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Author Topic: Local Bowhunter prefers following traditional path.  (Read 3119 times)

Online Terry Green

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Local Bowhunter prefers following traditional path.
« on: April 22, 2005, 01:58:00 PM »
Calhoun Times and Gordon County News
Wednesday, September 3, 2003

 Local bowhunter prefers following traditional path
By Terry Green

The flight of the arrow.... is a beautiful thing. Watching an arrow journey to its intended target was the norm for thousands of years before the invention of gunpowder. Now it’s a deep seeded gift from our ancestors for those that urge to witness it.  

Unfortunately, most modern bowhunters have really never seen “the flight of the arrow.”  With all the modern technology of the compound bow, small light arrows with tiny fletching and gazing through peep sites at a collage of pins, the flight of the arrow is all but lost.  The end results after impact are the only reward of a well-placed arrow.  The mystical flight of an arrow, seemingly willed to the target by the archer, goes with out witness.

The traditional bow has put more meat on the table throughout history than all modern bows and guns combined.  The bow was a weapon for food and war for centuries.  The traditional bow’s ability to put down big game quickly with a well-placed arrow is no less than modern bows, or even guns.  But, the hunt is more up close and personal.  Men are even taking the dangerous cape buff with heavy traditional style bows and heavyweight arrows.

Traditional archery is making a huge comeback, and the reasons are many.  One reason is to step back in time and return to the methods of our forefathers – to return to "the way it was” by taking the same approach to the hunt that our ancestors did.  Another reason is that some want to raise the bar to a new level and make the hunt more challenging.  They want to take their journey to a higher path by eliminating all the advantages of the modern bow, so it is just the hunter and his quarry.  The bow is used more as a primitive tool as intended, rather than a mechanical advantage.  Also, some want to make their hunting much simpler, as a vacation from their hectic scheduled lives.

The modern bow has become somewhat over technical and traditional archery is much less complex, leaving the shooting and hunting less stressful if you will.  And there are those that want more personal involvement within the entire realm of the hunt.  They want to make their own equipment, craft and decorate, and put in their own time and sweat.  This gives them the complete circle on every hunt.  They have thrown in their personal lot as their hunting partner.  Now the hunt is not only up to their hunting ability, but their workmanship as well.

Shooting forms and aiming styles vary to some degree with traditional equipment. Most find the combination of the two that fit them best.  Most guys shoot instinctively, as I do, with the bow canted in a natural position.  Canting the bow allows the archer/hunter to see the world as is, and of course, the flight of the arrow.

The author shooting a recurve instinctively.
Shooting instinctively is much like an athletic maneuver in many sports.  The body and mind work together to get the job done.  No conscious effort of thought, just concentrating on the spot you wish to hit and the body runs the shot.  Like the physical aspects shooting hoops, hitting a golf ball, or throwing a ball.  No conscious aiming like centering pins in a peep site, or lining up cross hairs through a scope. However, the mechanical aspect of the shot has to be ingrained consciously through diligent and dedicated practice.
While learning to shoot instinctively, one must consciously think about the many tasks at hand to perform the proper shot.  It’s like learning to ride a bicycle.  Yet, once the process is learned and consciously burned into your mental and physical psyche, the mechanical aspect of shooting becomes subconscious – again… like riding a bicycle. Once you learn the proper shot and practice it enough, you don’t have to think about it.  The shot simply evolves and is executed perfectly.  The only real concern of thought is the target, and the shot just happens.  It’s really quite amazing what the body and mind can accomplish without the need for outside technology.
It’s magical and keeps me coming back for more.
There are many paths to choose from with “classical” equipment.  There are also many different styles of traditional bows to select from depending on your personality, shooting ability, or even mood.  Recurves, longbows, hybrids, and selfbows all have basically the same simplicity, but they have different lines and different qualities.  Selfbows are ones you make yourself, from a select wood species.  You can buy a finished bow, either stock or fully custom.  You can also buy a bow blank and glue up the bow yourself, or buy a bow all but finished and you stain and steal it yourself. If you like, you can buy a board, stave, or cut down a tree (preferably not your neighbors) and make your own.

Osage selfbow made by the aurthor, with a bear theme and artwork. "Bear Necessities".
Like traditional bows, you have a few options of arrow materials as well.  Many wood species are available for purchase or you may craft them yourself.  Aluminum arrows are also serviceable from classical bows.  One company even caters to traditional bowhunters with a heavier than normal carbon arrow designed especially for traditional bows.

Want more fun shooting a bow?  Well, let me tell you, traditional archery is addictive.  I always enjoyed my shooting back when I toted a compound bow.  I usually started practicing a couple of months before opening day, and then I’d lay it down after the season.  Not since I made the switch about five years ago.  I shoot year around and couldn’t imagine it any other way.  With the Georgia hog population at the levels they are, and the fact that they can be hunted year around, I get to bowhunt anytime I get a chance.

As long as I’ve hunted, and shot bows and arrows, I can honestly say I have shot more arrows in the past five years than I did my entire life prior to making the switch. I seldom walk the woods without my bow and some blunt arrows.  Targets are abundant for practice in the forest.  Stumps, pine cones, bright leaves, and tufts of pine needles are just a few that offer the bowhunter real life practice at unknown distances.  I also practice in my back yard, behind my plant, and even inside the warehouse during lunch sometimes.

Shooting regularly is great stress reliever; it keeps my form in check and is almost as fun as hunting.  As a matter of fact, I have never enjoyed bowhunting more.  My passion is higher than it has ever been.  So high, I even started a Web site with a friend of mine that is 100 percent devoted to the sport called Trad
Trad is a non-commercial site and is free to all members and vendors that support the traditional bowhunter.  The site has many different forums to offer the traditionalist.  The PowWow is basically a cyber base camp for the traditional hunter.  There’s also a Dangerous Game forum, buy and sell Trading Blanket, Collector’s Forum, and even a Movie Forum.  All the forums can be enjoyed by the people that visit; many are also the contributors.  Trad is a very member oriented site and member participation is not only welcomed, but encouraged.  If you are interested in learning more about traditional archery, stop by for a visit at,

If anyone gets the bug and wants to learn the proper form of instinctive shooting, feel free to e-mail me at, and I’ll be glad to help.  If enough people are interested, I may even offer a free class for a week during the evenings.  I wish you the best of luck this season, no matter your weapon of choice.  

Terry Green

*Calhoun native Terry Green was formally taught to shoot a longbow at age 8.  He enjoys chasing the North Georgia black bears in the Cohutta Wilderness during the bow season, and whitetails during the gun season.  In the off season, he loves stalking wild boars on foot along the Ocmulgee River bottoms of South Georgia.  All his hunts, no matter the game, are accompanied by a traditonal bow.  His wife, Carmen, and daughters, Rachel and Sarah, strongly support his passion for the outdoors.

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