennsylvania to Kansas, and throughout the whitetail’s range. However, this type of fast-paced hunting doesn’t come without its challenges. Participating in this type of run and gun” style hunting in several states requires a special type of aggression. When I show up to a new property or hunting lease, it often means I only have seven days to hunt. That’s only seven days to scout, plan, and execute a strategy. That doesn’t leave time for error. That is why I have to get aggressive with my bow hunting tactics.

Aggressive Tactics V.S. Season Long Tactics

The tactics for a quick hunt differs significantly from year-long investments you might make on your personal hunting property. With these quick hunts, you don’t have time to sit back and plan over the course of the off-season. You can’t be patient to the point of planning for weeks and wait for the right conditions to go hunt a particular buck. This means making mistakes is quite easy but disastrous once they are made. Being aggressive is important, but being too aggressive can push a deer off of the property. This deer may not return for weeks, a sudden end to a limited hunt.

Therefore, although I’ve found success going hard after these deer, I’ve also found the need to be patient and smart. Just like any whitetail hunt, you are going to have to find time to prepare and scout, while being able to capitalize on any opportunity you can.
When planning, keep in mind that every whitetail hunt is different. Factors such as weather, wind, time of year, food sources, and property details can dictate how to run an aggressive hunt. However, there are a few core principles that can always improve the odds of success in the field. These include:
  • Relying on your cameras
  • Observing information before acting
  • Being smart about access points
  • Choosing the right times to be aggressive

We smoked the oldest deer on the farm here in Illinois! He was a shooter 4 years ago and we’ve never gotten a daylight picture or seen this deer since! At 1:30 yesterday we saw him slipping through the thick stuff! Hit him with a grunt….he started ripping a tree apart! One snort wheeze later he walked a straight line to our tree and the big 7″ is dead … he has been a ghost and I really can’t believe it!

Utilize Cameras

When jumping from property to property, especially in different states, rely on your cameras to do the scouting for you. This is obvious to most hunters but it seems like the finer details to successful camera scouting can evade most hunters. When you reach a property, be sure to grab the cards, analyze your property’s history, and start determining what activity is happening where. This will be your best resource when analyzing deer quality, activity times, and locations. Writing detailed notes and mapping out these activities can reveal patterns to capitalize on.
Preparation is key! Put in the time, work on yourself, use the best equipment, and know and understand your equipment! That is the recipe for success in this game! Happy hunting everybody!
However, when doing this, it’s important to not be careless. Putting too much pressure on a core area once it’s identified can push your deer out of the area altogether. So how can you avoid this? By setting up your camera in easily accessible areas. Ideally, these are areas where you can pull your cards in the middle of the day. This helps you become as least intrusive as possible, but also lets you pick up on patterns in easy to hunt areas!
Therefore, a good place to start is on food. By setting your camera up over food, you’re able to get an inventory of how many deer are feeding, where they’re filtering into the field, and when they start to leave/enter. This also keeps excessive pressure away from core areas.
In addition, being able to access your cameras with a vehicle, rather than by foot, is also beneficial. Deer tend to relate humans to danger more than they do with vehicles. Therefore, being able to access your cameras by vehicle can present a large advantage or collecting cards by foot.
That’s why I often hunt the edges of a field and avoid bedding areas as much as possible. This helps keep the deer on the property rather than pushing them off immediately. Deer that get booted may not return to the same area for over a week or two (or even permanently). The goal is to keep the deer as comfortable and avoid letting him know you’re there.
If you do choose to set up a camera in a bedding area, be careful how often (if at all) you check it during the hunt. By limiting commotion in the bedding areas, you‘re increasing the odds of keeping your deer on the property.

Setup Observation Stands

If the cameras don’t show any promise, be sure to set up observation stands. My goal with hunting observation stands is in an effort to cover as much ground as possible. This means being able to see far. Don’t be afraid to put your time in scouting, despite how tough it may seem (especially with only seven days to execute).
Once you have a deer dialed in, make sure to put in the time you can and move when the weather and conditions are right (as right as they can be for a seven day period that is).

Watch Where You Access

You must also be careful of where you access your property. Keep in mind that bucks will pattern you just as much as you pattern them. Therefore, accessing the property without getting noticed is key to limiting pressure and having a successful hunt.
This also means using vehicles when possible (rather than walking) and avoiding critical areas as much as possible. There have been times when I’ve sat in a stand at night waiting for over an hour for a vehicle ride. This is to avoid pressuring the deer off the property when leaving.

Choose the Right Times

It’s important to choose the right time to go in after a buck. Choosing the right time means being aware of the weather and the time of year. Throughout my hunts, I’ve found sunny, high-pressure days to be the most successful. One of the biggest weather variables to monitor is wind. Make sure to play the wind like you would any other hunt. Try to execute when it looks like it’s going to be as right as it can be.
In 7 days it’s hard to be picky, but if I can I will be smart about when I go in. If I know of a buck’s core area, I may only hunt the outskirts for the majority of the trip, going into the area on the best day only to improve my odds.

Putting it Together

Short whitetail trips require a different level of preparation and aggression than home-based hunting. While the principles and information are the same as bow hunting tactics we follow throughout the season on a property at home, the level needs to be taken to the next level on a hunting trip. There is no break to let the property, the deer, or a tree stand rest. Each move has to be calculated and optimized for the highest likelihood of success.
Keeping it simple by avoiding over-pressuring deer, choosing non-intrusive access points, relying on your cameras for scouting, and making the move when it’s smart to do so. It’s also good to have stands in place early in the year. Cameras should be out year around and you should be keeping a history of the activity and patterns on the property if possible. This might mean trips in the off-season, or a local contact doing some of the work for you.
Aggressive whitetail tactics are often needed for bow hunting, but especially required for out of state trips. Speeding up the normal process of season long scouting, planning, and executing in just a few short days is an aggressive tactic in itself. The added tactic of moving into a core area quickly can be considered overly intrusive, but might be the only way to harvest a buck in 7 days!

The Archery Tip No One Knows | Tuning Arrows Before Fletching

The Archery Tip No One Knows

This is an archery tip that not many people know about. Sure everyone knows about why you should tune your arrows, and how to fletch an arrow, but rarely have I heard about tuning arrows before fletching is applied. This tip should help you become a better archer and bow hunter.

I start by bare shaft tuning my bow, then the next thing I do before I fletch my arrows is take that arrow and shoot it into the target. The idea here is that I can see the natural launch of the arrow out of the bow. If the arrow launches out of the bow left, then I will fletch it with a left helical. If the bow launches the arrow right, then I will fletch the arrow with a right helical. This fletches with the natural launch of the arrow, creating a lot more forgiving bow setup.

If you don’t do this, and fletch on the wrong side of the arrow, you will tend to get a knuckleball effect. Say you have an arrow with a natural left launch, but fletch it with a right helical. The arrow will immediately launch left, but will have to correct itself in flight to the right. In that process the arrow could have a lot more movement, throwing off its flight and destination on target.

This is one archery tip that I don’t know if anyone knows. One thing is for certain, this tip could help you become a better shot! For more of my archery tips and archery videos visit the bow blog, my YouTube channel, or archery fit section of

Podcast with Levi Morgan | Becoming a Better Archer and Deer Hunter 

Archery and Bow Hunting Tips with Levi Morgan

Mark Kenyon of the Wired to Hunt Podcast recently invited me as a guest on his podcast. I had a great time talking about several topics related to becoming a better archer and deer hunter, as well as a variety of bow hunting and archery tips. Click below to listen to the podcast!

Here is what we covered in the podcast, check out the archery videos I have added for some of the topics:

  • My history and upbringing in tournament archery
  • My 2017 hunting season
  • My thoughts on transitioning from whitetail hunting to western and adventure hunting
  • My mountain goat hunt in British Columbia
  • The lessons I learned and biggest mistakes I made in the 2017 bow hunting season
  • My hunt for Boswell

Bow Hunting and Archery Tips

  • String jumpers and my experiences in 2017
  • My mental process of encountering mature bucks · Tips for archery target panic – VIDEO: Target Panic
  • My tips for archery practice
  • My tips for improving archery form
  • Taking detailed measurements for the perfect bow setup – Video: Bow Setup
  • My advice for achieving the proper arrow setup – Video: Arrow Spine
  • My favorite bow releases and broadheads – Video: Bow Releases