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Published by admin on 09 Oct 2009

Hi Spirit: Texas Fallow Deer By: Ted Nugent

Hi Spirit: Texas Fallow Deer

Here’s some cool, off-season fun!

By: Ted Nugent

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 

            The intense, nonstop grunting of rutting fallow deer can best be described as the continuous, deep guttural growling of a hyperventilating leopard.  Hell, if I had to wait all year to breed, I’d probably make obnoxious noises too!  It’s wildly eerie and foreboding, especially if you may be unfamiliar with these big, handsome European deer.  Their breeding grunts are much louder than that of a whitetail, more intense and seemingly around the clock. 

            The good news is that some real smart Texan hunters began importing these beautiful, delicious beasts into the wilds of the Lone Star State back in the late 1800s.  Now, for the simple reason that they are valued as game animals, there are far more fallow deer in Texas today than can be found on the entire European continent.  That’s how ya do that if ya truly care about wildlife, one of the many reasons I’m so proud to be a hunter.  No animal rights fleeb has ever done jack squat for any animals or habitat.  The idea of animal rights is one big lie. 

            But my ears don’t lie, and the surround sound of intense growls stabbin in and out of the thick Texas Hill Country  caderbreaks had me vibrating with joyful anticipation.  Bookend bull elk screamed their rutting glory from both sides nearby on the north and south ridgelines, lifting the hair on the back of my neck up a notch or two.  I believe the whole damn ponytail was nearly skybound at this point, the audio stimuli neck and neck with the brilliant visual allure of golden sunrays glistening off the white-gray caleechi gravel around the cedars and live oaks.  Even my nostrils were pumping with a delicious cocktail of pine, earth tones and mad bull musk wafting about my face. 

            Good God, I love this hunting game!  A pair of cottontail rabbits hopped in unison below my NorthStar ladder stand, and I just leaned forward and sighed a huge sigh of happiness.  Say YOWZA and pass the Great Spirit in megawads of hallelujah! 

            Directly behind me in the glow of the morning sunrise came an abrupt and loud grunt.  I dared not move to take a peek; it was that close.  In my hard left peripheral vision a white form emerged from the dark green cedar clump as an all white fallow doe poked her nose into the grass break.  To my immediate right, ace videographer Ronnie Bradford zoomed the camera onto the pretty white deer and we had live action video liftoff.  More blaring grunts and growls came from every direction and the Spirit of the Wild jam session was kicked up a beat by two ravens raising cacophinic hell right over our heads.  It was wonderful.  I thought I was loud.  Every hunt is very inspirational stuff for this old guitar player. 

            Without hesitation I slowly lifted my bow into semi-shooting position, expecting a buck to follow the doe into the clearing.  I waited as more wonderful creature sounds bumped and grinded the cold, still, morning air.  My Mossy Oak camo did its job perfectly when the deer appeared to stare a hole clean through me, never identifying me as human.  (Of course some folks have suspected this about me all along.) 

            The gentle breeze was blowing away from her to us, but now my gaze brought to my attention movement to our right, directly downwind to the trail behind Ronnie.  A light-colored form could be seen amongst the thick buckerbrush and I immediately recognized it as antlers.  Big antlers!  Fallow buck antlers, and they are spinning to and fro, radaring the danger zone before him.  I worried about our scent getting to the buck and blowing our ambush.  But another advantageous product was doing its job too.  Fortunately, we had sprayed ourselves down with Nature’s Essence. 

            “Essence of Fall” cover scent, and the big, bad hombre stuck his nose out and ambled into view.  Wow! A gorgeous gray-white, spotted fallow buck entering the Nuge Zone!  The wary old monarch kept the overhanging cedar limbs around him, taking one ultra cautious step at a time, his eyes riveted on the pretty little thang feeding to my left.  At one point he was nearly in shooting position when he spang back into the thicket with a leap.  I took advantage of this disrupting move to slowly swing my bow up into shoot-ready position, and as he cautiously stepped forth, I burned my vision into the pocket of his chest directly behind his shoulder.  Now he looked away, and my bowstring came back into the corner of my mouth, the WhackMaster arrow and Nugent Blade back to full draw.  I kissed my dinner arrow goodbye, and in an instant it was gone and vanishing into his foreleg crease with nary a sound, the Sims silencing products eliminating any bow twang whatsoever. 

            The buck exploded 180 degrees and the doe jerked her head erect.  Ronnie stood up in his stand to film the beast dash away to his last resting place in the beautiful green prickly pear cactus patch only 50 yards away.  He was stone dead in an instant.  My cherry-red arrow lay in the grass where he had stood but a moment ago, and all returned to normal once again in the peaceful Texas Hill Country.  I leaned back against the tree bark and smiled broadly for the camera.  I love to share my happiness with my fellow wildlife enthusiasts.  The Spirit of the Wild was soaring high on the wings of an American eagle again. 

            I made my statement on camera about the special feelings I was experiencing, trying hard to put into words the awesome dynamics of such powerful sensations.  We tracked the big buck on a very educational bloodtrail, recovered the handsome beast and exposed a roll of film to document the memorable occasion.  With echoes of bugling elk, cawing crows and grunting deer still reverberating throughout the land, we tied a Glenn’s DeerHandle onto the stunning horns and pulled him back to the road.

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            Back to camp, mu buck would hang next to five other magnificent fallow bucks, all much larger than mine.  Steve, Gary, Steven, Tom and Michael had all taken trophy stag in the last few days here.  Outdoor Edge knives made skinning and boning of  the meat an easy and enjoyable task.  Fat, juicy backstraps would be grilled to perfection tonight, and grand celebration would ensue.  As the fiery Texas sun descends on another great day of hunting, the bucks would be still grunting and carrying on, and the tribe of happy hunters at the Young Ranch would sing along in the great Spirit of the Wild fallow deer event.

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Published by admin on 08 Oct 2009

Fool a Tom By John Trout, Jr.

Fool a Tom

It takes a determined bowhunter and the right method to beat

the sharp eyes of a wild turkey.

By John Trout, Jr.

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 

fool_a_tom          

  Like many avid archers, I had always wanted to take a wild turkey with a bow. My first attempt came a few years ago on a ranch in Texas where there were plenty of gobblers. I had hunted with a shotgun since the 19070s and had taken several birds, but now it seemed the large quantity of birds on the Texas ranch would offer room for error. If I goofed up as assumed, I would probably be able to locate another turkey and try again. I quickly discovered my prophecy would come true.

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  My first failure came in the late afternoon after I set up near a waterhole and placed a netting blind around me. Only 30 minutes after setting up, a turkey answered my call. Eventually, three gobblers showed up and made their way to within 30 yards of the blind. I drew the bowstring and watched with enthusiasm as I released the arrow. Ir sailed inches under the gobbler’s breast. Needless to say, the turkeys vanished. My next attempt came the following morning. Instead of using a blind, I decided to go after a gobbling turkey and set up when necessary against a tree. It almost worked. The bird responded to my hen talk and approached to within 12 yards. Hidden behind a dense mesquite tree, I attempted to draw my bow. A moment later, the gobbler spotted me and scurried away. 

fool_a_tom_4         In my first attempt to take a wild turkey with a bow and arrow, I used both types of methods. I used a blind and the run-and-call tactic. There are pros and cons for each technique. For instance, when using a blind, the archer can normally rely on staying well hidden. However, keep in mind that many who hunt out of a blind are actually using a deer hunting method-spending time in one location waiting to ambush a turkey. This is not appealing to all turkey hunters. Some of today’s blinds do set up fast and easy, though, which allows more opportunity to use the run-and-call method.

fool_a_tom_3        

 Fast Action

  The run-and call tactic allows the hunter to try various strategies. For example, the archer can set up where desired and move if necessary. As most turkey hunters know, moving and calling often builds the confidence of a wary gobbler, and will sometimes make the difference in prompting a bird to come in. The drawback is obvious, however. The hunter is usually not totally hidden and the bow must be drawn undetected. 

            Michael Waddell, a videographer for Realtree, has taken several birds with a bow using the run-and-call tactic. In fact, of all the birds he has harvested, he has never used a blind. Interestingly, he took several turkeys with a bow before using a shotgun.

            Waddell readily admits that setting up is probably the ultimate challenge of bowhunting turkeys when using the run-and-call tactic. When pursuing turkeys in the hardwoods, he does it just as if he was using a shotgun. He waits for the right movement if the turkey’s eyes are not hidden behind a tree.           

            Although some bowhunters prefer using a small stool, Waddell relies on sitting flat on his rear against a tree. He claims a short bow is helpful. However, he added that an archer must watch their form when shooting from this position.                     

            Waddell added that the primary reason he doesn’t use blinds to hunt turkeys is that it isn’t his desire. He loves to go after a bird that gobbles, hoping to make something happen. By using the run-and-call tactic, he can get as close as necessary to a turkey. He also knows that some turkeys won’t come into calls from a long distance. 

fool_a_tom_6           

 Although getting the bow drawn can be a problem for run-and-call hunters, Waddell said that hitting the turkey has often been his biggest problem. He believes that today’s camo patterns and gear have made it easier for hunters to draw their bow without being seen. But they must still be able to hit a small target. He recalls a few gobblers that have come to within 30 to 40 yards. These are usually dead birds for the shotgunner, but for the archer they are difficult targets.

            Preparing for the Shot

            After setting up on a turkey, Waddell will sometimes use a rangefinder before the turkey comes in.  Once the bird shows up, he knows precisely the range before getting a shooting opportunity.  Nonetheless, he believes that archers should practice out to 30 yards.  Getting a bird in closer is extremely hard, although Waddell’s closest kill came at only 10 steps.

            Decoys are another option.  Decoys are not always sure bets, but they fool some gobblers.  Their effectiveness usually depends upon the nature of the turkey and how often decoys are used in a given area.  Waddell claims that the advantage is placing the decoys close enough to make certain a gobbler will come into your effective shooting range and having the patience to wait to shoot until the turkey is there.

            “If they work, decoys allow you to call your shot.  If you’re hoping for a 15- to 20-yard shot, place your decoys only that far away.  On a few occasions, I’ve set up decoys less than 10 yards away,”  Waddell explained.

            Another advantage is that decoys will sometimes make a gobbler strut.  If the gobbler turns, the tail feathers of the strutting bird will shield the eyes of the turkey and allow the archer to draw his bow.

 fool_a_tom_5          

My good friend Tim Hilsmeyer recently took his first Eastern gobbler with his bow.  He shot the turkey at 16 yards from a homemade blind nestled along the fringe of an opening where a few birds passed through daily.  Nevertheless, the turkey did not come easy.  During the first two days in the blind, he had to pass shots because birds were out of range or were in dense cover.  Finally, a gobbler stepped into a good opening and offered the perfect shot.

            Before his bowkill, Hilsmeyer had taken several turkeys with a shotgun.  His first attempt with his bow occurred a few years ago.  Using the run-and-call method, he moved in close to a gobbling bird, set up and called the turkey to within 14yards.  It all went perfectly until the gobbler spotted him drawing his bow.  Eager and unwilling to give up on the idea of killing a turkey with a bow, Hilsmeyer then decided to try the blind.  However, don’t believe for a moment that the bird came easy.        

            Hilsmeyer had done his homework before opening day arrived.  Many of those who hunt using a blind make certain that turkeys are using the area.  After all, if you are going to dedicate your hunting to using a blind and waiting for turkeys to show up, you must be somewhat sure that your time won’t be wasted.           

            Hilsmeyer claims the particular area he found was second to nothing.  He called the area a transition zone.  There were hardwoods, a pine thicket where a few turkeys roosted, and a small lake on one side that seemed to funnel the birds into an open area near the blind.  Although he spent several days listening to gobbles near the opening, Hilsmeyer also discovered numerous tracks.

            Many archers who choose to hunt from a blind select agricultural fields, pastures or other openings that attract turkeys in the morning after they leave the roost.  Blinds are usually set up along the fringes where a background exists.  Most successful bowhunters claim that turkeys pay little or no attention to the blind if they are set up by cover and remain somewhat hidden.

            Although Hilsmeyer spent hours constructing a home-made blind, he is now considering a commercial blind that will work as well.  He recommends a blind that is large enough to allow you to sit on a stool and shoot, and one that provides comfort and maneuverability.

            Hilsmeyer suggests using turkey calls occasionally to lure birds in close.  He says that it’s common for turkeys to pass by the blind out of bow range.  A call or two, however, might be all it takes to lure the bird into shooting range.  He also uses decoys, but admits that many birds become shy after seeing them for a day or two.  He places the decoys only 15 yards from the blind.

fool_a_tom_2          

  Perseverance is the final factor of using a blind in an area where you expect turkeys to be.  Hunters must force themselves to stay put and not to go to a gobbling turkey.  In fact, this is the reason some hunters prefer not to use the blind method.  Some archers would rather pursue a gobbling turkey and abandon a blind simply because they don’t like the idea of sitting tight.  Hilsmeyer says he spent several hours in the blind each day until he killed the turkey early in the morning on the third day.  However, he added that it took every bit of patience he could muster up to stay in the blind and listen to turkeys gobbling in the area.

            Perhaps the last thing I should mention is your decision to try to kill a turkey with a bow.  If you’ve done it faithfully with a shotgun previously, you already know it’s going to get tougher with a bow.  Once you find out how difficult it is, you might think about hanging the bow up until deer season and sticking with the shotgun.  This is not to discourage you from bowhunting turkeys, but Hilsmeyer said that if an archer really wants to kill a turkey with a bow, he should never try it for only a day or two.

“You just tell yourself, ‘I’m going to hunt the whole season with a bow…I can do this and it’s going to work’,: Hilsmeyer said.  There are far more turkey hunting tactics that I could have discussed in this article, but I’m sure you get the point.  First you make up your mind that you want to challenge a wild turkey with a bow and arrow.  Once you decide to do it, you choose the method that will get the job done.  After that, it boils down to beating the eyes of a gobbler up close.

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Published by admin on 01 Oct 2009

Build A Simple Arrow Case By Durwood Hollis

Build A Simple Arrow Case
Inexpensive And Fast To Make—
This Plastic Tube Will Hold A Couple Dozen Shafts
By Durwood Hollis

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com/

 cover

Build_A_Simple_Arrow_Case

Transporting Target Arrows or keenly honed Brodhead’s is a problem for archers everywhere.  Most arrows are sold in cardboard cartons that do not hold up well to the rough and tumble nature of repeated trips afield.  A visit to your hardware store can supply you with the necessary components to make your own sturdy, inexpensive arrow case.

 Plastic irrigation pipe, the amateur plumber’s boon, when cut to the appropriate length, fitted with a cushion inset, capped and equipped with an easy-carry handle, makes a rugged, impact-resistant and inexpensive arrow case.  No special instructions or expert ability is needed.  Simple hand tools, normally found in the home workshop and access to a band saw or reciprocating kitchen knife, and a hand drill are all you need.

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 The basic supplies to put together the arrow case are:  a length of four-inch diameter plastic pipe, two end caps, plastic pipe solvent, a two-inch pad of poly foam, a carrying handle, a ten-inch length of nylon cord, and several pop-rivets.

Plastic irrigation pipe usually comes in ten- or twenty-foot lengths.  One length of pipe will make three arrow cases, so sharing expenses with a couple other archers will help defray costs further.  Thin wall pipe works best since it is strong enough to withstand the worst abuse, and is half the weight and cost of the heavier variety.  Look for pipe designated Class 125.  Cut the pipe into three equal sections of thirty-four inches.  A hacksaw can be used, but a band saw makes the job easier with clean perpendicular cuts.  File or sand edges of each cut smooth for a perfect and cap fit.

 Next, cut a two-inch poly foam cushion of the appropriate diameter to fit snugly into one end of the pipe.  This foam plug serves to cushion and protect the business end of your arrows.  Poly foam is available at craft shops in a variety of thicknesses and is both inexpensive and durable.  Impress the plastic pipe firmly on the foam, imprinting the inside diameter of the pipe on the foam.  Using a band saw or reciprocating kitchen knife, cut the foam to the proper shape.  The foam plug should fit tightly and will work best if cut slightly oversize.  Insert the foam flush into one end of the plastic pipe and cement one end cap in place over the foam plug.

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End caps are available in flat or convex configurations.  I prefer the flat caps but either type will suffice.  You will need two caps; one permanently attached over the foam cushion, another to be utilized as a closure for the arrow case.  This cap should slide off and on with slight resistance.  Drill a 1/8-inch hole in both the end cap and the side of the plastic pipe just below the cap when it is in place.  Thread a ten-inch piece of nylon cord through both holes and knot the inside to form a retaining leash for the end cap.

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 Carrying handles are available in several different styles.  I like a folding handle since it easily slips out of the way when the case is not in use.  Once you have selected a handle, locate the center of the case and position the handle.  Mark the attachment points, drill and pop-rivet in place.  Rather than drilling all of the holes and then trying to line things up properly, I find it easier to drill and rivet the holes one at a time.

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 Once completed, your new arrow case will hold from one to two dozen hunting arrows depending on the type of broad heads you use.  The case can accommodate a larger number of target arrows or small game points.

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Published by admin on 01 Oct 2009

Jennings Compound Bow Ad

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Published by admin on 18 Aug 2009

High Spirit: Celebrating Thriving Wildlife By Ted Nugent

High Spirit: Celebrating Thriving Wildlife

Recent Pope & Young banquet spurs

many thoughts.

By Ted Nugent

Celebrating Thriving Wildlife

             My eyes virtually bugged out of my face, little rivulets of drool forming at the corner of my trembling mouth.  I hyperventilated.  My heartbeat and pulse thumped like a hyper speed metal rock’n’roll double bass drum from hell, and the hair on my arms and neck quivered and rose to the occasion.  The sheer outrageous sea of hornage before me was beyond my wildest big-game dreams.

             Along with hundreds of families from around the world, I was staring at four walls covered with the most beautiful, stunning mounted heads of the world’s largest deer, elk, moose, buffalo, caribou, antelope, muskox, bighorn sheep, cougar, grizzly, polar and black bears ever seen in a single setting.  This was the 40-year anniversary of the Pope & Young club’s bi-annual trophy awards recording session, and a grand celebratory spirit consumed the Salt Lake City Convention Center.  The Spirit of the Wild glowed all around.

             Numerous world records had once again been broken, and we all knew why.  Since the inception of scientifically based wilkdlife management began at the insistence of hunters in the late 1800s big game populations have improved exponentially year after year.  What a world record elk irrefutably represents is certainly the biggest, baddest, healthiest specimen of its time in more than 100 years, cut and dried.  Literally.

             The evidence is inescapable.  Record-book deer, elk, bear, moose, buffalo, antelope, caribou, cougar and others proves conclusively that this incredibly disciplined, ultra selective trophy hunting community performs the ultimate benefit for wildlife populations.  In order to qualify for the Boone & Crocket, Pope & Young  or various state record-keeping organizations, a big-game animal must be healthy and almost in every instance, very old.  And in the animal world, very old equates to being beyond breading capability or providing any tangible benefit to the herd.  In most cases, older male specimens are banished fro m the herd and go off on their own to die a slow, agonizing death by starvation or being eaten alive by other predators.

             It is interesting to note as well that most older critters that would set world records are never encountered by hunters and vanish without a trace.  I am glad that so many are taken by hunters not only for the thrills and challenges of the hunt and the food they provide the hunter’s families—plus incredible sums of revenues generated via these hunts— but mostly importantly for the valuable data they have provided over the years for further and better management information.  Even in death, these majestic beasts benefit the wild, their species and mankind.  Celebrate the Great Spirit!

             Like The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Ducks Unlimited (DU), The Federation of North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS), The Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Whitetails Forever, Pheasants Forever, The Grouse Society, Quail Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, the Mule Deer Association and so many conservation organizations dedicated to these precious renewable wildlife resources, it is very easy to see why wildlife is thriving in North America like nowhere else in the world.  Even in the face of dramatically dwindling habitat, game and non-game species are doing great because these hunting organizations’ hands-on understanding of real wildlife needs and conditions drive us to manage habitat and harvests accordingly.

             Many wildlife lovers outside the hunting community join us in this glowing success story.  Even the famous TV personality Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter,” states quite emphatically in Scientific American magazine, that “habitat destruction” is the most important issue facing his home county of Australia, here in America and the whole world today.  Those who actually walk on the wild side know this truth.  I repeat, wildlife habitat is where our air, soil and water quality come from.  Everybody should be helping these hunting organizations.  If intellectual truth instead of emotional hysteria motivated everyone, they would.

             Those ignorant souls who criticize and condemn trophy hunters are absolutely full of baloney.  First of all, most trophy animals are taken by chance, as a rare lucky encounter with an outsized beast coincidentally comes together for some fortunate hunter just out to hunt.  And in virtually every case, dictated by laws and standard hunters ethics, all the valuable meat is utilized way before any head is taken to the wildlife artist taxidermist.  The facts are clear.

             Celebrating Thriving Wildlife_2

With literally thousands and thousands of entries every year into many record books around the country, these staggering numbers occur every year, but only represent a minor fraction of the overall annual harvest of all species.  That reality adds up to an amazing dynamic truth just how renewable these resources truly are.  Isn’t it ridiculous that anyone believes there could even be an anti-hunting argument?

            You would have to be pretty dam stupid to deny more than 100 years of consistent evidence.  But then there have always been stupid people.  I can only hope that they wake up and smell the wonderful, gargantuan field of roses that shine before them.  I often wonder just what they are trying to accomplish.  I guess weird will always be weird.

             Meanwhile, I am going to continue to support all these great hunting/conversation groups.  They work tirelessly throughout the year raising millions and millions of dollars, donating by millions and millions of hunters across the land, all for the continued benefit of wildlife and wildlife habitat.  It is truly the greatest success story in the history of the world.

             When I travel to Africa, for example, it is so very obvious how it all works.  Where I see thriving populations for elephant, rhino, hippo, lion, leopard, cheetah, cape buffalo, kudu, eland, sable, gemsbok, giraffe, warthog, impala, zebra, wildebeest, nyala, reedbuck, klipspringer, blesbok, bontebok, tssessebe, duiker, steenbok, and all those fascinating wild creatures, it is always on wild ground where legal hunting is an ongoing business.  Conversely, where I see no wildlife at all, there are goats, cattle, vineyards, golf courses and “No Hunting” signs.  Intellectually, the choice is ridiculously obvious, unless of course feeling good is more important than doing the right thing.  As a hunter who lives with these awesome beasts.  I will continue to dedicate my life to educating and motivating people to do the right thing.

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Published by admin on 14 Aug 2009

Portrait of a Champion: HARRY DRAKE

Portrait of a Champion: HARRY DRAKE

 

            What does it take to become a champion? There are various answers to this, depending upon the type of archery that may be your particular forte in the case of Harry Drake, the National Flight Shooting champion. It took something like twenty-five years and a heap of practice, experimentation and no small degree of disappointment along the way.

            Drake, who is now forty-eight years old, has concentrated upon this sort of flight shooting almost from the day he attained legal status as a voter. He began in 1937, when he was only twenty-two and has constantly sought new means of driving an arrow across a longer distance.

            But it was not until 1963 that he broke all of the records for the eighty-pound class. He was able to send an arrow some 675 yards during the 1963 NAA championships in California. Earlier, the existing record had been 640 yards and stood for roughly a decade. Then in 1961, this record was broken for the class – but barely – by W.A. Scott of Texas, who shot an arrow 641 yards.

            Drake makes all of his own bows and when he took part in this national contest, he had several of them on hand. All of them measured forty-two inches in length and boasted a maple core. Gordon glass was used on back and face and a variety of woods were utilized in the risers.

                       In keeping with his design for winning, Drake’s bow had a twenty-five-inch draw with a five-inch overdraws from the back of the bow to the usable portion of the arrow rest.

            Like most serious shooters in flight events, Drake makes his own arrows as well as his bows. He feels that the best material for a flight arrow is Port Orfor cedar. These shafts are footed on the end with Purple Heart wood, using plastic nocks. Length of these arrows is twenty inches.

            When questioned to his favoring cedar for his arrow over fiberglass or even aluminum. Drake is quick to explain that one cannot get the aerodynamic shape in these other materials that one can achieve with Oregon cedar. With a flight arrow, there is a good deal more velocity, therefore more critical friction forces caused by the air through which it is launched.

            As for metal arrows, Drake has tried these experimentally, but feels they too are lacking. Although there is no scientific backing for this, it is his theory that an aluminum arrow tends to vibrate while in flight thus cutting down its speed and ultimately the distance.

            Drake, a realist when come to flight shooting, was doubtful that he would break any records – or that anyone else would – during last year’s NAA championship shoot. Reason for this doubt was the fact that the weather was damp and the field where shooting was being done was fogged in during the early morning.

            However, by the time Drake came up to compete in the eighty-pound bow class, the weather had cleared. The sun was shining and there was a helpful breeze. The rest is listed in the official NAA records.

            The heat and sun created thinner air, thus the arrow would travel farther. Drake told BOW & ARROW that in Utah, for example, where altitudes are high and the air thinner, it is possible to break records every time a man shoots. This has been reflected in professional baseball games in that mountain city too. Baseballs are constantly and consistently being batted out of the park, since they tend to travel longer and faster distances in this rarified ozone area.

            Wind, Drake has discovered can be either a hindrance or an aid. With only a light breeze, he has found that when shooting into the wind, this will cut the distance the arrow travels as much as twenty-five yards. However, if there is literally a tail wind working on the cedar shaft, this can add almost as much distance.

            As far as equipment is concerned, Harry Drake uses both a single flipper and a double model in competition. The single flipper is used when he is shooting a sixty-five pound bow, while the double flipper, affording a better grip, he uses when shooting in the eighty-pound class.

            These flippers afford added speed to the arrow, since using this to release results in less friction on the actual bowstring. Also, the incidence of draw is increased since one is cutting on the area of the string that otherwise would be covered by the fingers in the draw.

            With the sharper incidence of draw created by using this half-inch leather strap there also is a sharper release with less friction. All of these thoughts, taken individually, mean little, but over the centuries that flight shooting has been a sport, efficiency has been the key word in this sport. Each of these measures – be it bow design, shaft material or the width of the flipper – has been the subject of ages of experimentation. Each has been instituted as an aid to greater efficiency.

            And this is reflected in the Harry Drake Story, for this champions a painstaking practitioner of the art, checking and double-checking, always certain that efficiency in his shooting is unhampered.

 Bow and Arrow Magazine        March – April 1964

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Published by admin on 07 Aug 2009

Buffalo Hunting Indian Style By: Ralph D. Conroy

Buffalo Hunting
Indian Style
By: Ralph D. Conroy

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 There has never been any more exciting form of big-game hunting than the taking of buffalo from horseback as was practiced by the Indian of the American West.

 In my mind’s eye I can look back into time and see a young Indian brave sitting quietly astride his fast pony. The pony has a split ear, the mark of the buffalo hunter, and is the most valued possession of the Plains Indian during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

 The brave is dressed in breechcloth; his long raven-black hair is gathered in twin braids. Twin eagle feathers, fastened to his head, dance in the breeze those gusts into his face. All extraneous clothing has been carefully discarded. In the next few minutes the action will be fast and dangerous.

 He thumbs the score of flint-tipped arrows in the otter-skin quiver strapped to the side of the pony. He is armed with a short but strong bow. Its string is the stretched neck tendons of a bull buffalo. The brave may be of any number of tribes – Sioux or Crow, Mandan or Arapaho, Cheyenne or Comanche.

 At a signal from the hunt leaders the brave touches his heels to the flanks of the little pony and feel him respond. The chase is on. Gaining speed, horse and rider movie in perfect concert over the rough terrain. They are at full gallop before they reach the clipped, grazed grass of the plains.

 All about them braves whoop and spur their mounts to full pace. Several hundred yards ahead a small band of buffalo stops feeding, hesitates for a split second, then wheels and races off. Their heavy hooves mingle with the hoof beats of the pursuing ponies and the shrill battle cries of the mounted hunters. The heavily muscled buffalo is a surprisingly good runner and the ponies press hard to close with the retreating herd.

 The clear Dakota air is now filled with thick clouds of billodust and for an instant the hunters ride blind. Then they are through the dust and into the herd, bare legs brushing against the coarse matted hair of the buffalo.

 On all sides of the young brave the great animals run, their chests heaving, blood-red eyes rolling in panic, the sun glinting now and again on the menacing horns. Here and there a bull or cow turns to fight, and a pony and rider scramble desperately to avoid contact.

 The brave sees a fine bull ahead and without command the pony stretches out, running belly low, to bring his rider close astern the right flank. Somewhere ahead a horse and rider go down in an explosion of dust and thrashing hooves, yet the wild pursuit continues without pause.

 Now the brave is close enough and the pony settles to pace as his rider draws and nocks an arrow, no mean trick astride a galloping horse. He draws until the butt of the stone head touches the index finger of his left hand. For an instant he holds, then releases. At the twang of the bowstring the seasoned pony moves obliquely to the right, putting distance between himself and the now-wounded buffalo. The shaft has sunk to the fletching in the now-wounded buffalo. The shaft has sunk to the fletching in the appointed place behind the short rib, angling forward into the bull’s vitals. Even as the brave reaches forward to nock a second arrow he sees it will not be necessary. The wounded bull falters, misses stride, then skids forward onto its nose. The bull is dead before the brave dismounts, his skinning knife in hand.

 A half mile ahead the hunt rages on across the prairie.

“By the 1880s the buffalo herds were decimated, ending an area that some historians have called ‘the golden age of Plains Indian….’ ”

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The hunting of the buffalo from horseback was short-lived. The Plains Indian did not acquire the horse until the 1600s and 1700s. By the 1800s the buffalo herds were decimated, ending an era that some historians have called “the golden age of Plains Indian.” The buffalo hunt from horseback has come to symbolize that time, and the wild, romantic, proud freedom of the Buffalo Indian. It was, perhaps their finest hour.

 The excitement and danger of the mounted buffalo chase caught the imagination of the early western explorer. It is easy to see why. The American Bison is an awesome beast.

 A full-grown bull stands six feet at the shoulder and is ten to twelve feet long from nose to tail. His weight averages 1800 pounds, but some were said to reach 3000 pounds. Before the coming of the white men the buffalo was the most numerous large land animal on earth. Some naturalists estimate there were seventy-five to one hundred million buffalo. Nearly all agree that the figure exceeded fifty million.

 After slaughter began t did not take long to end. Buffalo were killed for hides, meat, sport and, more importantly, as government. The Indian depended on the buffalo not only for food, but for clothing, shelter and tools. With the buffalo gone, the once proud and free-ranging tribes could be brought to heel; their ancient tribal lands more safely and expeditiously stolen.

 In 1851 there were more buffalo than people in the United States. By 1900, s scant forty-nine years later, there were only 2500 buffalo left. Five years later the American Bison Society was organized by William T. Hornady, head taxidermist for the National Museum in Washington D.C., with President Theodore Roosevelt as the society’s honorary president. The society was instrumental in persuading Congress to establish the National Bison Range in Montana. Thankfully, the animal was saved from extinction. Such was not the case with the other two subspecies, the wood bison (Bison bison Athabasca Rhoads) and the eastern bison (Bison bison pennsylvanicus). Some scientists claim there was a fourth subspecies the mountain bison (Bison bison haningtoni Figgins).

 A variation of the Indian hunt was conducted with rifle and revolver by the white men who flocked west. Notable amongst these was the hunt arranged by General Philip Sheridan in 1872 for the Grand Dukes Alexis of Russia. The Grand Duke, son of Czar, traveled west in a private railroad car. General Armstrong Custer and Colonel William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, a pack of Indian Scouts, and a troop of U.S. Cavalry were enlisted to round up some of the animals for the Grand Duke’s sport. Afterwards, a buffalo was barbecued and its death toasted with champagne. Chief Spotted Tail of the Sioux even staged a war dance for the entertainment of the royal tourist.

 How good was the bow and arrow as a hunter of buffalo? Better than one might expect.

 Though the Indian had firearms available to him soon after the appearance of the western settlers, most tribes continued to favor the bow and arrow. The Assiniboines went so far as to declare firearms illegal for tribal hunts. There were many reasons for this. An Indian could shoot two dozen arrows in the time it took to reload a muzzleloader, and since arrows carried the marks of the owner there could be little argument about who made what kill. In addition, many Indians found the arrow a more efficient killer than the gun, even the repeating rifle. At close range the Indian was deadly with his bow.

 In his book, The Indian and the Horse, Frank Gilbert Roe tells of an eyewitness account of a Gee brave slaying sixteen buffalo with seventeen arrows! A cool shot would be hard-pressed to equal that feat with.460 Weather by magnum using a good scope and sure rest.

 

 When metal became available the Indian often switched to this source as an alternate to the stone heads which were so time-consuming to make. Though metal was a convenience, the Indian had reservations about the metal head’s killing properties.

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In volume one of George Bird Grinnell’s book, The Cheyenne Indians, he states: “The Cheyenne’s, like the Blackfeet and the Pawnees, say that wounds made by old stone arrow points were more likely to be fatal than those made by the points ( metal) of later times.”

 Though one would think otherwise, experiments have shown the stone head to penetrate flesh farther than the metal head. Dr.Saxton Pope conducted such an experiment and reported his methods and findings in his book, Hunting with the Bow and Arrow, written in 1923, Pope made a box, two sides of which were closed with fresh deer skin. The interior was packed with bovine liver to represent boneless animal tissue.

 ‘At a distance of ten yards,” Pope reported, “I discharged an obsidian (a volcanic glass, usually black and referred to as flint) pointed arrow and steel pointed arrow from a weak bow.

 “The two missiles were alike in size, weight and feathering, in fact were made by Ishi, only one had the native head and the other his modern substitute. Upon repeated trials, the steel headed arrow uniformly penetrated a distance of twenty-two inches from the front surface of the box, while the obsidian uniformly penetrated thirty inches, or eight inches farther, approximately 25 percent better penetration.

 Pope, a medical doctor and one of the pioneers of modern bowhunting, attributed the superior penetration of the stone. He said that the serrated stone edge operated on “the same principle that fluted-edged bread and bandage knives cut better than ordinary knives.”

 No matter what the reason, that some Indians could kill efficiently and get extraordinary penetration with their stone-tipped shafts incontestable.

 According to Grinnel Big Ribs, a northern Cheyenne at Pine Ridge, and Strong Left Hand, at the Tongue River Agency, are known to have each shot a single shot. Strong Left Hand’s bow is said to have been so strong that few men could pull it. Grinnel reports other instances of powerful Indian archers driving arrows completely though a single buffalo.

 Chief Luther Standing Bea, in his book, My People, the Sioux, tells of his father driving an arrow so deeply into one buffalo that the point protruded out the offside Reining his running pony to the offside, Standing Bear’s father leaned down and withdrew the shaft, point-first, from the side of the galloping buffalo, nocked it, and fired it into a second animal, thereby killing two buffalo withal single arrow, but in a rather unique manner.

 As far as I know, the last man to kill a buffalo with an arrow shot from the back of galloping horse was the late Howard Hill. The first, and to my mind, most exciting chapter in his book, Hunting the Hard Way, Chronicles this event.

 As with the modern sportsman, the Indian prized the quick, clean kill. With the Mandan’s, the killing of a buffalo with but a single arrow on religious significance, the pinnacle of which was to kill a buffalo with but a single arrow as the beast faced east at sunrise.

 Chief Standing Bear reported that on his first buffalo hunt it was a source of embarrassment to him that he had needed five arrows to make his kill. For a few moments he weighed the thought of pulling all the arrows but one, but in the end his conscience could not condone the lie.  (Incidentally, Standing Bear was a member of the first class of Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian School, which started in 1879. He also travelled in this country and Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.)

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Since the buffalo’s eyesight is poor, a small herd or band could be approached carefully and quietly upwind to within a quarter of a mile. A good pony could close within half-mile. But good ponies were scarce and highly valued. Besides speed, they needed heart and judgment, agility and stamina. The ponies were pampered and often led to the site of the hunt so as to be fresh as possible. A well trained pony brought his rider within an arm’s distance of the selected quarry, held a steady pace, and moved quickly away at the twang of the bowstring. On the rare occasion such a pony was sold, it could bring the price of ten, twenty, or even fifty common horses.

 Dismiss the idea that the Indian’s buffalo chase was a carelessly run affair. It was quite the opposite. The hunt was organized by tribal chiefs, police or the soldier societies. No one went out on his own; it was a rigidly structured tribal function. Not to conform to tribal rules could result in equipment. Even the Comanche, who in most things exercised little if any communal discipline, appointed and obeyed leaders in the buffalo chase,

 Black Elk, a warrior and medicine man of the Oglala Sioux and author of Black Elk Speaks, describes in detail bison hunt wherein the first line of assault was comprised of a soldier band riding twenty abreast and prepared to knock anyone from his horse who dared advanced beyond them. About penetration, Black Elk comments: “Some of the arrows would go in up to the feathers, and sometimes those that struck no bones went straight through.

 Today the thrill and danger of the old buffalo chase lives only in the stories handed down by observers, and in some cases the written words of participants, and in the work of an artist.

 Foremost amongst the artists in Charles M. Russell, who, with his frontiersman background and extraordinary eye for authentic detail, produced the finest and most accurate renditions. Russell was so fond of the buffalo chase as subject matter that he painted it more than fifty times.

 The chase also sparked the imaginations of European artists, some of whom has never seen the West, its Indians, or its buffalo. Some of these works are interesting for their errors. Often the topography is a curious mixture of authenticity and imagination. In a great many pieces the horse dwarfs the buffalo. The artists either used the horse common to Europe as a model (these were larger then the Indian pony) or misjudged the size of the American Bison. But the excitement and danger of those buffalo chases with bow and arrow from the back of a galloping horse live on to awe future generations around the world.

Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted by Bow and Arrow Magazine and Archerytalk.com. All rights reserved. No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.

Bow and Arrow Magazine April 1978

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Published by admin on 06 Aug 2009

Banzai Bows: Sayanora Style By Col. Robert Rankin USMC

Banzai Bows: Sayanora Style

By Col. Robert Rankin USMC

banzai

Mention of ancient Japanese arms most usually calls to mind, as far as most people are concerned, the famed samurai sword. It may come as something of a surprise to you to learn that the Japanese were well known for their prowess with the bow. Bows were used by all nobles’ bad peasants alike. Instruction in the use of the weapon began at an early age and was continued on through adult years.

 It is probable that the Japanese were easily the equal of the storied English long bowman and the famous Turkish archers. In early times the bow was deemed of even greater importance than the sword. Indeed, the Japanese terms for bow and arrow and for war were synonymous. Even after the sword became the principal weapon and the symbol of rank, proficiency in the use of the bow was much sought and was regarded as an indication of the individual’s military ability.

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The best archers in Nippon journeyed to Kyoto to demonstrate their skill. There at Sanju-San-Gen Do temple, a covered gallery was erected for their use. With a length of 132 yards, this structure was only twenty-two feet high, a fact which required tremendous strength on the part of the bowman to achieve a trajectory flat enough to allow the arrow to reach the mark. Is recorded that in 1696, one was a Daicheri shot 8,133 arrows in twenty-four hours (this is at the rate of about five a minute), of which 3,213 reached the mark!

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The Japanese was bow was very long; in fact, some were as long as eight feet, but this was the exception, the average being around seven feet. Bows were made of a piece of deciduous wood sandwiched in between two especially selected pieces of bamboo, with the bark outward, all held together with fish glue,. It was nearly uniform in section throughout its length and at intervals was tightly bound with cane.

 The bow was curved at either end, and when strung, it reversed itself. There were no notches for the back for a short distance to form shoulders. The string went about the projecting ends and was held in place by the shoulders. Strings were of sinew or of bundles of silk thread treated with lacquer.

 The handle of the bow was well below center. In some instances a much as two thirds of the way down. This was necessary because the average Japanese is short and the bow was used from a kneeling position when the archer was not mounted. All in all, these war bows were powerful and affective.

 Another type of Japanese bow resembling a Tartar bow in shape was made of several different varieties of bamboo glues together. A metal sleeve covered the belly. The string striking against this produced a characteristic sound which often was used for signaling.

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Ceremonial bows, intended only for parades and court functions, were highly lacquered and ornamented. These bows were in two sections, joined in the center by a metal sleeve which formed the handle. In addition to these, there were hunting bows of various lengths, some as short as two feet. These smaller bows were made of horn or whalebone.

 Arrows for the war bows averaged forty inches long and weighed around half a pound. Practically all were feathered, usually in a straight line with the shaft. Some, however, had the feathers arranged spirally about the shaft to cause it to rotate in flight and thus assist in keeping it on course.

 For the practical purposes of war, arrow heads differed greatly from those used for ceremonial purposes. Among war arrows was the hiki-ya. This had a large hallow head with openings cut in the sides. Air rushing through these while the arrow was in flight caused a whistling sound. Arrows of the type were used for signaling purposes, the wata-kusi, “tear fish,” had a head with movable barbs. These lay close to the shaft when the arrow was in flight but swung out at right angles when an attempt was made to pull it out of the flesh. The yanagi-ha, “willow leaf,” had a head with straight sides and was diamond shape in section. It was an extremely efficient general purpose missile, the karimata, “forked arrow,” was a two prong design with very sharp cutting edged. These heads varied in size from one to six inches between the prongs. They were used to cut ropes and armor lacing. Another lovely number, a variation of the karimata, was known as the “bowel raker,” and was reputed to cause a horrible death.

 Ceremonial arrows had heads which were large, heavy and very elaborate – and quite useless as weapons. They often were made by famous artist-armorers.

 It is rather interesting to note that the length of the bow and arrow was related to the particular warrior who was to use them. The unit of measurement for the war bow was the distance between the tips of the thumb and little finger of the spread right hand of the archer. Twelve to fifteen of these units were considered the proper length of the bow. The unit of measurement for war arrows was the width of the right hand, across the palm. Here again, twelve to fifteen of these units were reckoned to be the proper length for the arrows.

 Several kinds of quivers were used. One consisted of an open box to which a framework was attached to support the shafts of the arrows. The heads rested within the box and were kept apart by a series of small metal bars. Sometimes the box contained a small drawer in which spare bow and arrows were carried. Another type of quiver was closed wooden container with hinged lids at the top and on the sides, this type kept the arrows safe from the elements but it was damned awkward to get the arrows, Quivers were highly lacquered and richly decorated.

 Archers of higher rank were gloves resembling gauntlets. The second and third fingers were of softer leather and were usually of different color than the rest of the glove. The right thumb had a double thickness of leather on the inside to tae wear of the bow string. Lower ranks wore an abbreviated glove on the right hand only. This consisted of a thumb and two fingers, these attached to a broad band which tied about the wrist. At times all degrees archers wore a mail covered glove on the left hand to protect the hand holding the bow.

 The flaring neck guard of the characteristic Japanese helmet, in the case of archers, sometimes was hinged on the right side so that it could be folded back out of the way when the bow was being used. Many mounted archers, as well as other mounted warriors, frequently wore a horo. This was a long, wide piece of cloth attached at the top to the rear of the helmet and at the bottom to the waist. It was ornamented with the chop mark or crest of the wearer. As the archer rose along this bellied out behind and protected the back from arrows.

 In any discussion of Japanese military history and weapons. It is well to note that the feudal era in Japan did not come to an end until comparatively recently; in the early 1800s/ as compare to the early 1400’s in Europe. Although firearms were introduced into Japan as early as 1543 by Portuguese traders. they were not developed to any great extent in Nippon until the end of the Nineteenth Century. This resulted in the Japanese passing directly from the use of the primitive matchlock to the modern breech-loading percussion rifle, both of which were copied in toto from Western models without any developments in between. One of the reasons for this was that the samurai, the Japanese warrior knights, with their peculiar codes of ethic and honor, regarded the use of firearms as ungentlemanly! Consequently the bow was a major weapon until the very dawn of the present century.

 With the advent of Commodore Perry and the opening of Japan to world trade and Western culture, that nation was thrown overnight from medieval times into the modern world. Among other things, the Japanese received all at one time all the blessings of an advanced arms technology. That they were apt pupils was well demonstrated in the South Pacific in World War II.

Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted by Bow and Arrow Magazine and Archerytalk.com. All rights reserved. No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.

Bow and Arrow Magazine May – June 1963

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Published by admin on 27 Jul 2009

Quiver Your Timbers By: Ross McKay

Quiver Your Timbers
By: Ross McKay

Bow And Arrow Magazine March – April 1968

 It seems as if it doesn’t matter how many arrows you carry, sometimes there never are enough to make that killing hit on game. All it takes is one arrow, well placed and with the right penetration to bag the game, be it squirrel, cow or elk.

 The different types of game offer different terrain for hunting and the requirements on the hunter and his equipment vary too. When out for a deer or other big game, you may not carry more than five arrows. The popular bow quivers are made to carry from five to eight arrows.

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 The pesky ground squirrels, gophers and ground-hogs are different. There are many more of them in the field and usually you throw more arrows at them than at big game animals. One shot at a deer and it usually is gone unless you are one of the fortunate few who have had them stand around waiting for the next shot.

 One of the most popular quivers, one that will work very well regardless of the game hunted, is the back quiver. The Indians used them and they lived by the bow. The back quiver can carry many arrows, depending on how big you make it, and it can be silenced to keep the rattle dow. Many archers never have used anything else.

 There are many styles of back quivers on the market, both of leather and the solid frame styles. Each has a different advantage to the hunter but let’s take a look at the old style, ever popular, leather back quiver. This is the type used by the Indians, made from the skins of the animals killed.

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 These differ from the modern quiver in one respect. They are made of soft leather. If you make a quiver from the last deer you killed or just go out and buy the leather on the market, you have to determine which tyoe, the soft or hard leather, you wish to make. The soft quiver is perhaps the fastest: It requires less leather and the top can be held open with a piece of coat hanger to keep the shafts available and aid in replaceing the shafts in the quiver when picked up. It has the advantage of holding the shafts together and therefore minimizing the noise they can make rattling together as you walk. A soft black quiver can be very silent.

 One disadvantage of this style is that it holds a limited quantity of arrows and there is a problem on keeping the sharp broadheads from rattling togther and dulling themselves. Steel on steel is fine when it is a sharpening steel on a hroadhead but two sharp broadheads rubbing together. This can be overcome by putting a piece of balsa wood or sponge rubber in the bottom of the quiver and placing the head in it. This also requires removing the quiver from the back. A bit slow and often not too good in game country.

 There are many styles of the popular center and side back quiver. Some have large capacity and others are smaller. Your choice depends upon your requirements. Making a back quiver is relitively easy or difficult, depending on what you need. First you must determine the type of quiver. Is it to be a large one for squirrels and rabbits or a smaller one? Let’s make on of each.

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First you will need a pattern. Tandy Leather Company in Texas has been in the leather business for many years and they have patterns for just about anything you can think of, including archery quivers. They have one pattern for a center back style that will hold many arrows and they have a kit that will make a small size shoulder or hip quiver. The quiver itself is the same but the straps are different, depending on the use. Some time ago I purchased a back quiver kit from a local store and promised the little woman I would carve a deer scene on it for her.

 If you have never done leather carving, it is an experiance in itself. Two years later when I started getting material together to write the article the memory of the spouse revived and she mentioned that now would be an excellent time to make that quiver for her. After all, I had promised. True. What I had in mind was not to carve a quiver at all to put it together the fastest and easiest way. Impossible!!

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 Out came the tools and after several nights of banging with the hammer the carving was done. The next step would be to saddle stitch it, once again the fast and to me the best looking method. Oh no! It must be laxed with leather, after all, it had been promised. After several more hours of pulling leather through leather the quiver was finished. It isn’t that much work if you enjoy the type of activity.

 The patterns that come with the kit can be saved after the quiver has been completed and used for future quivers if you like the style. They lay the entire project out for you from beginning to end, step by step and furnish precut leather for the job.
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 You can bypass all the carving and merely put the kit together with saddle stitching or take it to the local shoe shop and have them stitch it together with their machine. Another alternate is to use rivets for putting it together. They can be purchased from Tandy and are very good since  all that’s required is a punch to make the hole and a hammer to pound the two pieces together. The finished quiver will hold a dozen shafts easily and has only one strap over the shoulder. Itis both simple and efficient: the cost is less than five dollars.

 Now if you want a simple quiver, one that you can put together very quickly and one that will hold enough arrows for a day’s shooting whether for varmints or big game, it is not hard to come up with a good design of your own. First determine what type you want, full center back or over the shoulder. I favor the over the shoulder style since I don’t bend easily. If you are limber any style will work.

 First make a pattern from heavy craft paper, show card, or butcher paper. You can cut this and then for it to see how the finished product will look. I you don’t like it it is much easier to make a new one from paper than from leather; also much cheaper. If you want it simple you can cut a rectangle from your paper and form it to the quiver shape. This will hold many arrows, depending on how big you make it of course. You can go too big and defeat your purpose.
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The one thing that will take a bit of extra effort is the base of the quiver. You can take a polythylene bottle, one with a shape that you like, and cut the bottomnfrom this and use it as the base of your quiver. It will stop the broadheads from going through and you can alwayd put a piece of carpet or wood in the bottom for softness and strength.

 One system I use that works very well is to take a piece of scrap lumber and cut an oblong hole in it, the size you wish for the bottom of your quiver. Do this with a saber saw, coping saw or other type that will allow you to use the center plug that will be cut out. The size I use measures five and one half inches long and three inches wide. Cut it with ends rounded of course.

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 After the hole is cut and the plug or center piece is out, take a file and taper the side of the hole so it slants inward from one side. Sand it smooth and coat it with wax or paraffin. Take the center section and sand it down. I found that I had to sand mine down almost one half inch all around for the proper fit. It will vary as to the thickness of the leather used.

 You don’t know what you’re doing? You are making a pattern that you can use for the base of your quiver. Take the center plug, after sanding, and cover it wit wax or paraffin. Now you have your base or bottom of your quiver, at least the form of it, and the pattern for the sides or main body of the quiver.

 The main section of the quiver can vary in height, depending on the length of shafts you shoot. If you are a long draw archer you will make your quiver a bit longer. I made one that measured twenty-one inches long and it works quite well for me. The one I made for my wife illustrated here is nineteen inches in length. Make them long enough to cover at least two-thirds of the shafts used and maybe a little more since the broadhead will change the overall length of your shaft by two inches or more.

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Now that you have your patttern cut for the body and base of the quiver, you are ready buy the leather. Most harness or saddle shops have leather they will will seel in small lots. I made a quiver from the belly leather that a saddle shop couldn’t use. Such leather will vary in cost as to the quality and the quantity needed. Belly leather usually is cheap but you must look out for bad sections in it, especially in the flank areas.

 Allow enough extra leather from the body section or buy an extra piece or two for making the straps. You will need a shoulder strap and at least one strap to come from the base of the quiver to meet the shoulder strap. I made mine with two straps, one from each side of the quiver to meet the shoulder strap in front, but this isn’t necessar. Just allow enough good leather for strap material. You might even have the shop owner make the cuts you need if you like. They often will do it for a small charger. Either way, take the leather home and if you do the cutting, use a strap knife, and a straightedge, such as a ruler, to get a good straight line on your cut. Unless you are very steady, freehand cutting will give you wavy lines.

 timber8

Take a piece of leather for the base; it should be about six by eight inches if you use the same board cuts I did and soak it in water for several hours. I prefer to have my base cut and formed before going ahead with the rest of the quiver. After the leather has soaked long enough it should be soggy and very pliable. Lay it over the hole cut in the board with the finish side of the leather facing you. Take the block that was cut from the center of the board and place this over the leather. Now take a wide headed mallet or hammer and pound the leather into the hole using the black to force it in. When it is even with the bottom of the board, place it in a corner to dry. When it dries it will be very stiff, just what you need for the base of your quiver. Remove it from the board form. I use the center section or block and cut right at the top of this with a sharp knife. When the excess leather is trimmed away you will have a cup or oval shaped piece of leather about one inch deep.

 Take the base and the main section of leather and form the body of the quiver around the base. If you made the square or rectangle shape cut for the quiver the top will be as big as the bottom. If you want the top flared a bit more than the bottom merely cut one side on an angle. You can angle both sides if you like or just one. Now with the flared top, as illustrated, youcan allow about one half inch overlap on the leather for stitching. If you prefer to butt the leather and cross lace, that will work too.

 We now have a flared top quiver wih the base formed. All that is left is to assemble the two parts and add the straps. If you like measurements, the top of the quiver measures eighteen inches ling, nineteen inches high, and the base is thirteen and seven-eighths or around it off the fourteen if you want. This is allowing about a half inch overlap for stitching.

timber10

 Place the body of the quiver with the finished side out over the base and curl it around the base. If you like you can hold it with clamps while forming, When using the base leather have the cup part facing down. Take rubber cement and apply to the sides of the base and about one half inch on the bottom inside main section. Determine where the leather will overlap a punch a hole in the base at this point. If you have cut your body with one side straight, the line formed by the overlap will be on a diagonal down the back of the quiver. If you butted it, it will be down the center.

 After punching the pilot hole, punch one side of the main body and hold it in place. Take the rest of the leather and work it around the bottom, holdng it snug against the base. The rubber cement will stick and help at this point. At intervals you can punch holes through both the body leather and the base. This will guarantee that the base and body will fit snug, When you arrive back at the pilot hole, punch a hole in the overlap section making it fit the base and first hole punched.
 The hole punching is done very easily with a leather punch. If you don’t have one and don’t want to buy one, you can use an electric drill. The size hole will be determined by the type of fastening you plan to use. You can use the rivets made and sold by Tandy, pop rivets will work fine but would be rather costly, or regular copper harness rivets will do. If you have no rivets and want to vary the looks a bit, take some latigo leather shoe lacing and pull it through the holes and lace the entire quiver.

 Overlap the center seam about one half inch and mark the punching at one inch intervals. Punch the outside first. The using these holes mark the punch position on the inner side. This will ame the holes match the lacing. Take about two feet of the latigo leather lacing and lace up the back of the quiver. You will have a tag left over that you can run inside.

 The main part of the quiver now is finished. All that remains is to put a dividing strap on the top and the shoulder and base straps.

 The dividing strap is placed either in the center of the quiver or run through in two places. It prevents the quiver from seperating when full and also helps to divide the safts. You can put field points in one section, blunts in another and broadheads in the third.

 You can make the strap for this from the extra leather left from the main section or purchased for this reason. A piece one half inch wide and sixteen to eighteen inches long will do. Put this through the top in two places and either use a buckle to join in the front or rivet to hold it solid.

 The shoulder strap should be made wide at the top where ot attaches to the quiver. This will make it ride easily on the shoulder. If you make it too marrow it will have a tendency to dig into the shoulder and become a nagging nuisance. Make it a tapered cut, three and one half inches at the top and tapering to an inch and one half at the bottom where it will be folded over once inch D ring. The length of the strap is nineteen inches with one inch folded over the ring and two inches inside the quiver where it is attached with rivets.

 The strap for the bottom is made with a strap cutter or a straightedge. It should be three quarters of an inch wide and eighteen inches long. This is longer than needed but if you have the leather it is best to make straps long, it is easier when it comes to making adjustments. The end of the strap is riveted to the bottom of the quiver on the right side, in back naturally. It is attached just where the base starts to curve. Bring the other end up and now you will need a snap and buckle. I used a chap snap, again purchased with my leather, and a harness buckle. You may substitute a regular buckle if you like but the harness buckle makes a neat finished job, is easily adjusted and leaves nothing to snag on brush.

timber11

 The quiver is finished! You can fill it with arrows and make the necessary adjustments as needed. The single strap method may not work for you. It won’t for me so I brought another strap around from the left side of the quiver and about six inches from the bottom and again a snap that will fit into the D ring.

 The quiver can carry up to thrity shafts if you want to jam them in that tight for really getting with the varmints. One problem I had with my back quiver was trying to go under trees and through brush. I always managed to snag the quiver on a limb and had to back up to untangle. Before I mastered the art of crawling through fences with m back quiver. I would always dump all or nearly all my shafts on the ground and curse as I had to stop and pick them up as squirrels watched. Now I can move through brush with little problem, I can go through fences too and the squirrels that were watching before are now running for cover.

 One thing about the back quiver I favor, it carries a lot of bow ammo and when you get used to it you really can pepper a hillside with shafts in a hurry.

 You may want to vary the style of the quiver, you can make it from deer skin, coyote or cat fur if you like.You can carve it, burn your brand or name on it because leather is very versatile material with which to work and all if requires is a sharp knife, a punch, and a pattern. Once you have the pattern for the type you like, file it away and if the one you make ever wears out or a friend wants one, you can bring it out for them to use or revise yourself.
 Back quivers aren’t quiet as a rule and they can dull a sharp broadhead but many archers have downed many game, animals, and varmints carrying them, not to mention their use before we ever started the sport.

Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted by Bow and Arrow Magazine and Archerytalk.com. All rights reserved. No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.

Article From Bow & Arrow Hunting

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Published by admin on 27 Jul 2009

Slingthing Wingding By: Dean A. Grennell

Slingthing Wingding
By: Dean A. Grennell

Bow And Arrow Magazine March – April 1968

 In its basic principles, the Slingthing is simple it can be constructed by almost anyone and probably it has been. Rare indeed is the person who, at some point in his urchinhood, did not trim a likely looking fork from a tree with his trusty Barlow knife, cutting strips from a discarded innertube for the elastics plus a pouch from the tongue of an old shoe, blinding the pieces together with scraps of store string to terrorize the local sparrows with selected hunks of gavel. Such devices tended to break down rather quickly, provided you didn’t shatter a window and get them confiscated sooner.

 The idea of substituting a strng in place of the leather pouch, thus permitting the launching of arrows instead of rocks, is not particularly new. Such devices have been around for several years in one form or other. However, the best of them tended to fall short of equalling the performance of a bow of comparable draw weight, Likewise, the concept of a brace coming back to the upper surface of the forearm to lend support to the wrist has been around for some while now.

 So the Slingthing can claim one inovation: a slotted semi-circular trough on the front to hold the elastic in one continuous lubricated, readily changed if desired. However, somewhere in the process of picking up this refinement, the Slingthing acquired a startling gain of capability. It delivers a punch close to the point of incredibility.

 The elastic used in the Slingthing is latex-based — i.e., non-synthetic — surgical rubber tubin, black in coloe and it seemsca bit snappier than the more familiar brown surgical tubing. The Slingthing’s creator, Robert Blair, obtains the elastic in various diameters and wall thickness from an eastern surgical supply house and notes thatit resists deterioriation somewhat better than the brown type, this being sort of side bonus.

 Blair’s development of the Slingthing has been under way over the course of the past few years, with a series of mutations, each showing useful improvements and refinements. Application has been made for a patent to cover the slotted yoke which is the Slingthing’s distinctive innovation.

 SW5

My own introduction to the Slingthing was rather perfunctory. BOW & ARROW’s gruff kindly editorial director dropped it upon my desk, together with an assortment of spare elastics and a small plastic bottle filled with rubber lubricant.

 “Take this out and see how it shoots,” was his terse suggestion.
 “What does it shoot?”
 “Arrows, among other things,” he replied.
 “So where are the arrows?”

 “It looks as though we’ll have to promote some,” he said and, within days, Jim Easton loaned a box of experimental Easton hunting shafts, of a size equivalent  #2016. A rifle over thirty-two inches from nock tip of the field heads, they weigh appromimately 530.4 grains with a shaft diameter of .3122-inch. Viewed in their study shipping carton, they looked much too pretty to shoot with their eye-achingly vivid scarlet shafts and fluorescent-canary fletching. But, with a conscious effort, we unpacked them and set out to deduce the proper way of launching them via Slingthing.

SW4

 When set up in its arrow-launching configuration, the Slingthing has a sheet-nylon rest up front, relieved to allow clearance for the feathers, with a flat V-shaped component joining the rear the ends of the elastic. Blair refers to the latter as the nylon nock engager: It corresponds to the string of a bow.

 A couple of minor problems manifested themselves at the outset. Since the nock engager is not under tension, you cannot seat the nock against it and commence to draw as you would when using a conventional bow. As it turns out, the technique  I worked out is about the same as Blair uses the abdomen, I hold it there with the left hand, meanwhile guiding the nock against its engager with both left and right hands. When it’s in place with a light tension on the elastics, the left hand is shifted to the pistol-type grip, the brace is positioned atop the left forearm and the nock is held in place on the nock engager between the right thumb and forefinger. Since the engager is a rather loose fit within the nock, some slight degree of tension must be maintained on the nock with the fingers during the draw to keep it fro  slipping off.

 The second problem involves getting a firm sort of grip on the nock engager which is equipped with a tuft of shaggy leather to afford a holding surface. After trying in both ways, I gravitated toward keeping my thumb on the lower surface of the engager with the four knuckles uppermost and roughly parallel to the horizon. As it turns out Blair has developed a preference for keeping his thumb on the upper side of the engager, with his crooked forefinger along the lower surface. When using the heavier elastics, he puts on an improvised finger stall made by cutting the forefinger off an old glove. Since he has acquired his power and accurrancy to a degree considerably beyond my as yet modest attainments, I’d have to concede the thumb-up technique is surperior.

 The accurancy potential of the Slingthing has no, as yet, been fully explored. My prowess in the accurancy department, with any sort of archery tackle, is such that, with about five years of intensive practice, I might attain mediocrity. Mr. and Mrs. Blair claim little, if any, greater deadliness of eye  although they turned in some fairly  creditable targets at fifty feet. It would be interesting  to have a Slingthing wrung out on targets by accomplished marksman but, alas, none were on tap during the period of testing. Since the arrow is loosed by relaxing  the tension between thumb and forefinger, it should be possible to do fairly well with it because it’s not rolled off the fingertips, as with a conventional bowstring.

SW2

 The business of making the draw on the pincer-like strength of thumb and forefinger sets some sort of upper limit on the power of the elastics being used. The heaviest unit supplied with the test Slingthing had a pull of approximately thirty pounds and I found myself able to draw it full back with no particular difficulty. However, when Blair dropped in at the BOW & ARROW editorial offices with some experimental elastics running to a bit over fifty pounds, my success with them proved somewhat less thn salutary. After inadvertantly putting one of his arrows out of reach forever in the bottom of a fenced drainage ditch bordering the Citrus College archery range, which had been borrowed for the conclusion of the test’s, I passed the beefed-up Slingthing back to its inventor and foremost practitioner for the remainder of the distance attempts.

SW1

 Blair proceeded to engage in a session of flight shooting, driving light aluminum arrows with field points to distances as great as 190 longpaces. With the sample hunting shafts supplied by Easton, the fifty-pound elastic got them out to a bit beyond 160 paces, with some of Blair’s hunting broadheads alighting at about the same distance. Switching to the thirty-pound elastic reduced distance but not as much as one might expect : depending upon the type of arrow, flights from 120 to 140 paces were turned with ease.

 Blair explained that the lubricant, properly used, is a vital factor obtaining the rather impressive distances of which the Slingthing is capable. Lack of lube up in the curved support yoke through which the elactic passes will lop as much as twenty or thirty yards off of the maximum distances. Undoubtlym this is due to the frictional resistance set up by the elastic rubbing against the rear surface of the yoke as it contracts upon release. The lubricant, by minimizing this friction brings about a rate of contraction almost as rapid as if the elastic were contracting untouched by other materials.

 There is a receptable provided in the hollow base of the pistol grip to hold a hex-wrench and the angles and relative positions of the various parts can be adjusted to almost any desired configuration and re-tightened by the wrench provided. Thus, if the shooter favors his left hand, it is quick and simple to set it up for use in that manner. By this means, one can “customize” the Slingthing to his individual tastes. An accessory carrier can be attached to the lower end of the pistol grip to carry two spare elastic units, if desired.

 Blair currently has another accessory under development. This thumb-release grip designed to bypass the problem of developing the thumb muscles to super-human levels for the use of the heavier elastics. Use of this system requires a special nock engager and the elastic unit made up witht hat engager was not as powerful as the fifty-pounder used in the flight trial. However, the distances attained with the thumb-release device, which permits the use of two fingers in the draw, was barely a few paces short of the performance turned in by the heavier elastic.

SW6

 As further aspect of the Slingthing’s versatility, Blair produced some elastics made up with a leather pouch in place of the nylon nock engager. By switching to one of these, and removing the arrow guide from the yoke, any sort of suitable small missile can be launched : marbles, ball bearings, backshotor pebbles. And, again, the power is impressive With the heavier elastics, a seven-sixteenths-inch nut can be driven through 24-gauge corrugated sheet iron, according to Blair.

 We didn’t have any sheet iron available, but with the thrity-pound elastic. I drove one of the Easton hunting shafts througha sheet of one-half-inch fir plywood.

 Blair, an aluminum welderwith a firm specializing in aluminum extrusions, plans to make and market the Slingthing, visualizing a price under $30. Although it may appear somewhat unconventional to the archery purist, the potentials of the novel device should no be discounted lightly. It may take a fair degree of accurancy rivalling that of the bow but it seems well within reasonable possibility. Having mastered the attainment of accurancy, the operator of a Slingthing would enjoy several advantages.

 For one thing, it’s considerably more compact than any sort of bow, including the crossbow, requiring less length than arrow itself. It’s ready for use at all times, requiring neither time nor effort to be strung. And, last but not least, it offers a choice of readily adjustable weights of pull, from less than twenty pounds to well over fift, plus an option to change from arrows to universally available pebbles if one should lose his last arrow far from the nearest archery shop.

 At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be any way you can convert the Slingthing into a bow drill to serve as an emergency substitute for matches but Blair may be cogitating on that angle, too. He mentioned that he’s building a version with an attached reel for the Slingthing variant  of bowfishing. So anything is possible and quite a few things are probable.

Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted by Bow and Arrow Magazine and Archerytalk.com. All rights reserved. No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.

Article From Bow & Arrow Hunting

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