PSE’s Mark Drury on Why He Shoots PSE Bows

Editor’s Note: “The first bow I ever had was a PSE,” Mark Drury (www.druryoutdoors.com) explains. Today, Mark and his brother Terry are two of the industry leaders in TV production and video production, having produced more than 200 feature length videos in more than two decades as well as almost 350 TV episodes for four outdoor shows.

PSE’s Mark Drury’s Five Tips to Becoming a Better Bowhunter

Mark, give us five tips for better bowhunting.
Tip #1: Find a safe place to shoot and practice. Start practicing at 70 to 80 yards, even if you’re accustomed to shooting at 40 and 50 yards. Purchase a bigger target than you’ve had at the shorter distances to keep you from losing arrows. Make yourself shoot at 70, 80, 90 and 100 yards. Five or 6 years ago bows weren’t made to produce those types of shots. But with the speed that PSE bows can produce today, if you can force yourself to shoot at 70 to 100 yards, then when you get a deer to within 30 yards, making the effective shot is like shooting fish in a barrel. Remember, you make yourself a better shot with a bow by shooting at longer distances.

Tip #2: Plant a food plot. Hunting over food sources is critical to successful bowhunting. So, plant food, food and more food.

Tip #3: Consider hunting over water in mid deer season. If the current weather trends continue like we’ve seen this summer in many parts of the country, water holes may be the magnets to draw in big bucks and help you put one of those bucks in the back of your pickup truck. If the country stays as dry as it is right now, the weather patterns will be similar to those in 2006, when hunting over water was the key to taking big bucks.

Tip #4: Plan to take a bowhunting vacation trip outside the region you usually hunt, even if it’s a do it yourself public lands hunt. You’ll become a better bowhunter with the more experience you build each season. You’ll learn how to hunt various terrains, and how to locate deer in different areas.

Tip #5: Hunt the Internet. Never in the history of hunting has there been so much information available to the bowhunter right at his archer fingertips. You can get aerial photos of the property you plan to hunt and helpful maps, and during the season, you can learn the weather conditions where you plan to hunt. Check out www.archerytalk.com, www.bowblitz.com, your favorite outdoor TV shows and your favorite Facebook pages. Listen to what the other hunters are seeing and observing, and you’ll be surprised at what you can learn that will help you become a better bowhunter. Any information about hunting that you pick up can be the difference between a successful and a non-productive hunt. For instance, if a hunter in your area reports that the deer have switched from feeding on agriculture to feeding on acorns, or that a buck has been seen working a scrape, you’ll know that the rut is starting. So, instead of just talking to the guys in your hunting camp or at the coffee shop, you can research the Internet and build up conversations on social media networks that will help you take more deer this season.

Nationally Known Hunters Mark and Terry Drury and PSE Bow Designs

Mark, what really influenced your decision to use PSE equipment?
There are several things, but the main factor was the PSE staff. Too, I saw the shift the company was making into developing some of the most highly technical bows available. PSE bows have better performance and more accuracy and speed than other bows on the market. No one can touch PSE bows for reduction in vibration and noise. Also, PSE’s 200 to 300 feet per second is faster than their closest competition within the same price range. In my opinion, PSE bows are the best bows on the market.

Is it true that you and your brother Terry have had some input on the PSE bows produced under the Bow Madness brand? 
Terry and I aren’t bow engineers, but PSE does have some of the best engineers in the business. Our input has been more in the way of voicing our likes and dislikes to the PSE engineers. We tell them things like, “We wish the bow could do this,” or “We wish the bow could do that,” and then the PSE engineers make it happen. We give suggestions on what we think will make a bow better, but the engineers in Tucson, Arizona, where PSE is located, make the magic happen. We make suggestions on what we think will make the bows shoot better, more quietly and faster, just like any seasoned bowhunter can. We try to apply our experiences from using the bows in hunting situations to help the engineers come up with better ways to make better products.

What’s the farthest shot you’ve ever made with a PSE bow?
Last year, in Alberta, Canada, I double lunged a mule deer at 62 yards. The deer ran about 100 yards and fell over dead. Ninety five percent of the deer I’ve ever taken with a bow have been within 25 yard shot ranges. Terry and I are very limited on the distance we’re willing to shoot. Our experience in hunting has taught us that a white tailed deer are very sensitive to noise and to hunters, so taking a shot more than 25 yards is difficult. I’m not saying that you can’t take deer at more than 25 yards, but it’s more difficult to take a deer at longer ranges. Of course, it also has a lot to do with the conditions where you’re hunting. If there’s wind noise, and the deer are fairly relaxed, then you can reach out further than 25 yards. Another factor that determines the range at which we take deer is the amount of time we spend scouting, along with information we’re able to gain from our trail cameras. Before we get into our trees to hunt, we’ve usually got a pretty good idea about where the deer are going, and from where they’re coming. We generally already know where the deer are headed, what time they’ll show up, and which spots where we should take our shots. Other productive information to know is the direction of the wind from the stands we use. We try not to hunt unless all the conditions are right to take a buck at close range from those stands.

Mark Drury EVO

PSE’s Mark Drury’s Equipment for Bowhunting Success

Mark, which bow do you shoot, and why?
I shoot the PSE X-Force Dream Season EVO. I have tendonitis in my left shoulder, so I’ve had to reduce the amount of weight I pull to 55 pounds. Even though I’m only shooting 55 pounds, this bow still delivers 315 feet per second. The bow is forgiving, and there’s no vibration, so it’s quiet. This is the best bow I’ve shot in my entire hunting career.

What other equipment do you use with your bow, like sights, releases, stabilizers, etc?
I shoot Rage Broadheads and IQ BowSights with Retinol Lock technology. This sight has a little green light with a black dot inside of it. If that black dot isn’t in the center of the green light, then there’s something wrong with the way I’m holding the bow. This indicator really has helped my accuracy. I shoot PSE Carbon Force arrows, a Tru Fire release and a PSE Phantom rest and stabilizer.

Why do you like that set up?
It’s the set up I’m accustomed to using and works for me. The IQ BowSight has made me a better shot. The Rage Broadhead is the most deadly broadhead I’ve ever shot. The Carbon Force arrows are the strongest arrows I’ve ever shot.

What tree stand and safety harness do you use, and why?
I use the Big Game The Boss XL Tree Stand, because it has a huge platform from which I can shoot. It’s well built with steel construction. I like a tree stand that helps me feel secure when I’m high up off the ground. I also use the new Tree Spider Livewire safety harness from Robinson’s Outdoors.

Why do you like the Tree Spider Livewire?
It’s lightweight and ergonomically designed, so you don’t even remember you’re wearing a safety harness when you wear it. The Livewire system will decelerate your fall to 1 mile per hour, allowing a slow descent to the ground from your tree stand.

PSE’s Mark Drury Explains When to Take the Shot

Mark, how do you decide when to take a shot on a deer?
I have to understand the deer’s posture, body position and mood. Next, I factor in his distance from me to determine if he’s within an effective range, generally about 40 yards or less. I also factor in whether the deer is calm, especially if I’ve decided to take that 40 yard shot. If the deer appears to be a little nervous, I’ll think twice about taking the shot. Too, I look at the deer’s body position. If the deer is broadside and quartering away, I’ve got the green light to shoot. However, if the deer’s not in that position, I won’t try to take the shot.

What do you do when a deer is within range to take a shot, and you’re at full draw, but the deer is looking at you?
For me, that’s a no shot. Chances are I won’t be at full draw, since I don’t go to full draw, until I know for certain that the deer’s body position is correct for me to take the shot. If the deer looks up and sees me, even if I’m at full draw, I won’t take the shot. However, everyone has to set up their own parameters for a shot. These rules are the ones that Terry and I have set for ourselves and the way we choose to play the game of bowhunting. I want to make as effective a shot as I can when I decide to release the arrow. More than likely I’ve spent a lot of time finding this deer, planting crops to feed this deer, watching this deer’s antlers grow over a year or two and making plans to take this deer. So, I don’t want to blow this hunt with a marginal shot. I’d rather not take the shot and be able to come back and hunt that buck another day.

PSE’s Mark Drury Explains What to Do When You Miss a Deer

Mark, do you ever miss a deer with your bow?
My brother Terry is the one who misses deer, not me. {grin} Of course, I miss deer. In fact, I miss deer every year.

Let’s say you’ve got a nice sized buck you want to take, and you miss him. How will you hunt that buck after you’ve missed him?
When you’re shooting a PSE bow, and you miss, you won’t blow the deer out of the country. When I’ve missed in the past, I don’t believe the deer even has known what’s happened. Missing a deer doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

Tell us about a deer you’ve missed and then have returned and taken.
To be honest, I can’t remember missing a buck since I’ve been shooting my PSE bow, primarily because of the parameters I’ve set up. I’ve decided what constitutes when I take the shot, and when I don’t take the shot. In addition to the amount of time I spend practicing shooting, if the animal is 25 yards or less away from me, broadside and quartering away, it will be an automatic kill. Most times when you miss a deer, you’ve either rushed the shot or taken a marginal shot. Regardless of the size of the buck, I try not to ever take any marginal shots. Too, if I don’t take the shot, I’ve got a far greater chance of returning to that same stand and taking that same buck, especially if he hasn’t known I’m there.

After you’ve released the arrow and know you’ve hit the deer, how long do you wait before you start blood trailing?
After I release the arrow, I don’t take my eyes or ears off that animal, until he’s out of sight or hearing range. I watch the deer as long as I can, and when I no longer can see him, I try to listen for his movements or any sound he may make. If I don’t see or hear the deer fall, my cameraman and I usually will return to camp to watch the video we’ve taken of the hunt and the shot. We try to see where the arrow has gone, and if we’ve made a good hit. If I’ve made a double lung hit, I’ll wait for an hour or two before I start trailing the deer. If I’ve made a liver shot on the deer, I’ll usually wait 18 to 24 hours before I go find the blood trail and start tracking. If I see from the video that my arrow has hit the deer in the gut, I’ll also wait for 18 to 24 hours. All this also depends on the weather conditions.

What’s the farthest you’ve ever had a deer go after that deer has taken your arrow?
Probably 500 yards.

What’s the best shot you’ve ever made on a deer?
I’d have to say last year when I shot a mule deer at 62 yards. The shot was downhill, and my aim was dead on.

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