Tag Archives: rose city archery

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.


Ride That Tiger


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,


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

Bear Bow Quiver Install

This is a short video showing a way to install a bow quiver on a Bear Archery Kodiak takedown recurve bow. Now, I know that mounting a quiver on a bow is pretty basic, but you will find some helpful tips in the video such as a way to protect your bow’s finish from being scratched or marred by the quiver (after all, your new Bear bow is really an investment, isn’t it?) and what type of screws to use if you have to go out and buy some.  It would have been nice to use thumb screws or winged screws to easily take off or put back the quiver if you prefer a separated quiver when you shoot or hunt, but I couldn’t find any locally. I prefer a well attached bow quiver most of the time so I didn’t mind using the screws I used.

In this particular video, I really revived an old friend…a vintage Bear Archery 4-arrow bow quiver. I failed to narrate this in the video, but I bought the quiver on an online auction site. They are great quivers that can offer many more years of use, but be ready to replace the rubber arrow holders on the quiver as it can be brittle and break due to its age. Replacement rubber can be found for these quivers. Rose City archery also sells the excellent Thunderhorn bow quivers.  They are easier to install (simply slide them on your bow’s limb) well designed, and will provide years of service. [shopify product=http://www.rosecityarchery.com/products/thunderhorn-boa-quivers].  And if you liked my Bear Kodiak, Rose City Archery can hook you up with one or any of the other models of Bear bows.

After I mounted the quiver, it was solid and should provide years of use. I’m sure this old quiver will be glad to take to the woods again. It looks right at home with my brand new Bear Polar Express arrows, doesn’t it!  Check back later to see how I added some style…dare I say “bling”…to this awesome bow setup! (I am raising three girls, so it’s ok to add bling…right?)

[shopify product=http://www.rosecityarchery.com/products/bear-polar-express]


Milk River Magic-A story of the “Sticker Buck”

July 28, 2005 Sticker Buck River Bank Velvet 010 (3) mod 4-6-08 (Large)

It wasn’t new to him.  Even though, up until three years ago, it had been about 16 years since he had stretched the string on his trusty longbow while aiming at an animal, it still wasn’t new to him.  Maybe it’s kinda like the proverbial “it’s like a riding a bicycle”… once it’s ingrained in you, it’s ingrained in you.  Traditional bowhunting was no different for him.  It was in his blood and always would be.  But, as it goes, life through him curve balls…lots of them.  It seems he had to drop his longbow to hit ’em, those nasty pitches of life added to the hectic working man’s list of growing priorities.  But none of that mattered now.  None of those thoughts even lingered as a shadow in any remote corner of his intensely focused mind.  Not now.  Not in this moment…this perfect, dreamy moment.  Right now, it was just him…him, and The Sticker Buck.  Awh…the Sticker Buck.  That wonderfully gorgeous, fully mature, brute of a whitetail.  His massive, nearly black antlers with those stickers…all those stickers….held up confidently and supported by an equally massive body of muscle, bone, and fat….resembling a far north Canandian whitetail in body size.  And he was coming…quickly.  Eliot didn’t need but a cosmic fast glance at his rack to know who he was. He was prepared.  Ready.  All of his senses full throttle, his memory banks from  many years of experience hunting whitetail with a longbow on the ground were being summoned.  But the Sticker Buck was not any different, really.  His senses were also peaked, his experience and life as King of the Woods paramount. The two Veterans of their respective species were at a moment in time that promised to affect their lives forever, no matter the outcome.  The scales were so evenly balanced…they were both on the ground, in the buck’s bedroom….his home of 6.5 years…the hunter choosing to use a hunting tool of limited capability and range; purely reliant on the skill, strength, and mental focus of it’s user.  The wind was both their common ally and enemy, entirely dependent on it’s fickle mood and loyal to no one.  Eliot had to make some quick decisions…and the Sticker Buck was not alone; he had come to this special spot in the woods with dozens of other deer….bucks and does alike….all  here because their November day was so rudely interrupted by me and my extended family.  The Sticker Buck was surrounded by all these other whitetail, all these security sentinels….and one must believe this was purposeful on the Sticker Buck’s part.  Eliot had to make the decision…as he was standing in front of a mess of a Cottonwood tree and obscurely disfigured by some skimpy, leafless Ash trees in front of him…a spot that took him more than half an hour to sneak into after leaving the  security and discreetness of the riverbank a stones-throw away.  Eliot is a big man, standing 6’4” and is not easily hidden…and the Sticker Buck was coming directly at him.  Bucks and does alike were filtering past Eliot on both sides…which side would the sticker buck decide to take?  The old buck paused a few times…the last time at 35 yards…seeming to let the younger bucks and hoard of does move past.  Maybe the wind had chosen a side today after all, as it stayed favorable to Eliot, only giving a few of the deer a whiff of his scent after they had already been well past his hideout.  They continued on, tails waving…but not sounding their alarms of blowing noses that would surely create a stir and severely lesson Eliot’s chances.  The wise buck watched those ahead of him…then began to move again…urgently…soon to pass by a large cottonwood and commit to Eliot’s left side…this was good as the big man wouldn’t have to pivot and shoot in a less unnatural position like he had planned as a contingency.  He was 20 yards…15…10…and soon fate found him walking through a shooting lane that Eliot had carefully pruned by hand some 45 minutes before.  Longbow up…arrow on with a tight split-finger hold…tension on the string.  The rest of the world was absent.  It was just Eliot, the Sticker Buck…and that hair. It was tucked behind the bucks shoulder with hundreds, maybe thousands of other hairs…but it was the hair; the aiming spot, the mark, the “X”…Eliot concentrated…that’s where his cedar arrow’s home was…

These two were no strangers to each other. In fact, they new each other well…although the Sticker Buck probably didn’t know that, or at least he didn’t know how long their crazy lives were entwined. In fact, it was just 3 short years ago that Eliot let the Sticker Buck walk…and in this same point of brush, ironically. At the time, I couldn’t understand why my father would pass on such a nice buck, especially at the wolf range of 7 steps!  Even then, the Sticker Buck displayed heavy main beams thick of bone, a genetic not so commonly seen, especially in a young deer.  He was a nice, massive main frame 4X4. In my eyes he was a shooter….Dad simply explained that he needed to grow up. I suppose my pride wouldn’t let me admit at the time that I didn’t even bother to look at his body to judge his age. Heck, at that time, I didn’t really care. But that was the stage of the bowhunter’s life that I was at during that time. And Eliot, my Dad…well, he was at the stage of the bowhunter’s life that let young bucks walk, even if they were a dang good buck. As I write this, I realize that I understand that now, all these years later, knowing I am perhaps at that stage and have been for several years now. I also feel that many things happen for a reason…I look back now and I know that moment was one of them.

The “Saga of the Sticker Buck” would fill an entire lengthy chapter in a book…but this is a blog and it’s already too darn long, so I guess you’ll have to wait until I write the book to hear it all (insert chuckle). But, in short, Eliot had a least two previous and separate encounters with ‘Ol Stickers (not counting the first encounter 3 years prior). Just last winter, Eliot found himself on the ground with the buck a few short steps from him…only offering Eliot an unethical shot. Shortly after that, with the last few hours of last season nearly a memory, Eliot passed on him out of a treestand because the buck was just a tad out of Eliot’s comfort range. I had an encounter with the buck that year as well…in September I had been hunting with Mossy Oak on the ground when the buck trotted by at 4 steps…I let down my draw and didn’t shoot because my camera man hadn’t started his camera soon enough (don’t insert chuckle). Looking back now, I’m glad I didn’t get a shot at that deer. My wife, Tara, had ‘Ol Stickers at 14 yards standing broadside and looking away from her treestand…but she didn’t shoot because I got buck f-f-f-f-fever and forgot my role in telling her when it was safe to shoot…it was her first bow hunt. You would have thought it was my first bow hunt. Bucks like the Sticker Buck have a tendency to do that to a person.  One hot July day I spotted an incredible mass of velvet-covered horns looming out of the tall grass on a riverbank…I recognized the buck as the Sticker Buck…I eased down to the river near the sleeping buck and snapped some photos…then I whistled at him to get his eyes open.  When he spooked I got some neat photos of him bounding away. July 28, 2005 Sticker Buck River Bank Velvet 019 (3) mod 4-6-08 (Large)Then there’s the sheds…I found the shed from the first year Dad passed on the buck and two other sheds from separate years leading to the “set” that was on the bucks head when Eliot encountered him this last time. The last shed, shown here, was hung up in some willow branches on the riverbank…within one-hundred yards from where I snapped the photos of him in velvet…he was a homebody.

May2005 041 (Large)

Collectively, we have probably spent days holding those sheds in awe and inspired by their mass and weight, dreaming of the season to come…

…the longbow’s limbs were already loaded…probably well past the 70+ lb draw as the big man stretched out…when the great buck entered the shooting lane.  The old warrior buck did what old warrior bucks do…it felt Eliot’s presence…maybe it saw him draw, maybe it just knew.  It stopped and looked at Eliot…but it was too late, the arrow was on it’s way.  In the short amount of time it took the arrow to cover the 4 yards of Montana air between Eliot and the hair, the Sticker Buck’s primal reflex spun him in place and turned him away from Eliot.  But it was too little and too late…the heavy cedar arrow and 150+ grain broadhead buried itself deep into the bucks vitals, stopping only when nearly through the opposite shoulder.  The strong buck took off as fast as he could run, and Eliot lost sight of him.  We all took up the blood trail together, finding most the arrow minus the broadhead, lots of blood, and a blood trail leading across a stubble field.  At times we had hunted this buck as a family, and we found him as a family.  We had just enough time to take some group photos that evening. It snowed heavily overnight, making a nice contrast for a few great pictures the next day.  In the background, you can see the river…and the exact log that the buck jumped over while I snapped the photo of him in velvet.  Also, that was the point of timber that Dad had first encountered the buck, passing on him, and ultimately tagging him three years later.  In all my years of guiding and bowhunting whitetail, the Sticker buck was hands-down the heaviest buck I ever helped hoist into a pickup.

Dadstickerbuck05 039 Modified iexp (Large)

Dadstickerbuck05 110 (Large)

The Sticker Buck’s neatest character is his mass, with right around 50″, plus or minus, following the entire length of his long main beams and thick points. Eliot’s emotions were contagious upon finding the Sticker Buck and he’ll tell you today that the best part about the sticker buck, the part that makes him so special, is the story of his history, the encounters, and the final hunt and recovery being shared with family, thus completing a chapter in Eliot’s life, simply called “The Sticker Buck”. I have to agree….but he’s a pretty darn nice buck too.  He is displayed with respect and pride in my Dad’s house where I grew up.  My children will know the story, and maybe one day I can  be a part of their special story.  I’m hoping for a typical…not unlike the Hansen Buck (insert big chuckle).

A great Trad Day..my Dad's buck -back together...the first arrow he released at an animal in 16 years. (Large)





Rose City Archery Factory Tour Video

We are Rose City Archery the world’s largest wood arrow manufacturer, join us on a factory tour with Jerry Dishion Owner and CEO.   All arrows are handmade from wood found here in Coquille Valley near Myrtle Point Oregon, we use %100 percent of the wood byproduct from the arrow making process. For more information about our other cedar products, arrow building supplies, arrow orders, FAQ’s, etc check out http://www.rosecityarchery.com.