Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Arrow Seeker

MAHFS photo by Mac Arnold
Here's five of my "famous" homemade wooden arrows warming up the chilly looking backyard.

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS editor

Once again after tinkering around with the traditional equipment in the backyard, I'm starting to strongly consider going after a gobbler this spring with stick and string.

This is certainly not the first time I've kicked around this idea. Also happens around deer season.

Then as the season that's next in line comes around, I talk myself out of it. I mean I do head out occasionally with the recurve in hand but it's probably like 5 percent of the time.

Mainly because I worry over the knockdown power yet I know traditional archers bag game on a consistent basis. I've had a couple of bad experiences in the past with the recurve and homemade wooden arrows during deer season ... and I know that will happen at times.

One doe kept on a running after being down for 15 minutes or so and I lost the blood trail.

On the other, I didn't find until later on in the season while pheasant hunting. Bummed me out because it wasn't much farther than where I was looking the day I shot it.

Also, I once had to pass on a decent 8-pointer a few years ago because of was too far out of range. Oh, he did come back but with the help of two guys dragging it past the tree I was in on the way to their truck.

But we're talking turkey here.

Since I had torn rotator cuff surgery last June, I have found the recurve is easier to carry and pull back.

I guess I just like to shoot it.

I know one thing -- and it's the main thing -- I like to retrieve the misses with the recurve in the backyard and on archery shoots better than with the compound bow.

Usually, the arrows stop fairly close to the intended target on wayward shots unlike the compound misses, which can at times ricochet to who knows where.

And so now we're down to the nitty-gritty: I'm a cheapskate when it comes to equipment, especially with arrows and especially my homemade ones.

Much like the Army doctrine that was instilled in me in my 14 years of service, no arrow goes unrecovered. I've been known to come back from a meeting and take to the last known area with a headlamp and a rake to sift through the moldy, wet leaves in the chilly fall night while breathing steam until I find the lost arrow.

Thing is, now I've got an abundance of arrows piled in boxes and corners around the man cave from changing the ones I make and grabbing a deal I find through one of the many outdoor mail catalogs sent to the St. Clair County house.

So I've decided to put an end to this way of thinking and fire away.

I mean, why not?

I'm the factory and it seems like the line will continue to churn out arrows since I like passing the time away painting 'em up.

But as far as on them turkeys ... what if the gobbler of a lifetime steps out beyond 30 yards (gulp)?

Ut oh, bad thoughts again ...

Well, I have a month before my turkey season opens to decide.

Any traditional archers out there have their own success stories on turkeys?

Let us know.


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