A change of lifestyle .

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This is not a mid life crisis fixer upper though it will give solace to many of the disenchanted .

I am a traditional archer . This is a slightly different animal than a primitive archer which is more an equipment choice than a lifestyle . I shoot modern laminated longbows , mostly wooden arrows and believe in as simple a lifetyle as I can achieve within the parameters I have placed upon myself . I am the only man with a stick and string in a club of fairly high tech modern compound bows with enough lights, bells and whistles to satisfy any techies dream . I will get the occassional smile over my wolf head adorned quiver and my brightly feathered wooden shafts . For the most part I am accepted as either someone who likes to play a bit more or as someone who is working a little harder than they . I average the two opinions and am well pleased.

The point of my post is that I gently suggest to all newcomers that there is an alternative in equipment choices and there is a much more relaxed lifestyle to go along with it . I get maybe one or two converts a year . I get them a relatively inexpensive wooden bow and much cheaper wooden arrows . I point them in the direction of traditional tournaments and a lifstyle that embraces slowing down to enjoy life more . I think many midlife crisis situations are more a realisation that people can,t get where they want to go from where they are . The life of a traditional archer advocates a different approach to being in the woods , it instills or rather frees up our abilities to make simple items for ourselves and the simple pride in being a little more self reliant . If you are so bold as to get yourselves to a traditional archery rendesvous .(A meeting of the Clans might be an apt way of describing it) There are games and moving targets as well as maybe a thing called a blanket shoot where everyone puts a traditional item on a blanket . We then go shoot a fun course of interesting oddities in the woods . The proclaimed winner has first choice of what is on the blanket and so on . I won a little goblet made from apple wood turned by a friend of mine . You might win a new shooting glove or a new string for your bow .
Everyone has a great time . I could literally fill pages with the fun tht goes on . A potluck wild game supper with, if you are lucky, a Lac St Jean meat pie thrown in . This all instills within trad archers a love for life that is eqaled by few .

Certainly archery isn,t for everyone Traditional archery is for fewer still . If you feel a need for a change in your life you won,t be running away from something you will be moving towards where you might have wanted to be from the start . I just about guarantee there is an archery range fairly close to you . Check a little deeper and you,ll scare up some traditional shooters who will either be willing to share their equipment or will point you in the direction of a reputable bow maker . I think we even have one on site here . You will get modern compound shooters who will try to disuade you and there is nothing wrong with that . It won,t take much more than a little effort to scare up a wood bow , a few friendly hints and go for it . If you turn back to compound bows ,so be it . Thats fun too . You won,t see many compound shooter rendesvous though .

P:S: While a Kukuri might not match the rest of my eqipment choices exactly there will be a B:A:S: riding on my hip at my next rendesvous. There is a certain healer who goes there who always has anything from a basic machete to a damascus steel skinner close to hand . I hope to persuade him to the advantages of our way of looking at things .
 
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Git 'er done :thumbup: :)

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Sarge
 
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Yesterday my son got his first bow. a Bear "Lil Bear" recurve twenty pounds at 24''....perfect. His first words were "WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW!" :D His enthusiasm has rubbed off on me. Now I'm digging out my old Shakespeare recurve and hoping to do some backyard shooting afterschool with him today.

I'd like to get something different, but for now the old Shakespeare will have to do. It'll be interesting to see how my shoulder holds up.

I believe there's definitely something to be gained in traditional archery. the modern stuff has become insanely expensive, equipment intensive and lacking......something.

great thread idea.
 
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Thanks Sarge , nice grouping . Looks like different woods in your arrows or are you down to your roving arrows like me .

Runs with scissors , looks like your boy is finding out how great life can be . I,ve got a bum shoulder myself from cranking up a compound for hunting when I shoulda cranked her down a notch . I always warm up with some basic windmills and a teamsters warm up along with under drawing my bow several times . I have a daughter who I don,t get to see much of anymore . We had a wonderful time together with several years together of learning to shoot and rendesvous together . The kids didn,t get to participate in the blanket shoot . They got to go horseback riding instead . Life is so rough sometimes ! L:O:L
Even if your boy loses interest over time (something to do with the discovery that girls aint so bad after all ! ) He will always have it to come back to .

P:S: There is nothing wrong with a shakespeare . If you get tired of that scare yourself up a buddy who knows a bit and an ash board . You,ll have yourself a simple bow in no time . If not I think Sarge has got a few bows on a site just awaitin for you . A good basic hickory bow can do amazing things to an arrow . I took my daughters simple one piece hickory long bow and it launched my hand planed ash arrow with tied on feathers and whistling point over the thirty yard target over the backstop and into the field beyond . Just awhistling merrily on its way . Never did find the arrow ! This is from a thirty pound selfbow that outshot my modern laminated 45 pound bow! I never overbow myself now . I always find someone starting out who is willing to trade .
 
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Heck, I feel this way about every sport or activity, be it archery, shooting, bowling, cycling, fishing, scuba diving, darts, whatever. IMHO simple is better. (Not that I do all those things, so what do I know?) The more expensive stuff you throw into the mix, the further away you get from the spirit and the raison d'être for that activity.

Anything more than the basics seems like cheating somehow. Like, if you were in the woods and needed a bow to hunt game, and you didn't have your compound graphite, weighted superbow, with titanium tipped arrows (or whatever), you would starve. (But, just to be clear, while I like the idea of archery and would love to have the time to persue it, I have not touched any bow in 25 years, perhaps since camp.)

Eric
 
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BruiseLeee said:
hehe... I thought the pipe in your mouth was a stray arrow. :D :rolleyes: :) ;)

It's a clay tavern pipe Bruise, copy of an 18th cent. piece, I won't light it with anything but flint and steel, helps keep my firemaking skills sharp.

Kevin, have you given bowmaking a try yet? The bow in my hand in the pic is an English style, made from an eight dollar piece of red oak from Lowe's. It's jokingly referred to as my "sniper rifle", draws 50 lbs. and has a nice flat cast to it.

Sarge
who has rediscovered how much he enjoys shaving with antique English straight razors, nothing like hot lather and cold steel :D
 
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Sarge I have an old straight razor that while rusty when I got it said Clinton prison on the blade . She is sharp but I won,t shave with it . One sneeze and my glasses will sit a little lower on my face !
 

Howard Wallace

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BruiseLeee said:
hehe... I thought the pipe in your mouth was a stray arrow. :D :rolleyes: :) ;)

Traditional archers need to keep in practice. Sarge wouldn't stoop to using modern implements like quivers. (circa 50,000 BC) You should see him stalking his prey in the forest with a mouthful of hunting arrows ready at hand!

;)
 
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Yes indeed Kevin, shaving with a straight razor is a bit intimidating until you get the hang of it. I think it must have taken me at least an hour to shave the first time I ever tried one, locked in my bathroom with my heart pounding in my ears. However, after shaving with 'em for about seven years now, there's no turning back for me. A good old fashioned "wet shave" with a straight razor, is the closest, most comfortable shave a man can enjoy. And, I've found that I'm far less likely to endure nicks or rashes than I would be using a so called "safety razor". It now takes me about 3 minutes to shave "baby's butt smooth" with a straight razor. There's no blades to buy, nothing to throw away but the package your soap comes in, and a cake of mug soap runs right around a dollar, lasts for up to two months, and is basically used up 'til it's all gone. Can't get more economically practical or environmentally sensible, while at the same time turning a mundane daily chore into a true pleasure you actually look forward to.

If any of y'all are interested in shaving the way your great grandads did, by all means give these folks a look http://www.classicshaving.com/Home.html
Seems almost a natural progression to me that men who love knives would eventually want to try scraping their whiskers off with a simple blade of steel.


Sarge
 
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Honestly I am shaving with perfume free biodegradeable handsoap with a week old bic shaver right now . I think I,ll strop up the old razor and giver her a go one of these days . I,ll scare up some real shaving soap though . The hand soap leaves a lot to be desired .
I am slowly learning to shave out bows as well . In fact Saturday I am going to a trad tournament about eighty miles in the Laurentian ski hills . I,ll be meeting up with two bowyer buddies of mine who live another ten miles deeper in the hills . One of them has a bow with over three hundred thousand arrows flung out of it ! It has two patches on the belly but is still shooting . I won,t be able to stay long enough to go to their houses as my Malamute will eat my house while I,m gone if I don,t come back promptly . I think he forgets who the master is ! (We have had several discussions on that very subject in the past !) He is the best dog I have ever been fortunate enough to tolerate my excesses . He keeps the local skunk population down also . I never knew one dog could smell so bad . And it doesn,t bother him . It can be literally dripping off him and it doesn,t even slow him down .
 
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What sort of wood are thoes arrows made of? It may just be the light but they look strange to me. I personaly like good old cedar. Come to think of it most things in life could be improved if made of cedar (With the exeption of Khuks)

Gord
 

Bladite

ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb
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ooh, bow shaving and crafting in on my "to do list"... i used to live a 10 minute walk from a range, and would rent the basic recurve, and my groupings were every bit as good as the guy with the laser sights and crap :) huck fin moment there. man, i miss the shoot and wish i had a bow to call my own. or two :>

#
 
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Grob said:
What sort of wood are thoes arrows made of? It may just be the light but they look strange to me. I personaly like good old cedar. Come to think of it most things in life could be improved if made of cedar (With the exeption of Khuks)

Gord

Port Orford Cedar, self nocked with a thread wrap to keep the shaft from splitting. Wood is left natural color, but given several coats of Tung oil, which tends to yellow a bit with age. Why white fletch? Well, the euphemistic "gray goose shaft" is largely a product of romantic writers. In actuality, the preponderence of goose feathers used to fletch arrows in the 100 years War between England and France were plain old white. So important to arrow production in support of the English war machine were these fletchings, that each village was charged a "tax" in the form of handing over a set quota of goose feathers. :D

Sarge
 

Fiddleback

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Unfortunately at 32 I'm still only shaving 2-3 times per week.:rolleyes:

My dad says he was the same way. Oh well...
 
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aproy1101 said:
Unfortunately at 32 I'm still only shaving 2-3 times per week.:rolleyes:

My dad says he was the same way. Oh well...

I get away with less than that but I'm retired and can get fairly wooly before having to shave. I count it as one among my many blessings.:thumbup: :D :cool:
 
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