Sports and Outdoors


State hunter education course set
Aug. 25-26

Monitor Staff Reports
CANTON–A hunter safety course will be offered at Wiley’s Gun Shop, west of Canton, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department course will be taught from 5-9 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the gun shop, located at 7009 Van Zandt County Road 2120.
This class is designed to give the Texas hunter 10 hours or more of coursework and hands-on activities during the two days of instruction.
The course covers hunting rules and regulations, ethics and responsibilities, and wildlife management.
Other topics include modern and primitive sporting arms/ammunition, safe firearms handling, cleaning and storage, outdoor skills, survival and first aid training, and wildlife identification.
Hunters born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, are required to pass a hunter’s safety course in order to legally hunt in Texas, and you must carry your certification card with you when you hunt. Certification is good for life.
Individuals who are 12 and over may take the course to receive a hunter’s safety card. If you are under 12, you may take the course and receive an attendance certificate, but you must re-take the course to get a safety card after turning 12.
Do not bring firearms to class. For more information, contact course instructor C.B. Wiley at (903) 848-7912.


Time to ‘tune up’ for bowhunting season
By Luke Clayton
Special to The Monitor

Believe it or not, we have only a couple of months to get ready for archery deer season.
I’ve been shooting and hunting with a bow for many years. I am a member of the Mathews Bows pro staff, and have the opportunity to stay attuned to all the latest advancements in archery equipment.
Back in “the day,” I used to preach that it took a solid six months of steady shooting and practice to get ready to head to the whitetail woods with stick and string. Twenty or 30 years ago, when compound bows were still in their infancy, it really did take a solid six months of practice to hone shooting skills enough to feel confident hunting big game. Bows were slower and much more difficult to keep tuned.
With the advent of single-cam technology, today’s bows are easy to tune, and once they are set up to fit the draw length and draw weight of a shooter, they are pretty much trouble-free. My point is this: If you have been contemplating taking up the sport of bow hunting, there’s still time, this season!
Get started right – The trick to shooting well is getting a bow that fits you perfectly, especially in draw length and draw weight.
Your first step in preparing for this year’s archery season should be to make a trip to your archery pro shop and have a qualified technician measure you and see to it the bow you purchase fits you perfectly.
If you span a full 30 inches at full draw, a bow with a 29-inch draw length will make shooting accurately next to impossible. I have relatively long arms and a draw length of 30 inches. I have found I can shoot bows within a half-inch of that length, but anything over that severely affects my ability to draw, aim and repeat the point of impact, shot after shot.
Little things like the precise positioning of a bow peep site might seem like a minor detail, but in truth, it’s very important.
Your peep site must be at the proper spot when you reach full draw to “naturally” align with your dominate eye. One inch too high or too low will cause you to “self adjust” so you can line up your peep with the appropriate sight pin.
Once your bow is set up properly, you will find that, with proper shooting form, it’s not all that difficult to become pretty darned good at plugging your 3D deer target in the “kill zone” every shot.
One last tip in getting set up properly: Most grown men can pull a 70-pound bow one or two times, but beginning with 55 or 60 pounds makes a lot more sense.
Remember, you will be shooting many, many shots in your preparation for deer season and pulling 60 pounds opposed to 70 becomes a lot less strenuous, especially after repeated shots. You can always crank your poundage up as the season nears, should you feel the need.
Practice, practice – Begin practicing at 20 yards, or maybe even 15 yards. Shoot these closer distances until you can shoot a good group consistently.
When your shooting skills are mastered at 20 yards, set another pin for your 30-yard target and begin practicing at that distance.
After years of bow hunting experience, I still take only close-in, what I consider to be slam dunk shots at big game.
I might be able to group well out to 50 yards, but trust me, a lot can happen under hunting conditions at the extended distances on live game from the time the arrow leaves the string until it impacts the target.
There’s still time to prepare for the whitetail woods this season, but better get moving quickly. Cooler weather and bow season will be here before we know it!
Go to and listen to Luke Clayton talk hunting and fishing on his archived radio show. Also check out to learn more about catfish punch bait.

Upcoming Games


Aug. 18-19
MHS @ Garland Tourn.
EHS @ Van tournament
KHS @ Bullard tournament

Aug. 22
MHS @ Rowlett
EHS vs Athens (dual)
KHS @ Mineola

Aug. 25
MHS vs Ennis
EHS Tournament
KHS vs Frankston

Aug. 29
MHS @ Greenville
EHS @ Athens
KHS @ Farmersville


Aug. 19
EHS vs Westwood (scr)
MHS @ Mineola (scr)
KHS @ Grand Saline (scr)