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Joe Skipp

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Terry Green:
Real Name: Joe Skipp
TG handle: Joe Skipp
Age: 53
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 160
Home State: New York
TradGang member number: 1095

(TG)- Tell us about yourself.

(Joe Skipp)- I'm married, my wife Pat, daughter Nicole and 2 sons, Joe Jr and Stephen. I also have 4 Grandkids which I love and spoil. I was blessed with having family who loved the outdoors. Although I was the only child, my father and I would spend our weekends with his brother and my 3 cousins fishing or hunting. I was in the woods at 7 yrs old jumping on brush piles to scare out rabbits or holding the leash on the two beagles. As I grew older I loved to trap muskrats. Payed for my gas money through high school. I'm really fond of catching smallmouths and walleye in our NYC Reservoirs. I hit a few farm ponds for largemouths...nothing better on a quiet morning than having a bass smack your buzzbait...I never completed college, played baseball for one year in the minors. Never could hit a good hard slider...
I'm a member of PBS, P&Y, New York Bowhunters, NRA. From 1985 to 1993 I wrote a monthly column for Doug Walkers Western Bowhunter and National Bowhunter publications. My father passed away at age 84, my mother is 92 and still living. I'm sorta taking care of 2 families. A few bad habits...I chew Levi Garret and enjoy a good Gin and Tonic.

(TG)- What do you do for a living?

(Joe Skipp)- Right now I'm back to work for IBM. I worked there 20 yrs and was laid off in 1993. I opened up Renegade Archery in '95 and IBM called me and took me back in 2000. I work in a receiving / shipping dept. now, throwing around heavy boxes and walking alot keeps me in shape. My archery shop is only open 3 days a week and if its hunting appointment only.

(TG)- How long have you been bow hunting with traditional gear?

(Joe Skipp)- I started out in 1969 with a Bear Cub, then Browning Nomad in 1971. I always shot cedar arrows back then, either Bear or Pearson. I tried the Allen Compound when it first came out and that lasted one month. Got rid of it and went back to that simple piece of wood. So, 36 yrs of using Trad gear.

(TG)- Any heroes? Any role models?

(Joe Skipp)- American Sportsman brought Fred Bear right into our home. I even had the pleasure of talking to Fred quite a bit back in 1985 via phone conversations. A true gentlemen and pioneer of our sport. My only regret is
never having met Fred in person to shake his hand and thank him for what he did for me and bowhunting.  Back in the late 60's I loved reading stories by Jim Dougherty in Bow & Arrow. Had the opportunity to bowhunt with Jim back in
1981 for 7 days. We hunted antelope with Judd Cooney in Colorado. Great experience for me to share a campfire with Jim and Judd. I'll add Pearson, Swinehart and Doug Walker to the mix.

(TG)- Which eye is your dominant eye?

(Joe Skipp)- I'm right eye dominant but I'm practicing to shoot left handed. Never know when a shoulder injury may force the switch.

(TG)- Do you shoot right handed or left handed?

(Joe Skipp)- I'm right handed but working hard at getting better left handed.

(TG)- What got you started bowhunting?

(Joe Skipp)- My father and uncle bowhunted and our job was to hold the arrows and then retrieve them. I just loved watching the arrows fly and back then, we made our own arrows. The smell of burning feathers filled the garage. I was hooked by the time I was 14. I would chase rabbits around with an old glass bow, my fathers "throw away" arrows with Bodkin heads. Never did hit anything but I had a blast!

(TG)- Who first helped you get involved in traditional bow hunting?

(Joe Skipp)- No one really. Recurves ruled in the late 60's early 70's. I started out Traditional and remain traditional today.

(TG)- Do you remember the first animal you took with a traditional bow? Tell us about it!

(Joe Skipp)- I don't think anyone forgets their first trad kill. 1971...Browning bow, Forgewood arrow, Bear Razorhead, Tiger Stripe Camo, and the Bear ST Charles quiver. Second week of bowseason, 7:30 am finds me kneeling in my month old ground blind. I hear some deer chasing and here comes a real fat 4pt trailing a
doe. The buck stops 15 yds broadside right in front of the small opening I made. I remember hitting anchor and letting go, heard a "thump" and the deer ran off. I was so excited I "crow called" my cousin down from his stand.(No tree stands here) 10 minutes after I shot. Found the arrow, it was a passthru and the buck went
less than 50 yds. That was quite a thrill for me and my cousin.

(TG)- Do you prefer a glove or tab?

(Joe Skipp)- I use the Berlin Deerskin Glove. I like the feel of the leather. I don't like to "feel" the string. I tried Damascus and Hill type gloves but could never get used to them. Same with a tab, never felt comfortable shooting with one.

(TG)- Do you have any favorite memories or kills that stand out? Tell us about it!

(Joe Skipp)- There have been so many fond memories over the years with so many good hunters and people.'s two....1986 I was hunting an area close to home. I took a friend in with me because we had seen
some nice bucks in the area. I was hunkered down between a few trees and stonewall fence when this huge buck came strolling right up to me with about 15 minutes of shooting light left. The buck stepped over the fence, I came to full draw and arrowed him while he raked a tree...the distance was 7 yards! Curt (Guru) ended up doing the shoulder mount for me. The other was in Wyoming, I bugled in a 330 class 6x6 Elk and he was no more than 15 yds away screaming and carrying on and I could not get an arrow off. My hunting buddy from Wyoming was 40 yds away and watched the whole thing. I even called the bull back in a second time, same results. He finally left unscathed but what an adrenaline rush! I'll never forget that....

(TG)- Can you tell us a bit about your preferred hunting combo?

(Joe Skipp)- No secret, I love my Jack Kempf Stealth T/D, 60" 58# at 27". I also shoot Bow River Summit T/D by Rick Lepp, 60" 60# at 27". Past couple years I've been using my Groves Spitfire and Massie Longbow. Just had
the urge to bowhunt whitetails with the one piece Groves and Massie. I shoot Barrel Tapered Ash and 2117 Swagged Legacys. My broadheads of choice are 2 blade Zwickey Eskimos, 160 grain Snuffers and 125 gr Modoc Chiefs. This year I regressed and used Shulz Hunter Heads and Pearson Deadheads. I wish I could locate more Shulz heads....I like HB Shield feathers, fluorecesent dipped arrows and I prefer the backquiver or Cat 3.5.

(TG)- What is the one piece of advice you would give a new hunter to aid him on his hunting ventures?

(Joe Skipp)- Spend as much time in the woods as you can without sacrificing time from your family. Make the most of your scouting trips, read and understand the books from proven whitetail hunters like Rothaar and the Wensels.
Forget all those magazine "How To" articles that every year tell the same story...."How to kill your big buck"...Too repetitive and very boring. Finally, if your just learning to shoot a Trad bow DON'T GIVE UP because your not
"Compound" accurate. Think about infield coach on teaching me and the shortstop on working on the double play.." Guys, we're gonna work at this until it becomes EASY. Then we'll work even harder until it becomes SIMPLE.
 Then we work even harder until this becomes SECOND NATURE."  Let it sink in...

(TG)- What is your favorite animal to hunt?

(Joe Skipp)- I enjoy bowhunting all animals both big and small game. I would have to say the whitetail but Mule deer hunting runs a real close second.  

(TG)- Do you have or prefer a certain method of hunting?

(Joe Skipp)- I'm afraid of heights so in 1975 I hit the ground and have never left. I have ambush locations set up in my hunting areas which are very productive. I really enjoy stillhunting on those rainy, quiet days especially when the rut hits. My buddy and I have been quite sucessful using these still hunting methods. I will sit in a location
all day if its over a good active scrape. Basically, I'm a groundpounder and love being eyeball to eyeball with a whitetail. Sure makes for some exciting hunts....

(TG)- Does any of your family hunt or fish?

(Joe Skipp)- When they have the time, I may get out fishing or hunting  with both my sons. Work and families have kept them busy but we try to find time when possible.
(TG)- Do you have any bowhunting goals or plans for the immediate future?

(Joe Skipp)- Not really. I failed to draw a Wyoming Elk tag 2 yrs now...A customer of mine wants me to join him in Montana this year for Elk. I would like to spend about 10 days in the Alberta Prairie chasing Mule deer...gonna have
to push Kempf and Lepp for extended invites...

(TG)- Do you make any of your own gear?

(Joe Skipp)- Just my arrows....I use Tradgang members when I need strings made. Got some good string makers here on this site.

(TG)- Where is the one place you would really just love to hunt?

(Joe Skipp)- Besides the Yukon which offers Moose, Grizzly, Mtn Goats...Most of the Western States. I never hunted Utah, would love to hunt for Mulies. Illinois, Iowa or Missouri for Whitetails would be neat, especially from the
ground. Basically, I would enjoy any State or Province that offers good hunting and fishing. I'm not that picky of a person. I just love to hunt....

(TG)- Do you primarily hunt private or public ground?

(Joe Skipp)- Both...In CT we hunt both private and public, same in New Jersey and here in New York.  

(TG)- Do you prefer evening, mid day or morning hunts?

(Joe Skipp)- I love the mornings, something about watching that sun rise on a cold, crisp day. The older I'm getting, I find it harder to drag myself out of that warm bed. I do enjoy all phases, had great success both mornings and evenings. Midday success when hunting during the full moon. As the rut gets closer, I prefer the evening.  

(TG)- What is your favorite type of camo?

(Joe Skipp)- ASAT in Fleece or Bucksuede. IMO, best pattern out there for my ground hunting. I also use a Sticks 'N Limbs jacket in the early season along with the ASAT pants. However, once the leaves are down and woods are brown I go totally ASAT.

(TG)- Do you normally use anything like scent covers or attractants, camo, or calls?

(Joe Skipp)- I've been using Cover-Up Products since 1986. Spent alot of time talking to Russell Hull back then. I swear by these products and sell them here in the shop. I keep everything simple, James Valley Scrape Gel,
Knight & Hale EZ grunt call, Cover-Up. I never wash my fleece hunting clothes, I have them impregnated with my Cover scents. I have faith in these items and won't use anything else.

(TG)- Do you do any small game hunting?

(Joe Skipp)- All the time. I've been bowhunting rabbits and pheasants this past week and I love chasing squirrels around the woods. Great fun, get to combine small game hunting with stumpshooting. Plus, its a day away from any
"home projects".

(TG)- Tell us what your dream hunt would be.

(Joe Skipp)- Sharing a hunting camp for 10 days with a few good friends who are passionate about bowhunting as I am. It could be chasing Mulies in North Dakota or hunting whitetails in Kentucky. Any game taken would be the icing on the cake. Now, on the flip side of the coin, If I was hunting alone and had to choose a hunt, one month in BC for Moose, Grizzly, Caribou and Mtn Goat.  

(TG)- Share with us any interesting encounters you my have had with bears in Montana.

(Joe Skipp)- OK....might be kinda long...Sept of 1985 my buddy and I were bowhunting Elk in the Cabinet Mtns of Montana with Guide Billy Hill (Trout Creek). First day of our hunt we had 2 close encounters with bulls, the day looked promising. The 3rd bull we encountered stopped bugling, he was only 30 yds in front of me but I couldn't see him. We took a break for some lunch and the bull bugled again far down the Mtn. Seemed strange cause the wind was always in our favor. As the 3 of us moved down the Mtn through very thick cover (single, me and "Charlie".) There was crashing behind us and whatever it was, ran past us. As we stood there the crashing now came right at us. I heard a loud "woof" and Billy yelled Grizzly...get on him Joe. Bill anticipated the bear getting Charlie who was about 15 yds behind us. HOWEVER, at the sound of Bill's voice, the Grizzly was now bearing down on me (Bill was 5 yds directly behind me).

At 5 yds the bear swung his head and our eyes met and to this day, I'll never forget looking into those coal black eyes. I stood my ground and put an arrow in behind his hump. The distance I shot him was 4 feet. We didn't know Charlie loosed an arrow as the bear ran by and clipped the vitals. The Grizzly chased Bill down the hill but lost mobility to turn. Loss of blood and my Zwickey in his vertabrae. When we regrouped, we could hear the "death moan". The bear had a broken jaw and was radio collared. We headed off the Mtn and turned ourselves in to the local game warden. That night Charlie and I were questioned by Federal Agents, the next day they arrested us for the illegal killing of a Federally Protected Animal.

I spent 10 hrs in the Thompson Falls jail until Billy bailed me out. January 1986 we were on trial at the State level for this offense. The trial lasted 7 days, jury deliberated for 8 hrs before coming back with a not guilty verdict. This was one of the most scariest times of my life...four years later, Bill Hill sued the State of Montana for malicious prosecution
and was awarded over $100,000 in damages. Our Grizzly incident made all the papers across the country, North American Hunting Club, Outdoor Life etc...There is quite a bit more to tell of the events during the trial but I'd need a book for that.

(TG)- Any desires to do any writing today?

(Joe Skipp)- I've thought about it but there are just too many guys out there writing about the same stuff. How many more ways are there to harvest a whitetail, elk, bear etc..Do we need more articles on how to effectively use camo clothing? Too much repetitive information. I would just stick to writing about my personal hunts and leave all the "how to's" to those paid professional bowhunters.

(TG)- So what is it like to have spoken with Fred Bear? And what was one piece of advice he gave you.

(Joe Skipp)- Fred never knew me until I called him back in '85. I need info on his Grizzly hunts for my trial. Penetration, Bow weights used etc..This info would be beneficial to my trial. We spoke for over an hour, very gracious.
Two nights later Fred called my house and informed me I would need added info because they were questioning angle of entry and exit. Who he called or how he found out this info was beyond me!  Fred really never gave me any advice
pertaining to hunting or shooting but he did send me an autographed copy of his book and 2 videos on his Grizzly kills. Fred also wanted to know how we did when the trial was over. Couldn't thank him enough.

(TG)- You can invite 3 tradgang members to share a campfire, who are they and why did you choose them?

(Joe Skipp)- Jim Dougherty, just a good down to earth guy and exceptional bowhunter with a wealth of knowledge inside his head. Roger Rothaar, who better to follow around if your looking to harvest a trophy whitetail. Extremely knowledgable and funny..Toss up between Gene or Barry Wensel...although Gene is better looking, Barry is more funnier and you know either one would bring enough food for 10 days even though your only hunting five. Their knowledge of deer and choosing the right locations for stands is second to none. Can't go wrong with either.

(TG)- What is one thing I haven't asked that you would like for people to know about you?

(Joe Skipp)- I'm always willing to give or donate to the young bowhunters or organizations like the Boy Scouts. I even throw extra stuff to my customers but I do have to draw the line. We run 2 Bowhunter Education classes a year and
I tend help out the beginners more. I make sure I donate venison to the Feed the Poor program, these people need our help also. As much as I love to bowhunt and travel out west, Family comes first. I spent almost the entire bowseason this year nursing my wife back to health after her heart attack. My mom is 92 and I'm always looking out for her. One last thing, you asked for a photo, this is a special picture for me. Its the last animal I harvested with an original Bill Stewart Multi-Cam bow. Bill presented me this gift back in 1980. Yew limbs, maple riser, 56" 60# at 27". I retired the bow after taking this P&Y Antelope in Wyoming.


Well now, this one was just a long time coming...  :clapper:

Stone Knife:
Great interview, Joe is a first class guy.

Great choice for the interview.  My first contact with Joe was when I was wanting a Kwyk Styk.  For various reasons I didn't get the bow but Joe was first class all the way, answered all question and sent pictures.  I will buy from him when I can.  Great guy.

Great stuff!  ;)


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