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Author Topic: Barry Wensel  (Read 4543 times)

Offline Terry_Green

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Barry Wensel
« on: January 16, 2007, 08:22:00 AM »
Real Name: Barry Wensel
Nickname: None
Age: 61 in October
Height: 5'7"
weight: 5'7"- 240 lbs.? (203 field-dressed)
Home State: Iowa
TradGang number: 1404
Member Status: sponsor
Years traditional bowhunting: My whole life. I've hunted "stuff" with a bow since I can remember, even pre-school as a little kid. I've always shot traditional equipment because it felt right.
Number of traditional Big Game kills: I lost count many, many years ago. I honestly don't keep track of that stuff. I used to when I was young and I don't hold it against guys who do, but the numbers don't mean much to me. In fact, it seems I've bowkilled either 31 OR 41 bears but I honestly can't remember if the last one was number 31 or 41 because it doesn't really matter to me. I don't keep count of how many times I've had sex either. I got three P&Y whitetails and three does last year though if anyone's counting...but I had more sex than that. I keep telling my wife the perfect day would include shooting a big game animal with the bow; having a great sit-down home cooked meal and having sex. She keeps giving me this "two out of three stuff.. two out of three".

(TG)- Tell us about yourself:

(Barry Wensel)- I bowhunt because I absolutely love it. I can't get enough. As I said above, I don't keep track of kills. But I do try to keep records. I'm a little embarrassed to tell you how much I bowhunt. The state of Iowa asked me to keep records last year. Between October 1st and December 3rd (two months and two days). I bowhunted 59 days and I spent 301 hours in a treestand. Saw 210 bucks, 358 does and 349 fawns. And that didn't count December in the late season, Kansas and Texas. See what I mean? You guys still like me don't you?

(TG)- How long have you been bow hunting with traditional equipment?

(Barry Wensel)-I thought I already answered that one but again, my whole life as far back as I can remember.

(TG)- Any heroes? Any role models?

(Barry Wensel)- I freely admit my good friend Paul Schafer was a hero to me. The man had more natural ability than anyone I've ever met. He consistently did things with a bow time after time that were just plain unbelievable. I was also fortunate enough to live near him, hunt with him and call him one of my all-time best friends.
What got you started bowhunting? My dad was a bowhunter so my brother Gene and I just naturally took it up. He taught us the basics and then just turned us loose. As I think back on it we were so young I think he figured we wouldn't be as likely to hurt ourselves with bows and arrows as we would running around with .22's.

(TG)- Do you have any favorite memories or kills that stand out? Tell us about it.

(Barry Wensel)- There are a lot and many of them don't include actual kills. Like my best day ever elk hunting in Montana when I had close encounters with nine big bulls. Seven 6x6's; a 7x7 and a giant 5x5 in one glorious morning. Or the time I got treed by a grizz while hunting whitetails in western Montana. Or the time I got mistaken for a cow elk and got charged by a mountain lion and had to shoot my way out. And the time I had a world-class 190" plus typical whitetail at 22 yds. I hit him in the shoulder blade and he just walked away. Two years ago in Quebec on a bear hunt I passed up twenty different bears under ten yards the first evening and shot the fourteenth one the second evening.The list goes on. My bowhunting life has been very exciting.

(TG)- Do you remember the first animal you took with a bow? Tell us about it.

(Barry Wensel)- I can't remember my first animal but my first bowkilled deer was a spikehorn whitetail killed in Vershire, Vermont. I was in a ground blind and he came by. He busted me and took off. I couldn't accept the fact he was trying to get away and heart shot him running at 33 yards.

(TG)- Can you tell us about your preferred hunting combo?

(Barry Wensel)- I shot 60 inch recurves in heavy poundage (70's) most of my life. In 2001 I severely broke my right arm and ended up with a dozen screws and two plates after surgery. Now days I can't shoot nearly as well as I used to be able to. My main problem is I can't practice more than a dozen or fifteen shots at a time without pain. I also am not supposed to hunt out of any treestand I can't climb with one hand. Therefore I've gone almost strictly to ladder stands. Some of my ladder stands have the side rails. My 60 inch recurves just kiss the rails so I had a 58" bow built by Dale Dye (Hamilton, Montana). I've also dropped my bow weight to 60 lbs. I shoot the skinny carbon shafts because they fly best for me and out penetrate everything else. I shoot three five-inch yellow feathers and yellow cap-wraps. I also put a 1/4 inch strip of reflective tape just in front of the nock to aid in finding lost arrows in low light. I shoot three blade Wensel Woodsman broadheads.

(TG)- What is the one piece of advice you would give a new hunter to aid him on his hunting ventures?

(Barry Wensel)- Submerge yourself into the passion. Practice and scout year around. Follow the laws, hunt morally and ethically and you'll have no regrets. Respect the animals. Share your experiences with like-minded friends and share you're knowledge with the next generation.

(TG)- What is your favorite animal to hunt?  

(Barry Wensel)- No question about it. Whitetails.

(TG)- Do you have or prefer a certain method of hunting?

(Barry Wensel)- I prefer hunting from treestands because I believe it gives us the best opportunity for close range encounters of mature animals. The big, mature bucks are so sharp you had best let them come to you undisturbed.

(TG)- Does any of your family hunt or fish?

(Barry Wensel)- My two boys hunt and fish some but nowhere nearly as passionate as I do. My only brother, Gene, is my favorite hunting partner.

(TG)- What or who first got you involved in traditional bowhunting?

(Barry Wensel)- Again, my dad. He bowhunted with a lemonwood longbow back in the early 1950's when there weren't many bowhunters.

(TG)- Do you have any bowhunting goals or plans for the immediate future?

(Barry Wensel)- Just to make more memories. I was unfortunate to lose almost all of my trophies and a dozen custom bows in a fire in 1999 so I don't have much of a trophy room anymore. I guess I should start over but I'm perfectly satisfied pursuing nothing but big whitetails. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge at my whitetail bootcamps each spring. I feel it's the least I can do to give back to the sport and hopefully build proper foundations for younger bowhunters.

(TG)- Do you make any of your own gear?

(Barry Wensel)- Not really. I fletch my arrows that's about all.

(TG)- Where is the one place you would really love to hunt?  

(Barry Wensel)- That one tree where my next big whitetail walks past. Other than that I'd have to say Africa again for the uniqueness of the entire experience.

(TG)- Do you primarily hunt private or public ground?

(Barry Wensel)- For whitetails I primarily hunt private property which we manage for quality bucks. Other species is mostly public grounds.

(TG)- Do you prefer evening, mid-day or morning hunts?

(Barry Wensel)- I prefer to hunt all day but have found my best luck in September and October is evenings; November mornings and late season back to evenings again. I have to stress I hunt all-day (mid-days) during the rut. A lot of guys are missing out on some heavy mid-day action, especially during the periods of the full moon.

(TG)- Do you normally use anything like scent covers or attractants, camo, calls?

(Barry Wensel)- When I use scents I use a quality scent from a knowledgeable, reputable manufacturer (James Valley). I often circle a hedge apple (osage orange) with gel scent and roll it across the spot where I want my buck standing.
They have enough weight to roll pretty far and leave just enough scent along it's path to stop a buck right where you want him. I call it "Bowling for Bucks". I wear camo all the time. There are some great patterns out there but I prefer Mossy Oak camo because the company consists of great people. As far as calls go, I use a little of whatever, whenever.

(TG)- Do you do any small game hunting?

(Barry Wensel)- Not since that first spikehorn I shot when I was a kid. Actually I shoot small game with Judo tips when I can. When I lived in Montana I lived next to a golf course. I was the hired hitman for the gophers (ground squirrels) on the course. I'd make my rounds every evening all summer long and took the shots at whatever reasonable distance they presented themselves. It was great practice.

(TG)- Tell us what your dream hunt would be.

(Barry Wensel)- I'd have to say just another great hunt for giant whitetails in pretty hardwoods, with decent weather and good friends and family to share it with. Probably my most memoralble bowhunt was to Africa with Gene and the Jack Nicklaus family. We flew over in his private jet and bowhunted Zimbabwe and had a bowhunt that would be hard to beat. That was the trip I got my big sable on. If I should die tomorrow fellas... life has been GREAT! I pray you guys are fortunate enough to have the same opportunities I've been blessed with. Best of luck. BW

(TG)- Whats the first thing Barry Wensel looks for when he hits a new area?

(Barry Wensel)- Densities/secure areas in relation to topographical/ structural huntable features that are not too obvious and not within view of the roads.

(TG)- Which shoot do you like better, broadside or quartering away?

(Barry Wensel)- Much prefer broadside because of an exit hole/pass-through with better bloodtrails.

(TG)- Did you have any idea that your earlier videos would be a real kick start to young guys during that time?

(Barry Wensel)- Not really. The original videos I was in were way ahead of their time. In fact, those two running bucks I shot on Bowhunting October Whitetails were, I think, the first deer ever harvested on video. Now there are thousands. The fact a guy could successfully take certain running shots (by practicing) also gave a lot of guys something to strive for. We've probably all made some great shots in our lives, I just happened to have a camera behind me on those two. Those old videos remain popular to this day not just because they're classics but because they were honest and real. And guys could relate to that. They showed bowhunting was fun.

(TG)- What its like to have a twin brother that shares the same passion for hunting that he does?

(Barry Wensel)- That's what it's all about.. sharing the fun with family and friends. Although we tend to think very much alike (maybe it's a twin thing), we do differ and each have strong and weak points. Two heads rather than one gives each other input and other opinions to consider but because I'm eight minutes older, I'm the Alpha-Male. He's constantly trying to dethrone me. Some people think we argue alot but I'll tell you this, if a fight breaks out, put your money on me.

(TG)- Can you tell us a little about your new video that's just been released?

(Barry Wensel)- It's called Primal Dreams. Gene and I and the Mitten brothers have been wanting to do this for years. We were rather discouraged with the fact a lot of hunting videos tend to show hunters as blood-thirsty killers. We wanted to change that. I'm more proud of this new DVD than anything I've ever done in my bowhunting life. Not only do I know it's destined to be a classic forever, but it sends a message to all, hunters and non-hunters alike, that taking an animals life is necessary but done with respect and reverence. I personally think this new DVD especially needs to be viewed by every young hunter and non-hunter. We all need to sit down for two hours and quietly watch it and listen to it's message. This is one that will make you proud to be  hunter.

(TG)- Give us one good hunting tip that is outside the box.

(Barry Wensel)- What box? One thing I do all the time that I think is the most under-rated, deadly call for whitetails is the wheeze. I've had more luck with the wheeze on big bucks than rattling, grunting, bleat calls and everything else put together. It works best on big, dominant, mature bucks and you can do it with your mouth perfectly. I've been using it successfully for many, many years and have yet to have a negative response. I feel so sorry when I hear guys telling me they see the biggest buck of their lives walking by at 60 yds. They rattled, grunt and/or bleat and the big boys just look and walk off. I'm convinced a wheeze will turn him on a dime and have him walk right in almost every time. Every year I wheeze in at least a half dozen big bucks that are cruising by that I wouldn't have a shot at otherwise. They all react the same way to a wheeze. They stop dead in their tracks, look right towards you, lay their ears back, cock their heads and walk right up to the base of your tree.  It works best on single, mature bucks anytime between the end of October and the end of November. On a calm day they can hear it up to a hundred and fifty yards away. I make the sound starting with two short noises that sound like "phitt.. phitt" and then blow air through the cracks of my front teeth. It's simple, absolutely deadly, and hardly anyone does it. I guess it's "outside of the box". Try it... you'll like it.

(TG)- Have you been as successful on the ground as in tree stands?

(Barry Wensel)- Actually I prefer to be on the ground because I seem to be a better shot from the ground. When Gene and I guided in Montana we developed a technique we termed "nudging". We basically let our human scent drift down through areas known to hold deer that subtly nudged them past a hunter either on the ground or in a treestand. The same for our deer pushes or drives. We successfully set up small pushes towards waiting bowhunters on the ground with their positions determined by light intensities or terrain features that resulted in close range, standing shots. It's an exciting and very effective way of ground level bowhunting. Being on the ground is very under-rated in certain situations, if set up properly.

(TG)- What is the biggest mistake the average guy makes picking a stand sight?

(Barry Wensel)- probably picking a tree because it's a great tree for a stand, rather than picking one because of it's location. Position is everything. Other than that, I'd say most guys tend to park too close to their hunting area and disturb the deer on entering and leaving. Entering and leaving with minimal disturbance (with wind, vision and noise) is vitally important for success.


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