Looking for Archery Lessons in Toronto? Hire an experienced archery instructor.

Welcome to Project Gridless!

Hello! Project Gridless is dedicated to off the grid living, foraging / hunting / gardening for food, traditional survival skills and modern tips for alternative energy. Please Follow, Subscribe or Like.

New Compound Bow and my love of Vintage Compound Bows

On the right is a photo of my new compound bow:

It is a circa 1969-70 Black Hawk Chief Scout, 45 lbs, 50% let off.

So by "new" I mean I just purchased it three weeks ago and had it shipped to me. The bow itself is 46 years old.

It is my 2nd compound bow and also my 2nd Black Hawk bow, my first being a 1972 Black Hawk Avenger recurve.

One of the things I have discovered about Black Hawk is that they are very beautiful bows. The Avenger is downright exquisite.

This one here is by far one of the prettiest compound bows I have ever seen.

They're also a little tricky to date.

Fortunately I found this blog:


The site is dedicated towards dating and tracking the history of Black Hawk bows, which were made by the Cravotta Bros. in McKeesport Pennsylvania between 1951 to 1975. The website also tracks the prices of Black Hawk bows being sold on eBay, and other similar auction websites.

The Black Hawk company president James Cravotta died in 1969. Then the factory burnt down in either 1973 or 1974, hastening the company and its workers into early retirement. (It is unclear what year the factory burnt down, but given the relatively small number of bows that were made in 1974 and 1975, I am guessing it burnt down in 1973, and apparently it took two years to rebuild the factory during which they finished a number of orders and then probably decided to call it quits due to financial problems / lack of new orders.)

Around the same time Black Hawk closed up shop various other archery manufacturers were being bought up by other bigger manufacturers, so it was a sign of the times. eg. Damon Howatt died in 1965 and his company/brand was later sold to Martin Archery. Many of the bows made by the older "vintage" bow manufacturers are now considered collectors items and still shot by many an archer and bowhunter, as they are considered desirable.

Vintage Compounds hold a special place in my heart. They are often very beautiful and elegant to look at. Especially when they use wood.

Compare wooden compounds to modern compound contraptions which look like Darth Vader had sex with a robot jellyfish, and the modern compound bow was the result of that unholy union, and you realize that with wooden compounds beauty and function can co-exist in the same bow - without having the bow look like the unholy creation by a mad scientist.

Furthermore - to make matters worse - video games and movies then see modern compound bows, think that the weirder a bow looks is somehow better, and you end up with these ridiculous compound bows in video games that don't even make any sense at all.

Example: Just count the number of things you see wrong with the image below.

What we really need is for manufacturers to realize that there is a market for wooden compounds and start making new ones, to make compound bows beautiful again. Like the Black Hawk Warrior compound bow shown below.

Worth repeating.

Make Compound Bows Beautiful Again.

Black Hawk Warrior Wooden Compound


I even made a meme for this.

Deer Ribcage with Arrow Splint

In this photo below you see what happened when an arrow only injured a deer and it got away. The arrow broke a few ribs and later broke off, but the arrow was used as a splint and new bone grew around the shaft (see the Bear Razorhead).

The deer was later shot by someone else years later, and when the butcher discovered the broken arrow they made this rather bizarre piece.

From the angle it looks like the deer was shot from a tree stand up above. Clearly it was a bad angle and the bowhunter should have waited for a better angle in order to guarantee a killshot.

This is why it is important to get a killshot when hunting. If you only injure the deer, you need to track it and finish it off. Don't leave it to suffer for years.

Aiming is Useless, according to Funker Tactical

Thompson .50 Calibre Rifle
I am not big into guns. I learned how to shoot rifles at summer camp when I was 10-11, which includes the time my uncle Duncan handed me a .50 calibre rifle he was going moose hunting with. The scope bounced back and gave me a black eye, but I was only 1 inch off from the bullseye at a distance of 50 yards.

I also got hearing damage in my left ear from an incident when I was 12 when someone was shooting at me while I was trespassing. The shooter was NOT the owner. Long story. After that incident I generally stayed away from guns.

Back in the early 2000s I got into airsoft guns and pellet guns, mostly because I had a girlfriend who was into such things. That interest later dwindled. I have a box of old pellet guns somewhere that I never use.

All of this pales in comparison to my love of archery and bowhunting. Still, for the purposes of hunting, rifles certainly have their uses.

What I find fascinating about rifle and handgun shooting is how horribly inaccurate they are. I have seen people shooting many times and I am always amazed how many people are really horrible shots. They couldn't hit a pop can at 60 feet to save their life - and yet I can do that with a bow easily and consistently.

This tells me several things.

#1. People need to practice shooting a lot to get good at it.

#2. People are making a lot of amateur mistakes when shooting.

#3. Some people never learn how to shoot properly.

Earlier today I was browsing YouTube when I came across the following video, which was thoroughly educational - and made me realize that I already correctly do the three things he mentions in the video.

Which made me feel good about myself, because it means I am an above average shot - certainly in comparison to some people who apparently are completely clueless.

It also brought back good memories of summer camp and my uncle Duncan teaching me how to shoot, to which I must conclude that they did a good job teaching me. My experience with archery also teaches me patience, attention to form and detail, which doubtlessly improves my form and accuracy when shooting rifles too.

Regardless, for those people who are learning how to shoot / hunt with rifles, this is certainly a good video. In the demo he is demonstrating using a handgun, but the principles discussed still hold importance with rifles, crossbows, etc.

Aiming is Useless - Funker Tactical

Popular Posts during the Last Year

Search This Blog

Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto by visiting CardioTrek.ca

Learn more about archery in Toronto by visiting the Toronto Public Archery Range Facebook page
or by joining the Canadian Toxophilite Society.

Compound Bow Repairs

This Week's Popular Posts