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Major changes to hunting regulations made in Montana
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If you are one of the many hunters who make the trip to Montana each year to hunt big game, there have been a few changes to the regulations that you need to be aware of.

First, the general rifle season will open on Saturday instead of Sunday. This has been a thorn in hunters’ sides for many years and no one knows why or when it started.

Secondly, in the past, hunters have been able to use their “A” deer tags to take either a doe or buck. This year, Montana Fish and Game is talking about restricting the “A” tags to bucks only. This action was prompted due to a lot of deer are freezing to death in several areas because they cannot find sufficient food due to the snow.

So much for global warming.

Lastly, in 1976, the Montana Fish Parks and Wildlife established a late-season elk hunt in the area of Gardiner, Mont. to help manage the elk migrating out of Yellowstone National Park. At that time, according to Fish and Game, the herd numbered about 12,000.

Once the wolves were introduced back into Yellowstone, the numbers began to decline. In 2005, FPW cut the number of late season elk tags from 1,000 to 100 in order to remove any hunter impact that may have contributed to the decline.

In 2005, FPW game managers counted 9,545 elk and that number continued to tumble to a range of 6,200 to 7,100. In 2010, the FPW counted only 2,236 elk.

So much for doing away with the wolf season.
We as hunters are stewards of the wildlife. It is up to us to manage the game in a responsible manner, and that means managing both the elk and wolves.

Back to bows basics
In my last column, I told you that I was getting a new bow. Well a couple of weeks ago, a big brown truck stopped in front of my house and UPS delivered a new Mathews DXT bow and was I excited. Now the DXT, is not a new bow, it came out in 2008 but it is new to me.

I saw the bow on e-Bay, made a bid on it and won. Just before the bow arrived, I was talking to Keith Dvoroznak, with Ripcord Arrow Rest ( located in Dillon, Mont, and he said they were coming out with a new arrow rest called Code Red.

I told Keith that I thought ripcord made one of the best arrow rests on the market and I did not know how they could improve on it. You know that old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

In my experience, there are three things a fall-away rest must do: Get out of the way of the arrow, don’t bounce back and hit the arrow, and lastly be quiet.

Now, I have been using a Ripcord Arrow Rest on my bows and I have never had a problem with the rest interfering with the flight of my arrows.

Keith said a lot of bow hunters are complaining that some rest on the market have a tendency to bounce back a little, hitting the arrows. Keith said they looked at this problem and added an internal brake system that eliminates all contact caused by launcher bounce back.

As for quiet, Keith said the company was added a soft red rubber molding to the launcher arm that eliminates the need for extra moleskin.

When I was talking to Keith, he said he was going to send one of the new rests and to give it a try.

When the bow arrived, I took the rest and headed to Scheel’s Sporting goods where Cooper Bowen set it up for me. When I checked out the new rest, I noticed a difference in the launcher arm.

The Ripcord rest has a containment arm at the top so that when you raise the launcher arm up, your arrow is completely contained even if you turn the bow upside down. When I raised the arm, I could feel a little click and that was the braking system.

When I shot the new bow, I was amazed at the smoothness of the rubber on the launcher arm and the speed. I am shooting a 27 ¼-inch Gold Tip XT Hunter 3555 arrow at 361 gr. with a 27-inch draw length at 250 fps.

My old Bowtech with the same set up was shooting 220 fps, and the dealer told me that was the best it could do. While at Scheel’s, I had Cooper put my old Ripcord Rest on my son’s old PEC Predator bow. Bill shoots a 27 ¼-inch, 378 gr.-Gold Tip XT Hunter 5575 arrow.

With the new Ripcord rest, the bow was shooting at 232 fps. Not too bad for a 6-year-old bow. Both my bow and Bill’s bow are set at 51 pounds.

My son Bill was using a whisker biscuit on his bow and I feel that they are great if you are target shooting, but I think the Ripcord Fall away rest will do a better job for him when we are hunting.

When I returned home, it was snowing, so I walked out in my back yard and shot a few arrows while it was snowing and did not have any trouble with the rubber on the launcher arm sticking or squeaking.

Another thing that added to the speed of my arrows was the use of an Accunock on my arrows. I noticed a full second more speed with them. The nock has two ears that hold the arrow on the string.

The force of the string moving forward, opens the nock and the arrow leaves the string with no resistance. You can see then on the web at you can also find the nocks on e-bay under archery accessories.

If any of you have been trying to contact me by e-mail (, my computer was hit by a virus and I am just up and running.