I have been blessed in my 29 years of archery hunting to take a lot of great whitetail bucks, but never did I imagine I would have the opportunity at a deer of this caliber. November 14th, 2016 I headed to north central KS with my good friend and cameraman Wes Cooper to go hunt with Cody Kuck and Heartland Pride Outfitters. We met up with Mike Hunsucker and Brandon Franklin midday and headed west in pursuit of some giant whitetails. We did not arrive in camp till 10:30pm, but we were all pretty excited and stayed up till after midnight putting a game plan together for Tuesday. It did not take long to realize Cody and his guides had done their homework and showed us a good number of nice bucks that he had on the farms we would be hunting. Tuesday morning we started scouting at sun up and then spent the next six hours slipping in and hanging stands. We ended up hanging two sets on two different farms about three miles apart. Of all the bucks Cody had pics of, there was one non-typical that I really hoped to get a crack at. Only problem was he seemed to be the only shooter on that farm while the other farm had four different shooter bucks using it. We decided that first evening we would try hunting the non-typical.

With unseasonably warm weather the deer activity that afternoon was not great for Wes and I. Mike and Brandon on the other hand were on a big buck that afternoon, but could not get him close enough for a shot. Wednesday brought much of the same warm weather patterns and we decided to hunt the other farm near a pond. That morning we had an encounter with a shooter but he stayed just out of bow range. It was a long all day sit as the temps climbed up to 70 degrees. Sitting by the pond offered a great deal of waterfowl to keep us entertained, but by the end of the day we had only seen 4 deer. With a cold front moving in that night we had high expectations for the 3rd day.

I wanted to give the non-typical one more opportunity and the wind was perfect out of the NW that morning. The draw we hung the stand in was only about 600 yards long and maybe 100 yards wide with a CRP field to the west and a winter wheat field to the east side. We had our stand on the east side of the draw about 300 yards from the north end where the bedding area was located. That Thursday morning, November 17th, we climbed into our Hawk Helium XL stands before sun up with no idea what was about to go down.

At day break we had a doe come from the SE that caught our wind and right away we started to question our stand choice. After she spooked, I decided to rattle and a couple nice two year olds came in to check things out. About 8:45 I picked up the horns again and before I could finish my sequence, a nice three year old came to within ten yards of the tree. It was just one of those special mornings that the bucks really seemed to be on their feet and cruising. About 9:15 Wes and I were chatting it up in the stand and he asked me what the non-typical looked like. I got my phone out and pulled up a pic to show him. As we were looking at the picture I looked up the draw and saw a deer heading our way. Right away I knew it was a nice buck and as soon as I got my binos up I knew it was him. We watched as this giant made his way through the draw, heading right toward our tree. As I reached for my bow I gave myself a little pep talk: “you got this, just keep it together”. The Lord brought him just far enough down the draw before he stopped and appeared like he was going to head back to his bedding area. By this time he was at 26 yards and I was already at full draw waiting for him to give me that shot angle I needed to seal the deal. As he turned to head back north I released the arrow. I knew the shot was a little back, but was sure it was good enough to get the job done.

As an archery hunter you live for that moment. I was flooded with emotions that I had no control over. Twenty-nine years of bow hunting and I had just killed my biggest buck ever. Not until Cody met up with us and we walked up on him did I realize just how big he really was. This buck’s trail cam picks did him no justice. We had all thought he would be pushing about 170 inches, so when we walked up on this 20pt 188 inch giant…well let’s just say there was no ground shrinkage. And just when I thought this hunt could not get any better, Mike ended up killing another great buck the following morning. There is always so much more that happens on a hunt such as all the stories shared and friendships made along the way. I was truly blessed to be given such a great opportunity at a buck of a lifetime and even more blessed to get to share this moment with such good friends!

Score: 188 inches
Age: 6.5
Date: November 17, 2016
Location: North Central, KS
Treestand Model: HAWK Helium XL Hang-On
Other Hawk Gear: Tactical Solo Tree HookXtendible Bow Arm

Watch the hunt for this Giant on the upcoming Season 10 of Heartland Bowhunter – Only on the Outdoor Channel.

Monday 08:30 AM EST

Wednesday 08:30 AM EST

Thursday 09:30 PM EST

Thursday 05:00 AM EST


Heartland Bowhunter – Facebook

Heartland Bowhunter – Instagram

Ty Easly Instagram – Instagram


Frankenmuth, MI— April 13, 2017 —  HAWK Group has hired hunting sporting goods industry veteran Jason Fuller as Chief Operating Officer.  He will report directly to Scott Lee, Hawk Group President.  Jason will oversee sales, shipping and customer service divisions, as well as hold responsibility for ensuring overall business operations are efficient and effective for streamlined distribution of goods and services to customers.

“Bringing Jason on board is one of the key steps toward building a fully integrated product to sales strategy and process. Jason’s deep experience, knowledge and exceptional operational skills add to our passionate team and will further advance Hawk Group to the next stage of operational maturity and sustained growth. As a fast-paced, high-growth company, Hawk Group and our customers will benefit immensely with Jason as COO,” commented Lee.

Jason has over 18 years of hunting industry experience in driving positive change and is a highly-experienced sales management executive with a proven record of developing strategies and business operations that drive business results. Most recently, Jason held National Sales Manager for G5 Outdoors, Quest Bows and Prime Bowhunting, in which he managed sales, customer shipping and customer service functions.  Past experience also includes distinguished work with Eastman Outdoors, Carbon Express Arrows and Gorilla Treestand brands.

“I’m really excited to be part of such an amazing company.  Every individual here has the desire to be best-in-class.  I look forward to growing with this team and becoming outright leaders of innovation and value.”

Jason can be contacted at [email protected]

Hawk Group is home of the popular and rapidly growing Hawk® and Killer Instinct® brands.


It was a windy rainy evening and I got off work early since we couldn’t cut beans. A buck I had been after the last few years was moving during daylight as I had tons of pics of him going out to my food plot.
I figured I could get a quick hunt in so I sat out in the rain and was getting soaked, but being a dairy farmer I hunt when I can. Not many opportunities to get out when it’s good due to taking crops off. I was sitting in my HAWK KickBack stand texting my cousin who was hunting the next property over, and was actually hunting the same buck. I caught some movement out the corner of my eye, and to my surprise it was the deer I was after standing up out of the beans on the top of the hill. He stood there and shook himself off, I’ll never forget it. Then he started shaking his head off and proceeded to bed back down. At this moment, this was the closest encounter I’d ever had with him and had never seen him more than one time the previous 2 seasons.
I thought about all the possible approaches hoping he would come in and walk right by me. Sunset was slowly creeping in and he just kept standing up, shaking off then bedding down. I had made the decision next time he beds down, to get down from my stand. With the wind and rain knocking down the noise from the beans, it was a perfect stalk opportunity. There was a small hill coming out of my food plot into the standing beans, I stayed low and crept slow and easy up the side of the hill. When I was about halfway up the hill I could finally see the tips of his antlers. Suddenly he stood up. I thought I was busted. After several anxious minutes he bedded back down again. I just kept moving slow. When I almost crested the hill I knew he would see me so I drew back and crested the hill. He stood up and looked right at me. My pin settled and I let the arrow fly. I planned for a duck, as he dropped hard and turned at 50 yards. The arrow stayed true on path and up being perfect, double lung shot!
(The above Photo: HAWK Fan Payton Oney several minutes after the stalk for his 206″ OH buck)
Score: Net 206″
Age: 5.5
Date: September 28, 2016
Location:  Ohio
Treestand Model: HAWK KickBack Hang-On

Ben Rising On The Hunt for a 215″ Kansas GIANT, Titus

The date was November 12, 2016 in Kansas, day number 11 of my two week long Illinois and Kansas trip. I had just harvested a 183″ gross p&y on Nov 7 a few days before on my lease in Illinois, grinding it out for 5 days in a HAWK KickBack and a Helium XL. So me and my camera guy Kyle we’re still on cloud-9.

We were hunting with my good friend Travis Lehman (Cedar Ridge Outfitters ). Travis and some of his previous hunters had located a true giant deer that they nick named Titus! Titus had proven to be a very unpredictable buck thus far and had not given any one a shot opportunity. After a discussion Travis showed me the farm that Titus frequently traveled and was nice enough to let me scout and hunt it a few days.

After getting my Two different sets of HAWK Heliums hung in what we felt was his main travel corridor it was time to hunt. We had to play the wind and access to the stand was key in not tipping Titus off to our new set ups. The very first morning on the new farm we caught Titus slipping back to his bedding area and checking for trails. He wasn’t real responsive to grunts so I backed off and had to watch him walk away, I did not want to over call and spook him. We sat out the whole morning but he never showed back up. We then had to get down at noon and move the sets for the next morning wind switch. The ease of hanging the Hawk stands makes this an easy and quiet task.

We got as close to the trail we felt he would use and got back in super early the next morning under the sound cover of a freight train. It was the coldest morning of the year so far and everything was frosted over. It just felt right! After a hour of daylight I knew we didn’t have much time and I was getting homesick and had planned to leave the next day.

Knowing we were close to his bedding area I decided I would just tickle my rattle bag like two bucks testing each other in Titus’s core! The idea was to just plain upset him not try to heavy rattle and spook him. It wasn’t three minutes later Titus was strolling right down through the timber with frost all over his back heading straight to me. The rest is history!!! 15 yard shot after an epic stare down at full draw and the 215″ 6.5 yr old monarchs reign had come to an end. It was truly a day to remember forever, I was truly blessed! You can watch it all for yourself in summer 2017 on our web show Whitetail Edge – YouTube and Carbon tv.

Score: Gross 215″
Age: 6.5
Date: Novemeber 12, 2016
Location: Kansas
Treestand Model: HAWK Helium XL Hang-On 
Other Hawk Gear: 20′ Traction StickXtendible Bow Arm




Whitetail Edge – Facebook

Whitetail Edge – Instagram 



Mufasa was a buck that I have had on trial camera the past few years. Last year, he showed up mid December which was after I had already filled my KS tag. He was huge, definitely the biggest whitetail I had ever had on trail camera. I knew going into 2016, he was going to be my main focus. I put out what I thought was way too many trail cameras this past summer in search of him. When in reality, it probably wasn’t enough.

I ran cameras all summer, but would only get pictures of him every 3-4 weeks. Then the calendar changed to October and the crops started getting harvested everywhere. Once the crops were out, I started getting pictures of him almost everyday. I made one mock scrape the first week of October. Then we had a few days of high pressure weather on the 8th and the 9th where I had him in daylight on the mock scrape.

There was a big weather front blowing in on October 12th that had some rain, high pressure and temperature drop along with the rising moon. I knew I had to hunt, especially with the recent trail camera pictures of him in daylight. We got to the stand early that afternoon, and the high temperature that day was only in the mid 50s. This was a big change from the 70 and 80 degree highs we had been having earlier that week.

It was a very windy day, but as soon as the sun started setting and the wind started dying down the deer started moving and filtering out into the cut corn field we were sitting over. We finally spotted Mufasa back in the timber making a scrape. He then walked out to the edge of the field and made another scrape. After the second scrape he made, he started to turn away from us and walk the other way. So I dug my grunt call out of my bag and grunted at him. He instantly snort wheezed back at me, so I snort wheezed at him. He started walking our way. We lost sight of him behind a big branch that was still filled with leaves. Seemed like an eternity went by, when actually it was only a minute or two and then he stepped out at 30 yards and came into 20 yards and made another scrape.

He went about 60 yards from that scrape and expired in the field. I honestly was in shock for hours after I laid my hands on him. It was a dream of mine for so many days to get a chance at him. Then it all came together so quickly in October! I couldn’t believe what had happened. I sat in the stand 4 times for him this year. Only hunting when the conditions were right.

He is everything I dreamed him to be. I am truly blessed and very fortunate to be able to hunt such a rare animal like this. I can’t thank all my friends, family and wife for all the encouragement along the way that helped keep me motivated.

Score: Gross 226 2/8″ Net 217″
Age: 6.5
Date: October 12, 2016
Location: Council Grove, KS
Treestand Model: HAWK Combat Hang-On
Other Hawk Gear: Tactical Solo Tree HookXtendible Bow Arm


Watch the hunt for Mufasa on the upcoming Season 10 of Heartland Bowhunter – Only on the Outdoor Channel.

Monday 08:30 AM EST

Wednesday 08:30 AM EST

Thursday 09:30 PM EST

Thursday 05:00 AM EST


Heartland Bowhunter – Facebook

Heartland Bowhunter – Instagram

Trent Siegle Instagram – Instagram


It has been confirmed, there truly is a ‘Beast of The Woods’!  Hawk proudly introduces the largest stands to ever hit the woods with the 21’ SASQUATCH 1.5-MAN and the 18’ SASQUATCH 2.0-MAN Ladders.

Designed with Beast-Sized MeshComfort™ Lounger Seats and platforms large enough to take all your gear AND an extra lunchbox to the woods!   The XXL MeshComfort™ Seats define ‘comfort’ and flip-up with Silent Teflon Washers so hunters can make full use of the oversized platform.  Built with XL Oval Tubing that even a Big Foot would trust!

See the SIZE and Comfort for Yourself





People have been searching for SASQUATCH for decades.  There is now EVIDENCE that SASQUATCH has taken over Indianapolis, IN for the Archery Trade Association Show starting Tuesday, January 10th, 2017.




For more information on Timberland Outfitters, visit http://www.timberlandoutfittersinc.com

About HAWK™ Treestands:

HAWK™ Hunting is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI. HAWK™ is a hunter-driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE.™ – For more information about HAWK™ Hunting please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.



HAWK®, Michael Waddell and ‘Fan Favorite’ Bone Collector™ form Partnership

HAWK®, industry leader in innovative, hunter-driven treestand and accessory design, is proud to announce a strategic marketing partnership with both Michael Waddell and Bone Collector.   “Michael Waddell is undeniably the most loved personality in hunting and the entire Bone Collector team is extremely entertaining and trustworthy.  We are excited to be partnered and will work very close together to deliver best-in-class products”, says Scott Lee, Hawk President.

“Hawk is always striving for excellence and what works best for the customer.  That’s why we are excited about a long-term relationship focused on designing better products at affordable prices for anyone that wants to Hunt From Above!”, says Michael Waddell, Bone Collector owner.  “Hawk is a top-notch company who has made hunting gear exciting again!”

Hawk, Michael Waddell and Bone Collector will work together to develop a handful of exclusive product categories and the products will be promoted on the Bone Collector TV-series on the Outdoor Channel.

Visit Michael Waddell at the HAWK ATA BOOTH #4801 at 1:00PM CT on Tuesday, January 10 & Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  #ATA2017

For more information on Bone Collector, visit www.BoneCollector.com.

About HAWK™ Treestands:

HAWK™ Hunting is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI. HAWK™ is a hunter-driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE.™ – For more information about HAWK™ Hunting please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

Hanging the ‘Perfect’ Treestand

The stars must have aligned perfectly, because when my wife said “Yes… that sounds fun…” after I asked her if she wanted to help me hang treestands this season, I was shocked! Either way, I was thankful for her company and help. We had a great time together and she was full of questions. Near the end of our adventure she also said “You need to write about this process…”

I’ve always considered it an art to finding & hanging the ‘perfect’ treestand. The majority of the time it takes years & years of valuable deer movement information to zero in on that tree. But the only way you’ll find that perfect tree is to strap on your boots and start looking.

Stand Location

I hang three types of stands for different situations throughout the season. The first stand I look to hang is a doe-killing/rut/late-season stand. The concept behind this stand is simple, and it serves many purposes. I hang it over a popular food source known to be frequented by does. In the early season, if I’m not on a mature buck and want to fill the freezer, I sit in one of these stands to shoot a doe. Bucks like does and does like food, so in the rut, I’ll also babysit one of these stands in hopes of a cruising buck to come nosing through during daylight. In the late season, rut worn bucks will show up in food sources early and often to stock up on precious calories before the winter.

Be sure to plan accordingly when hanging these stands. A popular food source on October 1st may be a distant memory come November. Acorns will always trump anything, but they don’t last long. Hay fields and crop fields are always a solid bet, whether harvested or not. A huge majority of a deer’s diet needs to consist of woody browse, so any low growing soft bushes and trees will also be a dependable food source.

The second type of stand I hang is a pre-rut stand. In the pre-rut time of the year, bucks really start ramping up their scraping and rubbing. Hoping to establish their breeding dominance, the bucks leave a lot of telltale clues to their existence. These stands are usually located on travel routes, downwind from doe bedding areas, a staging area, or anywhere else a cruising buck may frequent. I usually won’t hunt these stands until the sign and trail camera evidence tells me to.

The third type of stand I hang is a gun season stand. In my neck of the woods, and most other areas in Michigan, gun season resembles some sort of archaic war zone. Any deer worth their salt heads for the hills and finds the thickest, nastiest cover they can to rind out their impending doom. These stands are usually located in far off or hard to reach places where deer will feel safe.

There is a fourth type of tree stand I prepare, my portable sets. Each summer I’ll also trim out trails and trees for the potential to hold a portable climbing or lock on stand. These possible spots could be anywhere, but in my opinion don’t warrant the use of a permanent lock-on or ladder stand. Or, in some cases, I don’t know the neighbors enough and am not comfortable leaving anything permanent on the property. No matter the reason, it’s nice to own a high quality portable stand and have the ability to use it in pre-arranged locations. I prefer the ultra-light HAWK Helium series of stands and sticks.

Entrance and Exits

I can’t stress enough the importance of stealthy entrances and exits. Many good stands are quickly ruined due to poor planning. Often, a hunter will access a trail upwind of a bedding area that holds deer. Those same deer may have heard or smelled the hunter, and most likely won’t show up during shooting hours. Also, leaving a stand after dark and disturbing feeding deer is bad as well. Those feeding deer won’t feel comfortable coming out until much later, once again, after shooting hours.

Keeping in mind my entrance and exit strategy, I first hack and slash a few wide trails to and from the stand. I prefer to use a small chainsaw whenever possible, but will and have resorted to pruners and a handsaw when in a bind. Realize any pruning will need to be done very aggressively because the new growth will still come back with a vengeance. I cut all of my trails extra wide, knowing that once it’s fall, they’ll have shrunk a bit. I also walk circles around the stand trimming shooting lanes and checking distances. I like to trim several trails to make sure I can always access the stand safely no matter the wind direction. After trails have been trimmed, it doesn’t hurt to rake them clear of debris. A clean trail will allow for quiet access. Also, at least before the leaves fall, a lot can be learned from studying tracks on a clean dirt trail.

Along with proper access to the stand, be sure to remain scent free. Deer act like dogs, and are very curious. Quite often, long after the hunter has left, deer will come into the stand area to investigate. They’ll use their sniffers like CSI investigators and try to learn as much as possible about the intruder into their woods. After a few sits, a sloppy hunter will have given the deer all the possible information they need to pattern him, and survive another season.


Safety is of course priority number one. Although it is a hassle at times, it is possible to hang a stand and hunt it while being tethered to the tree the entire time. Wearing a full body safety harness is a must, and with the help of a lineman’s belt… the hunter can be attached to the tree from the moment he leaves the ground. For stands that will get used frequently, a safety line with a sliding prussic knot is recommended. The safety harness tether fastens to the sliding knot, and allows the hunter to climb in and out. In the event of a fall, the knot engages, safely holding the hunter at whatever height they were at until they can climb back on, or call for help. With an old baseball duct-taped to a strong rope, a safety line can also be secured high up in the tree before the hunter ever leaves the ground, similar to the way a tire swing is laced in a tree.


A lot has been written about how high to hunt. To me, the most important thing is to remain hidden. At higher elevations, our shot angle on the animal becomes significantly less, but… we can get away with more movement. At lower elevations, we get decent shot angles, but can’t move as much. It’s a tradeoff. I prefer to hunt thick, brushy trees at about 15-20 feet that hide my silhouette and allow for decent shot angles. In the right spot, like in between two standing cornfields, the Transformer Hunt Pod at 8′ is perfect. In other situations, the 21′ Destination ladder stand may be what’s necessary to get above that wise old buck’s field of view. And for anything in-between… climbing sticks with a hang-on!  


Most people hang a stand selfishly- and just think about themselves. But… I want to challenge everyone to think like a deer. It’s really important to hang a stand so that the sunlight will be in the animal’s eyes when the shot opportunity comes. First, the sunlight will illuminate the animal, offering the best possible shot. And second, the deer will be hesitant to look up, and if they do, it will be hard to make out the hunter’s form while squinting at the sun.

Making a series of super wide, clean trails to and from a stand help for several reasons. First, if well raked and maintained they’ll be quiet. Second, to avoid the deer patterning us, it is good to never exit the stand location in the same way. And, the chances are good that the deer will start using a few of the trails- and we don’t want to interfere with those, so we always need options.

Funneling the deer with fallen trees, snow fence, old wire, brush, or anything else works really well too. Just make sure the funnel drives deer toward the treestand, and not further away.

Some people also like to hang an old towel or t-shirt above the seat of their treestands so when they move, the bark doesn’t make noise. Depending on the tree- like a shag bark hickory or cherry for instance, I think hanging something is a really good idea.

When to Hang

I don’t know if anyone will ever completely agree on the perfect time to hang a treestand. I’m hooked on summer because I’ll get a good idea of what it will look like come fall, and by the time the season rolls around any scent or pressure I have left behind will be long forgotten. However, it is also important to be flexible and mobile. Many hunters waste quality time in an unproductive stand each fall waiting to get lucky. Have plenty of stands prepared and hung well before the season starts, but also keep a portable one handy to hunt fresh sign when it appears. When preparing or hunting a stand, be sure to use proper safety equipment and lock into the tree before even leaving the ground. With a lineman’s belt, safety line, and quality safety harness, complete treestand safety is possible.

Grab your favorite boots and treestand – The perfect tree is out there somewhere.

Best of luck this season.


HAWK HUNTER Jason Herbert lives in Michigan and hunts across the Midwest. 

HAWK® Hires Customer Service Manager

HAWK Group is pleased to announce and welcome Greg Jones as Customer Service Manager for the Hawk® and Killer Instinct® brands.  Greg will be responsible for providing top notch support to all customers.

Greg has 17 years of technical customer service experience and is well-known, very personable and widely liked in the hunting sporting goods industry. The first 12 years of his career, Greg worked as a Customer Service Technician at Eastman Outdoors. For the most recent 5 years, Greg provided sales analytics and high-level Customer Support Representation at Michigan-native and industry-leading G5 Outdoors.  Greg has a proven record of providing outstanding customer service to Consumers and Dealers alike and his commitment to go above and beyond enhance HAWK Group’s ability to meet the needs of our customers as we continue to provide quality, innovative products to the marketplace.

Greg Jones, Customer Service Manager

“I’m really excited to join the remarkable team at Hawk and Killer Instinct.  Everyone’s passion for hunting and the outdoors was evident from the moment I stepped into the office.  I look forward to working with the team to help grow this incredible company.”

Greg Jones may be contacted at [email protected].

HAWK® is a hunter driven company committed to ruggedly-designed outdoor gear. Never satisfied and refusing to settle, our passion is bringing superior design, quality and performance to products that all hunters can enjoy. Like refining a strategy in the woods, it’s all about evolving. HUNT STRONGER. SAFER. SMARTER. HUNT FROM ABOVE®.  HAWK is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI.   For more information about HAWK, please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.hawkhunting.com.

Field & Stream “Best of Best” MACHINE Crossbow Award Winner, Killer Instinct® Crossbows is a privately held company based in Frankenmuth, MI.   Killer Instinct® is passionately committed to Deadly Performance™ technical products.  We focus on next-level design, innovation, durability and superior quality so you can have ultimate confidence in your gear.  Our Killer Instinct is a tenacity that never stops, it’s our born spirit and the continual pursuit of achieving success.  We are a hunter-driven company and expect our equipment to perform at the highest level. For more information about Killer Instinct® Crossbows please call 810-626-3026 or visit www.killercrossbows.com.