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Published by archerchick on 19 Feb 2010

MAKE FLU-FLU ARROWS EASILY – By Carroll Holl

MAKE FLU-FLU ARROWS EASILY -by Carroll Holl
June 1977

Carroll Holl has been published in several outdoor magazines, belongs to the Colorado Bowhunters Associations, and is a Bowhunter member of the NFAA

When Game Takes To Trees Or Air, Flu-Flu Arrows Are A Necessity.  Here’s How To Make Them With A Minimum Of Effort And Equipment

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com

June 1977

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Whole Turkey Feathers (one for each arrow)
  • Nail Clippers
  • Small Electrical Clips (with teeth filed into a concave surface)
  • Fine Tooth Comb
  • Shaft Material
  • Fletching Cement (use cement normally used on shaft material of your choice)

WHEN BIG-GAME seasons close, many bowhunters hang up their sticks for another year.  This is unfortunate since one must use the bow regularly to become really proficient with it.  The big-game seasons themselves do not provide us with  an overabundance of practice at all.  Even punching a stationary target does not make us skillful with the bow – but it does develop aiming and release techniques that are definitely valuable to the hunter.  In order to become skilled one must develop these techniques in conjunction with in-the-field situations such as moving targets and spur of the moment decisions.

Opportunities to develop these skills exist throughout the year in the form of small-game hunting and novelty shooting in the form of Aeriel targets requires a special arrow – the flu-flu.  Standard fletched arrows can be used on game that is on the ground, but when that game takes to the trees or the air, flu-flu arrows are, for the sake of safety and saved time in pursuing wayward arrows a necessity.

Flu-flu arrows are of various designs but all have a common function.  The fletching is oversize so the range of the arrow will be curtailed after the initial thrust out to thirty or forty yards.  Maximum range of a flu-flu would fall in the sixty to seventy yard range.  Compared to a standard hunting arrow which has a range out to two hundred yards, the advantages of shooting a flu-flu arrow for aerial shooting can easily be appreciated.

The simplest and, I believe, most economical flu-flu can be constructed as opposed to multiple feathers for the other styles, Interested?  Read on.  The following will eliminate the mysteries of making flu-flu arrows.

At right is the finished flu-flu; on the left, a variation

The first step is to procure suitable feathers since the ground-base feathers used in standard fletching aren’t satisfactory. The logical place to obtain whole feathers is, of all places, a turkey ranch. When the birds are loaded out in the Fall they lose some of the pointer quills which we use for fletching. Last Fall my son and I gathered a grocery sackful in a very short time. We had no problem getting permission; in fact, the manager even went out and showed us the most likely places to find the feathers we were seeking. If a turkey ranch is not available, the better archery shops should be able to supply them or direct you to a supplier.

The reason for acquiring whole feathers is so the feather can be stripped from the quill leaving a thin
skinlike base rather than the thick bulky base of ground-base -.feathers. This thin base allows for ease of wrapping, neatness, and durability since there is no bulky base to catch on targets, etc.

To strip the feather grasp the quill in one hand and, with the other, bull the feather in a steady, sharp angle towards the base of the quill. Always begin at the tip of the feather pulling downward toward the base of the quill. The tip is the easiest end to start the stripping process and, as the stripped portion gets longer, the base gets wider – lessening the possibility of breakage during the process. With a sufficient supply stripped, cut them all to a uniform length and, with nail clippers, cut approximately one-eighth inch of feather from each end leaving the thin, skinlike base
extending beyond the feather.

Before proceeding any further, assemble all of the necessary equipment and supplies so everything will be ready when you need it. Equipment for this process is minimal, which places this type of arrow making within the grasp of everyone. In addition to the nail clippers mentioned earlier,
you’ll need several small electrical clips from which the teeth have been filed into a concave surface, a fine-tooth comb for separating the vanes and your shaft material. Use the same fletching cement you would normally use for the type of shaft material being used.

First of all, make a dry run by wrapping the feather around the shaft without cement and, using the comb, separate the vanes. Once the cement has been applied to the feather it
becomes a messy project if the vanes don’t separate during the wrapping process. Proper feather placement is of primary importance. Always place the end of the feather that came from the heavy end of.the quill near the nock with the cupped or shiny side towards the nock. If this sounds confusing, turn the feather over, base up, and you’ll notice that one end of the base is much wider than the other. It is this wide end that is placed nearest the nock. Using one of the electrical clips,
clip the feather to the shaft about one-half inch from the nock and, holding the tip of the feather in one hand, rotate the shaft allowing about one-fourth to three-eighths of an inch between spirals. When the end of the feather is reached slip the second clamp over the tip of the base and the
shaft, and comb the vanes apart.

Having completed the dry run, apply the fletching cement and follow the same procedure. After the cement has set firmly remove the clamps and apply a dab of cement at each end of the fletching to lessen the possibility of unwrapping. Recomb the feather to separate the vanes and the arrow is
complete.

A variation of this style utilizes a regular fletched arow with a short length of feather wrapped around the shaft between the fletching and the nock. The length of feather to be used will vary depending on the diameter of the shaft. An approximately 2-3 18- inch feather will fit the space on an 11/32-inch shaft. Because of the limited space involved, I find that contact cement works best for this style.

This variation will not slow the arrow as much as the full wraparound,but it does restrain it enough for some types of aerial shooting *here open space exists and the location of the arrow is not difficult to spot. This is the route to go if you have no flu-flus on hand and need some quickly. The
wraparound can be easily removed later to return the arrow to its original status.

There are a lot of possibilities for flu-flu shooting – waterfowl over decoys, upland birds, squirrels or just plain fun shooting at targets thrown into the air. A little imagination – a lot of fun.<–<<

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Published by archerchick on 19 Feb 2010

HOWARD HILL LIVES – By Sam Fadala

HOWARD HILL LIVES  – By Sam Fadala
February 1977
….Through The Dedication And Skills Of His Appointed Predecessors, Who Carry On The Tradition Of The Famed Hill Longbow

http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com

February 1977

Sam Fadala is an outdoor writer specializing in hunting, fishing, conservation and natural history.


Tucked away in a mountain valley is the small town of Hamilton, Montana.  The area holds promise for the archer in the form of big whitetail bucks that sneak the beautiful Bitterroot River bottom, and the elk, moose, mule deer and black bear that frequent the hills all around.  Hamilton is also important to the bow and arrow enthusiast for another reason:  It is the home of the Howard Hill Archery Company and Long Bow Manufacturing, producers of the famous Hill-style longbow and accouterments.

Ted Ekin runs the shop.  John Schulz builds the bows.  Friends and students of Howard  Hill, both men are today continuing the tradition established by the world’s greatest archer by the manufacture and sale of the bows and equipment he used, and in perpetuating the Hill method of shooting the bow.  I spent five hours in Ekin’s shop and Schulz’s little factory handling the merchandise, watching bows go together one at a time, listening to both men tell of Hill and his feats, witnessing Schulz shoot wooden discs out of the air and trying the longbow for myself.

As a youth I had many a lemonwood straight-stick bow.  It seems that youngsters almost invent the bow all over again each generation, and the first models are bent bamboo poles or –in my case –an oleander limb with string.  So I had experience with straight bows, but had never tried the handmade split-bamboo laminated creations fostered by Hill and his followers –until the trip to Hamilton.

I not only had the chance to try the bows, but I also hefted the arrow that Howard shot his big bull elephant with back in 1950.  And I saw the shafts Hill used to shoot at the Sheriff of Nottingham’s men in the film “Robin Hood.”  I had always wondered how they managed the famous split-arrow shot when Robin won the big tournament in Merry Olde England.  Not trick photography at all, Hill performed that feat in real life, with actors, extras, and cameras looking on to verify it.

Ted Ekin met Howard Hill in California.  Ted was an enthusiastic archer and tournament shooter at the time and, in 1960, he coupled his love for archery with Hill’s in a business venture.  Archery was not yet enjoying widespread interest and sales were slow.  Later on, Ekin got tired of the big city and decided to move to less populated climes.  He found himself in Hamilton, Montana, along with the love for the longbow that followed him wherever he went.

He had to try again, and he did in Hamilton.  Of course, he needed someone to build the bows to Hill’s specs because they were going to be fully endorsed by the famous archer.  Looking for the right man was easy.  Hill had known John Schulz since Schulz was a boy, and he had taught him patiently how to craft the longbow just right.  Ekin got ahold of Schulz, told him what he had in mind and Schulz moved to Hamilton.  The bowyer set up the longbow company making the Hill bow exclusively for Ted Ekin.

John Schulz gluing a bow together. After it is glued, it will be put into an oven for a specified amount of time.

I knew a few moments after meeting Schulz that he was used to dealing with people who didn’t know much about longbows.  He handed me an eighty-four pound model and I almost pitched it right over my head.  It only weighed nineteen ounces!

“That feels like a bow, doesn’t it,” Schulz stated, no question intended.  I had to admit it did.  I expected an eighty-four pounder to have some physical weight to go with it.

“The true longbow,’ Schulz instructed me, “is not wide limbed, but thin, instead, and deep cored -thick, in other words, this makes ’em shoot right. In a word, they are stable.
Several straight bows are being made today, but they are not the Hill-type of longbow that Howard Hill insisted on.”

The other types, I learned were flat-limbed straight bows, and having seen them I could tell a difference between the longbow and the straight-bow types, as Schulz made the distinction.
Today, the company builds several models: The Big Five and Tembo – Top of the line models with split-bamboo laminations – followed by the Mountain Man, Halfbreed and Redman – all handmade.
None of the hill bows come off a press, and that is why you must have a bowyer, a craftsman, someone who puts them together one at a time.

Another bow in the line is the Howard Hill Commemorative, only seventy-five of them made – one for each year of Hill’s life.  These sell for around $500, but the top of the line Big Five goes for about $140, with the Mountain Man running around $90.  Aside from bows, there are the Hill style armguards and shooting gloves, as well as a fine back quiver made of tanned leather.  I especially liked the quiver.  Hill designed it and he must have done so after years of trial and error because it feels just right on the back and is easy to draw from.

Schulz looked me straight in the eye, grabbed up the eighty-four pound bow I had been admiring and twisted the string hard, right next to the bow nock. “That would unstring a recurve bow,” he said. “But it won’t bother this one because of that same word I mentioned earlier – stability.  Hill told me he didn’t believe he could have performed his feats with the bow if he had had to use a more sensitive type.

“These bows are not sensitive,” Schulz went on, ” and you don’t shoot them the way you do a compound or a recurve.”  I had a feeling I was in for a lesson, and I was right.  Ekin and Schulz walked over to the ever-present shooting bales by the shop and Schulz shot while Ekin talked.

“You should have seen Howard shoot,” Ekin said.  “He was fluid. He was smooth. He said you had to keep the right momentum.  If you drew rapidly, you shot fast. If you drew slowly, you shot slower.  It was a rhythm that you didn’t break.”

Hill did not shoot straight up, head high.  He leaned into his shot as a good shotgunner does.  In fact, the best comparison I can think of to explain his way of handling the bow is a comparison of rifle and shotgum shooting.  The rifleman stands tall and relaxed – but not loose.  He aims deliberately and usually has a device to help him aim.  He squeezes off carefully.  Most of us shoot a bow this way, maybe because we are, basically a nation of riflemen.

The good shotgunner is loose and natural in his swing, leaning a bit forward perhaps, relaxed,
not choking down on his gun, maintaining a smooth balance and flow.  That was Hill.  And that was why he could hit moving targets.  He passed this style of shooting on to his young partner, John Schulz, almost twenty years ago and Schulz went on to give exhibitions of his own, most recently at the Pennsylvania Bowhunter’s Festival where Schulz’s shooting and talking earned him an invitation to next year’s meet.

Watching a longbow shooter at work, one would think he does not actually sight his bow.  He does, but not with a device.  He sights his bow by knowing several things almost intuitively:  the range, the arc of the arrow to get to that range, the size of the target and the relationship of all the variables.  All of us have some facility at this kind of aiming.  If we toss a rock at a tin can forty feet away we will be close most of the time, even though the rock pitched is ill-shaped and uneven, varying in weight from other stones we might pitch right after it.

We don’t have any sights on that rock but know fairly well how to launch it because we have a feeling for how much power it will take to reach the target, how much arc, how large the target is and the relationship of all these things.  Longbows don’t normally wear sights because this instinctive type of shooting style is employed with them.

They say Hill looked at the point of his arrow and the gap it made with the target, above or below it.  This may be, and I have no way of knowing how true it is, but I would bet a dollar to a gumdrop that Hill felt his way to the target using the instinctive principles we all have facility for when we practice.

Purists that they are, Ekin and Schulz have studied the bow type they like so well and compared it  with the more elaborate fashions on the market today.  Their witnessed findings interested me, as I think they will the reader.  First, actual performance of the Hill-type laminated bamboo fiberglass bow is up with other types of instruments.

“When we get bow orders, the customer always seems to ask for something ten pounds heavier than his present recurve ‘so it will shoot with it'” say’s Schulz  “I don’t know why.  Usually I will write back and suggest that he buy a bow of the same weight because the longbow shoots right with the other types.”

Schulz is especially upset when people tell him that compounds will shoot fifty percent faster than his stick bows.  At one meet, a bow company had a chronograph set up and Schulz shot his personal longbow against a compound.  The compound won, by three foot-seconds of speed.

“Now, that is hardly fifty percent,”  Schulz chuckled.  Both bows were about the same weight and the same arrows were shot.  Of course, a compound can use light spined arrows in many cases and then it will gain in the velocity domain, but even then a full fifty percent will seldom be the case.

On hunts or wherever  archers gather, Schulz and Ekin are willing to put their Hill bows up against the recurves and compounds that are present, and so far they have not been embarrassed by the performance of the so-called old-fashioned longbow.  Shooting for cast distance, they outranged many a modern factory recurve in the presence of other archers.  Difference of opinion makes not only the horse race, but also the existence of different styles and types of equipment, of course.  But I did learn that thinking of the longbow of today as that lemonwood stick of yesteryear is a mistake.

Schulz went on to explain that the biggest problem he had in bow orders was the tendency for archers to overtax themselves in bow pull.  Par of this, he felt, was the old wives’ tale  about the longbow having to weigh more to perform well.  I suspect, too, that when we order a Hill bow we have an image of the master in our minds and we are somewhat ashamed to say “Send me a fifty-five pounder” when Howard used an eighty-five in his backyard for practice.

Hill reasoned that he could gain speed, thus having to worry less about arrows varying widely from his line of sight,and also gain penetration by learning to draw heavy pulls.  He was, of course, right.  He also worked his way up to those big bows of one hundred and more pounds.  He did not start with them.  Hill was a powerful man.  With several onlookers he strung a one hundred-pound bow while sitting in a chair.  He was about 60 years old at the time.

As archers, we have to first of all be honest with ourselves when it comes to bow weight, and we have to acknowledge the fact that we are not sissies just because our bows don’t pull ninety pounds.  But I’m guilty.  Having made it to seventy pounds I figured I would go one step further and try the thrill of whistling arrows out of an eighty.  I was whistling alright, but not arrows.  The whistle was a “whew!” as I strained back on the string.  After using up two full tubes of liniment on my sore muscles, I dropped back to the seventy.

There is a current trend to return to traditional archery and the equipment that goes with it, while at the same time compound bow sales soar and new models appear, it seems, weekly.  I like the trend.  It makes sense to me.  We should have the choice of equipment, and we should be able to expand our tackle so that we have several kinds if we want to.  I have a good rifle, but it doesn’t mean that I am going to throw my shotgun away.  They compliment each other and serve at different capacities.

Besides, the argument of longbow versus recurve versus compound is mostly academic in the first place and is something akin to comparing bananas and apples which are both fruit, but that is where the comparison ends – shape, texture and constitution being vastly different.  The same holds true for the bow types, and Howard Hill knew it.  Sure, the longbow was for him.  He loved the simplicity and the high performing stability, but he also said, “No matter what kind of bow you shoot, no matter whether you shoot freestyle or barebow, if you are shooting with a bow and arrow I am with you.”

As for the scientific arguments that underrate the longbow and take two reams of graph paper, a calculator and twenty formulae to decipher, well, remember that scientifically the bumblebee cannot in any way manage to fly.  His mass is too great for the wing surface and his muscle structure too limited.  Please, though, don’t tell the bee.  He doesn’t know he can’t fly and it might prove a hell of a disappointment for him to find out.

Schulz and his son John clamp a bow that has been glued. The laminations are bamboo and glass

The longbow is a worthy addition to the tackle of the modern archer.  In a world of supersonic flight and computerized living, it is refreshing to handle a tool basic and simple, and that is the longbow.  It’s somewhat refined today with modern cements bonding split bamboo to risers of bubinga and rosewood, but traditional in form all the same.

While a spaceship scoops a cup of Martian soil with its metallic hand, depositing the dust into a scientific chamber for analyses, some of us are taking a few moments out of a busy schedule to propel feathered shafts from a bent stick the way our forbears did in times past, and maybe that is what recreation is all about <—–<<

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Published by archerchick on 17 Feb 2010

The Spring King – By Randy Templeton

The Spring King by Randy Templeton
April 2006
When bowhunting springs longbeards, use these tips to help boost the odds in your favor
April 2006

After gathering up my gear I made my way up the ridge in the pre-dawn blackness.  Once at the top, I placed a half-strutting tom and hen decoy near the field’s edge. then quietly sneaked into the timber and parked my rump against an ancient burr oak before first light, a low-volume owl hoot initiated a response from a roosted tom not more than 100 yards away.

As the sun began to light up the eastern horizon, I spotted several birds in a big cottonwood tree along the creek behind me. I hunted the general area two seasons before, so I had a good idea where the turkeys would go when they pitched dawn from their roost. My ambush was near the edge of a green strip where three gobblers had been strutting their stuff quite frequently. A couple of soft yelps lit up the woods with a string of gobbles, one right after another.  The best I could tell, there were at least three toms. maybe more.

After a few more purrs, clucks and yelps, I heard the turkeys fly down from their roost. Not long after, the gobblers came strutting along in the field. When they reached the crest ans saw the decoys, they picked up the pace and started running with their beards-a-swinging. As the lead gobbler (and biggest) spread his fan and danced his best jig in front of the decoy, I settled the sight pin and released the string. The Thunderhead zipped through the vitals, sending the hefty tom leaping into the air. When he hit the ground I ran to his rescue. He had a 10 3/4-inch beard, 1 2/-inch spurs and weighed 24 pounds. It was my second mature bird that spring.

Those who have bowhunted turkeys already know how tough it is to kill one of the spring kings, but you also know that it’s gratifying and a challenge well worth exploring. Let’s review a few basic tactics that could help you tag a longbeard with your bow.

A tom’s droppings are typically elongated and often shaped like the letter “J”

LEARN THE LANGUAGE
Of all the turkeys I’ve killed, I’ve yet to take any two under the exact same conditions or using the same tactics. In other words, there isn’t any set of rules or script to follow for killing a gobbler. Some days a turkey might respond to soft yelps and purrs. Other times they may come running at the first sight of a decoy, and other times they won’t.

The same goes for calls –not all are created equal. Some days it might be a box and other times a diaphragm or slate that strikes the fancy of an ol’ tom. Even the best turkey hunters have been made to look like a fool at some point in time by a wily old gobbler. It only takes on bad call to take you out of the game, so you should master more than one call and carry three or four. When the moment of truth arrives, you’ll need both hands free for shooting. If a turkey hangs up or you need him to take one last step, there won’t be time to use a slate or a box. With that in mind a diaphragm call is one you’ll want to practice using.

On a hunt in Nebraska with Cabela's this past spring, Mike Capps of Howard communications killed this beautiful Merriam with a Cabela's F3 broadhead

One of the first things that I learned about turkey hunting was that continuous calling got me in trouble almost every time. I would venture to say more birds have been killed that came to investigate soft calls than those that would shatter your eardrum. Through the school of hard knocks, I learned that it’s always better to start out using calls sparingly as opposed to bellowing out loud, excited repetitions. Remember, if you take the bird’s “temperature” using light intermittent calls and he doesn’t get fired up or cut the distance, you can always increase the volume and pick up the pace.

TAG TEAM CALLING
Anytime you’re able to draw attention away from yourself, the better the chances are of fooling an “old sultan” of the woods. Despite their differences in size, elk and turkey hunting are similar in many ways. One of my favorite elk tactics is tag-team calling with a friend, and it works very well on turkeys, too! For this strategy, one person is the designated shooter and the other is the caller.

With that in mind, the first thing on the agenda is to decide who’s shooting and who’s calling. To keep it fair, I usually flip a coin. Second on the agenda is to anticipate the direction in which the tom will come from. Third, find a tree or bush to set up behind that will conceal your movements when drawing. The caller sets up and calls from 10 or 20 yards behind or off to one side of the shooter. When the unsuspecting turkey struts into range, wait until he gives you a broadside shot or turns facing away to take the shot.

GET IN THE ZONE
Like the tom in the beginning, I knew where he had been strutting and made sure I was there when the sun came up that morning. The gobbler had been using a green strip of grass along a cornfield that hadn’t been tilled to strut his stuff. In fact, I’d seen him there twice the week before.

If time allows, it’s always a good idea to do some pre-season scouting. By scouting I don’t mean going out to your favorite spot and try calling a turkey up. In fact, calling before the season opens is probably one of the worst things you can do. The only thing you stand to gain from it is educating the birds before opening day. Like any other game, the element of surprise is your biggest ally.

Similar to deer, turkeys have certain locations where they hold up before feeding. They also use certain terrain features for entering feeding and roosting spots. Take for example, a point that extends from an oak-ridge flat. The point might also serve as a crossover to another roosting location or feeding area. Many of these terrain features are natural funnels that turkeys use going from feeding to roosting spots. When scouting, follow the outside edges of the timbered areas and look for tracks, droppings and dusting sites. If there’s a creek bottom with big cottonwood trees or perhaps an oak ridge with mature trees, look around beneath them for sign like droppings and feathers that would confirm turkeys are roosting above.

Because patterns can change quickly due to breeding activity or hunting pressure, the week or so before opening day spend the first and last two hours glassing to determine what’s coming out and when to the spot where you found fresh sign. Although strutting areas are typically found in open areas like ridge tops, field edges and logging roads, unless you’ve actually seen the turkeys strutting they’re pretty tough to locate. When scouting, look for sign such as tracks that appear to go both directions, droppings and wing-drag marks in soft powdery soil around field edges, dirt roads and such.

All too often, the toms that were henned up first thing in the morning start looking for other breeding hens around midday. In many cases, the toms leave the hens and head for their strutting zones. It’s for that reason you might spend time glassing during the late morning and early afternoon to locate strutting areas. If you find an honest to goodness strut zone, get there before the turkeys do and set up.

Although a single decoy will enhance a setup, multiple decoys can further increase your chances

SETTING UP
If you’re using a blind, get it set up (or build one) before opening day. If you know where to the turkeys are roosting, slip in under the cover of darkness and get within 100 yards or so and set up. If you’re hunting from the ground, then pick out a tree big enough to hide behind and conceal your movements. Be sure to clear all the leaves and debris away from the tree base. When you sit down, remember to position yourself in such a way that you can draw and shoot in the same direction the bird is expected to come from with minimal movement. For example, face your bow -grip shoulder toward the turkey’s approach route or decoy spread. In doing so, you’ll have a wider range to wing and shoot without needing to adjust. Set out one or two decoys to enhance the setup. From your scouting you already know where the turkey is going, so there’s no need to call very much, perhaps every 20 or 30 minutes is plenty.

PREPARING FOR THE SHOT
One of the toughest parts of bowhunting turkeys is getting drawn and shooting without getting picked off first. More often than not, the proper decoy setup can significantly improve your chances of beating the turkey’s keen sense of eyesight. When most toms approach, I’ve learned that they like to make eye contact, regardless of whether it’s another tom or a hen. Because of that, I found it’s better to face a decoy towards me or sideways rather than facing away. As a tom comes in to investigate he’ll eventually turn his read end in my direction, allowing me to draw and shoot.

Chances are, any shot you get won’t be from the standing position. So, long before the season practice drawing and shooting from the sitting and kneeling positions.

PATIENCE
Older birds that have survived a few seasons are usually hunter-wise and harder to kill. Although you’ll often need to be persistent when hunting wily birds, you’ll also need to show some patience, too.

I remember a time a few seasons back I’d been hunting an old tom for several days and anything that could go wrong, went wrong. I couldn’t sneak within range nor could I call him away from his hens, no matter how hard I tried.

Much to my surprise, one morning, the boss gobbler answered my calls with some real enthusiasm. Minutes later he flew down from the roost and landed just out of range from the decoy spread of two hens and a half-strutting  jake named “Bubba.” I refrained from calling too much and it wasn’t long before he strutted into range, spitting and drumming all the way. It was one time where a combination of patience and persistence paid off.

Bowhunting the spring king might be tough, but the rewards are well worth the efforts. Sound scouting and hunting strategies are the keys that unlock the door to success <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 16 Feb 2010

GLASSING PROS – By Joe Bell

GLASSING PROS –By Joe Bell
April 2006
Consider these effective tips and techniques for spotting game out west
April 2006

The outcome was quite typical. There I was with my handheld 10-power glass while my elbows were braced against my knees, intently scoping out the surroundings, while my good buddy Ron was using his 15×56 Swarovski binocular mounted atop an ultra-sturdy Bogen tripod. I was coming up dry while Ron, who was pretty comfortable leaning against his Jeep, was identifying bucks all over the rugged, desert hillside. It became apparently obvious that I was using a poor glassing system, which was certainly limiting my chances of spotting and stalking a buck that day.

No matter what you hunt, to be most effective you must tailor your equipment to the type of hunting you’ll be doing. Out west, first and foremost this means employing clear, high-power optics and various glassing techniques that will enable you to spot game so the hunt can begin.

Personally, I don’t know anyone more gifted at spotting game in wide-open western country thatn some of the hardcore bowhunters and guides who live and do most of their hunting in the Southwest.

Here’s how many of these hunters approach glassing in such country. And due to their success on tough-to-bag critters, such as trophy mule deer, elk, desert bighorn sheet and Coues deer, I know you’ll want to begin employing their tricks and tactics.

Glassing Speed: Good or Bad?
As an outfitter in the Southwest, Chad Smith has one of the best reputations I know of. One of the reasons why he’s so successful with clients is due to his experience and savvy at spotting game amid the vast desert terrain. He’s done it for most of his life -20-plus years – so this guy knows his stuff.

When I quizzed Chad about his glassing techniques he kind of stunned me with some of his advice. It’s not what many so-called experts have been telling us over the years.

“I use 10-power binoculars 90 percent of the time, even in the most expansive country,” Chad told me. “I’m more effective this way, since I can look over a lot of terrain, and in a short amount of time.”

Also, Chad doesn’t use a set pattern when glassing hillsides. He glasses those areas that appear best for holding game and then he moves out to the secondary locations. “I consider myself the world’s fastest glasser,” said Chad. “Some guys set up and just stare at terrain, virtually picking it apart. Personally, I think this technique limits your ability to cover a lot of terrain. That’s why I don’t glass this way. It sounds romantic to say you glassed up a leg, antler or ear of a deer, but nearly most of the time you’re glassing the whole deer,” said Chad, who obviously believes glassing speed can make the difference in success or failure. Of course, this goes against what many say, and that is to pick apart terrain slowly, not sweep past it. But Chad’s technique is well-honed, and what many would consider a “sweep” is a fast but well-orchestrated view of the surroundings.

Chad also routinely mounts his favorite 10×42 binocular (either a Leica or Zeiss) to a Gitzo 1228 LVL tripod that is equipped with a 3130 Bogen fluid head, doing a lot of long-range glassing this way. When at a high vantage point and he has already looked over the area with this 10-power glass, only will he then employ a big binocular to scour the terrain. For the past 10 years he’s used a Doctor 30×80 binocular for such work, which is no longer available. However, at this time, he’s working with the Outdoorsman in Phoenix (800/291-8065; www.outdoorsmans.com), on a prototype binocular that will offer 20-45 magnification with 55mm objective lenses, which he feels will be the ultimate long-range glassing tool.

According to Chad, one of the biggest mistakes he sees novice hunters make is failing to look over a valley or basin with the naked eye first before sitting down to intently glass. Sometimes game can be below you within 100 yards or so, and not a mile away. If you don’t scan terrain first, you could spook or limit our chances of the essence, particularly during the early seasons when the window of time when deer are on the move and more visible is 1 1/2 hours or less.

One big misconception out there is always glassing with the sun at your back. You have to learn to glass with the sun in your face. This allows you to look over terrain that is more shaded and more accommodating for animals to bed and feed in. Also, when it’s hot, says Chad, it’s a good idea to glass the shade all day long because that’s where you’ll find the animals.

Beyond knowing how to glass, you must know when to start your stalk as well. “If a buck isn’t in the right place for a stalk, you’ve got to wait,” said Chad. “We’ve sat on deer from daylight till dark waiting for the right moment to strike. And even then, you might have to try the next day, or the one after that.”

Glass All Day
Jay Scott has been hunting the Arizona mountains and deserts since he was 15 years old. However, he wasn’t very effective early on since he relied more on foot travel to locate game, rather than using good hunting optics to do the work. “I was introduced to hunting by my friend Jason Melde, and he was always a very good glasser,” says Jay. “Eventually, I ended up catching on over the years and began upping my success.”

When glassing, Jay prefers very prominent vantage points. “I feel the more country you can see, the better your chances are of finding the game you’re after.” Some hunters routinely glass from the truck, which Jay feels can be effective in some cases, particularly when you ‘re hunting a new place and you need to cover lots of country quickly. “I have been known to stand on top of my truck in some situations, especially in country that’s flat with no vantage points,” said Jay.

“I really don’t have a particular pattern and quite frankly don’t necessarily fall for the grid system,” said Jay. “I first glass what looks good to me, work the other areas and then do it all over again. If you get too caught up in a glassing grid it may cause you to miss something. For instance, if you are stuck in a grid and a buck walks through a saddle, you may miss the buck. If there are areas that you know will be consistent travel routes you need to be constantly checking back to them and then continue on with your glassing grid. Regardless of your technique, don’t leave any bit of terrain unturned with the binocular.”

While others consider prime time just that –prime time, Jay believes mid-day glassing has a lot of merit. “Me and my hunting partners have found some of best bucks during the middle of the day. You simply can’t quit glassing.”

Jay considers the following as the biggest rookie mistakes: not using a tripod, or using a flimsy cheap one; using low-quality optics; not getting comfortable enough to glass for long periods of time; failing to regularly clean lenses; arriving at key glassing spots too late in the morning. “Also, it is absolutely necessary to bed your quarry and then keep your buddy watching while you make your stalk.” said Jay. “By bedding the animal you usually are guaranteeing yourself 45 minutes to get into shooting position. A buddy who can signal you during the stalk is a deadly advantage.”

Favors Grid Glassing
As a hunting guide, consultant for Swarovski Optik, and native Arizonan, Chris Denham knows more than a thing or two about glassing game in the Southwest. Put more precisely, he knows a lot, and I consider him one of the best I’ve seen.

“Utilizing quality optics has been the most important part of my hunting for 25 years,” said Chris. “I was raised in Douglas and had the good fortune to hunt with Marvin and Warner Glenn. The Glenn family guided for Coues and mule deer using quality binoculars like Zeiss 10x40s and the better Bausch & Lomb models. I quickly learned that my success would be dependant on my ability to find deer before they found me, and quality binoculars gave me the advantage I needed.” “All of my optics are made by Swarovski,” said Chris. “I carry an 8×32 EL around my neck and a 15×56 SLC, and a STS-80 spotting scope in my pack. The EL is very easy to hold with one hand, which I think is beneficial to the bowhunter during the stalk. The 15-power binocular mounted to a tripod allows me to study fine details and find deer and sheep out to three miles, while the spotting scope is generally used to evaluate trophy-quality. When using the binocular I am not always able to determine if that funny-looking spot is a deer or an inanimate object; in a situation like this, the spotting scope will answer the question and allow you to move on or start stalking.”

When chosing a glassing area, Chris sizes up things very methodically. “I pay more attention to the sun than the wind direction,” said Chris. “On a cold morning animals will often move to or stay in a sunny spot, while on warm afternoons they will seek out some shade. Either way, don’t put yourself in a position that requires you to look directly into the sun.”

You must be comfortable when glassing. Here the author's friend Ron Way is using his Jeep as the perfect resting spot.

Like Chad Smith, Chris prefers to initially look over his immediate surroundings without optics. However, once he sits down to glass, he looks over the area systematically, glassing in a grid pattern. “I start at the bottom left corner of the area I want to cover and look at it for 10 to 20 seconds (depending on the species, terrain and vegetation),” said Chris. “After 20 seconds I will move a ‘half frame’ to the right, so I am essentially looking at each field of view twice. In areas that have a lot of concealed terrain or excessive vegetation, I may go through this routine three to four times.”

“Glassing effectively is much like reading a book with fine print; you need to be comfortable and relaxed to be effective. If you are shivering after a long hike, or you are forced to sit on sharp rocks, you will not want to glass for long. Carry a cushion or small chair (especially if the ground is wet) to sit on. I like to carry an extra shirt so that when I get sweaty on a hike I can put on the warm dry shirt when I stop to glass.”

“Talent is a gift you are born with and skill is something that can be obtained through proper training. Glassing is a skill, not a talent,” said Chris. “The first time I glass with a new hunter I always put them in charge of monitoring each deer I see. When trying to keep track of 1 to 10 deer at a time they learn to recognize deer when they can only see a small part of the deer. The more you watch an animal in multiple presentations, the more likely you will be able to recognize that animal in the future. This is glassing ‘practice’.”

One of the chief mistakes rookie glasser make is arriving at vantage points too late in the morning, you must be set up by first light

“When stalking, I like to get within 200 yards with the wind in a safe direction and then study the stalk. You may have a prevailing southwest wind, but there may be a back draft in a small draw or canyon. In the winter (in the Southwest) it is not uncommon for the breezes to change 180 degrees as the frosty morning air reaches its afternoon peak. Pay close attention to what the wind is doing every day, even if you are not on an active stalk. This will improve your decision making when the adrenaline rush of a stalk sets in.” <—<<

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Published by archerchick on 16 Feb 2010

WHITETAIL TACTICS -By Fred Bear

WHITETAIL TACTICS – By Fred Bear
The Master Offers Some Little-Known Tips For Whitetail Success -1977
http://www.bowandarrowhunting.com

I THINK MOST HUNTERS, whether devotees of the rifle or the bow, are in agreement that there are very few trophies more coveted than that first whitetail that “makes the book.”

There are no shortcuts to trophy hunting. The confidence and positive attitude so necessary for success requires dedication, time and, yes, hard work. The latter, however, can be compared to being head judge in a beauty contest – while classed as work, it certainly has its high points and a sustained interest level.

Many books and countless articles have been written on the subject of hunting the elusive whitetail. Rather than rehash the basic hunting tactics that can be read about in many other such sources, I will here dwell a bit on factors which perhaps are not usually stressed enough.

Fred Bear, founder and president of Bear Archery, takes a break while scouting for new territory.

For example, the movement of deer from bed grounds to feeding areas and back again is a daily occurrence under normal circumstances, and along this trail the success or failure of a bowhunter lies. In periods other than the rutting moon, understanding this route and the time element involved is the secret of success.

What motivates deer to move or bed down, other than satisfying their hunger? Why do all deer in an area start to move to or from feeding areas at almost the same time? The main reason for this is the temperature, or, more correctly, the changing of it. A deer’s very existence depends on the constant use of its well-tuned senses and probably the keenest of these is the sense of smell. The message that it is time to eat is received not merely by his stomach, but also through his nose. He moves to and from feed and bed on air currents. The motivation is a thermal air drift, caused by the changing temperatures.

Two Hunters, two bucks - a good average on whitetails.  After you have downed one, the work begins.

During the day, the thermal air drift is to higher ground due to the warming trend. As the weather cools towards evening, a reversal takes place and the drift is to lower ground. Deer move daily before these reversals take place. They move toward the lower feeding grounds while the thermal air currents are traveling upward. This affords them the knowledge of any impending danger ahead. By the same token, they start moving to the higher bedding ground in early morning before the reversal, while the direction of the drift is still downward. Any hunter who has sat in a blind in the evening near a meadow or corn field has experienced this reversal – like a cold, clammy hand – as the thermal drift settled around him.

In comparatively flat country, a marsh, swamp, pond or larger body of water acts the same as a low meadow, ravine, canyon or flat below higher, rougher or more timbered areas. That is, the thermal flow is toward them during the evening and hours of darkness and away from them as the air warms during daylight. Deer normally bed on slightly higher ground due to the rising air drift which affords them advance warning of anything approaching from below.

In choosing a bed ground, they invariably will pick a southerly exposure, at least partially, meaning either south, southeast or southwest, to obtain some benefit of warmth as they rest. This choice may be altered if foul or extremely adverse weather such as high wind, rain or snow comes in from these directions. They may then choose the lee side of a slope to obtain a break from the elements. Keeping this in mind, the hunter may save many fruitless hours by not hunting slopes that parallel the storm direction, as both sides of such slopes are hit directly by the bad weather. So, let thermal air currents and prevailing winds govern your choice of hunting elevations while still-hunting, or in the placement of blinds while watching.

While still-hunting or sneaking is the most challenging and exciting form of deer hunting, by far the majority of archers depend upon blinds or stands for ultimate success. The reason of course is the limited accurate range of the bow, which, when combined with the deer’s natural protective screen of finely honed senses, makes a close approach in the open extremely difficult.

In recent years, laws have been amended to allow bowhunting from elevated blinds in a majority of our states. The use of windfalls or portable tree platforms, or – as is the practice in Texas – the use of man-made towers, if located and used properly, is a tremendous equalizer in overcoming the odds against success. However, contrary to what many people think, it does not insure you the choice of any animal in the area. The placement and use must not be haphazard.

One distinct advantage the elevated stand offers is that it normally allows the flow of the hunter’s scent above any approaching animal. Also, because of the way their heads are set on the necks, deer seldom raise their heads at a sharp angle. Moreover, they are not inclined to look up, because in their normal range they have no natural enemies which attack from above. They often ignore movement or sound overhead, apparently believing it to be branches rubbing in the breeze or the movement of a bird or squirrel. Precautions are necessary, however, to insure retaining the advantage of elevation.

From what I have experienced in the past few seasons, during which the use of elevated tree stands has greatly expanded in legality and popularity, one should not count on a deer never looking up. These animals have survived for eons, often on the very fringes of civilization, by their ability to learn. It is my belief that within the foreseeable future one of the advantages of the elevated blind will be largely negated by most of our deer, especially the trophy bucks, looking upward as they move along.

For this reason, you should choose your background for a tree stand carefully as you would for a blind on ground level. If you silhouette yourself against the skyline you’re asking to be seen prematurely with any movement you make. The higher your elevation above eye level, of course, the less this is true, but many states have a stipulation on total elevation varying between six and fifteen feet.

A large-trunked tree or one with heavy foliaged limbs behind you will help blend your camouflage-suited figure into the trunk. If you choose to take your stand in a tree at the top of a rise, don’t place yourself in a direct line with any trails coming toward you. You might be fifteen feet above the trail, but because of the slope of the hill, the angle of vision of any animal approaching from below would be higher than usual and it might be looking right at you.

Caution should be exercised in removing branches and brush to clear shooting lanes near the approach to a stand. Deer are cautious of new breaks on a well-known route and sometimes will shy around them.

It is most important to try plenty of practice shots from your chosen stand before you hunt from it. It is unbelievable how often very close shots at deer from an elevated stand fly harmlessly over their backs. The angle will fool even the experienced shooter unless he is prepared to compensate properly for it. This can only be accomplished by practice shots from that position. I make it a habit to carry a couple of blunt arrows in my bowquiver, and each time I finish a watching period I shoot them at a fallen leaf or other mark before descending from my perch. If you don’t do this your chances of missing that nice buck when he does come along are great.

Fred Bear in 1974 field testing the Bear Alaskan in western Ontario.

All in all, this method of hunting is the most effective one for deer. I’ve had numerous animals within twenty feet of my stand with no realization whatsoever of my presence.

If your heart is set on an encounter with a trophy buck, you must first find his home territory, and this will not necessarily be in or on the fringe of the highest concentration of deer in the area. Scrapes are the best indication of a buck’s presence and the approach of the rut, during which time he is more vulnerable. Scrapes are just what the word implies – spots where the ground cover is pawed or scraped away exposing the dark soil, much like a fresh garden plot ready for planting. These can be a few feet to a few yards in diameter.

The earliest scrapes your scouting turns up are usually along the edges of cover, on or near defined trails, and mark the buck’s territory. These scrapes will often be beside a small tree where the buck has stripped off the bark in the process of polishing his antlers and preparing for the battles to come. The scrape may also be under the limbs of a tree or branches of a large bush showing signs of being severely thrashed by the buck’s rack.

Don’t be satisfied to settle down near the first scrapes found. Later scrapes will be made as the rut approaches its peak. These scrapes will be in or near heavier cover and usually off the regular trails. They will be larger and more defined than the boundary scrapes and will retain the strong scent the buck has left there.

Erecting a tree stand near the latter spots can really pay off. Don’t make the mistake of positioning your stand too close to the scrape. Get back fifteen or twenty yards, where you can cover the most likely approach lanes as well as the scrape itself. This will give you the possibility of a side-angle shot which is the easiest to make. Even though you’ll be elevated, be sure to take the prevailing wind drift into account and choose a spot downwind of the key area, the same as you would for a ground-level blind. Otherwise, a tricky air current could betray you at just the wrong moment. A little scent at ground level can be used to overpower whatever wisps of your odor linger, but don’t overdo it. Sweet apple cider seems to work as well as any commercial scent, even in areas where there are no apples.

Fred Bear with a Michigan whitetail. Some tips he gives for this kind of success are a well-elevated stand in a large-trunked tree and lots of tree-stand practice shots

Once a stand is erected in such a location, don’t spend any more time scouting or milling about that immediate area. Leave too much of your scent behind and a smart buck will not come in. On those occasions when you hunt from the stand, approach it quickly from the direction opposite the hot spot, climb up immediately, and then remain quiet. No smoking, no candy bars, no fidgeting around if you are really serious about getting a crack at “old rockin’ chair.” One bit of carelessness can overdo all your careful preparations and, even with you well-positioned, elevated blind, you’ll need all the breaks you can get in reducing a trophy whitetail to meat in the pot and a bow rack on the wall. <—<<

You should choose the site of your tree stand with as much care as you would for a blind on ground level says Bear.

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According to the author, a tree skinned of its bark is a sure sign your are in a buck's home territoryThe hunter above found a natural tree stand

The hunter above found a natural tree stand

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Published by admin on 03 Feb 2010

Shooting Straight with frank addington, jr.

Shooting Straight
         with frank addington, jr.

Aspirin Bustin’ at the Northern Wisconsin Deer Classic and Ice Fishing Expo
 
    (Eau Claire, WI) The Aspirin Buster was in the house January 29-31, 2010 for the Northern Wisconsin Deer Classic and Ice Fishing Expo.  Promoter Hugh Price had brought me to Eau Claire twice before but this was my first trip back since about 2005.   The new facility at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Complex made an ideal location for this winter show.  There were trophy bucks, lots of people, and lots to see and do. 
 
    This area seems to be well known for COLD weather and big bucks.  I have been really impressed with some of the whitetails I see displayed at this event over the years.  I think it may be a well kept secret because I never hear much about Wisconsin but I sure see a lot of big bucks at these shows.  The bowhunters here also have an interest in traditional archery and asked a lot of good questions after my exhibitions. 
 
    There was a pop-up 3-D archery range which seemed to be a poplar draw for many who found the chilly Wisconsin winters too cold to shoot outdoors.   My pal Bill Weisner has added a company to his portfolio, a bear scent company which goes great with his “Bear Crazy” bear seminars that he conducts across the country.  It’s always good to visit and share stories, meals and laughs with Bill and his family & crew.  Bill’s new company is called “Bear Scents”, visit www.bearscents.com to see his line of products.  He did seminars at the show and also had a booth.
 
   This was the first show for my new Hoyt Formula RX recurve bows.  In addition to two new Hoyt bows, I had a new net system, new arrows, and three different throwers during the three day event!  We had standing room only each performance and I was happy folks came out to see the show.  The audiences were great and  I was happy to sign publicity photos for the folks that stood in line after the show.  That’s one of the best parts of the gig because the folks seem happy and excited and that’s my job. I love to see kids get excited about archery.   All three of the assistants did a great job, one of them was Jeff Brunn who had tossed targets for me back in 2005 when I last visited the show.
 
   I ended up hitting the baby aspirin the 7th shot on that first show with the new bow.  I had gotten the bow strings the Tuesday before the show so I really had to scramble to get the bows shot in and tuned by Friday.  We also did the three pill—three arrow shot and it went over really well with the audiences.  I love to raise the bar and keep the shots a challenge.  Yeah there is a chance I’ll miss a few times, but when you hit the pills the audience really gets into it. 
 
    The show isles seemed busy and there was also some of the TV hunting show personalities on hand to do seminars and greet people.  I’d like to thank the folks at Hoyt, Muzzy, Easton, SKB Cases, Eze-Eye Archery, Archery Stand By, Resistol hats,  Justin boots, and Sims Vibration Labs.  I am looking forward to the next show in St. Louis, MO.  Seeing is believing–see you at the show! 
 
Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank

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Published by admin on 19 Jan 2010

My Method of shooting the bow: by Frank Addington Jr.

My Method of shooting the bow:
The Groscup Method of Instinctive Shooting
Although my father actually started me shooting a bow instinctively at four years old, I have dubbed my method “The Groscup Method” in honor of my friend and mentor the late Rev. Stacy Groscup.  A humble Methodist minister from Morgantown, WV Stacy was a great shot with a bow.  Any bow.  He was the first man to hit an aspirin tablet from mid air with a bow and he was the only archer to ever hit seven pills in a row, that remains a world record.  He did that record shot in the 1980’s in front of national TV. In 2004 he signed the 7th arrow he used for that shot and gave it to me.  I also have many other things that help me remember my old friend and second father. 

Stacy always called me his second son, and we laughed about it.  My parents didn’t mind sharing and Stacy and I were close my entire life.  Now that he is gone I want people to remember him and read about him.  I guarantee Stacy had a positive impact on anyone he ever met.  Like Jesus, he went about life doing good for others.

 
There was only one Rev. Stacy Groscup.  His father Baptized my father when dad was born and I grew up watching Stacy’s amazing shows.  I even tossed targets for him at a number of shows.  When I turned 18, he took a Pepsi can and tossed it into mid air and challenged me to hit it.  I did and that same day he put me in front of an audience shooting aerial targets. 
 
Stacy preferred the shortest bow he could get with the arrow as close to his knuckle as possible.  Fred Bear liked his arrow near his knuckle too.  However I’ve seen Stacy shoot an Onieda eagle, longbow and longer recurves with the same accuracy.  Since he was not a tall man, he liked the bows short.  He could shoot anything with a string on it.  He had an extensive bow collection, everything from antique Turkish coathanger bows to the most modern Black Widow or Zipper.  Golden Eagle even produced a limited edition bow via Zipper with Stacy’s name on it and they also made a video in the 1990’s featuring Stacy.
When the Archery Hall of Fame inducted Stacy as their 49th Inductee, I was very pleased to have been the one that got the nomination packet together.  It was the least I could do for this great man,  As humble as Stacy was he was very honored to be recognized by the sport he loved so much. I loved seeing him at the podium accepting the award and speaking to the group at the ATA dinner in Indianapolis.  When we got back to West Virginia the Governor honored Stacy with the Distinguished West Virginian Award and the WV Senate had him on the floor of the Senate and recognized him.  The West Virginia DNR also hosted a small party for Stacy at their headquarters at the Capital. 
The morning of the Governor’s award Stacy met me at Pop’s archery shop.  We presented Stacy with a Mathews MQ 32 bow.  A member of the media was there to interview Stacy.  I had told them he would be available for interviews but wouldn’t have time to shoot.  The next thing I know Stacy has the brand new MQ bow he’s never shot outside and a reporter filming him shoot discs out of mid air with it.  Now keep in mind Stacy had just driven three hours and was 78 years old.  He hit the aspirin the FIRST shot for the camera.  I was amazed and I had watched him shoot my entire life.  After the shot, Stacy grinned, said we better go and put his sport coat back on and we left to meet with the Governor.  Just another day for Stacy.  I mentioned the feat later that day when I spoke at the Governor’s ceremony.
I could tell you a lifetime of similar stories about Stacy.  Having shared the stage, hunting camps and practice range with him my entire life I can attest to the fact that he was the most consistent instinctive shooter to ever draw a string.  I am not taking away from any of our sport’s legends, living or past, and I consider myself a fair shot, but of us all—instinctive shooters and exhibition shooters, there has never been another like Stacy.  He could hit aerial targets from his stomach, his back, at a full run, or in a variety of positions, and was able to maintain his accuracy through old age.  When he was 82 he joined me on stage and hit the aspirin the 7th shot… at 82 years old.  How many of us will even be able to see an aspirin airborne at that age? 
 
Stacy played a big part in my life and is one of the reasons I do what I do.  He was one of those role models that impact your life and remain unforgettable.  Ted Nugent wrote a song about another friend of mine named Fred Bear.  He wanted future generations to remember Fred.  I thought that was huge of Nugent to do to keep Fred’s name out there for all.
I thought that by using “Groscup method of instinctive shooting” in my media interviews it would help keep Stacy’s name and memory alive.  If you have never heard of Stacy or did not have the opportunity to see his show I am sorry.  When we lost him the sport lost a gentle giant, a legend, and a man that truly lived up to the word hero.   
Until next time, Adios & God Bless.
Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster
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Published by admin on 18 Jan 2010

2010: Aspirinbusting 25 Years by frank addington, jr.

2010: Aspirinbusting 25 Years
by frank addington, jr.


 
         It is hard to believe that 25 years ago  the late Rev. Stacy Groscup tossed a Pepsi can into mid air and challenged me to hit it.  I did and that same day he put me in front of an audience and had me shooting at aerial targets.   I’d actually assisted Stacy on stage for years by tossing targets for him from time to time.  Ann Clark  also had me assist her when she visited the West Virginia Sport show around 1981.  Those early experiences with Ann & Stacy let me know I’d found my calling.  I wanted to make a living shooting a bow and arrow.  It’s the only thing I wanted to do.
      The shows have come full circle since that time and I have evolved into performing  my own shows.  When I first started I basically imitated Stacy’s show, the same shots and the same script.   I soon came to realize that there was only one Stacy and as my confidence grew I began designing my own show and my own shots.  That’s part of how the behind the back shots came into play.  I wanted to break new ground and do some shots that had never been attempted in front of crowds before.  I wanted to rewrite the books on exhibition shooting with some of the shots I’d attempt.  Some worked, some didn’t.  I kept the good ones and forgot the others.  I once fired two bows at once in California— and hit both targets with two arrows.  That was a crazy shot!  I couldn’t do that shot often, when you consider that shooting twin 45# bows meant I was really pulling 90#. 
      I’ve written about some lucky shots I’ve done before, including the long distance shot in Union Grove, NC in 1988.   I won’t revisit that tale now but I would be lying if I said that 80-90 yard shot wasn’t luck!  Sometimes there’s a fine line between luck and skill.  I Am always happy when luck is on my side.  I’d like to think all my first shot shows on baby are 100% skill but I must admit sometimes luck plays a part. 
      2010 will mark my 39th year shooting a bow and arrow.  Crazy huh?  It’s hard to believe I’ve been flinging arrows that long.  It’s been so long that I really don’t ever remember not shooting a bow.  I have made many friends during that 39 years in the sport.  Fred Bear, Earl and Ann Hoyt, Stacy Groscup, and so many others.  Sadly, many of these legends are gone.  Fortunately we have some icons left, like Chuck Adams. Ted Nugent, and many, many more.  My son Gus, 3, has been shooting a bow since he was about 18 months old.  I had to help him but he loved it.  I was glad to see a third generation Addington come along that enjoyed archery!
      Many of the folks I have shared seminar stages with when I started have moved on, retired or passed away.  I miss many of them.  I’ve met some unforgettable characters in this business, that’s for sure.  My equipment has changed over the years.  When I very first started I used a wooden Bear Kodiak recurve bow.  I have a special blonde colored Bear Kodiak Fred Bear signed and sent me that I never put a string on.  I remember his shoulders rocking with laughter when I told him I was hitting aspirin with one of his bows.  He smiled and said, “I thought I was doing good when I used to hit coins…”  I have some photos Dick Mauch shared with me of Fred on stage doing exhibitions.  Fred used to trade these shows for booth space when he first started out. 
     In the mid 1980’s I would join Hoyt/Easton’s Advisory staff.  There I’d meet folks like a serious bowhunter named Chuck Adams.  He climbed the ladder quickly and was one of the hardest working men in the sport.  Driven and focused on what he wanted, he became the first to obtain the famous “Super Slam” by bagging one of all 27 big game species in North America.  Chuck has lasted all these years because he has worked for his position, he doesn’t cut corners and he plays by the rules.  We remain good friends and I was delighted when Chuck agreed to write the forward for my book when it finally comes out.  Some may be jealous of Chuck’s fame or position but he put in the hours and the sweat to become the sport’s most successful bowhunter. 
      During my time at Hoyt I held various positions, including Gold Staff member, and a one man member of a term Eric Dally made up, “Promotional Pro Staff.”  I left Hoyt in 2003 and shot Mathew’s Sky recurves beginning in 2003.   2004 was a wild year for my shows, we even ended up doing an exhibition on behalf of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.  “Old Blue” is the Sky bow I used for 6 years.  I had newer bows from Sky including two Mathews prototype bows that were never launched to the public, but I remained true to “Old Blue.”  It was a great shooting bow.
       July 1, 2009 I returned home to Hoyt.  Mike Luper and I had talked and I knew that it would be great to work with Mike again.  He knows the archery industry and has a knack for promotional efforts and promoting the sport and Hoyt.  He thinks out of the box.  I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Mike and I am glad to be back working with him.  For 2010 I will be shooting twin Formula RX bows.  I am just now getting them ready for our new show season.  If they shoot as good as they look the baby aspirin are in trouble.  Here’s the website, check out these bows for yourself:
 
   http://www.hoytrecurve.com/recurve_bows/hoyt_formula_recurve_bow.php
 
       My how bows have changed since 1971!  My first bow was a fiberglass stick with a string.  It’s funny that I use the same shooting style now that I used way back then!  Instinctive shooting has been good to me.  I am thankful my father set me up that way.  He still sets up every bow that I perform with on stage.  I always am quick to say I have the very pit crew in archery with Pop!  I can set up my own equipment but prefer he does it.
        His retail shop, Addington’s Bowhunter Shop, turns 32 this year!  If you visit you’ll find a shop full of vintage photos, hunts he has made all over, signed photos from folks like country singer George Strait (he set up a Hoyt for Strait in the 1990’s),  and an indoor range full of full mounted animals.  I also have a display of my show bows.  I have kept at least one of every bow I’ve ever used on stage the past 25 years and have them on display.  We are working on an additional display which will have some special Stacy Groscup items in it.  One visit to the shop and you’ll see why my parents love the sport so much.  They have bowhunted together all of my life and have a lifetime of memories and photos on display.  By the way, Mom has taken 17 or 18 bear with her bow! 
        During the past 25 years I’ve seen countless airports, hotel rooms, thousands of miles of highway, and met lots of new friends.  For the 25 year mark I have some new shots up my sleeve.  You will have to catch our show this year to see what we have planned!  I feel very blessed to have been able to perform at a professional level 25 straight years.  However, I am just getting started. A few years ago I saw that my friend Ted Nugent always had cool names for his rock and roll tour each year, so I dubbed my tour the HAVE BOW WILL TRAVEL tour.  Catchy huh? 
 
Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank
 
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by admin on 18 Jan 2010

My beat up leather tab…Frank Addington Jr.

My beat up leather tab…

 

One frequent question from traditional archers is what type of finger protection do I prefer when shooting.  I have always said that instinctive shooting is mostly personal preference and you should shoot what allows you to shoot best.  If you are comfortable and can shoot accurately that’s the answer. 
 
When I was a kid I preferred a Bear glove.  The package had Fred’s photo on it and I knew he wore a glove so that’s what I wanted to wear.  I would wear a new glove around for days trying to soften it up and get it broken in.  I still have my first Bear glove.  Those were happy days.  I’d spend hours in the back yard shooting pretending to be Fred Bear on some remote adventure.  I always told Fred he’d made me a better shooter and those big shoulder’s of Fred’s would rock with laughter.
 
I tried some tabs along the way and eventually went to bare fingers.  I shot this way for several years and built my fingers up.  I tended to drag my third finger so it usually had more calluses than the others.  However, one time around 1990 the late Rev. Stacy Groscup and I shared a stage together performing at a local sports show.  There was a stage but no chairs so the audience would stand at the stage.  After about eight rows back people couldn’t see so Stacy and I would do a show, let that eight rows leave and then we’d immediately do another show.  I think we ended up doing more than 20 shows that weekend and my fingers were throbbing so much that they hurt when they touched the sheets at night.  So the last day of the show Stacy handed me a special hand made leather tab he made.  I used it that day and had great results with it, even with my sore fingers. 
 
I gave his tab back and he told me he would make some tabs especially for me.  I forgot about it until a few weeks later a package arrived.  It was full of leather tabs, mostly brown leather but a few were out of different materials.  I picked one and noticed Stacy had signed the back of it.  That was 1990.  Now, 20 years later, I use that same tab today.  I have never had to use one of the back up tabs.  I am still using the original tab.
 
It’s made out of flat leather and I carry it in my wallet.  I always have it with me.  The last thing I do before heading on stage is take out my wallet and place the tab on my right hand.  It’s a quiet reminder of Stacy and a tradition that I’ve stuck with all these years.  I say a quick prayer and then head on stage. 
 
What type of finger protection do you prefer? 
 
Wearing a tab helps me get away from dragging my third finger so much.  I feel I get a cleaner release with the tab.  I also like the fact that I can always have it with me, even if I don’t have my bow and someone wants to shoot I am ready.  I like the tradition and feel of a leather glove but feel I am just a little more accurate with my Groscup tab.  I have several in my desk drawer at home.  I told someone this supply should get me through the rest of my archery career and still have some left over to pass along to my son Gus.
 
In closing, my best advice is to shoot what allows you to shoot best.  We want you enjoying archery and hitting what you shoot at.  That’s the name of the game.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, Adios & God Bless.

Shoot Straight,
Frank Addington, Jr.
The Aspirin Buster
 
www.frankaddingtonjr.com

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Published by KurtD on 14 Jan 2010

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