Any traditional archers out there?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by TOM, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Africa...are there other continents to hunt?
    I see this part of the forum stands empty. Does anyone here shoot a stickbow? I shoot a Black Widow PSAX 60# at 26". I love it. I enjoy shooting my Mathews compound, i love shooting my recurve.
     
  2. Daretobowhunt

    Daretobowhunt AH Member

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    I'm here...

    Tom, I took up Trad Arch last September and love it. I shoot Renegade Spirit in 28" 65lbs 64" longbow. Not up to scrach yet, but getting there
     
  3. nzarcher

    nzarcher New Member

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    Is there any other sort of bow hunting? Comes to that is there anyother form of real hunting? Few lessons from the San come in handy.:confused:
     
  4. curtix

    curtix New Member

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    I am shopping for my frist traditional bow right now. Hopefully by the end of the year I can start shooting some targets.
     
  5. Dox

    Dox AH Veteran

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    My brother has a 55 lbs scythian recurve made by Johnny Snyman.It is a powerful bow enough to take down an eland at 10 yds.
     
  6. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    The first bow I ever picked up was a recurve. It was all I ever used for several decades, and while I am not a died in the wool archer, I did manage to kill a few black bear, a few blacktail and mulies, a couple of moose, one elk and a grizzly with it.

    Then I graduated to a compound. I shoot it fairly well, but I have to tell you the charm is not there for me............I miss the simplicity of the recurve, even though it does further limit my self-imposed range at which I will use it on big game.

    I have never gotten into an honest to God stick bow.........as in a handmade long bow with handmade cedar arrows. The real deal.

    About 11 or 12 years ago I was helping guide a group of a dozen traditional archers from the US in the far north at a caribou camp. These guys all loved their handmade bows and stroked them lovingly. They practiced behind the cabins every evening after returning to camp from the days hunt. Sadly it was a very disappointing week for those of us that were guiding.

    They had timed things perfectly and we had thousands of caribou drifting up and down the lake as caribou sometimes do. It would normally have been high fives every night with some real monsters coming in...........instead, we guides sat around each evening and lamented the multiple misses that were occurring at 10 to 15 yards. Got depressed over the multiple wounded bulls that were later dispatched with a rifle because there was no way to get close enough to some of the animals to finish the job with a cedar shaft. It was a bullet or lose the animal. This of course disqualified them for entry in the Pope and Young book, which saddened the archers........a couple of whom were less than gentlemanly about it.

    With archery hunting, stick bows are indeed the 'real thing' and I understand guys being attracted to them. They do however demand even more dedication and practice from the hunter. I may well return to a recurve and hang up the compound, but I doubt you will ever see a long bow in my hands. For those of you who do use one and practice enough to be good with it............all the more power to ya.
     
  7. Cleathorn

    Cleathorn AH Senior Member

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    I was a traditionalist for many years. Whitetails only. I practiced a lot more than most guys (weekly 12 months a year) but could never get the accuracy to a point where I was really comfortable. I took some deer but missed a whole lot more. I never wounded an animal that I was not able to recover though.

    After too many misses, I swithed to a coumpound and enjoy it more. Yes, I love the simplicity and hunting stealth required of traditional archery. I had several spot and stalk efforts that got me within 10-15 yards of whitetails, and that is not easy. But, the misses just kept haunting me - I knew that I would eventually wound animals in time and knowing it ahead of time, rather than it just happening from time to time, and doding it anyway just did not sit well with me.

    I now shoot a top of the line Hoyt at 275f/s and in another thread said I have no trouble shooting out past 50 yards. Many people said that was too far, but I can put every arrow into the 3D vitals of my deer target at 83 yards so I feel good about what I can do.

    No, its not the same as a traditional bow. But the hunt is what I really enjoy - much more than the equipment. So what I do is get the equipment I know will do what I need it to do and then use it for the purpose its was made. To me that is hunting. Each to his/her own.

    I can still get inside 10-15 yards - but I rarely do. I now like the challenge of hunting whitetails from the ground with the bow and being able to get into there comfort zone. THen I usually hit'em with my bow, often at distances beyond what most archers can do.

    To each his own, so long as it is safe, does not hurt anyone else and is ethical - enjoy your sport - but I have to admit that there is something special about taking anything with a self-made stick and string. Never will I be comfortable enough to hunt with it in Africa.
     
  8. curtix

    curtix New Member

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    Wisdom was spoken in this thread thanks.
    I would never consider shooting at an animal until I was as comfortable as I was with my PSE.
    I am shopping for a re-curve made in Africa. I think I have found my bow.
    Its plenty powerful and used to take some size able game here in Africa.
    However I only kill what I am going to eat. So most springbok and some other deer for me. Via stalk.
    But mostly I just love traveling around the bush, stalking, enjoying the outside.
    If in a few years the right opportunity comes for a shot, maybe then I will take it.
    But not before!
     
  9. Billy Stewart

    Billy Stewart AH Senior Member

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    Tom just found this post i shoot a 60 pound zipper re curve at 28 inches love it been shooting stick bows for about 15 years!
     
  10. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    That's great Billy! Maybe we can get together and talk bowhunting.
     
  11. Dox

    Dox AH Veteran

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    Hi

    My brother got a horse bow made by Johnny Snyman and I enjoy shooting it.Its a 55 pound bow.His name is engraved on it.

    Dox
     
  12. Paolo Mauritania

    Paolo Mauritania AH Senior Member

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    American semi-longbow man here, 63# "Howard", 70# "Big 5" and 80# "Tembo" the last two from Howard Hill Archery, all at 28" draw and 70" bow length.
     
  13. Paolo Mauritania

    Paolo Mauritania AH Senior Member

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    On a personal note. Most people fall pray of the conventional wisdom that a recurve is better for bow hunting on the basis that it is shorter and thus more manageable in the thicket.
    That is one selling point for the recurve that doesn't tell the whole story; the optimal length of a bow is a function of the draw length of the archer, 27" and above require a minimum bow length to avoid finger pinching on the string and thus a less than perfect release; a recurve might range between 54" and 62", a long bow anywhere between 62" and 70", at the draw lengths indicated, I can hardly say that my chances of success lay in the length of the bow if this aspect penalizes other more important aspects such as precision.
    Howard Hill was once asked why he didn't shoot recurves, he replied: "I'm not that good of an archer". In his book "Hunting the hard way" he recounts his experience with the recurve as a basis for his statement.
    The recuve appeals to many archers for the following reasons (not mentioning the aesthetic):
    - It has a more mechanical shooting techniques than the LB, almost like a compound,
    - It has a center shot window, thus it is less sensitive to poor arrow fine tuning than a LB some of which have the rest window but always offset from the bow center line,
    However the recurve is the least forgiving bow on the market, either you have a perfect release or your arrows will go AWOL.
    The reason for this statement is quite simple; pick up a recurve and try to twist the upper limbs with the hand, they twist readily; try to do this with a LB and you won't be able. The recurve limbs are very thin, while the LB limbs due to their geometry are a lot more resistant (I would say impervious) to twisting.
    How this often overseen aspect affects the bow hunter? Have a less than perfect draw and your arrows will go left and right even if your aim is right on the spot. if you have a less than perfect draw with a LB, its limbs configuration will bring the string back in line and the shot will be still an acceptable shot. This aspect is more accentuated if you shoot from unconventional positions such as kneeling or canting the bow a lot.
    The point is how many perfect form shots a bow hunter can do under the influence of cold, heat, emotion and others factors? Hard to say but on the same principle of having extra penetration on the arrow, just in case, the same applies to the bow selection.
    I'm a LB shooter since long time, I have in my battery a Black Widow recurve a PCH-X (the one with fancy wood), it's one of early bow I purchased is a 50#@ 28" at 62" bow length, it shoot fine, however if I'm less than an inch of center with the release, good bye precision. Excellent bow, however if I compare it to my Howard Hill "Big 5" LB, I have to say that it is a lot heavier, a lot more noisy (the typical "stump" of the string on the limbs) and not as maneuverable as the LB, 8" more in length became the least of my concerns after trying the LB.
    Another problem with shooting traditionals (recurves and LB) of high poundage (60# and above) is in the technique (not in the bow), most of the archers, but not all, learn and have been told the target shooting way which is; light pressure on the bow handle. This doesn't work very well with high poundage bows not set for target shooting (Olympic style with all the balancing contraptions); with high poundage bows as Howard Hill said, you have to "get hold of it" enough to avoid side and down cast. These two can wreck havoc in your aiming especially if you are shooting from unconventional positions. You have to have the trained arm, no other way. Imagine for a moment to have a high poundage recurve with a less than perfect draw; I'll bet you can miss a moose's vitals at 15 yards. Handle configuration selection becomes even more important in high poundage bows, a handle that is designed for shooting the "Olympic way" won't work very well in high poundage tackle, not enough surface to get "hold of the bow".
    Aiming is not an issue at all once you understand the techniques and stick and practice on one.
    My two unbiased cents.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  14. Paolo Mauritania

    Paolo Mauritania AH Senior Member

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    A little correction:
    "..........try to twist the upper limbs with the hand, they.....", both limbs twist not only the upper.
     

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