Tag Archives: wood arrows

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.
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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.

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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.

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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

PRES/CEO

 

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!

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.

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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.

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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)

 

 

 

 

Archery Buddies

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When I look back on my life and think of all of the folks I’ve hunted with I just can’t seem to recall many bad experiences. I made bows for 30 years and hunted all of the time with great friends. Of all the people I’ve hunted with, one man in particular stands out. Joe G was one hell of a guy. He loved archery and had probably ten bows; some of them made by myself and some made by other bowyers in Oregon. When Joe told you something, you knew it was the truth. Joe and I hunted for about 30 years together and we had some wild times along with some not so wild times. We hunted and fished on ranches in Oregon, Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and Canada. We made trips across National Forests all over the North West. We hunted out of canoes, helicopters, cars and on foot. We hunted elk, deer, coyote, rabbits, ducks and geese. We were friends. Unfortunately Joe encountered some health issues which slowed him down a bit, but we never let that hinder the adventure. We flew into camps on planes and in helicopters and rode in on horses. We did what we had to do to never miss a hunt.

We were able to hunt for a few more years before Joe passed away on to the happy hunting grounds. I talked to him a few minutes before he left and the last thing he said to me was, “I’ll be waiting for you”. I told him not to hold his breath, and that it would be a while. That was 10 years ago and I’ll tell you there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I still see him and his little dog “Jib” walking along a trail, bow in hand.

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Now I hunt with my partner “Ramon”, my lovely wife, and others. Ramon is a great guy and I love him dearly, but I still wish that Joe was with us.

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Joe, Ramon and I were in Texas hog hunting on friend’s ranch when it just so happened to be deer season so we went ahead and purchased deer tags as well. Ramon and I had already harvested our hogs so we decided to stick with Joe and keep him company on his hunt. We were walking back to our tent after an unsuccessful stalk on a hog when I spotted an 8pt whitetail feeding about 100 yards away. Ramon and I didn’t have our bows so I showed the deer to Joe who immediately got excited, like only Joe could. We snuck up to about 40 yards from the buck  and told Joe to go alone and get the deer. We watched as he got closer, noe only 10 yards from us. Joe turned around and looked at us and we whispered “shoot him”. Joe then pulls an arrow from the quiver and puts it on the string.   The buck is still standing there feeding and he doesn’t know Joe is only 10 yards away. Joe turns around full of Buck Fever before he pulls back the string and lets an arrow fly two feet over the buck’s back. The buck doesn’t flinch. Joe turns around to us and starts swearing a blue-streak. The deer is still feeding 10 yards away from Joe and Ramon and I are yelling to Joe “He’s still there! Shoot him”. Joe looks at us and turns around, locates the deer, and knocks an arrow. “Twang.” The arrow flies two feet over the deer again! I swear before the arrow even got to the buck Joe had turned around and was swearing up a storm again. The deer is still feeding and I am beginning to think this is a fish and game stuffed deer and we are making a big mistake. Ramon and I are still yelling at Joe to shoot him, but the deer slowly walks away unfazed.Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 2.26.37 PM

Joe was full of surprises and was still hoping to connect with any kind of animal on the last day of the hunt.  The next and last morning of the adventure, we were still-hunting for hogs when a Mouflon Sheep ran past me at least 100mph and I didn’t even try to get a shot. This Mouflon was heading towards Joe. Joe grabbed an arrow from his quiver, put it on the string and shot at this Sheep at least 30 yards away.  The animal still flying by, I watched the arrow and the Sheep meet. I swear the Mouflon folded and was dead before it hit the ground, I have never seen a shot like it.  This coming from the same guy that shot three times at a whitetail deer standing at 10 yards, go figure.Joe GJoe was a big Bear Archery fan and he loved the bows and arrows they made.  He would have been awed that I was now making arrows for Bear.  I think his favorite was the X200 and so I am going to give an extra 10% discount on them by the dozen for the coming month.  These were the arrows Fred Bear used when he went to Alaska Grizzly Bear hunting the first time.

[shopify product=http://www.rosecityarchery.com/products/bear-x200]

Traditions of Archery: Wooden Arrows

Thoughts on the Traditions of Archery: Wooden Arrows

Notes From Jerry Dision, – CEO President Rose City Archery

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Pictured above are legendary archers Art Young (Left), Saxton Pope (Right) and their Bowhunting and Bowmaking mentor, Will Compton (Center). They pursued big game with minimal technology to prove the effectiveness of traditional archery equipment. The majority of the time these men harvested game with primitive equipment making them even more skilled in the art of archery. They prided themselves on being excellent hunters and proving the effectiveness of wooden bows and arrows. Minimal technology; that’s why they loved it and that’s why we love it. It can be as simple today to stay traditional as it was in the early 1900’s, just pick up a wood bow whether it be a recurve or longbow and shoot some arrows.

Art Young, Saxton Pope, and their mentor, Will Compton saw no reason to get “camo’d up”.  They had on what was necessary to keep the cold off and the bugs away. It is a prideful picture of three men who went hunting together and were successful. A dinner table full of meat was in their near future.  Saxton Pope looks like he was the deer slayer in this photo. They wore leather boots, cotton shirts, cotton pants, and always had a knife handy.  It is a powerful picture in that it depicts what bowhunting is: life and death in the woods. These men didn’t need endless amounts of advanced technology to be successful hunters. They got it done in their work clothes.

It got me thinking about what more would one need? Pope had on an arm guard as did Compton. I guess Young didn’t need one. I don’t wear one either. Compton is wearing suspenders and they all had hats with full brims.  It made me think of all of the magazines I get and all of the different gadgets that are “guaranteed” to make hunting successful. From sights to lasers, camo, scent free gear, 50 different broad heads, 20 different arrow selections, and 60 different compound/cross bows.  What these magazines fail to tell us is that Traditional Archery is a means of harvesting game that has been around for tens of thousands of years. Other than the few magazines who deal with us Traditionalists directly, it seems as though we aren’t even there in the big print.  You have to look carefully for an article on us.

When you call yourself a Traditional archer you ought to think about what that means.  Role models such as Art Young, Saxton Pope, and Will Compton taught us to follow the traditions of archery and commemorate bowhunting with wood arrows.  Celebrate the simplicity of our rich heritage as bowhunters.  You follow your own thoughts on how to enjoy archery wether thats with or without a range finder, sights, carbon arrows, compound or cross bows, scent-free clothing etc. You probably don’t need it. Thirty years ago it was not even available and hunting success was achieved without it. I guess that if you think you need it, go ahead, it won’t hurt; maybe.  The point is to not let technology get in the way of you enjoying the wonderful world of bowhunting.

Good Shooting, Stick Em”,

Jerry

 

Rose City Archery – Leading wood arrow manufacturer in the world.

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Leading Manufacturer of Traditional Wood Arrows

Distributor of Arrow Building Equipment, Supplies and Accessories.

Rose City Archery has been in business for over 80 years and is a leader in manufacturing traditional wood arrows. Our arrows are made from Port Orford Cedar which is prized for it’s strength and straight grain. We have Port Orford Cedar Shafts, Oregon Mountain Pine Shafts, Building Tools, Building Supplies, and some Archery Accessories, for your convenience.

We stick to traditional archery because it still works great, it’s less complicated and it’s fun.