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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:36 am
by phildaddy
Well I started off shooting my GT 5575 compound arrows with my old (new to me) recurve. Just wanted to see if I still liked it and I do. First one I've picked up in over 40 years. I was hitting the target at 15 yds but they wobbled real bad. A buddy of mine who doesn't bow hunt anymore gave me some old Easton xx75 2213's two inches longer than the arrows I was shooting. Well I know that it's not tuned as I've only had it less than a week but they are flying straight. Still working on my release reference point but it sure feels good just pulling back and shooting where I am looking without all the sights and stuff. I know it's going to take time and patience but I'm like a kid at Christmas. :) :) :)

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:27 am
by RonD
Having fun is what it is all about. :2TU: Keep practicing and working on the tuning process and you will be further down the road towards successful hunting experiences. :lol:

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:43 am
by junker
i used to shoot nothing but GT's. I have a longbow and a recurve that love the 5575's. the bows are both over 60#'s.

But i recently bought a longbow that is around 51#'s and the 3555's and 5575's both shoot left. I've even went from 125gr. to 175 gr. but still shot left.

I had some eastons in my closet that i never shot.....put the 175's on there and they shot perfectly.....and these were the stiffest shafts easton makes.

Just gotta keep trying things until the bow and the arrow like one another.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:15 am
by phildaddy
Thanks ya'll. That's what I'm finding out about the trad stuff. Nothing is in concrete as far as arrow vs draw weight vs draw length. Seems all bows differ a little. Makes it exciting, especially when you have ideas after you go to bed and can hardly wait till morning to try some of it. :idea:

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:09 pm
by RonD
If you get a chance Phillip post a photo of your bow. I'm not familiar with the York and would like to see one. If anyone else reading this reply I would like to see a photo of the bows you are currently shooting. I am still waiting for my Beeler bow, but I am not sure where I was on the list and certainly don't want to pester Dave so that it distracts him from finishing the bow.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:14 pm
by FireCloud
I have been shooting the same 50# Bear Kodiak Magnum one piece recurve bow for 41 years because it is a simple bow, nothing to tune, no "take down" parts to worry about, is economical to own (all it needs is a new string every five years or so), and it works just great.

I finger shoot instinctively with no release aid, no bow sights, no stabilizer, and not even string silencers. Just the sticks, string, and me. And it will effective kill deer within the range limits of the equipment (I don't take shots over 30 yards although the bow will shoot farther.) The thrill of making a kill with traditional archery equipment surpasses anything I have ever felt doing any other form of hunting regardless of equipment used.

Arrows simply need to be one inch longer than your draw. My anchor procedure is to lock the nuckle of my right thumb at the right corner of my mouth. It is a natural point and "just feels right" every time you touch the anchor point. You will find you quickly learn to anchor at the exact same spot automatically without thinking about it.

Instinctive shooting is the ONLY way to go. It really makes no difference if arrows shoot high, low, left, or right. After you practice with whatever arrow you will be shooting, your hand-eye co-ordination kicks in and automatically adjusts your aim reflexively to achieve a hit on the target no matter how the arrows shoots.

It DOES matter that you match the spine weight to your draw weight. Arrows will "wobble" or shoot irregularly if they do not have the correct spine weight. Consult a chart, such as the Easton chart, and stay within the recommended arrow selections.

If you stop and think about it, bowling, golf, basketball, baseball, wing shooting, and even casting a fishing rod are all things we do instinctively without use of "sights" or release aids, etc. To me, it is just as natural to shoot a bow instinctively as it is to wing shoot. Accuracy can be achieved at any of these sports if you practice enough.

Today it seems as if everyone wants a bow that "aims itself" and always hits the kill zone. I don't. I am not against people who use range finders and pre-set sight pins. But like driving a fine sports car, I want to experience the "hands on the wheel" feeling of controlling the performance of the car and know that if I win the race, it is because of my driving skill...not just the technical ability of the vehicle. Same thing with the bow.

Here is a photo of my recurve. Glad you joined the traditional archery probably will never go back to a compound!

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:14 am
by RonD
Firecloud, in looking over the photo of your bow I noticed that you have some expandable broadheads on your arrows. Are those the heads you hunt with? Many people in trad archery today are looking to get one of the older bows and turn it into their primary bow for 3D and hunting. Is the Kodiak you have a 48" bow? That is one bow I would never let go of.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:18 pm
by FireCloud

I don't want to hijack this thread, but I will answer your questions. My bow is a 52" bow, not a 48". It is thus not as short as most compounds but still very easy to use in a tree stand.

Yes, you did spy some Grim Reaper mechanical heads on the newer arrow shafts I purchased this year. I bought a dozen of the Easton A/C/C arrows last year and absolutely love the way they shoot with the Reaper heads. They fly like a target point and do not drop or plane in the air like a fixed blade sometimes does, especially in windy conditions.

I have never previously shot any mechanical head, preferring fixed blades. However, I decided to try the Grim Reapers and got some good help on understanding them both from the Deep South Archery folks and from Lee Racing on the now defunct MDWFP forum. I shot and hit three deer this past year with these heads. The Reaper performed flawlessly on a fat doe I am still eating. It deployed well, penetrated well, left a decent blood trail, and a dead deer 65 yards downrange. You could not ask for more.

But, the other two deer I did not recover. The arrows penetrated only about 6 inches deep, apparently hitting rib bone, and fell out of the deer within a few steps. Neither left a trackable blood trail. Needless to say, I was not pleased with hitting deer but not recovering them. I concluded that the mechanicals just don't have the bone penetrating power of a traditional fixed blade.

If every shot I made missed bone, I would always shoot the mechanicals because of their superior flight characteristics. But in the real world, particularly shooting instinctively, you will at times hit bone. I will probably be returning to fixed blades for deer next season, but I think I am going to try the mechanicals on turkeys this season. I think they should be a good head for that purpose with a "stop" added to the shaft to keep the arrow from passing through. I believe the mechanicals have a place in my arsenal, and might be useful for a number of other animals, such as coyotes, fox, rabbits, or maybe even hogs.

Finally, let go of the bow I have happily shot for 41 years? I think you would have a better chance of me selling one of my kidneys or something first. LOL. I have been offered $300 for the bow and turned it down, even though that is probably twice what I paid for it orignially. I suppose if a time comes when I cannot draw and pull this bow, then I might consider parting with it and buying a compound or crossbow. But honestly at 57, I have no trouble at all pulling and holding this 50# bow just as well today as I did when I first bought it. My belief is it is like weight lifting. If you do it for your entire life, you will retain a lot of your ability even to a very old age. Clint Eastwood, for instance, is 80 and still does weight lifting every day.

Anyway, I love traditional archery and the more I do it the less I even want to use my guns. For me, the thrill is in the challenge presented in taking game with this equipment. It is hard to do but not impossible.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:18 am
by junker bow. last year i found an early 1970's Bear in the ministorage. it was my dad's. I restored and it shoots fantastic. I think its a kodiak.....cant recall. I haven't shot it in over a year.

I also purchased a 1953 Kodiak Hunter (I think) Fixed it up but i only shoot about 5 arrows a year out of it.


The first thing i noticed were the expandable BH's too. I just figured it wasnt fire's quiver.

So you live in cleveland? I grew up in G'ville and i am a fight okra alum.

I lived with a buddy of mine that farms out hwy 8 and shaswskene rd. You know any Jefcoats? Judd Jefcoat was my buddy

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:56 am
by RonD
Firecloud, you are not hijacking this thread. Phillip I think, as I am, is interested in learning as much as he can about different aspects of shooting and hunting with the traditional bow and arrow. Like Junker, I was curious as to how well the expandables would work with traditional equipment. Your experience with the expandables has helped me a great deal. At 57 you are still a young man with a long way to go in traditional archery and bowhunting. I will be 67 in May and have no intention of hanging the trad bow up anytime soon, God willing.

Junker good to hear from you again. There are a number of Jefcoats in this area. The only Jefcoats that I knew were Drew Jefcoat and his grandson Mark. At that time they both worked for Killingsworth marine as outboard mechanics. Drew passed away several years ago and I don't know what happened to Mark. Not sure where Drew lived in the Cleveland area. I taught for 28 years at Delta State University before retiring in 2002. Now I have more time to hunt and to hunt when most people are not in the woods. Where are you located at now? Post a picture of the old bow you recovered?

Guys, I quit hunting deer many years ago when hog hunting got into my blood. Dahomey NWR is about 6 or 7 miles from my house and is overrun with hogs and that is the only place I have been hunting lately. The refuge is very thick in places, especially where the hogs are. Bows 60" or longer are difficult to hunt with in those thicker areas so I ordered a 56" Beeler longbow to use. If the Beeler ends up being to long I may try Jim Babcock's Thunder Child longbow at 54". Right now I am shooting a 64" Sentman Moosejaw longbow so I tend to limit my hunting to the border regions of the thicker areas.

Keep posting to this forum either new topics or responding to existing topics. We have a good site here and the opportunity to have as popular a site as the Leatherwall or Tradgang.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:15 am
by junker
i'll take a couple of pix on my lunch break.

i'm in hernando, ms now. We used to have a 16th section a mile from yazoo wildlife refuge. We had some good deer down there but i was young and not into archery at the time. we sold the land in 94 when we moved to hernando. i had not hunted in 13 years and a customer of mine got me shooting traditional and i got addicted. But my shooting 5-7 days a week ended when we had triplets last april. they will be a year old next saturday.

i apologize for getting off topic.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:02 pm
by gtk
I'm getting off topic, but....
junker wrote:But my shooting 5-7 days a week ended when we had triplets last april. they will be a year old next saturday.

a belated congrats .. I used to feel sorry for bwm & his twins... Not so much anymore :) a good friend of mine had quads a few years ago.. his life changed drastically ..

i read that you live in hernando, .... i live in lewisburg..

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:41 pm
by FireCloud
Ron, on the subject of expandables, I just wanted to try them. So I purchased a set and love the way they shoot and how efficiently they cut. The Grim Reapers do some serious damage! They cut so well, when you clean the deer, typically you will see the flesh has the consistency of jelly. I may try the Reapers on some hogs soon, as I have been invited to a hog hunt by one of my hunting friends (yes, contrary to popular belief, I actually do have friends! LOL.)

However, for traditional equipment, the total Kinetic Energy is too low to really make these heads work on deer in the same manner as they would from a fast shooting compound. Energy is mass times speed, and the overall force is what penetrates and helps the arrow do the damage it needs to kill. I posted a very detailed article about this once on another site but you can just google up similar info to see how the math works.

Most traditional bows shoot arrows at about 180 to 210 feet per second. Most good compounds today shoot arrows at 300 to 340 feet per second. Thus the kenetic energy for any given arrow weight is nearly doubled when shot from a good compound as opposed to my bow or other similar traditional bows. Part of the secret to how a mechanical head works is due to the force behind it that slices efficiently. Think of it like pulling a razor blade slowly across your hand with minimal force as opposed to pulling it swiftly with ample cutting force. The results are vastly different.

Therefore, honestly most archery experts do not recommend mechanical heads for traditional equipment due to the lack of kenetic energy to make them work as intended. But they WILL WORK if your shot placement is good from a traditional bow. I am eating a doe from my freezer shot with one of the Reaper heads using my bow. It did a fantastic job of killing that deer. I shot the deer, which was facing me straight on, in the neck just left of her right shoulder and it angled through her neck exiting below and under her left shoulder. The neck was sliced and diced by the mechanical heads better than with a Ginsu knife! And of course, plenty of blood flow from the neck.

Shot placement is critical to ANY hunting regardless of weapon. David pretty much proved the value of shot placement a few thousand years ago with Goliath and one rock. If you can place the shot well, your odds are good no matter what broadhead you use. Poor shot placement, conversely, will not be readily overcome by the broadhead.

Now, here is something that will really help you learn a bit more about how the mechanicals worked for me and about shot placement. Please go to the "What Do You Think" topic I posted today and see the photo I posted. I believe it is of one of the deer I shot but did not kill with the mechanical head. I posted the details there so I will not repeat them here. That photo pretty much confirms my shot was not badly placed and would logically have been a killing double lung shot, but obviously it had to have hit bone, either a rib or possibly glancing off the front shoulder. I cannot blame the arrow for that outcome, although until this morning when I got a photo of this deer and its wound, I could not be completely sure exactly where my arrow hit even though I watched it go into the deer.

Fixed broadheads, especially the heavier weight heads, when shot from traditional bows have a lot more bone busting and penetrating power, because of the extra mass (remember the mass times speed formula.) And if the penetration is not enough from a traditional bow to cause a complete pass through, which fairly often does not occur using traditional equipment, then the fixed blades cannot close like a mechanical head might. The fixed heads stuck inside a deer will simply continue to move around and keep cutting as the deer runs, thereby doing the job of creating blood loss. (BTW, it takes about 3 pints of blood loss before a deer will die out of about 9 pints total in the average deer.) So you need a lot of blood flow to get a clean kill.

Hope that helps. I am always glad to pass on any info I might have learned to help others enjoy traditional archery.

Junker, I can't wait to see the 1953 bow! Please post the pics.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:40 am
by RonD
Firecloud, I looked at the photo on the archery forum of the deer you hit with the mechanical broadhead. That expandable sure tore a large hole in the deer going in and would have made a very large exit hole had the head not hit a bone as you suggested. What was your draw weight, draw length, and brace height on the bow you shot it with? I particularly liked the statement you made, "....consider anything within a 6 inch circle of dead center to be a decent shot." The reason I like it is that it reflects the reality of bowhunting with traditional bows. I have witnessed the frustration on the part of trad shooters at 3D shoots and some during stump shooting who were upset when the arrow did not hit dead center with every shot. As you said there a numerous factors that determine the results of any shot we take on any animal in the real hunting situation. Hogs are tough animals to kill with traditional bows and shot placement is more critical on them than other game animals. I shoot a short draw length and light weight bow (41#@24") and due to that fact I shoot as low a brace height as possible (6 3/4") which helps with penetration. That is one of the reasons I have my longbows cut to center so I can shoot a heavier spined arrow with a heavier broadhead which gives me better arrow flight and penetration (not to mention a sharp two blade broadhead). Tuning the bow is everything. The information you have provided is very helpful and greatly appreciated by me.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:14 pm
by FireCloud
RonD wrote:Firecloud, I looked at the photo on the archery forum of the deer you hit with the mechanical broadhead. That expandable sure tore a large hole in the deer going in and would have made a very large exit hole had the head not hit a bone as you suggested. What was your draw weight, draw length, and brace height on the bow you shot it with? I particularly liked the statement you made, "....consider anything within a 6 inch circle of dead center to be a decent shot." The reason I like it is that it reflects the reality of bowhunting with traditional bows. I have witnessed the frustration on the part of trad shooters at 3D shoots and some during stump shooting who were upset when the arrow did not hit dead center with every shot.

Ron, I have not tried bowhunting for hogs but am very eager to do so and might get the chance this weekend or next. Any pointers would be appreciated for sure.

I carefully researched test reports about various expandable broadheads and decided the results for the Grim Reaper were as good as any and superior to many others, which is why I decided to try them. One big reason was exactly what this "after" photo shows....the damage done by this head is quite large going in.

However, my belief, which was confirmed by my experiences last year, was that due to the absorption of the kinetic energy as the blades and arrow slice through about 14" inches of a typical deer body, the exit wound has less visible damage than the entrance wound but not by very much. It is the reverse of a gun bullet which makes a smaller hole on entry and a much larger exit hole. Arrows just don't work that way.

It all makes sense if you realize the maximum energy is delivered by a mechanical at the point of initial impact so the wound is worse there. Tests show that the heads expand as the point penetrates the skin so that by a mere inch into the deer the head is fully expanded. It locks in an open position after that and simply looses force as it goes further through the deer. Thus, the size of the area cut is the same all the way through the deer's body, but the degree of damage is greater at the entry point than the exit point due to the higher amount of energy still carried by the arrow at that point.

I agree with you that tuning your equipment is of great importance. That is why I mounted the mechanicals on Easton A/C/C arrows which have a relatively light weight in grains per inch. The stiffness of this arrow is well matched for my bow, so that part is good. Just stay within the Easton chart and you won't go wrong with anything they specify. Due to the lighter weight arrow, I can certainly tell that the arrow speed is higher, which is very much needed for the mechanical to function at its best. However, I don't think the speed improvement would chronograph more than about 20 fps more than with the arrows I shot previously, which is not really enough to make the mechanicals work that well from my traditional bow.

While on the subject of the arrows, I highly recommend the A/C/C arrows for a traditional bow. They are tough arrows, have excellent flight characteristics, and are superior to either an aluminum arrow or a carbon arrow. It is incredible how "flat" the trajectory of these arrows are. I love that part, but they are NOT cheap arrows for sure. Fully decked out with a good broadhead, you are flinging at least $25 at a deer with each shot! I believe these arrows would be perfect 3D or for smaller game animals but, as you say, a heavier grain arrow with a heavier fixed broadhead does still seem to be the best combination for use on deer and larger game with traditional equipment. I believe it was Fred Bear who years ago stated that was the "ideal" combination and I don't think he has been proven wrong yet.

The specifications for my bow are 52" length with a 50# draw weight. Despite being a very short bow by traditional recurve standards, the fiberglass limbs do not "stack" and the draw is clean and smooth at any distance up to my 28 1/2" draw length. I have my arrows cut 1" longer, of course. The arrow rest on this bow is cut almost to center and the brace height is 8 1/8" on this bow with the correct length recommended string. Next time I restring, I may try a slightly longer string, thereby reducing the brace height a little and see how that affects the bow. A shorter brace height would be better, I agree.

One more thing on the subject of arrows. My arrows are fletched with 5 inch turkey feathers in a 5 degree right helical pattern. I am convinced the longer feathers and the twist pattern help stabilize the arrow in flight. Plus the turkey feathers are just overall superior in my opinion.

Finally, after you have shot zillions of arrows from a traditional bow over decades of time, you will have seen nearly everything that can possibly happen occur. It teaches you that the reality of archery is you simply cannot control all the variables all the time. Some situations will simply occur, for any of dozens of reasons, where your final results might not be what you had intended. You have to keep in mind that instictive shooting a traditional bow is like wing shooting birds. Even the very best marksmen find it challenging with any live target in the wild.

At times I swear the deer smirk at me while I am trying to hunt them with my bow! I shot at one doe once who actually played a game with me. I was sitting under a tree when she came walking through the woods. I shot at her while kneeling, missed her, and she trotted over a crest of the hill and stopped. I eased to the top of the hill so I could get her a view of her again as I reloaded another arrow. When I came into view, she reversed course, trotted back over the crest of the hill to the other side, but moved about 10 yards further away into the thick woods, and stopped again. To get another look at her I had to once again cross the crest of the hill. We did this game for at least three or four crossings of the hill but each time she moved farther into the woods, never presenting me any opportunity for a clear shot. I am certain I saw her grin at least once or twice as she contemplated my futile attempts to get an arrow in her.

You just have to hang in there and keep hunting. The deer win nearly all the encounters with traditional archers, but some days, you will win a few. And that is when it is all worth it!!

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:26 pm
by RonD
Firecloud, I intended to post a response earlier to the hog question, however health issues have kept me down. It's hard to give pointers on hunting hogs since they are as varied as the habitat they occupy. Where I hunt the woods are extremely thick and the hogs tend to stay in the thickets and travel only to the closest water hole to drink and make their wallows. I have to get back into the thickets in order to find hog sign and then it takes alot of work to put it altogether into a huntable pattern. The only problem with hunting where I hunt is that generally the way I go into the thickets is the hogs only way out. I have yet to actually be charged by a boar but have had a number go by me within two feet. Others will just tear a new opening through the thickets as an escape route. Maybe we can get together next fall and hunt hogs here on the NWR.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:54 pm
by FireCloud

I am up for a bowhunt for hogs anytime we can work it out. Never tried it before so I would really prefer someone to help me learn the ropes. I have no hogs on my land (thankfully.) Keep me in mind when you decide to go.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:44 am
by RonD
Firecloud, as soon as the NWR hunting schedule for 2010-2011 is available I will work up my usual hog hunting schedule and send you a copy. From that maybe we can find some dates that we can hunt. Be sure and wear either snake chaps or snake boots as the cottonmouths and rattlers are out and about. The one that strikes is usually the one you didn't see.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 6:18 pm
by Stringwacker

Next time your in the neighborhood, give me a call and we will get that bow set up for you. I might have missed it in the above post, but if you don't draw more than 27.5" I'll have so many different types of arrows that we are bound to find one that works.

Re: Progress....

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:09 pm
by FireCloud
RonD wrote:Firecloud, as soon as the NWR hunting schedule for 2010-2011 is available I will work up my usual hog hunting schedule and send you a copy. From that maybe we can find some dates that we can hunt. Be sure and wear either snake chaps or snake boots as the cottonmouths and rattlers are out and about. The one that strikes is usually the one you didn't see.

Just today I vowed to find a good pair of snake boots this week that I like. As you say, you probably won't see the one that will strike at you! It really a jungle on my land and I have tons of snakes, mostly cottonmouths, so you can never be too careful.