Off-Season Archery Practice Key for T-Bone’s Success
That’s right, a Mainframe 6 point buck that’s over 8 years old, over 300 pounds, and measures 149 5/8″ Gross! No wonder this Kansas deer was nicknamed “Mongo.” Tbone tells the story of Mongo and talks arrow details and more in the podcast below!
“I mean, I know he’s only a 6 pointer, and a lot of hunters would say he’s just a 6 pointer, but to me I’m as proud of him as anything just because of his age, the history that we had with him, and just a gnarly freak that was very unique.”
History with a Whitetail Deer
After spending many deer seasons with all the great folks at Hooray Ranch in Kansas, primarily an upland and waterfowl outfitting service, the boys at Bone Collector have had a chance to get to know the deer on the property.
From trail camera pictures, hours in the field, chance encounters, and close calls, began a relationship that turned into a strategic game of chess for the boys and a deer they named Mongo. A mainframe 6-point that would eventually score nearly 150” of antler with 27” main beams, and weighing in at over 300 pounds, Mongo was easy to identify. Encounters with Mongo were unmistakable.
On a past hunting trip to Hooray Ranch, T-Bone watched Mongo breed and then bed down with a doe. Hidden by the tallgrass prairie and covered by the Kansas winds, T-Bone made a move to put a stalk on this deer from the ground. Mongo was obviously a mature buck, identified by his body size and through trail cameras on the ranch, and he was thought to be five years old at the time. The stalk was unsuccessful, but the pursuit of Mongo had only begun.
Bone Collector Nick Mundt had his own encounter with Mongo in a following season, connecting with Mongo with his arrow, but it was a non-lethal hit. After taking an arrow, Mongo went on across the field with a doe, and appeared on trail cameras the next season, proving that Mongo was not only a mature buck, but extremely tough, and he was now eight years old.
Training for an Archery Marathon
T-Bone’s confidence in making that critical shot wasn’t built on arrogance or hype, but on the shoulders of thousands of arrows sent down range and hours of preparation tuning and building the right equipment for exactly this moment. T-Bone has a long history in the archery world, shooting competitively in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. With all that knowledge, experience, and muscle memory, T-Bone proves that it is still critical to put in your time to capitalize on those few moments when an opportunity comes knocking.
With both a place to shoot indoors and at an outdoor range at his home, T-Bone has plenty of opportunities to send arrows downrange, to experiment with new equipment and ideas, and to push the limits of accuracy with his bow. Shooting at his Morrell indoor/outdoor target at distances out to 140 yards, T-Bone is no stranger to long-range shots. His investment in practice at the range pays back big dividends when hunting opportunities at ethical ranges present themselves. All of that time, all of those shots, and all of that equipment invested comes down to tiny moments of opportunity in the field, and T-Bone is ready to make it happen.
When it All Comes Together on a Bow Hunt
There’s a culmination of a variety of factors when a hunt comes together, and your arrow successfully finds its mark. After countless hours invested, dialing in your equipment, and developing confidence in your shooting ability, it’s time to realize the fruits of your investment in the field.
Your arrow is obviously your only piece of equipment that actually impacts the deer. Designing an arrow setup that is accurate, lethal, and hard hitting set the foundation for T-Bone’s confidence on this hunt. His VAP TKO arrows are fletched with a stiff vane, and weighted for Front of Center (FOC) energy and stability. Sharp and dependable broadheads are a must when you are in the deer woods, and T-Bone’s choice of the lethal G5 Deadmeat broadheads are just that.
For T-Bone, it all came together when Mongo presented a 42 yard shot. All of the history and encounters with this monarch of a deer, coupled with T-Bone’s investment in himself and his archery equipment, led to a filled Kansas whitetail buck tag!
Compound Bow – Hoyt Helix (Bone Collector Edition)
T-Bone’s Quiver – Fuse 6-arrow quiver (2 points of contact)
Arrow Rest – HHA Virtus fall-away rest (machined aluminum)
Bow Sight – Dead Ringer 5 fixed pin sight
Release – T.R.U. Ball Beast II
Bow Stabilizer – Fuse stabilizer and offset
Broadhead – Deadmeat by G5
Arrow Setup – Victory VAP TKO arrows
Investing in Your Trophy
Devoting your time and your budget in the off-season to improve your skills and equipment for your next hunting season is a critical part of the hunter’s journey. Your off-season investment will prove invaluable by providing the confidence to make the shot count when it presents itself this fall. Whether your trophy is a doe for the freezer, a bruiser whitetail on an outfitted hunt, or a public land buck out there for the takin, putting in the time and effort now will have its payoff this season.