Traditional Archery

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pipebow88

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2013
460
1
I have multiple hobbies outside of pipes, and one of them is the passion for traditional archery. Of course at weekend shoots often pipe smoking makes its way into this other hobby as well. I started into archery as a young lad shooting with my father, and older brother. We took plenty of time each week to shoot together and make local 3D target shoots on the weekend when work allowed my father to take us. I started then with a modern compound, and we held onto archery for quite a few years. Then as too often happens life became busy and archery didn't play as large a role any longer. After a few more years went by I decided it was time to return to archery and decided to purchase a new bow. In that time archery had progressed in technology as everything else does these days. The bows were smoother and faster than ever before. I bought the "latest and greatest" at the time and started to shoot again. Though quickly discovered this even more modern equipment had changed archery. As technology tends to do it had made archery much easier. In distances where before I would have had my arrow drop an easy 16-20" I was only experiencing 2"s of drop. I shot less and less fairly quickly and couldn't find that passion that was once there. It had all been simplified to a point that I had lost the heart, so I soon sold the bow and let archery fade away once again.
Then there came a time when I met a local shooter by the name of Mike Ray. I had heard that he had always been quite a shot with a recurve or longbow. I had very minimal contact with this type of gear, but was intrigued. After some time talking with him he convinced me that I should give traditional a chance. He directed me to a bowyer that he had liked a lot, Bob Lee Bows. I decided that I would order my first recurve, and see what there was to this "dark side" of archery. It was only a few weeks and my first custom bow had arrived. I had a set of arrows set up for the bow, and begin to learn. My very first time to shoot made me realize very quickly this lack of technology was going to make this no easy venture. I spent many hours attempting to better myself at shooting. It was a slow venture, and I stayed to the grindstone determined to master it. After a very large learning curve I was getting better. Then learning more about my equipment took me to another level as I learned to tune it properly and pair the proper arrows. I chanced upon a link one day to a shoot in my hometown that was for traditional archery only. It was only a couple weeks away at the time, and I couldn't wait. The time finally arrived and I came to a place where I quickly saw that I was going to be able to learn a lot. This shoot hooked me in with some local traditional shooters, as well as plenty from around the state. I spent the entire weekend there and enjoyed breathing in every minute. It was around this time that I learned that the gentleman Mike Ray who talked me into shooting traditional was a former World Champion traditional shooter. Though I found a lot of joy just in shooting traditional, something else caught me. At the majority of compound shoots I had gone to there were quite a few nice people, but a lot took it entirely too seriously and acted as though they were ten times better than anyone else there. The best shooters were hardly approachable, much less helpful. Here the people were some of the nicest I had ever met, and not just some of them, but all of them. It was just one big happy family out there. People still competed, but their ultimate goal was to have fun, and that was very obvious. They all enjoyed sharing tips, and helping new shooters. This shoot was just over 3 years ago now, and my passion is still holding strong. Though I am no master of the art by any means I know lots of great shooters, and better yet, I call many great shooters my friends. My local traditional shoot is the first of the year, and at it a couple of weeks ago I shot a little, but mostly spent the time reconnecting with my friends that had traveled in from various parts of the state. Tournament season ends when hunting season begins, so we all had a lot of catching up to do. I still have a strong passion for it, and I do not believe that it will ever die, because I feel that it is something that I will always have plenty of room to improve. One local guy that I shoot with now who is the same age as I went on this past year to make a great accomplishment. He brought home the 1st place honor from the IBO Traditional World Championship. He is one of my closest friends now, and if it wasn't for traditional archery I may have never met him. Hopefully this year I am able to join him at the world championships. If everything goes as planned hopefully.
Now that my glass of scotch is nearing closer to the bottom I guess I will end this long winded post. When speaking about something I am quite passionate about I become long winded. So after all of that I ask this, are there any of you here that also enjoy traditional archery?

B

 

swampmouth

Member
Oct 4, 2013
125
0
Yeah I think barebows are kind of like pipes. I lost everything I had, too expensive to just "start over". I read a book called "Become the Arrow" that really clicked with me and I was sold. The last few years I had been hunting barebow. Man is that alot less to carry around. It's a whole different philosophy. Get's in your blood.

 

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virginiacob

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2013
451
0
pipebow,
Thanks for sharing your passion for traditional archery. I use to shoot a longbow made by Rudder Bows and really enjoyed it. It had a 60# draw and do to bouts of tendonitis in my right elbow I was forced to give it up. The closest I get to traditional shooting these days is black powder shooting. I was just out this past weekend at the range with some of my Civil War reenacting buddies shooting my reproduction U.S. Model 1842 Springfield smoothbore musket (.69 cal.). I'm working now on assembling an old CVA flintlock colonial pistol kit.

 

bentmike

Preferred Member
Jan 25, 2012
2,423
3
I made this 43# @26"draw Hickory backed Osage flatbow over 10 years ago and it is still shooting great. Not much better than making a bow with your own hands as men have done for ages.





My son and I enjoy target shooting at the butts and stump shooting in the woods with traditional gear. Nothing hones the skill like picking a small spot in the woods like a dirt clod or a leaf at unknown distances and seeing how close you can come to the mark. I taught my son archery at about 5 years old with kids bows and simply moved him up to a stronger bow as he grew. Last year I set him up with a target sight on his recurve but he took the sight off and went back to instinctive shooting and he is quite good at it.
My favorite books on the subject are Hunting The Osage Bow by Dean Torges and The Traditional Bowyer's Bible series.

 

virginiacob

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2013
451
0
bentmike,
Nice bow! You did a fantastic job with it. Love the wood grain and stain. 1st class flatbow!

 

tobyducote

Preferred Member
Jun 10, 2012
1,200
1
That's a beautiful bow mike....I have 2 recurves by Justin Steinholtz..both Osage backed with bamboo

 

buster

Preferred Member
Sep 1, 2011
1,305
0
I don't shoot much any more. I have a Wing Archery recurve made in the 50's. I take my 7 year old to the range some times. I got him a little recurve from three rivers.

 

teufelhund

Preferred Member
Mar 5, 2013
1,499
0
St. Louis, MO
I mostly use compounds myself for hunting. I do have a recurve I take on long float camping trips for fishing; much more entertaining than a rod and reel.

 

pipebow88

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2013
460
1
I am not surprised at all to see several more traditional archers here. It is an infectious hobby that will take over you entirely.
Txbeerboy, glad to know there is another Texas Bob Lee fan here. They do make some fantastic bows. I have owned and shot many different makers bows, and hands down they have the finest take down bows I have ever laid my hands on. I have had 9 of their bows now, 1 once piece recurve, all of the rest have been takedown recurve and longbows. Will be sending you a PM shortly as well.
Virginiacob, glad to hear that you have enjoyed traditional archery as well. However it is unfortunate to hear that tendonitis has ended it. My father had some problems with tendonitis for a couple of years. Then after some time with a physical therapist they were able to get it worked out and get him back to normal. I love firearms as well, and due to traditional archery I would love to get into black powder. However I currently am not going to add another expensive hobby to the list, but one day.
bentmike- That is a very nice self bow! I had 2 selfbows from a bowyer in Texas, and they were a couple of my favorites. I shot them the best of any bows that I have had. I really want to make my own, but pushed it off since I had 2 already. I sold both of them a while back to force me to build my own, and am ready to get a good workbench built so I can begin.
Stump shooting is something that I have wanted to do, but never have because I am a little picky about my wood arrows. I have a few that broke off right behind the point I need to re taper and mount some blunts on. Then I can get some stump shooting going. Our local archery club has a trail that is always set up through the woods with 20 targets on it so my buddy and I walk that fairly often.
Anthony, if I remember correctly from another thread you are in Texas. We have traditional archery shoots around the state. Lots of very helpful people at all of them, and plenty of questions that can be answered. You can get started into traditional at varying price levels. You can get set up with a beginning recurve that is actually a decent bow for about $200 or a little more. Sometimes used bows can be picked up that are decent bows around $100. or you can go with a $2,000-$3,000 custom beauty. like anything else it can vary a lot, if interested PM me and I will help you out with anything I can, I travel to quite a few shoots.
Buster those Wing bows are some fine bows. You may or may not already know this, but I'll say it in case you don't. Wing was started and owned by Bob Lee the maker of several that I have had. He eventually moved towards the custom market instead of mass produced. Wing made fantastic bows. Bob Lee was responsible for introducing the very first Takedown bow (Wing Presentation II) into the market. Then other companies followed with varying designs of takedowns. He was a pioneer in the sport. Mr Lee is also largely responsible along with several others getting the Archery only hunting season in the state of Texas. Bob Lee, his son Rob lee, and Grandson JJ Lee are in Jacksonville,Texas and build amazing custom bows. Great people to work with as well, I have spent my share of time in that factory admiring their work. They are excellent craftsmen, and fine fellows altogether.

 

houndstooth

Member
Nov 28, 2013
112
0
That is a sweet self bow, Bentmike! I shoot trad (longbow) and also have a couple of Mathews wheel bows. I really have lost a lot of the enthusiasm for the compounds though after getting my first (and only so far) long bow. I really got bitten by the bug. I bought a Toelke Whip - 64" and 45 lbs @ 28"
There are a lot of trad guys at my local range in Pasadena, CA (the oldest field archery range in the nation, BTW). We've got matches every Sunday, with field rounds, hunter rounds, 3D and "300" depending on the Sunday. I'm not where I want to be regarding my skills, but I have only been shooting trad for about 5 months now.
Thanks for starting this thread, Pipebow88! BTW does your forum handle mean you were born in '88?

 

pipebow88

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2013
460
1
Glad to hear you are enjoying trad Houndstooth! 5 months is only into the tip of the iceberg. There is so much for me to still learn and gain after a little over 3 years. It is awesome that you have the great history of the oldest range in the nation for your local club. Our local club holds shoots every 2nd and 4th saturday of the month from January through September.
Yes I was born in 88, I'm just a youngling here. I swear though I may be young in years I am old at heart. My wife calls me an old man all of the time. Pipes, Scotch, flannel, wool hats, traditional bows, I just can't help myself. If only I had worked in a time where a fine pipe of tobacco and glass of scotch was acceptable at work.

B

 

swampmouth

Member
Oct 4, 2013
125
0
Back before you were born I got my first bow. Back then the compounds still had wood risers and wood/glass limbs. Took two deer before the laminates on the riser started seperating. My first metal bow was like "what the hell?" The only way to go is wood. There's alot of selfbows out there if you like the feel of "my bow" in your hand.

My friends called me oldman when I was 20, now I get carded regularly. So don't ever FEEL like an old man, it's real. Oh and you can drink and smoke(acceptable,who cares) at work, but since you're only three years older than my daughter, I'm not advising it. Stay in line

 

chops

Member
Sep 26, 2011
223
0
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
I have a longbow that a gentlemen named Cal Mickelson made for me many years ago. It is a beauty but I have not shot it in ages. At the time I was part of an archery club that has several acres and set up 3d shoots that were amazing.
I have been looking into the sport again and considering buying another bow but not sure whether I should go with traditional or compound being that I want to get into hunting with it. Seems like the industry is geared toward compound bow hunting and not much support in the traditional end. Have any of you had a lot of experience in traditional bow hunting?

 

phred

Preferred Member
Dec 11, 2012
1,755
0
Ah, memories... I spent a lovely summer teaching archery at a Boy Scout camp when I was in college, then spent the next two summers running the rifle range. I still have my original compound bow - a 50-75# Indian model, back in the days of round cams. My arrows need to be refletched, unfortunately, and it's one of those chores I just never quite seem to get around to. A new indoor archery range just opened up in the commercial district around the corner, so I'll have a place to shoot again once I get my gear in order.
Love the look of a traditional longbow - thanks for posting pix!

 

houndstooth

Member
Nov 28, 2013
112
0
@pipebow88, well, you were born the year I graduated from college. I still feel like that was yesterday, though!
@chops... go trad! There is a great magazine worth subscribing to called "Traditional Bowhunter." Here's a link to their website:

http://www.tradbow.com

I get the printed magazine mailed to me, but I think there is an electronic subscription version available, if you prefer that.
@phred... get yourself a longbow! If you choose to stay with a compound, I would recommend that you upgrade to a newer bow. There are a LOT of changes for the better in recent years, and the cost of getting a new string for your bow and maybe cams would be more costly than the value, IMHO. For just a bit more, you can most likely get a superior bow. Having said that, I would highly recommend you go the Trad route instead, especially if you are starting out after a longish period of abstinence.

 
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