Tag Archives: traditional archery

Snow is Here

Here we are on the Oregon coast and it’s snowing.  It’s not supposed to do that here, but it is. Not much is sticking but enough so you can see it.

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We let out the dogs this morning and they went nuts; they are not used to snow and they love it. They were chasing each other around the yard like maniacs.  The Beagle (Logger) was chasing his buddie (Freddie Bear) one of our Labs and the Lab had to slow down so Logger could catch up.  They were barking their heads off having a great time and rolling in the snow.

dog-for-post-3I love to watch them when they are chasing each other around in the back, we have a couple of acres that you can see in the back.  I can watch them go crazy all around the backyard. The other dogs we have (two more Labs) all get involved and it’s really fun to watch.  Fortunately we live in an area that doesn’t get very cold and snows very seldom and we can get in the car and go for thirty minutes and get into the snow when we want to. dogs-for-post

img_0148My faux son Austin lives in Alaska and it gets down to twenty below some of the time and one of my other sons, Seth, is also up in Alaska where he fishes for a living so we get to hear all about mucho cold weather all of the time, that’s close enough for me.  I used to not mind the cold weather, but unless I am hunting or doing something that keeps me moving or jumping around I just don’t like it much.  Nowadays I get to wear my parka and long-johns to keep warm.


We just got back from the Archery Trade Association Show in Indiana and the weather was about 12 or 13 degrees as an average low temp, with highs up to the low 20’s.  Back in Myrtle Point, while the temps are so low, we moved the cat and dog beds into the house.  It’s a thrill during feeding time with the barking and meowing not to mention us trying to get some chow in our faces, but it’s fun.


img_7539It was fun at the ATA show, we got to show off our new products.  The carbon arrows Rose City Archery is selling really caught a few peoples eyes.  Of all of the new products we’ve introduced I like the footed shafts best, it’s really an opportunity to show off the talent we have working here. Our craftsman’s main objective is to put more weight forward in the arrow, this provides more energy in the shaft for more “killing power”.  It’s amazing to see how much more force is imparted in the arrow when you add that extra weight in the front part of the arrow.  Of course there are other ways to put some extra weight forward but they aren’t 15965606_1403434276356174_5022059601781014381_nnear as efficient as the footed arrow.  Plus they look great and fly super true so if you have some talent with the bow you can have more efficient and better arrow flight; actually footed shafts will make a better archer out of the person behind the bow.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-3-55-02-pmWe also have the Lumenoks that we are able to attach to a wood arrow; what this does is the nock end of the arrow lights up when you shoot the arrow so that you can tract the flight of your arrow and see where your point of impact is with the shot you just made.  If you are hunting you are able to see where the point of impact is and where that arrow strikes the animal. You’re able to track the animal by this light, it is something that makes you more efficient in recovering an animal after you have made the shot.  I believe this is a wonderful innovation in the archery world helping with the recovery of an animal.  Especially if you are tracking that animal after dark, battery life is good for forty hours so you have a decent period of time after the shot to recover the animal.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-2-20-01-pmRose City Archery is producing what we call “Carbon Footed aka Fusions” where we attach a carbon extension to the wood shaft, this allows the archer to be able to use any of the screw in attachments that are available to carbon arrow shooters.  This includes all of the different broadheads and other points that won’t fit on wood arrows.  Another new product we have re-introduced is RCA tapered shafts.   This allows the archer to use an 11/32 or 23/64 shaft and be able to use a 5/16 nock, which a lot of folks think they have better control of the arrow with the taper and the smaller nock.  New for 2017 is our extra long shafts, archers who have that 32” plus draw length found it difficult to find wood shafts long enough for their draw, we have provided the solution.  We have what you need and we want to make your archery experience better.  We have more new stuff coming soon so keep your eyes on this Blog and the newsletter for updates.

Thanks for listening and good shooting,

Jerry Dishion



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,


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.


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,


Summer Time



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.


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.


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.


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.


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,


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

Bowhunting With Wood Arrows

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As any experienced bowhunter knows, the selection of quality arrows is as important and involved as choosing a bow. Arrows that lack exactness, strength, and accuracy of flight make Bowhunting nearly impossible. And with the dramatic equipment changes of the past decade, you have never before had such a wide selection of materials and equipment to choose from to prepare for the hunting season. Though many things have changed, one arrow material, wood, has remained popular and has proved its effectiveness with both conventional and the latest designed archery equipment. Seasoned bowhunters have always known the ideal performance characteristics of Wood Arrows, and novice bowhunters are finding that wood, the only natural choice, is an ideal arrow material for them. Without question, Wood Arrows do add much to the excitement and tradition of bowhunting. This informative booklet has been developed by your Wood Arrow Manufacturers. Besides giving you a background into the history and manufacturing of Wood Arrows, this booklet will also give you many guidelines in the use and care of Wood Arrows that will make your bowhunting season more enjoyable and rewarding.

Wood Arrow History

As we all know, wood was the first arrow material. But its history begins hundreds of years before the use of bow and arrow for defense, survival or sport. All Wood Arrows are made from quality Port Orford White Cedar. It is this wood that gives Wood Arrows their excellent performance characteristics. Coquille Valley Port Orford Cedar has its origin in the Orient where it has always played an important part in Japanese rituals and heritage. Even today, this special cedar is considered a sacred wood, and it is traditional for every Japanese home to be constructed with at least one white cedar beam. Because of this demanding use of the cedar, the Japanese supply has all but vanished. Currently, there is only one area that offers a good supply of this natural arrow material. The Coquille Valley of Southwest Oregon is now the world’s producer of the cedar.Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 6.57.32 PM

It is theorized that thousands of years ago the warm ocean currents of the Pacific carried the cedar seeds from the Orient and washed them ashore to North America in the limited area of the Coquille Valley near Port Orford, Oregon. Fortunately, Oregon’s Coquille Valley proved to be an ideal growing environment for the cedar to flourish. The moderate temperatures, ample moisture, and high mountain altitude of the coastal canyons allowed this special tree to grow slowly, straight and tall. It is this combination of slow growth and fertile soil that gives the Port Orford Cedar its fine grain necessary for arrow shaft material. The Coquille, a native Oregon Indian tribe, were the first to discover the fantastic characteristics of the cedar. They found that “downed timber” which has been naturally aged through time and forest fires, provided the best arrow shaft material. The Coquille Indians hand-made arrow shafts that were lightweight, tough yet resilient, and most importantly, straight. The Coquille were not a hostile tribe, and used their bow and arrow mainly to feed and clothe their families. In fact, many of the basic bowhunting skills that we know today for hunting elk, mule deer and blacktail deer were handed down to us from these Native Americans. It is this adventure of hunting in a traditional fashion as did archers hundreds of years ago that attracts many bowhunters today to hunt with Wood Arrows.

Wood Arrow Manufacturing Today

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 6.58.33 PMThere are hundreds of arrow manufacturers today that produce “finished arrows” which are ready for use. But every Wood Arrow shaft is produced by one of three manufacturers in the Coquille Valley which supplies these superb shafts to the entire world. These manufacturers are Acme Wood Products of Myrtle Point, Norway Archery of Norway, and Rose City Archery of Powers, Oregon (now located in Myrtle Point, OR.). Each of these manufacturers produce the Wood Arrow shaft in much the same manner. Matched arrows shoot more accurately.

The process begins with the selection of naturally aged Port Orford Cedar. Choice logs which have been downed for several hundred years are brought to the arrow shaft plant. Having been cured by Mother Nature and occasional forest fires, gives the cedar its toughness, lightweight, and resilience. The wood is first cut into four-inch planks called “cants”. The cants have a thickness that is slightly larger than the finished arrow shaft diameter. After being stacked on drying racks, the cants are transported into drying ovens for a “finish cure” on the wood. Even though the naturally cured wood has been dead for hundreds of years, the moist climate of the region allows the wood to maintain a twenty percent moisture content when it is chosen for shaft production. This moisture must be reduced to as little as seven percent before shaft production can continue. The low-humidity, ninety-degree temperature of the drying ovens rids the wood’s capillary system of the excess moisture. Within four to six days the wood has been dried to the correct moisture content. This may seem to be a lengthy task to rid the wood of moisture, but this slow, traditional drying method keeps the wood resilient and useable by the bowhunter After leaving the drying ovens, the cants are hand-inspected for flaws in the wood grain. Only wood that has consistent, fine grain is used to make arrow shafts. After this inspection, the selected wood is then separated into squares and is ready for the doweling process which gives the wood the correct diameter and notable natural sheen. (One doweling process seals the wood prior to cutting, but the end result is much the same.) From doweling, the shafts are again inspected for flaws guaranteeing you of the best quality Wood Arrows. At this point, full grading takes place and the arrows are separated for spining.

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How Spine Weight Affects Arrow Flight!

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The spine weight, or “stiffness” of the shaft is the most important characteristic of the arrow shaft. Wood Arrows are spined both automatically and manually. The average dozen arrows with the same spine weight will not vary more than plus or minus five pounds, and that difference is sometimes hard to notice for the bowhunter. Unlike aluminum, fiberglass or carbon shafts, the spine weight of Wood Arrows is virtually natural and cannot be “manufactured”. the spine weight is solely determined by the size of diameter of the shaft and the density of the wood. Top grade Wood Arrows have small diameters and high spine weights. But since the advent of the compound bow, the larger diameter and high spine weight arrow shafts have been of high demand. These shafts not only give bowhunters the necessary spine weight, but they also provide acceptable mass weight which is so important for penetration power. There are three sizes of diameter in which cedar shafts are produced. They are 5/16, 11/32, and 23/64- inch diameters. The latter two sizes are the most popular. Wood Arrows are available in spine weights from twenty to seventy pounds.

How To Determine Arrow Shaft Size

When choosing an arrow shaft, you must find a shaft that matches your draw length and spine weight needs. To determine your draw length, you must measure the distance at full draw from the nocking point on the string to the back of the bow. This measurement is your general draw length. (General draw length differs from the standard draw length that manufacturers use to weigh and mark bows.)

Measuring Draw Length

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Update Note from Jerry Dishion: When this booklet was written it did not take into account the fact that all bows are not created equal. The proper way to calculate your draw length is measuring from the throat of the nock to the back of the bow (farthest part away from you) at full draw. The purpose of draw length measuring is to give you appropriate clearance between your arrowhead and the bow for proper aiming and shooting while ensuring that the arrow isn’t excessively long. If you are using your finger as an arrow rest, extra length should be considered for comfort as well.

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The spine weight which is best suited for you is determined by the draw weight of the bow that you are shooting. If you are shooting a Recurve bow, your arrow spine weight should match the draw weight of your bow at full draw. If you are shooting a compound bow, your arrow spine weight should match your peak bow weight rather than the full draw let-off weight. It is very important that your arrows have the correct spine weight or stiffness for your bow’s draw weight at your draw length. Your equipment must be matched. If your arrows are too stiff or not stiff enough they will not fly properly. After determining your draw length and spine weight, you can refer to the arrow spine charts to choose the correct shaft. If you have yet to choose your bow or draw weight, always remember to pick a draw weight that is easy for you to handle. The ideal draw weight is the heaviest you can handle, coming to full draw and holding and aiming well for shot after shot. Also, it is better to have a longer arrow than one too short- for broadhead safety and shoot ability.

From Shaft To Finished Arrow
Today’s bowhunter has three buying options for Port Orford Cedar Arrows. First, you can purchase finished arrows “ready to shoot” at hundreds of pro shops and dealers across the nation. Second, there are arrow kits available that include treated shafts and all components needed to complete the arrows. Third, you can purchase the standard shaft from a Wood Arrow distributor or dealer, selectively buy the arrow components which best suit your hunting style, and produce your own “home-made” arrows. Many bowhunters find the third option most satisfying. Making your own arrows is very traditional and can be very rewarding, not to mention the extreme pride that can be obtained by having a quiver full of arrows that you personally made. Making arrows does take quite a bit of time and effort. Every component must be attached to the shaft with extreme care so that you can have maximum performance out of the finished product. To make your own Port Orford Cedar Arrows, you must first cut the shaft to accommodate your draw length.

Shafts are manufactured and distributed at thirty-two inches in length and they must be shortened to accommodate most bowhunters. Cut the shaft the length of your draw plus one inch allowing the extra length for tapering at the point end. If the shafts that you are using are not sealed, they must be given a sealer coat of clear lacquer or color rather than just painting them. The idea is to totally immerse the shaft into the solution to get full penetration into the wood. Automotive lacquers can be used for the dipping, but keep in mind your future use of the arrows. You may want your own personal color identification, but if you are going bowhunting, it may be wise to stick to drab camouflaged colors. If the paint or lacquer that you use leaves a shiny lustre, you can lightly buff or rub the shaft with steel wool to remove this sheen.

Next. you must ready the shaft for a point or broadhead and nock. By using a tapering tool (one can be purchased for a few dollars from a pro shop) you must cut a five-degree taper on the end of the shaft. Go to the other end of the shaft and do likewise for the nock, using a ten-degree tapering tool. Your next step is to determine the grain of the wood. The edge of the grain should be against the bow window since the edge gives you maximum spine weight. It is also important that each shaft’s grain is located in the same manner so that you have consistent spine weight and arrow flight between shafts. After locating the edge of the grain, cement the nock on the end of the shaft with the nock “notch” running perpendicular to the wood grain. Without a doubt, it is a good investment to purchase a good gluing or fletching cement for your arrow making. Your pro shop can offer you some excellent suggestions. Simple household glue will not work effectively. The secret to nock installation is to use the fletching cement sparingly. Place a few drops of cement on the tapered tip, apply the nock and rotate the shaft slowly making sure the cement is spread evenly. Take care to seat the nock in straight alignment.

Your next step will be to fletch the arrows. There are two commonly used materials for fletching, feathers and plastic vanes. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to the personal shooter to determine which fletching material is best for him. Feathers are most forgiving of errors in shooting form and cause the least clearance problems on cables, arrow rest or bow sight window. They are very consistent in flight and create a better “air drag” for arrow control. Also, they can be shot off the bow window. But, feathers must be waterproofed for rainy weather and they can be noisy bowhunting. Plastic vanes are fully waterproofed and tougher. But, they are less forgiving, don’t straighten the arrow out as quickly upon release, and can cause severe problems with cable and arrow rest clearance. A bow must be “tuned” for vane arrow flight.

Once you have chosen the fletching material, you must choose the type of fletching, and again, it is usually decided upon personal preference. According to the Archery Manufacturers Organization’s Fletching Standards, three vane or feather fletching must have a minimum length of five inches and maximum height of five-eighths of an inch. Four vane or feather fletching must have a maximum length of four inches and a maximum height of five-eighths of an inch. These are the standards that the arrow manufacturers follow, and are good guidelines for home fletchers to follow. Also, you might keep in mind, four fletch is impossible to nock wrong. Accurate broadhead flight requires adequate fletching for guidance. True spiral fletching, or helical, is recommended for hunting broadheads. Diagonal fletch is limited to the arrow shaft diameter and to the amount of rotation it can produce and subsequently has less guidance effect. Also, excess spiral (where the arrow has to travel less than two and one-half feet per revolution) creates excessive drag or deceleration, wind drag, and surface noise.

Vanes or feathers are attached to the prepared shaft with a fletching machine. Place the nocked shaft into the fletcher and index it to the correct position. Place a vane or feather in the fletcher clamp and align it with a position mark to insure consistent location. Apply a thin coating of fletching cement to the base surface of the vane or feather. Place the clamp against the face of the magnet which will hold the clamp in place while you push it downward pressing the vane or feather against the shaft. Close the clamp carefully and allow for a drying time of at least fifteen minutes before continuing to the next feather or vane. Repeat this process until all the vanes or feathers are fletched. Next, drop a spot of cement on the leading and trailing edge of each vane or feather. This will further seal the fletching to the shaft and prolong the fletching life. To attach a field point or broadhead to your arrow, use a ferrule cement that is heated to form the adhesion between shaft and point. When finished, always check for accurate alignment of all components.

Shooting Your Wood Arrows

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Whether shooting Recurve or compound bow, sometimes the novice bowhunter has difficulty in obtaining consistent arrow flight. Many times the problem is shooting form including release. A troubled bowhunter must put in hours of practice with his equipment to conquer these shooting problems. But other times, inconsistent arrow flight can be an equipment problem. Two basic equipment problems deal with improper arrow nocking and bow tuning. Nocking point. As we mentioned in the previous section, it is best to establish nock location in accordance with the grain of the wood to take advantage of full spine weight. But if after shooting the finished arrows you find an arrow flight problem, the solution may be nock rotation. This may vary the spine weight slightly, but it is much easier than re-fletching your arrow shaft.

To test for improper nocking, sprinkle baby powder on the sides of the vanes or feathers leaving a gray film. Shoot the arrow, then observe which vane or feather is being struck in the bow window area. If it is the bottom vane or feather, remove the nock and apply a new one, progressively rotating it clockwise and shooting the arrow until clearance is achieved. If the top vane or feather is being struck, remove the nock and apply a new one, progressively rotating it counter-clockwise and shooting the arrow until clearance is achieved. Improper nocking is more of a problem with vanes than it is with feathers, being that vanes cause more clearance problems. Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 6.59.45 PMBow tuning is essentially establishing the best “starting point” for your arrow’s flight, and it is almost mandatory if you are shooting arrows with vanes. Tuning mainly deals with nocking point placement and arrow rest placement.

One simple method in bow tuning is to have a friend watch the arrow flight as you shoot. First, you shouldTesting nock point on bow measure your nocking point location with a bow square. the standard nocking point should be five-sixteenths above square. Next shoot your bow and if your friend observes the arrow tailing in one direction (up or down), move your nocking point slightly in the other direction, i.e., if the arrow tails upward during flight, the nocking point should be lowered. If the arrow leaves the bow “nock left”, then the arrow rest should be moved right if possible, and to the left if the arrow leaves the bow “nock right”. After some trial and error, you will have your bow set-up and tuned for shooting. Another easy way to tune your bow is to follow the above procedure but to shoot “bare” or unfletched shafts into a close range target. The shot arrows will show the angle of tailing in the target.

Caring For Your Wood Arrows

Even though Wood Arrows are the least costly arrows for bowhunters to use, you will still want to take good care of them and get full life out of them. Wood Arrows should be stored in a vertical position so that the forces of gravity are parallel to the length of the shaft. Never store your arrows in your quiver. Feathers can become matted and plastic vanes may become wrinkled. If your Wood Arrows do show a visible bend, it is easy to straighten them. If you are bowhunting, simply “eye the length of the shaft and remove the bend with wrist movement by bending the shaft in the opposite direction. This straightening can last until the shaft is shot. For a more permanent straightening, use steam from a tea kettle on the arrow shaft. Also, you can let gravity straight your arrow by storing the bent shaft horizontally with the bend sticking up. Eventually, the bend will diminish. Good form with your bow gets good results It is also important to care for your arrows in use. Shoot your arrows in only appropriate backstops. Use care in pulling your shot arrows from targets. And always remember that your arrows protrude from your quiver when moving through trees or brush. Before shooting your arrows, always examine the shaft for breaks or cracks that may make the arrow unsafe when shot. Broadheads should be kept properly aligned and razor sharp. Keep them coated with oil to displace moisture and protect against rust. It may be a wise investment to purchase broadhead covers for safety’s sake. Nocks should periodically be checked for cracks Any nock with a crack in the base, ears, or mouth should be replaced. This is also a good time to check the nock fit on the bowstring. Pinch nocks should not be too tight or too loose. Also check to see if the nock rotation is the same on all arrows. Any fletching that is torn, damaged or unglued should be replaced. Ruffled or matted feathers may be smoothed out by steaming over a kettle. And it is also a good idea to waterproof your feathers prior to bowhunting.

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Bowhunting With Wood Arrows

You have chosen an ideal arrow for bowhunting. Wood Arrows are quiet, lightweight, tough, and a whole lot cheaper than any other arrow material. They are ideal for both stump shooting and big game hunting. Both bowhunters who shoot Recurve and compound bows have excellent results with Wood Arrows. But no matter how good your equipment is, it is you, the bowhunter, who is using it. If you expect top performance out of your equipment, then you must perform at your best, also. Port Orford Cedar Wood Arrows Practice extensively before hunting season. Restrict yourself to high percentage shots-usually within thirty yards. Practice this yardage with broadhead weight arrows until your are proficient. Practice shots you will shoot while hunting such as tree stand shots, from a blind, etc., and try to practice with a life-size target so you become familiar with the aiming spot and judging distance. And above all, respect the rights of land owners, other hunters, and nature.

Good Bowhunting

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We hope this small booklet has added some information and enjoyment to your bowhunting. If you have any further questions about Wood Arrows, your pro shop dealer can be your best friend. No one else offers as superior or complete facilities combined with equipment knowledge as does your local dealer. From coaching to equipment purchases, he is the man to see. He is always there in the time of need. The Wood Arrow Manufacturers thank you for choosing Wood Arrows for this bowhunting season. You are one of thousands of bowhunters who enjoy bowhunting at its fullest, shooting the only natural and traditional arrow shaft material – Wood Arrows!