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Recent entries



Best of the Best

Thu, November 11, 2010

              You may wonder why review a bow in the middle of bow season, shouldn’t we all be set up in what we feel is an appropriate rig for this season? The answer is yes you should , but there are a few circumstances to look at.  Let’s say you were drawing back on a doe a few weeks ago and your bow kicked off your tree stand and is a total disaster.  No it wasn’t me, that is why I keep a back up bow.

We are only 42 days from Christmas and some of you may need every day from here on to convince your spouse that you were good enough this year to receive such a gift. The other reasons are that the new bows will be coming out in just a couple months and there may be some deals on current models.  The best time to get a new bow is directly after season ends so you have plenty of time to get familiar with your new bow. The hard part is deciding what to get.

I like a smooth, quiet, forgiving, fast bow, in that order.  I found myself needing a new bow early on last spring and my top choices were the Elite GT 500 and The Bow Tech Destroyer. Let’s look at these two. The Elite GT 500 has an axle to axle length of almost 35” with a brace height of 7 1/8”, I like a longer bow and larger brace height that is more forgiving and less finicky in my hands.  The GT500 shoots right at 290 feet per second as tested. The Bow Tech Destroyer 350 has a 6” brace height with a 32 3/8” axle to axle length.  The Destroyer shot about 302 feet per second set up in full hunting mode.

Bow Tech Destroyer 350

Eltie GT 500

Both bows are plenty fast, and fairly quiet though they benefitted from string silencers. I like the natural beaver balls.  I could go on all day about bow specs. but what really matters is how it performs in your hands.  The Bow Tech draws a bit smoother but has a tad bit more hand shock after the shot. The Elite is harder to let down from full draw without being detected (this is a key component for hunting mature bucks, the last thing you need is for them to look up if you need to let down).  I chose the Elite GT 500 in the end, which is a good thing because I wasn’t able to pry the Destroyer from a fellow flatlander after the demo.

You can currently go to most manufacturers web sites and see the new bows for 2011 though it may be awhile before they are on hand. I assure you there is nothing wrong with any of the top brands current year models.  There are many good bows on the market, Bear makes a good bow, along with Hoyt and Mathews. PSE is no slouch either, just make sure to get what fits you and feels right. It’s all about confidence and I am confident either of these bows would get the job done and done well.  A special thanks to Select Archery for providing the Bow Tech for the review and Josh Byrd for the Elite.

So if you need a new bow right now or want to hold out for a few months you have plenty to think about. If your bow has seen better days get shopping now so you have time to get to know your new hunting partner for next year.

Be safe and God bless,


Hunting Southern Illinois

Wed, November 10, 2010

I have had the conviction that if i am going to speak and write about deer hunting outside my home county then i had better do some more hunting outside my county. Last winter i picked a piece of public ground far enough away from home i would only be able to scout one or two times a year and offered a lot of ground and adventure. In doing this i also made friends and lined up a private land hunt in Southern Illinois as well.


Good friend Danny McDaniles and I traveled down south to hang stands and scout in September and then back again to hunt over a long Halloween weekend. While we never did connect with a deer we were very close and weren’t far off where we needed to be. i thought we did pretty good for tirst timers on a few thousand acres. What we did do is continued building friendship with Steve and Leanna as we stayed in there hand built log cabin. We enjoyed listening to Steve play his banjo and blue grass music as he cooked us steak and eggs over an open fire. We got to see some beautiful country, shot bows and even an old flintlock muzzleloader. We had a grand time, the only thing that would have been better was putting our hands on a big set of antlers.

On the drive home i received a phone call from a friend telling me of a 190” buck his buddy had shot the day before so i stopped by and finally got my antler fix for the trip. After all was said and done it was the perfect trip. Good friends, and good times is really why we hunt, the game we take is a bonus.


HO.com welcomes Matt Cheever

Sat, November 06, 2010


My name is Matt Cheever and I was born and raised in Central Illinois, residing here all my life. I’ve been an avid hunter and fisherman since my teen years and it seems like the hobby became an addiction; even a life style. It’s who I am, it’s what makes me, me!

We didn’t do a lot of hunting in my family growing up but spent most every summer taking fishing trips to Northern Minnesota and the boundary waters of Canada. Those years really drew me to the outdoors.  Since that time I have tried to hunt and fish for just about everything that walks, crawls, and swims in Illinois and the Midwest.  A few trips into Michigan, Colorado, and Ontario have also colored the background of my experiences that fuel my fire for the outdoors. But it’s really good ole’ Illinois and its corn fed whitetails that really get my fur up!


I discovered early on the advantages of bow hunting allow for a long season and the new flat shooting muzzleloaders allowed me to reach out to the deer I wasn’t getting with the stick and string. I had such a passion for this I spent many years belly crawling through bean and corn stubble to pursue deer with the muzzleloader and had fairly good success at it. This lead to some incredible experiences that I wanted to share; so naturally filming the hunts came next- not always an easy task or the quality results I had hoped for. None the less, I had pure enjoyment in what I was doing. 

The terrain I hunt is often flat as a pancake and with the name given to most Illinoisan’s from the residents of surrounding states, “Flatlander” stuck.  Flatlander Outdoors is the collaboration of the best hunting buddies a guy could ask for and the filming and writing of our escapades. The success of these hunts often lead to phone calls every evening from guys with questions on how to get the most out of their firearms, food plots, bow gear, tree stands and so on.

Rather than tying up all this time with one on one phone calls and even more time away from my family, I ended up doing seminars at different events to provide some useful information to anyone interested. With this patchwork of outdoorsman and network of friends over the years, I often get success stories and photo’s shared with me. I’ve passed these along for some time in a newsletter and now will be shared with all of you.

I appreciate the ability to post here on Mr. Lampe’s new endeavor and know it will be all things outdoors for the Midwest and beyond, There is a wealth of knowledge and entertainment here at Heartland Outdoors and look forward to being a part of it.


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