A Day of Reckoning

untitled-design-12It looks like just another day, I get up, have a
cuppa, eat a little breakfast and I’m off to work.  I have a date set in my mind of what day it is.  I’m cheerfully going along with my lovely wife and when we get to work about an hour late, the wife tells me her clock is screwed up and it was reading in Daylight Savings Time.  So I figure we’re both screwed up today, no worries mate.  We walk in and one of the girls tells my wife “Happy Birthday”, Oh crap I’m in for it now I didn’t even say the “Happy Birthday” thing because I was a day off and thought her big day was tomorrow.  Not to mention I hadn’t even gotten a card or ordered some flowers (which I always do).  Now every one’s going Happy Birthday all over the place and I’m feeling about 6” tall.  Naturally some jerk has to ask what did Jerry get you for the big day? Guess what?  Jerry didn’t get her anything because Jerry forgot all about it, which if the truth were known would probably make her happy.  You know how you girls are IMG_0047after you hit 40.  So if I’m not able to get a nice big present like the “Hope Diamond” or something like that it’s best to keep totally quiet.

I’m thinking how do I get out of here so I can at least get some flowers or something.  No candy, can’t have calories, can’t be clothing because I’d never get anything right, I’ve tried.  So flowers
and a card it is, I just have to lie my way out of here for a few minutes and I figure out the perfect ruse, I blurt it out and off I go; yippee I’m free.  I zip down to the flower store andIMG_0054 it’s out of business, great, I guess enough husbands forgot the wife’s birthday and they went under.
At least I know where to get a card and I go there, look and look in the rack and finally find three
out of a thousand cards that are for “Wife’s Birthday”.  Lucky me, one is just sloppy enough that she’ll like it.  I get to the counter and tell the clerk my tale of woe and she tells me there is a new flower store right up the street and I go and they have beautiful flowers roses; her favorite and accompanying other stuff (accoutrements) to go along with the roses, Woo Hoo; I’m saved.  They will deliver too so I don’t have to carry the flowers with me, they will do it for no extra charge.  It don’t get no better. I sign the card and drop it off at the house and zoom back to the office. Not too bad I was only gone for about thirty minutes.

We go home for lunch and she finds the card and Happy, Happy, Happy.  Come back to work and the flowers get delivered so I’m back in good graces.

It just shows you how it goes.  But a little bit of fancy footwork and my wife is a happy camper.

untitled-design-11

Ride That Tiger

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-1-07-08-pm

A couple of years ago I walked out in back of the mill and heard some noise coming from the back of one of the buildings on our property.  It’s kind of amazing I heard anything as the mill was running full blast and is pretty noisy around here when that happens.  I recall it was raining (can you imagine, in Oregon!) and I went over to investigate to see what in the hell it was. When I got to the back of the building I dug through the brush piles and came up with two baby kittens in a box meowing their cute little heads off.  Being the old softy I am I brought them into the office to show them to my wife and the other folks in the office.  Naturally we all stopped work for a while so everyone could “googoo and awwwww shucks” over the little guys.
Next I have to go get Martin who is our resident cat lover and has taken many kitties home to clean up and give away to his neighbors and relatives.  It seems like he has an endless supply of folks and relatives to give these cats to.  He is very careful who he gives the cats too and always tells us who is taking them off his hands, either that or he has a houseful of cats, Martin loves cats, his wife not so much.  OK, now he thinks I am going to give him these little monsters to get rid of, AhHa he is wrong.  We have a mouse problem here and I figure we can let these little guys loose here and give them some food and they will rid us of the mouse problem and I am screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-1-05-44-pmright (after all I am the Boss, so I have to be right, right?).  So I make the executive decision to keep the cats for mouse patrol.  It works out pretty good and the cats grow up and they’re munching up on the mice… I even find mouse “corpses” on my desk (taken over bait?) as a present when it’s not even my birthday or Christmas or any special occasion. All of this is OK with me because we no longer have a mouse problem, you can actually put down your lunch and not have to re-inspect for mouse droppings or even a live critter hoping around in there which has happened a couple of times.  I mean we had a mouse invasion here, it was nothing to walk in and see the mouse’s scattering like cockroaches when the light comes on.  But the kitties are getting fat and happy, plus the mouse problem is under control.  If you think real hard you can guess the next line in this progression, everyone seems to be happy except the mice and guess what?
rca-kittyWell the ladies in the office decide we are being cruel to the mice by turning them into cannon fodder to the cats.  What?  “You can now eat your lunch in piece, it’s safe from the mice cause there ain’t no mice, at least inside which is all I care about.”  Plus we have these cute little cats hanging around, laying on your desk and purring at you, snuggling up to you and all in all making the office and the whole plant a happier and healthier place for us all. Except we now have a problem with some folks thinking we are being mean to the mice, sorry girls, live with it!
A couple of weeks ago we come in and the arrow production people are in a turmoil, one of the cats has been murdered and there it is curled up on the floor bleeding and basically yelling her head off.  So off I go in a panic to the vets and he says well this critter has been in a fight with a bobcat and lost, but she got away and came back.  Crap Doc how much is this going to cost, he tells me and I collapse, but my wife convinces me to get the cat fixed.  I am telling you this animal looks bad, she’s got blood coming out of a few orifices that didn’t used to be there, but she looks pretty pathetic and as I said before I am a softy.  So I tell the Doc OK go for it.  We have to leave the cat there and come back in a couple of days and see what’s up. So we do and when we come back we have a one eared bald cat and the Doc says he is not sure if this critter is going to make it.  Well that was 3 weeks ago and here she is getting back to being fat and happy.  We of course are broke, but what the hell we were broke before so those things haven’t changed much.

img_0887Why am I telling you folks all of this? I just wanted to show you what the instinct for survival can do, this little guy was well on her way to being a Bobcats lunch and she fought her way out and got back here to us and survived.  The Vet calls her the miracle cat, he was sure she was history, but she wasn’t ready and fought back and now she is getting right back to her old self.  When you look at the pictures here you

img_0891Don’t see the half of it.  She had her whole head bandaged, and her stomach wrapped because she had claw and tooth marks all over her head and neck, back, just everywhere and had to have many stiches to close up the holes.  She looked like she just came back from a part in a Zombie movie.  She used to live here at the plant, but now she lives with us until she is full back on her feet then we’ll bring her back permanently, I’m just afraid she will get outside in the bushes and meet up with the monster who caused all the trauma.  She “Rode That Tiger” and came out on the other end. So we bring her in every day to visit with her sister and the crew who are all her buddies.

Now that I think of it we do have a few things to do with Rose City to drop in your thought pattern….. Maybe I can get you thinking of RCA and what’s new here. We are just putting the finishing touches on some new things. We now make Footed Shafts and they’ll be available starting Nov. 1, 2016.  Also, we will have wood arrows with Lumenok lighted nocks.  Last but not least we now carry carbon shafting and we offer them in all of the styles that we offer wood and at the same prices as an introductory offer.  Also the Carbons will be available as Bear Arrows as well, Bear Archery has decided to allow us to produce Carbons with the Bear logo on them and that we are very proud of.  So check out our site and take a look at our new stuff, I think you’ll like it.

Thanks for listening,

Jerry

Getting Ready

IMG_1886It’s getting to be that time of year again!  The days are getting a little shorter and that certain kind of breeze is beginning to blow.  Birds are chirping a certain way, nature is alive.  I seem to be spending more time in my archery room, getting my bow tuned up and making sure I’ve got the right arrows; checking the points for straightness, making sure the feathers are on firm.  Taking the lucky arrows that will come along on the hunt and making sure they’re doing their job by flying straight and looking cool.  Carefully sharpening my Zwickey’s, same ones I’ve used forever.  Two blade Eskimo, I love EM’, I think I got my first Zwickey blades probably fifty years ago and my first deer at about that same time; they’ve never failed me.

In past years…. when I went to archery shoots they always had the steel deer shot and you had to shoot a broadhead through a heart sized hole and the only broadhead that I ever saw stuck in the targets was the Zwickey, lots of others on the ground with broken or bent shafts, but none stuck in the steel like Zwickeys.  I figure if the blade is strong enough to stick in steel then it ought to be good enough to go through whatever critter I might shoot at. Admittedly, I have stuck a few in the steel myself.  It was always a pretty tough shot and when you missed the hole everyone in your group insisted you had to try it again, that practice could get expensive.

IMG_1894Getting ready for hunting season, I draw upon past experience to help me prep for the future.   It’s the small things on hunts that have helped me over the years become a more successful hunter.  I do remember the time I was out hunting and I pulled out an arrow hitting the string with a broadhead, I had to walk miles back to camp for a replacement string.  All because I was too stupid to make sure I had a spare, lucky it was only a day hunt from camp and I had more strings back at home base.  Extra string nocks and whiskers are a must also.  Time for a hint—if you find yourself out in the woods and you need a string nock you can make a very passable one out of dental floss, same goes for serving, “dental tape” works best, same as floss only thicker and stronger. Of course I make sure I have extra arrow nocks too.  All of these thing give you something to do while your mind is on hunting, you need to get ready and keep busy.  Got to check all of the camping gear, shake out the sleeping bag to see if any critters have taken up residence, that’s a thrill I don’t need.  Drag out the Coleman stuff and make sure it works, batteries, matches, knives , sharpeners, etc.  Get clothes out and get them cleaned up, put some oil on the boots and I’m about ready to go.  I have my kit with canned food stuff and dry goods that I try to keep ready all the time, but stuff happens.

IMG_1895

I even clean out the freezer and find delectable treats from past adventures.  That’s what I do to pass the time until season begins.  Salmon season is another fun distraction…  they’re running hot and heavy right about the time archery season is just starting so you better get the fishing gear ready as well.  Ducks and geese will be coming in during fishing season so it’s necessary to get out the decoys, clean them up, check out the waders for leaks and set up the truck for the canoe and toss it on the roof where it stays until Xmas.  Almost forgot, we’ll be picking fresh goodies out of the garden, pulling the plants and getting them in the burn pile, canning, and freezing other stuff.  Busy little beavers.  Hunting season has began in a few units around the United States, in all reality with all the constant prep work, does season ever really end?IMG_1897

Keep Shooting,

Jerry

Summer Time

Summertime

IMG_1873

We just got the garden planted and I’m beat.  We decided to put in a new type of garden, it’ called a “straw bale garden”.  It’s really neat, what you do is get a bunch of straw bales and set them up in rows then you put plants right in the straw bales.  Then you water and add some fertilizer and all of the vegetables grow right in the straw. According to the book it’s easy but the book is full of crap.  First you wrestle (50 ea.) 70 pound bales of straw into your truck to bring them home.  When you get to the farmers who has a 12 year old kid throwing these bales around like they weighed 10 pounds, me and my 30 year old son are struggling with, I convince myself it must be a matter of technique.

IMG_1875

We get them home a put them into whatever type of configuration has been decided upon by “SHE” who must be obeyed (my wife).  Then you have to prepare the bales for about 12+ days with nutrients and lots of water until you begin to get mushrooms growing, then you are pretty much ready to go.  Then you have to set up a watering system and did I tell you about the ground cover you install first and of course you have to put wire, small chicken wire to keep the moles and gophers from chewing their way up through the bales to gobble up your veggies when (if) they grow.  I forgot about the 8’ deer fence around the whole thing after which I got to roto till the whole area, well if the veggie’s are going to grow in the bales why roto till the ground?  Well some of the veggie’s have roots that will grow deeper than the thickness of the bales and if you don’t roto till they will get root bound and then all your work goes down the drain.  Trust me on this one, you don’t want your work to go away because it is an incredible amount of work and mucho sweat.  Just to get the first little plants to raise their little heads above the soil takes a few weeks of hard work, but it’s fun.  The older I get the more I appreciate hard work, especially when I’m the one doing it.  OK so now we have a month and a half into this a project and we see our little veggie children popping their collective little heads up above the straw and we have enough cash into this to buy veggie’s for at least a year, and another years worth of vegetable stuff.  But we’re off to the races, were rolling right along and most importantly my wife is happy.

IMG_0752

Now I just came back from lunch and the plants are happy, happy, happy.  I just saw our first flower on a squash plant, the tomatoes have little baby tomatoes on them and some pretty good sized ones too and they are covered with flowers; woo-hoo, nothing like fresh tomatoes right out of the garden.  Now if we can keep the stupid dogs off the bales, keep them from eating all of the fertilizer and berries off the Blue Berries and the raspberries the minute they get a little red or blue.  Squash blossoms are in mortal danger the minute they bloom and our pooches spot them, that soil must taste pretty good.  You don’t use any dirt, you exfoliate all of it and remove any traces of dirt from around the plants.  Now, you may ask why is old Jerry doing all of this stuff to get a few veggies he could just a easily buy at the store when the time is right.  Well I’m going to tell you right now if you’ll listen.  (A) My wife wanted to do it and I’m her slave and this makes my life much easier and pleasant.  (B)We get great vegetables, the tomatoes don’t taste like saw dust, and the strawberries are wonderful.  They are sweet like they were when I was a little guy.  (C)Plus my archery targets are right by the garden for a little well needed practice.  (D)Lots of good exercise and I can’t think of any reason not to.  (E)Now a straw bale garden is not supposed have any weeds which will be wonderful because the garden grows in the bales and not the dirt so there is no opportunity for weeds to get a foot hold….I hate weeds.  In a normal garden you spend most of your time weeding and that takes a lot of the enjoyment out of the garden for me.

IMG_0740

OK, Now we have the garden going and growing and even glowing, everything is clippity clopping right along and life is good, or so I think.  Actually I had forgotten about all of the critters out there who like to eat vegetables just like we do and now we have an onslaught of squirrels, raccoons, skunks and other assorted mammals and birds who are just starting to drive us nuts.  Fortunately our doggies just love to chase these furry and feathered guys out of the garden area.  Our Beagle; Old Logger, he starts to bugle and the Labs join right in and they don’t care what time it is.  They look at their job is to keep the AO clear and they intend to do it. Of course the neighbors might not agree on the time schedule, but our pooches look at it this way, as WTF, they have a job to do and they’re going to do it.

The dogs each have kennels and sleep in our room in them and when the time to bark comes around they bark, they don’t ask permission they just do it, if your sleeping well OK get ready.  I believe this will all turn out OK, if we can just get some sleep, it will.  The plus side is I have some archery targets right by the garden and I can sneak out and shoot a few arrows for my breaks.  I did see a couple of nice bucks the other day, just outside our fence at our house.  So who knows this all may turn out well.

IMG_0706

We just got back from a friends wedding in Alaska and while we were there we got to see our son who has been up in Homer, AK commercial fishing for the last six years. The wedding was great and to visit with our son was even better so things are going well this summer.

Thanks for listening and we’ll see you soon.

Good Shooting,

Jerry

image

Bowfishing is an Awesome Summer Archery Sport!

Some Proud Girls! They did an awesome job paddling the canoe into some carp!

Some Proud Girls! They did an awesome job paddling the canoe into some carp! Archery provides great family fun!

image

What do archery and bowhunting enthusiasts do in the summer months?  Well…there’s different kinds of target shooting like 3D shooting, paper targets, stump shooting, roving…and BOWFISHING!  Many of you have experienced how much fun it is to bowfish, but sadly so many people have not.  There are many different types of water dwellers to bowfish for across the world…a simple search on the internet can open a world of possibilities and adventures for you.  Some of these creatures are just magnificent!  Up where I live, in Northeastern Montana, bowfishing addicts can usually be seen on the lake and rivers bowhunting carp in the summer months.  Paddlefish bowfishing is an addiction all its own and is popular here as well.  But where you can only harvest one Paddlefish (and it’s worth it…from 15lbs to whoppers around 50lbs!), your common carp take is unlimited.  In Montana, there are entire tournaments dedicated to bowfishing carp and it is used as a means to control the carp population in many lakes.  Well, if you haven’t bow-fished before and your interested, it’s easy to get into the sport.  It can be quite affordable to get into or as expensive as you want to go.

Walking the riverbank for common river carp.

Walking the riverbank for common river carp.

You can hunt from shore while walking along a riverbank or lake, bowfish from a canoe (watch your balance!), or from a boat of nearly any size.  Kids can participate to as it doesn’t take a strong bow to spear a fish with a bowfishing arrow.  As a matter of fact, you can still find a short, vintage, fiberglass Bear Archery kid’s bow with a taped-on bowfishing-reel and arrow stuffed in the rafters at my wife’s family’s cabin where she spent most of her summer’s growing up as young girl. So you see, anyone can do it and it is a great way to participate in an outdoor family activity.  There are all kinds of setups for both compound and traditional bowhunters alike.  I picked up my first bowfishing bows used off

My First bowfishing setup...Bear Grizzly recurve and vintage Bear Archery reel and arrow

My First bowfishing setup…Bear Grizzly recurve and vintage Bear Archery reel and arrow

an online auction site. Same goes for my old-school manual Bear Archery bowfishing reels, and arrows.

There are amazing, modern bowfishing reels that attach to all kinds of bows on the market today and they are the most popular as they reel in your line like a fishing pole, but I guess I just like the nostalgia and simplicity of my old reels (or spools, really…with them your arm does all the reeling!)  I used to bowfish with a 60lb Bear Grizzly, but I save that for my dreams of huge Gar in TX as it is simply too much weight for bowfishing carp. With a heavy bow like that, you arrow usually blasts right through the carp and makes it difficult to get the tip of the arrow to release the fish from your arrow.

 

This was a 19 pound river-carp!

This was a 19 pound river carp!

My favorite bowfishing bow is a 45-50lb recurve bow and is plenty of bow, while many people, including my family, bowfish with 25-35lb traditional type bows such as recurves and longbows. Most people use older recurves and compound bows…this is simply because your bow can get beat up a bit, muddy, scratched, etc…and they are generally much cheaper…these become dedicated bowfishing bows and that way you don’t have to worry about re-tuning or marring up your favorite hunting bow.

My girls would help spot the carp...then we would slip in for a shot. Bowfishing the lake from a boat.

My girls would help spot the carp…then we would slip in for a shot. Bowfishing the lake from a boat. Bear Archery Magnum Recurve.

So get after it and expect to have a blast!  Here are some photos from the last several years of bowfishing in MT…the most fun I have had has always been while my kids were participating…and they love it!

Tweet us your bowfishing or trad archery photos @RoseCityArchery and we will retweet them!  Shoot Straight! -Luke Strommen @LukeStrommen

 

 

You need to have your bow up and ready before you get within bow range for those carp just floating on top of the water...otherwise they may spook!

You need to have your bow up and ready before you get within bow range for those carp just floating on top of the water…otherwise they may spook!

 

 

 

 

image

A fat one!

image

 

 

We got this one on video...he put up a heck of a fight in 2' of water!

We got this one on video…he put up a heck of a fight in 2′ of water!

 

 

Here's a river Buffalo Carp...shore bowfishing!

Here’s a river Buffalo Carp…shore bowfishing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fred Bear Archery ad from 1957...

A Fred Bear Archery ad from 1957…

 

This is me trying to duplicate Mr. Bear's ad...it's a bit off, but vintage 1957 Bear Archery Kodiak, Bear Archery reel and arrow!!

This is me trying to duplicate Mr. Bear’s ad…it’s a bit off, but vintage 1957 Bear Archery Kodiak, Bear Archery reel and arrow!!

 

The Star

Adhara-01w

It was kind of boring in the house and for some reason I had a desire to go outside.  I gathered up the dogs and out we went.  Freddy Bear, one of my Labradors started barking over on the other side of the back yard, so I went over there to see what was up.  I had been under the trees on the side of the property I was on and I ended up in the clear with lots of stars and the Moon right above me.  I told Fred to shut up before the neighbors started yelling, I’m on seven acres so not much chance of that as no one’s very close and they are pretty used to Fred yapping his head off when something comes around.  It was pretty clear and I began to stare at the sky.  The moon was out and I was looking at Mars when I spotted a bright light up there that was really unusual.  It looked more like a satellite than a star and seemed a lot closer, but it wasn’t moving.  I stood there looking at this thing for ten or so minutes and a bright red light appeared on the bottom of this thing.  I kept looking and then a blue ball appeared next to the red one.

I stared some more and it didn’t change any more and I began to freak out, now it seemed to be moving; just a little, but some.  So crap, I went inside and got my wife and brought her out and we stared together and at first she didn’t see the red and blue balls for a couple of minutes and then she did, Whoa, it’s a UFO.

I didn’t know what to do and then Kate remembered we had an APP on her I Pad that tells you what is in the sky, all you had to do was take a picture with the I Pad and it read out where you were in the sky, so we got the I Pad, took the picture and waited for the information to load.  It did and guess what: no satellite, no UFO, no nothing just a star. Damn!

CanisMajor_wAdhara

We had spent about an hour on this and I couldn’t believe that after all of that it was nothing. I/we spent all of that time and nothing, so we read all of the information and the Star had a name of “Adhara” which is an Arabic word with a literal translation of “Adara”, so what?  The star was first discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago who called it “Hu Shi”.  So we read on and the translation from Chinese to English is, now I was not ready for this, here goes the translation is “seventh star of the Bow and Arrow”.  It is in the “Episolon Canis Majoris Constellation” OK what are the odds that I would pick out a star, stare at it and go get my wife to stare at it with me and have it be named “the Seventh star of the bow and arrow”.  Considering what I do for a living and considering the billions of stars out there why would I pick that particular one to fixate on, I don’t know.  It just seems that the odds are very slim that I would pick that one.

You go running through life and strange little things happen to you from time to time and you can’t help but wonder why?  What got me off my butt and possessed me to grab the pooches, trot outside, stare at that one particular portion of the sky.  It wasn’t random, when I got out the door I looked at that one star, stared at that one star, why?  It was like I was programed to do this and then get my wife and drag her outside with the intention of finding out what I was looking at.  I mean I knew nothing about that star, that APP, how and why did that happen as it did?  I don’t know how to operate an I Pad; at least not good enough to know Doo Doo about stars and constellations and how to find them.  Maybe when I was in High School or College, but not now, I’m happy making arrows.

I just thought it was interesting how it all flowed together.

Thanks for looking, Good Shooting,

Jerry Dishion

Ode to the Hunt

Ode to the Hunt

 

Ode to the Hunt

Ode to the Hunt

We took this photo to represent a reflection of the overall hunting experience…because it’s about the journey that led us here, to this very spot in the wild. This may be the successes, the frustrations; the countless hours of scouting, studying, practicing, planning; the rhythmic lapping of river water against a Coleman canoe; the pre-dawn, headlamp-guided walks into your deer stand; the light wind current and thermals causing your breath vapors to rise and drift as you exhale into the frost-bitten air; the welcome sounds of the woods and sweet absence of man-made chatter; the sudden rush of a mature, commanding whitetail buck confidently coming into your calls or your rattling horns; the silent time when your mind wanders and you contemplate your life and how your living it, judging yourself; when thoughts of your loved ones and truest friends are interrupted by a rutting buck that offers a perfect broadside bowshot that will aid in a clean ethical kill; the decision to pass or deliberately take the shot; your selfless buddies that help you without gripe or question; the comfort in knowing that your supportive family understands why you hunt and the satisfaction of knowing that same family will be eating protein-rich backstraps that The Lord provided…but only after the work is done. All those grand experiences that lead to the collective moment when you realize that it’s not about me, and you lower your head in humility and thankfulness. Then your smile grows big and you take some more photos with a deer that you honor, respect, and are proud to have harvested. Ode to the hunt.

-Luke Strommen

A highlight of the journey

A highlight of the journey w/ Bear Archery Custom Kodiak and Rose City Fancies