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PostPosted: May 26th, 2014, 12:59 pm 
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Joined: March 13th, 2011, 2:28 pm
Posts: 1617
Location: Back home again, in Indiana
Membership Status: Regular Member
5 years ago I had shoulder surgery and all things archery related changed for me on that day.

I had shot the same basic setup for 20 years. I shot one of 3 TD Recurves that were between 56-68#'s at 29" and those bows all shot the same arrow setup. B50 string, 2216, FF 2317, all bows would shoot POC spined between 85-95 easily. 125-145 GN points all flew great.

I shot one of two longbows that were RD bows, but still looked like a traditional D shaped bow when strung. The pulled either 60 or 61@29 with a FF string and they shot 65-70's perfectly with either 125 or 145 gn points.

I never had to think about my arrow setup once I dialed it in, it was automatic, I knew what worked in every bow I owned, or was to own after many hours of personal research.

After my shoulder surgery, it took me a while to figure out exactly where I was to end up as far as bow weight. I had surgery in March and was thrilled to be able to draw a 38# longbow by Sept. I was even more thrilled to be able to draw a 42# recurve by the second week of Oct. I shot a doe with the 38#er and a Buck with the 42#er and both deer were monumental in what they meant to me. The 3 seasons before I had surgery, I truthfully went through the motions of bowhunting. Shooting a bow had become so uncomfortable that for those last few seasons before I decided to have my shoulder repaired, I literally went into the woods everyday with the sole purpose of ending my bow season. The deer I filled my tags with those last 3 seasons were more like a business transaction, than the 30 seasons before. I just wanted to have the first legal deer stop in front of me long enough to put an arrow through their lungs. That's how it all went down those past few seasons before my surgery. I went into the October woods trying desperately to fill both Archery Deer tags each and every time I went to the woods. I wasn't taking the time to smell the Earth, watch the foxes, listen to the birds, I just wanted to keep my act together long enough to put meat on the table, then get to watching football or some other meaningless activity.

The fall of 2009 had me entering the October woods with a renewed vigor and I had something to prove. I had to prove to myself that I still had it, that I could still seal the deal with the opportunity presented itself.

I did prove to myself that I still had it and I killed two deer that fall. I proved to myself that I could still shoot a deer with traditional equipment but I wasn't satisfied with how I did it. I was shooting extremely light weight bows and truthfully, I just don't shoot lighter bows all that well. I knew I wasn't going to be satisfied hunting with a bow in the lower 40# range, but I had absolutely no idea where I would settle in where Draw weight is concerned. I was certain I didn't want to go back into shooting 65# + bows on a daily basis.

I had a 52# Thunderstick MOAB that my friend Jim Reynolds built for me and that was my turkey bow. I could shoot it sitting in any position and I shot it pretty well and it actually became my late season, go to tree stand bow and I killed a lot of whitetails with it, but that particular bow was never what I considered a great Range bow for me. I just wanted to eventually end up with a slightly longer and slightly heavier bow than the MOAB. I spent about a year and a half looking at, handling, shooting a lot of different bows. I took a back quiver full of seemingly every type and spine of arrow I had to the Traditional Bowhunter's Expo in Kalamazoo. I shot a lot of bows, many of them were built by friends of mine. I ended up sitting with Roy Hall of Navajo Longbows and shooting the bull, as Roy is an old friend and we had some catching up to do. Roy and I got to talking about bows and Roy had a couple bows with the Bow Bolt system installed which made them a 2 piece longbow, which really intrigued me and I loved shooting longbows but I loved the utilitarian aspect of a TD recurve for traveling.

I shot one of the bows with the bolt system and I liked the feel of them, as they still felt and shot like a 1 piece. Roy had two different models that were both in the low 50's and I shot them both and I actually seemed to shoot the Aztec model the best. I then told Roy I wanted my new bow to be between 55 and 60#s at 29" Roy and I discussed lead times, options etc and before I knew it, I had decided to have Roy build my new bow for a new era.

Fast forward to June and Roy brought my new bow to the Cloverdale Traditional Nationals (which is my home shoot) and I brought several Carbons to the event to try out and figure what worked so I could shoot the remainder of the event with my new bow.

Eventually, the temporary carbon arrow solution, well, it turned permanent out of nothing more than pure laziness. I kept saying I was going to take a day and really figure out which woods fly best, but it never happened, until today that is.

I had a few hours to kill and I stumbled upon a box full of my squirrel arrows that I knew were all 70-75's. I had always assumed that a 70-75# spined shaft would be the starting point for my Navajo and this triggered something within and caused me to grab a few of these arrows and give them a try. One of these arrows actually had a field point on it so I grabbed it and took it to the target butt. I just roved around the yard, shooting this arrow from various places in the yard. The arrow was flying really well and the bow was really quiet when shooting this arrow.

I shot this single arrow for about 45 minutes. I just made every single shot count, taking the time to do everything right and the shaft was a perfect match for the bow.

I shot the arrow from as close as 3 or 4 yards and as far away as 28 yards, I couldn't not shoot it well. I decided I was going to stop and I stood by a tree that I know to be exactly 20 yards from my target butt, nicked the arrow, drew the bow, reached full draw and let it fly. The shaft struck the middle of the middle and I decided that was as good a place to stop as any.

I took a total of 8 of my old squirrel arrows, removed the homemade squirrel points, tapered the shafts, installed 145 grain field points and I am now ready to go.

I am going to shoot these arrows for a week and see how I feel about this setup. If it proves to be the setup I need, I will be digging through my shafts and finding 3 dz of my heaviest 70-75's and build 2 dz hunting arrows and 1 dz target arrows.

Last arrow of the evening--- I like to finish on a positive note when shooting.


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