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The Problem of Teardrop Cable Sets

When it comes to repairing old compound bows, one of the things that comes up is Teardrops - a tiny part that attaches the cable to the bowstring.

Modern compound bows don't have this problem as they don't even use a Teardrop connector.

However for older vintage compound bows, this is an issue for a number of reasons.

  1. Teardrop connectors have a tendency to snap the cable where it meets the edge of the Teardrop.
  2. Once broken, good luck getting the old cable out of the hole where it snapped. Trying to drill a cable just spins the cable around without actually removing it.
  3. Nobody makes new Teardrops - there are zero manufacturers. To get a "new" Teardrop you need to buy old compound bow parts.
  4. All modern compound bows use a different and more modern system for attaching the cable / bowstring.
 Thus restoring a vintage compound bow using the Teardrop system is problematic. You have to start thinking outside the box because you cannot even find the normal parts to replace it...

But there are alternatives. Cable clamps and similar items - the trick is finding one that allows you to clamp the cable, is lightweight, and allows you to attach the bowstring - which means some of the clamps you end up looking at will either be too heavy and/or make it difficult to attach a bowstring.

Diagram of Vintage Compound Bow
Hmm...

So in order to fix this properly I really need to be inventive.

I need to invent a new part that replaces the Teardrop, allows you to attach the cable to the bowstring, and simultaneously protects the cable from rusting again in the future.

Which has me thinking about materials.

Wood? Might snap.

Metal? Can be tricky to work with.

Antler? Possibility. I have spare antler laying around and I know where to buy more if I need more antler in the future.

And antler is pretty tough.

Industrial Plastic? A 3D printer could simply print the part I need.

The Teardrop shape by itself is ideal, but what it really needs is a sheathe that goes over part of it which protects it from moisture: A second layer which is durable, flexible, and does double duty by holding the cable in place better while simultaneously protecting is from moisture.

To be continued...

How to remove cigar smell from wooden bows

So a friend on Facebook was asking about how to get rid of an old cigar smell that was clinging to a wooden longbow they had purchased. They had tried cleaning it multiple times, but could not get rid of the smell.

While the example listed below works on wooden bows, it can also be used on furniture and a variety of other wooden objects.


Steps to Remove the Cigarette Odor from Wood Bows

  • Begin by mixing 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle.
  • Mist the surfaces of the wooden bow.
  • Wipe away any excess moisture to avoid spotting.
  • Allow the piece to air dry completely.
  • Repeat as necessary, vinegar is great at removing odors.
  • When finally done and you can no longer smell any cigar or cigarette smell, dry the bow completely and then oil the wood with tung oil, mineral oil, linseed oil, gunstock oil, deer grease, or similar oils. See also: How to Oil a Wooden Longbow or Flatbow




How to turn an one piece recurve bow into a takedown recurve bow

I found a broken recurve bow (a Stemmler Jaguar) at the archery range a few months ago. I have been planning to either fix it or turn it into a takedown recurve bow. Or if that fails, I have two backup plans.

The previous owner of this Stemmler Jaguar evidently thought it was beyond repair or salvaging.

Photos of the Broken Stemmler Jaguar

The bottom limb cracked and delaminated. I wrapped it in clear plastic hockey tape at the archery range for ease of transportation/storage (and to prevent splinters).

Some people might be tempted to epoxy the broken parts, and that could potentially work if it was just a case of delamination. But because the limb also cracked, epoxy would not be enough. The cracked section would need to be reinforced and retillered. That is a lot of extra work for a bow that will possibly never shoot properly ever again anyway.



45 lbs. It would have been a nice hunting bow before it broke.





How to turn a broken one piece recurve bow into a takedown...

1. Cut the limbs off...

2. Drill holes into the ends of the limbs. Glue washers on the front of the limbs to reinforce them.

3. Saw off the top and bottom parts of the riser so there is a flat angle suitable for attaching the limbs. (Be careful about measuring the angle and cutting it correctly.)

4. Drill holes into the flat angles for bolt inserts. (If you cannot find bolts / inserts, you may have to drill the hole right through and use washers / nuts on the belly of the riser.)

5. Glue the bolt inserts with Titebond 3.

6. Attach everything with the bolts.

7. Test to see how well it works.

No guarantees it will work perfectly.
  1. Be careful your brace height doesn't end up being really low, so a sharper angle may be required if you want to have a more normal brace height and prevent wrist slap.
  2. Poundage at 28" will have changed dramatically.
  3. Bow will be more compact / less forgiving of mistakes. Pros and Cons.

The Backup Plans

 In the event that the above plan doesn't work, I have a backup plan. Remember, what you are doing is basically an experiment. Expect it to fail. Having a backup plan is handy.

Backup Plan #1

Make a crossbow stock with a front suitable for attaching recurve limbs to.

Voila, takedown recurve crossbow!

Backup Plan #2

Cut the widths of the limbs down so that they would fix a normal takedown riser and line up the holes to match where the holes on a takedown riser is. (I plan on lining this up during step 2 up above, that way if the first plan fails this part will already be ready.)

End result, new set of limbs for a takedown riser.

Backup Plan #3

Firewood. Last resort. I would prefer it doesn't come to this.

Future Note

I will update this page in the future when I have photos of the transformation process. Hopefully the first plan works so I don't need to resort to any of the backup plans.

Broken Jennings Compound Bow - Totalled, Write-Off

Email from someone with a broken compound bow looking for repairs:

Hi: Would you be able to fix (replace) a broken limb on a Jennings Speed Master XLR? 

- John.







My Response:

Hey John!
Thanks for the photos.
So I am looking at it and I would have to say that the limb is a write-off. Zero chance of repairing that. Depending on the shape / materials, it is sometimes possible to try and make a replica of the limbs - but doing so in this case would be cost prohibitive. So expensive that it is more than the cost of just buying a new bow, with no guarantee that the new limb would bend properly just like the old limb.
You have two options:
A) Try to find the same model of bow which has the limbs intact that you can use for spare parts. At least then the limb would bend the correct amount.
B) Sell your bow for spare parts.
If you decide for the latter I recommend stripping the quiver and the sight off of it and I will give you $20 for the rest of it. I can use the pieces for repairing the bows of other people in the future.
Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
projectgridless.ca

Diamond Infinite Edge Vs the Bear Cruzer

So I was repairing a compound bow for a client, in this case the Bear Cruzer shown below, and I decided it was an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast the following two bows:

The Diamond Infinite Edge

The Bear Cruzer


So lets compare their stats first...

Brand/ModelThe Bear CruzerThe Diamond Infinite Edge
Year Released20162014
Speed310 FPS310
Physical Weight3.6 LBS.3.1 LBS.
Brace Height6 1/2"7"
Axle-to-Axle Distance32"31"
Let Off75%75%
Draw Weight5-70 LBS5-70 LBS
Draw Length12"-30"13"-30"
Price$299.99 USD$249.99 USD

So what you see from this is that the two compound bows are practically identical in terms of stats. Same draw weights, same top speeds, same let offs, the axle distance is only 1 inch of difference, physical weight and even the prices are similar.

Performance wise they are basically the same bow.

The axle difference means the Bear is about 3% more forgiving, but the Diamond has 3% more maneuverability in thick brush. So Pros and Cons.

The Bear Cruzer has 1 inch extra in terms of minimum draw length, but that will only matter to you if you if the bow is for a really, really small person. eg. I just measured and my son has a 10 inch draw and he is less than 4 months old.

The Diamond Infinite Edge was designed to be a bow that was perfect for beginners of all ages, and a broad range of draw lengths / draw weights. As a result of such adjustibility, the Infinite Edge became a huge commercial success.

The Bear Cruzer is basically just a copy.

In an effort to capitalize on the commercial success of the Infinite Edge, Bear came out with the Cruzer model and to my knowledge, it has been commercially successful.

Meanwhile Diamond also came out with the Infinite Edge Pro, the Infinite Edge Pro Package, the Infinite Edge SB-1, and various other models like:
The Prism - With a higher let off and lower max weight.
The Atomic - Designed specifically for children.
Basically, Diamond has been gearing part of their marketing strategy towards children, teenagers and beginners. They still make plenty of other bows specifically for adults (as does their parent company Bowtech), but they have made huge inroads with respect to growing a clientele amongst children and teenagers.

And the fact that Bear Archery Co. is copying them shows that there is a lot of money to be made.

Back in 2014 I bought a Diamond Infinite Edge (mine is shown below, which I refer to as "Burnt Rubber") shortly after it first came out. I chose it because I wanted a compound bow that was super adjustable, easy to adjust, and I wouldn't need a bow press at all. I later used that same bow to take 2nd place in a compound bow archery competition in 2016, beating people who had more expensive bows than I did, and I nearly took first place but screwed up in one round which severely hurt my score - which only goes to show you that it is the archer, not the bow, which matters the most.

With respect to Bear, I have a great love and admiration for the company. They have a great reputation, great warranties, and I own two Bear recurve bows.

Next, lets compare them visually.

Left, Bear Cruzer - Right, Diamond Infinite Edge

You can easily tell the Bear Cruzer is slightly longer, axle to axle. Pros and Cons to that.

Different Cam Shapes, but still similar in some respects. For legal reasons they should not be identical.

The stabilizer that came with the Cruzer vs the NAP Apache stabilizer I added to mine.

The sight that came with the Cruzer vs the Trophy Ridge sight I added to mine.
The arrow rests are a Whisker Biscuit vs a QAD drop away arrow rest.

The peep sight ripped off the Bear Cruzer (client said they would fix that themselves), vs my peep sight which has been reinforced with extra serving. I am a firm believer in reinforcing the peep sight so it doesn't move around much.

The two bows side by side, once more.
NOTE - This doesn't mean that one bow is better than the other, with respect to "just the bows" without all the attachments they are still pretty much identical. The Bear is still more or less a copy of the Diamond. (I imagine for legal reasons they probably had to change a number of things on purpose.)

In case you are curious, the client requested their bow be set to 29 lbs. Mine is set to 55 lbs.

With respect to my bow you can see it has been heavily modified.
  1. New NAP Apache stabilizer.
  2. New QAD drop away arrow rest.
  3. New Trophy Ridge sight.
  4. Reinforced the peep sight with extra serving.
  5. Wrapped the handle with pleather for extra comfort.
  6. Not shown here, but I also got a nicer side quiver for it.
I don't need a wrist sling. I am not in the habit of dropping my bows.

I do fully endorse people to modify their bows however. The stabilizers, sights, etc that come with a compound bow straight out of the package are never the best. They are pretty "basic". They will work more or less, but they will never work as good as the mid range or higher end equipment that is available.

Take the Whisker Biscuit for example. It is okay. It works. But you will never get the same kind of accuracy that you can potentially get with a drop away style arrow rest.

Conclusions

Honestly, the two bows are so similar that the biggest differences will depend on what you decide to do with it. Modify it? I fully recommend doing that.

These days you cannot even get a new Diamond Infinite Edge. You have to get the Pro version, the SB-1 version or some other similar model. The original "classic" model is no longer available.

I do have one issue with mine... Every time I shoot it there is a faint whiff of burnt rubber. Hence why I gave it the name "Burnt Rubber".

I also fully endorse giving your bow a name. Any good bow deserves a name.

Happy Shooting!

PS. If you are looking for compound bow repairs in Toronto, talk to me. If you compare my rates to other locations, you will find I offer the best rates on all repairs.

How to Befriend a Squirrel + Tips on Squirrel Hunting

This post is a two parter and I admit, the first part is seemingly opposed to the second part - but when you read the 2nd part you will realize why the two are linked.

Part One: How to Befriend a Squirrel
  1. Avoid making sudden moves. It only scares them away.
  2. Feed them, regularly.
  3. Keep an abundance of less tasty food nearby so that the squirrels are well fed, but will enjoy any food you have even more so.
  4. Use a gentle hand in handling squirrels.
  5. Make a soft chirping sound with your mouth, like in the video below.
  6. Remember the squirrel's primary goal is going to be food, the tastier the better. You are not so much a friend as you are a source of food.



Part Two: Tips on Squirrel Hunting
  • Always check your local hunting regulations before going hunting to make sure you follow the letter of the law.
  • Learn how to befriend squirrels. See, I told you the two things were linked. Makes it much easier to get closer to them and they stand more still if they are not running away in fear.
  • If bowhunting, use blunt arrowheads. Preserves the internal organs better, less messy and you can salvage the fur to use for other things. A normal broadhead basically rips right through the squirrel and can end up mixing the guts with the quality meat, ruining the taste. I recommend the rubber blunts as they do a better job of keeping the fur in good condition. The metal blunts sometimes have sharp edges which can tear through the fur.
  • Also for bowhunting, large 2" fletching (sometimes called flu flu fletching) is easier for you to find your arrows in case you miss. Large brightly coloured fletching is easier to find in thick brush.
  • If using a firearm, stick to low calibre ammo. Smaller the better. Anything too big is basically overkill and can end up ruining the meat.
  • Practice shooting at random distances (eg. field archery) between 5 yards and 30 yards.
  • Practice shooting uphill and downhill at targets placed at random distances. 
  • Practice shooting at moving targets.
  • Practice shooting at targets in trees. (This is actually harder than you think.) A good sport that hones this particular skill is Popinjay. Go Google it.
  • If you are worried about losing or breaking arrows, use old arrows that are already slightly damaged that you are not worried if you lose them. As long as they are still reasonably accurate they will do the job. If you lose or break them, oh well.
  • If you can catch the squirrel out in the open away from trees, your chances of hitting just improved dramatically. So if you can lure the squirrel out in the open, good.
  • Try to get a good angle if there are trees or brush in the line of your shot so that you can avoid your arrow from hitting a tree or branch.
  • Be patient. You may miss a few shots before you successfully hit one.
  • Don't get frustrated.
  • Avoid taking any really dumb shots because you think you might get lucky. A failed shot will just scare the squirrel away.
  • Some people who hunt squirrels also carry a "stun stick", basically a small club for smacking an injured squirrel in the head in order to finish it off faster.
  • Learn how to spot and listen for squirrels in thick brush. eg. Sometimes you can hear them chewing on a nut and rustling around.
  • Do NOT wear sunglasses, they may defeat your ability to notice a squirrel and correctly place your shot.
  • Later in the season the squirrels are more likely to be on the ground as most of the nuts will have already fallen, so that is a good time to hunt.
  • Windy days are better. Squirrels cannot hear that well on a windy day.

Notes

Bowhunting squirrels is actually good practice for stalking deer and similar large game. A squirrel's main torso is roughly the same size as a deer's heart/lung area, and the distances you would be shooting at them are roughly the same.

Some people really LOVE the taste of squirrel. It apparently tastes a bit like rabbit, pork, lamb and chicken (depending on who you ask). The meat is very high in protein and low in fat, which makes it healthier than many meats you will find in your local supermarket too.

Fried Squirrel - "The Chicken of the Trees"
Pan Fried or Oven Fried Squirrel Recipe
Note, use only young, tender squirrels for frying – save old squirrels for making squirrel dumplings.
Serves 3 – 4 people.
Ingredients:
  • 2-3 young squirrels
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable shortening
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut each squirrel into 6 pieces, using the 4 legs and the meaty part of back to fry (save the rib piece for making dumplings at another time).

Roll the squirrel pieces in the flour until well coated.

While oven is preheating, put a 10 to 12 inch cast iron skillet on top of stove. Using medium-high heat, melt margarine and bacon grease or vegetable shortening in skillet. Melted shortening mixture should be about 1/4 inch deep in bottom of skillet.

Place cut up squirrel in skillet in a single layer and salt and pepper to taste. Brown on both sides (approximately 3-4 minutes for each side).

After browning, cover skillet with lid or aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes depending on how young the squirrels are.

Then turn the squirrel over and bake for another 20 – 25 minutes. Test with a fork to see if done. If fork slips easily into the meat it is ready to eat. If you feel the squirrel is not quite done, turn it over again and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes.

Skillet / oven fried squirrel is excellent served with a side dish of homemade biscuits topped with white milk gravy made from the squirrel drippings.

Foraging for Food - Part Six, Veganism

Foraging for food goes quite well for vegans as most foods being foraged fits quite well into the vegan diet (with the exception of foraging for edible insects, honey, and similar food sources).

However vegans, as always, face the extra challenge of trying to balance their nutritional needs for protein, calcium, potassium, and other factors. This means that when foraging they need to pay extra care to find foods which provide a good amount of the desired nutrition.

Since protein, calcium and potassium are the big ones worth worrying about, lets focus on those today.


High Protein Foods you can Forage

While it is true that insects like cicadas, wasps and worms are high in protein, lets pretend those are not available and focus solely on plants. Even omnivores get squeamish about the idea of eating insects and worms, so having a plant option you find more appetizing actually makes more sense.

Chestnuts
The best and most common plant source of protein is nuts, including:
  • Acorns
  • Almonds
  • Beechnuts
  • Butternut
  • Chestnuts
  • Hazelnuts 
  • Heartnuts
  • Hickory Nuts
  • Northern Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Walnuts (dried, I don't recommend eating them when they are green)

Lambs Quarters
High Calcium Foods you can Forage
  • Bananas (good luck finding some of these things in Ontario, you would have better luck growing them in a garden or indoors)
  • Lambs quarters
  • Nettles
  • Wild Potatoes
  • Yams

High Potassium Foods you can Forage
  • Artichokes
  • Dandelions
  • Fiddlehead ferns
  • Lambs quarters
  • Nettles

See also past articles on Foraging:

Foraging for Food - Part One, An Introduction to Foraging

Foraging for Food - Part Two, More Foraging Tips and Tricks

Foraging for Food - Part Three, An Introduction to Mushrooms

Foraging for Food - Part Four,  A Cup of Tea

Foraging for Food - Part Five, Foraging in the Winter

Are Compound Bows Superior to Recurve Bows?

Are Compound Bows Superior to Recurve Bows? - I have seen this topic / argument come up regularly on Facebook / archery forums.

Usually the argument will be brought up by a compound shooter who has zero respect for recurve bows (has never shot one, doesn't know how to aim without using a sight, etc).

Basically it is like a rifle shooter saying that rifles are superior to crossbows. Or fighter jet pilot saying that fighter jets are superior to combat helicopters. The person making the assertion is speaking from a position that they assume is the correct one, but in fact shows their ignorance.

A Broken Compound Bow
As someone who shoots both recurve bows and compound bows, and furthermore repairs compound bows, I must note that I have never found a compound bow that doesn't eventually break.

To me recurve bows are like well maintained sports cars. They are beautiful, fast, and if you take care of them they last a very long time.

Compound bows in contrast are like pickup trucks that break easily. They break down over time and if not repaired regularly, the owner eventually decides to buy a new one and get rid of their old one.

This is why it is sometimes so difficult to find vintage compound bows - because so few people take good care of them, know how to fix them, or hire someone else to fix them. Which means that they eventually throw out their old compound bow - as garbage.

Below - A photo of two of my vintage compound bows, a 1970 Model T Jennings next to a circa 1973 Black Hawk Chief Scout.



So are compound bows superior in every way? No. Speaking as someone who is a "Compound Bow Repairman", they are most definitely not superior.

And modern compound bows? They break down so easily the average compound shooter buys a new bow every 2 or 3 years. They prefer to throw out their old bow rather than perform maintenance or get repairs done by a pro.

You know how a car depreciates in value after you buy it? As per the chart below:


With modern compound bows they depreciate even faster. Think 50% of the value lost in the first year alone.

So lets say you bought a brand new compound bow for $1,000 in January 2017.
  • By January 2018 it is worth only about $500.
  • By January 2019 it is worth only about $400.
  • By January 2020 it is worth only about $300.
  • By January 2021 it is worth only about $200.
  • By January 2022 it is worth only about $150.
And this assumes the compound bow in question is in good working order. If it was dryfired, damaged in some way, re-painted by an amateur, modified in some manner - it may have lost a lot more than in terms of value.

In contrast recurve bows tend to keep most of their value. If you bought a $1,000 recurve bow, five years later it is probably still worth at least $800.

So in terms of durability and long term value, compound bows really are not that good. They break too easily and they lose 60% of their value in the first two years.

So what about speed?
The top speed of compound bows are typically in the 300 to 350 fps range.  Although this really only benefits long distance accuracy, and archers are typically only accurate at long distances if they have both good form and a steady aim. So while extra fps arrow speed is beneficial to someone who is already a good shot, to someone who is not it only serves to help them lose their arrows faster.
The second "speed issue" here is loading and aiming time. Compound bows are actually slow to reload, draw and aim. A recurve archer could fire multiple shots in the time it takes a compound archer to load, draw, sight the target, doublecheck the level, make sure their peep sight is in line correctly with the sight housing (a little trick which boosts accuracy an extra 1/2 inch at 20 yards), doublecheck the sight is on the target, and then finally shoot. So compound bows are slow... not as slow as crossbows, but still really slow.
So what about speed-power consistency?
This is actually where compound bows excel. Regardless of whether it is used by a beginner or an experienced archer, a compound bow will provide consistent speed and power - which in turn boosts accuracy. To do the same thing with a recurve bow requires years of experience and proper training.

Note, there are gadgets you can get for recurve bows that improves speed-power consistency. eg. On Olympic recurve bows they are called Clickers.
So what about accuracy?
Take the sights and gadgets off and the only benefits to accuracy a compound bow gets is the above mentioned long distance accuracy from boosted speed, and the above mentioned accuracy improvement from the speed-power consistency.

The sights and stabilizers you can put on a recurve bow and guess what you will basically have? An Olympic recurve bow, more or less. Putting sights and gadgets on something doesn't make the archer more accurate. It just makes the archer more reliant on crutches that boost accuracy.
So what about ease of use?
  • It is easier to use sights on a bow, regardless of what style of bow it is. You can put sights on basically any bow.
  • Stabilizers and other gadgets can also help boost accuracy thus making it easier, but the archer then becomes reliant upon such crutches - and such gadgets can be added to a recurve bow if you really wanted to.
  • It is easier to pull and maintain full draw on a compound bow thanks to the let off, because they are basically designed for weaklings.
  • It is easier to achieve speed-power consistency on a compound bow, but the same can be accomplished with a recurve bow by any archer who is willing to put in the time and practice.
Overall, a beginner archer will typically find that a compound bow requires comparatively less skill to get accuracy at short distances. Less skill, less form, less training required. Compound bows are not as easy as crossbows - crossbows are so easy they are basically point and click - but they are pretty darn easy.

The joke amongst traditional archers is that compound bows have "training wheels" on them. That is how easy they are to use. Brain dead easy. The only real challenge comes when the archer tries to use it at longer distances.
Compound bows are great for people who have back or shoulder problems, like for people who suffer from muscular dystrophy or similar ailments. Great for people in wheelchairs. Great for people who want to hunt with a bow, but don't want to spend the time learning how to aim, learning how to do proper form, how to build their back muscles, etc.

So why do some people prefer more traditional bows?

The people who love recurve bows, longbows, horsebows, etc - they love the challenge. They love practicing. They are out there practicing constantly and getting amazingly good at what they do. Using gadgetry to make the process easier for them is blasphemy.

Myself, I like all bows. All of them are fun.
  • Crossbows are fun because you can shoot them while laying on your belly.
  • Compound bows are fun because you can spend hours tuning the sights, and to a person like me who grew up with Lego, taking things apart, rebuilding them compound bows are just an extension of my desire to keep taking things apart and playing with the sights, the gadgets, trying to make them perform better.
  • Recurve bows are fun because you don't need any fancy gadgets. You just practice your aim and form and you get really good at it. Amazingly good at it. So amazing you hit your own arrow twice in the same round.
  • Longbows and horsebows, although different, use similar form. The longbows are more forgiving and accurate, the horsebows have the added challenge of trying to cant them the correct amount for optimal accuracy. Both are fun to shoot.
So to me, whenever I hear someone claiming that compound bows are the best, I laugh. I laugh because what they are really saying is "compound bows are the easiest". Which in truth they are not the easiest. Crossbows are the easiest. Waaaaaaaay easier. So easy it is ridiculous.

In a scale of easiest to hardest, it goes like this:
  1. Crossbows
  2. Compound Bows
  3. Recurve Bows
  4. Longbows
  5. Horsebows
See how recurve bows are actually in the middle there? More of a challenge than a compound bow, but still less challenging than both longbows and horsebows.

Crossbows are more powerful, faster fps speeds, more accurate, and super easy to learn how to use. They are so stupidly easy. And being able to shoot them while laying down, well that just makes them fun too.

But does that make them superior?

No. It doesn't. Because crossbows are also ridiculously slow to reload, and very easy to chop off your finger or shoot yourself in the foot if you don't know how to use it properly. (The primary things a crossbowman needs to learn is actually a seminar on how to safely load and unload a crossbow.)

So it all comes down to Pros and Cons

Crossbows and compound bows are easier, but slower. Traditional bows are faster, but require more training.

And with anything that has Pros and Cons, what the individual archer chooses to use really depends on their needs.

eg. When fighting on horseback the Iroquois in Quebec preferred to use crossbows*. In contrast the Apache preferred horsebows when fighting from horseback. Each had different tactics. The Iroquois would ambush their enemies with the crossbows and then use the trees to provide cover while they reloaded their crossbows, thus it was used more as a mobile sniper would use it. On the open plains however, the Apache did not really have much cover to help them execute ambushes or stay hidden during a battle. Thus they preferred lightning attacks where they charged in, shot everything with lots of arrows, and massacred their foes - a tactic the U.S. cavalry later copied and used against them.

* Fun Fact, yes, some North American Indigenous peoples did actually use crossbows. They simply were not as popular because they were slower to reload.

Depending on your circumstances you might think horsebows are the bee's knees. Or maybe you prefer longbows. Or maybe crossbows are awesome because you like to just point and click.

So which do you prefer? Do you think your favourite bow is superior? Feel free to leave a comment below, but be prepared to have people laugh and point out the flaws in your favourite bow. Every person who claims theirs is "the best" will be publicly ridiculed by myself and others. So go ahead, try to prove your bow's "superiority", but be prepared for when I ridicule your favourite bow for being slow and designed for halfwits.

Haha!

PS. This includes the people who think hybrid recurve compounds are the best - when in reality they actually use the "worst parts of both". I will likely write another post on that topic in the future to demonstrate why hybrid recurve compounds are actually "literally the worst bow you could ever buy".

Six Homes Built on Stilts

During a previous post titled Five Ways to Buy Suitable Land for an Off Grid Home I mentioned houses built on stilts. For those people who really like that idea, here are 6 more designs for homes built on stilts.







An Archer's Guide to Stump Shooting


Okay, so since some people don't know what a stump is, lets first define that.

A Stump is the rotting trunk of a dead tree. A stump is typically so rotten it is falling apart.

Stump Shooting therefore is the act of shooting at rotting tree stumps. Ideally the stump should be falling apart so that you can pull your arrow out easily. (Shooting at a normal tree or trunk is a great way to either break your arrow or spend half an hour trying to cut your arrow out.)
Stump Shooting is excellent practice for hunting in a woodland area. You shoot at the stumps from a variety of angles, distances, and even elevations.

Below are a few photos illustrating what Stump Shooting involves.



Stump Shooting Tips
  1. Check to make sure what you are shooting at is indeed a stump. It would suck if it was a normal tree trunk.
  2. If you are new to archery, perhaps stick to shorter distances for now.
  3. If you are new to archery, perhaps use large colourful fletched arrows (aka Flu Flu Fletch) so you can find your arrows easily.
  4. Don't use any fancy broadheads. Field points are better / less likely to break. Why use your good broadheads on a tree stump??? That is just a good way to dull the blade or risk breaking it if you miss the stump and hit a rock by accident.
  5. Don't shoot near rocks if possible.
  6. When in doubt, aim lower.
  7. Aim small, miss small.
  8. Practice, practice, practice.
  9. Don't goof off or try to show off.
  10. Bring mosquito repellent. Little vampires will kill ye...
  11. Difficulty finding stumps? Find a forest that is a little marshy. Stumps rot faster if they are wet regularly.
  12. Don't use the same stump all the time. Instead, make a trail that goes to different stumps so you can walk around from stump to stump like it is a golf course.
So what is the Big Deal about Stump Shooting?

Well it is popular for many reasons.
  1. It is fun.
  2. It is challenging.
  3. It is great practice.
  4. You can bring friends.
  5. You can turn it into a contest.
  6. You don't need to buy a portable target.
  7. You get to enjoy shooting in natural surroundings.
  8. You can really challenge yourself with some interesting shots.


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