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Has anyone used only homemade equipment for hunting and if so what did you use?

When I first got into this I thought it would be cool to hunt only with what I think of as traditional equipment, which would be everything authentic, all-natural I guess you could say. But, I've started to realize that is almost impossible. Lots of people use homemade bows and wooden arrows with feather fletchings, but there's more to it than that. How many of those people use stone points, or string made from natural plant or animal fibers? If I can't do it 100% (which I can't, personally) then it's not worth it to me. So, I've changed my way of thinking a little bit... Now I am not even going to try to make things the authentic way, just as long as I make the stuff I am ok with it. I'll make my heads from scrap steel. I would rather use fletchings I make myself than spend money on perfectly shaped pre-cut feathers. I don't mind using a bow backed with modern glue and fabric, at least I made it myself. I like seeing what I can do with as little money as possible, how cheap I can do stuff...
So who has hunted deer with stuff like this? Or with more authentic, natural ways of making stuff, as long as you make every part of it yourself... knapping your own stone points, no buying perfect wooden shafts with matching spine, etc.

Also, just a note- I don't think this post actually says what I am trying to say at all, so everyone can just take whatever they want from it I guess. It's all relative, really. Nothing is 100% natural or homemade, but yet in a way everything is, so whatever.
 

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Going au-natural as it were is actually a lost art. Regardless of how you do it, have fun with it, and learn.
But remember that back in the day, the folks who made the “old school” bows and arrows were doing it for survival. They had to practice and get good because they didn’t eat otherwise. Also, keep in mind that in a modern world, the convenience of things that are pre-made, plus regular jobs, home responsibilities, bills, etc. detracts from our ability to actually do what is needed to be successful in such endeavors.
Don’t let a few failures get you own. Remember these guys survived to make us today. They had failures as well and were no stranger to such failings.
Personally I say keep getting back in the saddle and ride your heart out. You never know what you may learn, and more importantly, pass along.
 

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I haven't hunted deer with primitive gear yet...but I have hunted squirrels ;)

Not totally primitive but close ;) My gear consisted of a 60lbs. Plains Indian Hybrid bow made out of osage and backed with sinew. The bow was made with a combination of a chainsaw, draw knife, steam, electric stove, modern pots and pans and my string was dacron. My arrows were matched wooden arrows with sinew wrapped turkey feathers, self nocks, earth pigments and modern glue on field tips.

I say...to each their own. Just enjoy the adventure and leave the egos and judgments behind.

Ray :shade:
 

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Did it a couple years (all home made, not all natural), but I've recently switched to carbon arrows in my pursuit of greater accuracy. The rest of my gear is still home made- bow, tab, quiver, bracer, etc.

If you're interested in all natural, look over at Primitive Archer. Everyone talks home made wooden bows (no glass), and there are some that hunt all primitive. One fellow, Jamie Leffler, hunts with all natural gear he MAKES with all natural materials! Truely Stone-Age :)
 

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Bowhunting is a demanding ordeal and requires much time and effort...and cost...to raise your odds of success which are never greater in your favor when hunting large game, and that is when using modern gear. I'll be dang if I'll make bowhunting tougher than it already is and considerably lower my odds of success by using primitive gear.

When you consider using primitive gear and methods, keep in mind that the early drawings found on rock that depict a hunt usually show the animal surrounded by several hunters and 90 dozen arrows sticking out of its body. Also keep in mind that the ability to know how to track for long distances was imperative because the accuracy and killing efficiency of the early gear was not always that great.
 

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Whether a hunter chooses a rifle, a compound, a recurve, a longbow or a primitive bow...the choice is their's and should not be judged as long as it is legal, has been proven to work and the hunter is well aware of their and their equipments limitations...I say GO FOR IT.

Primitive gear has proven very succesful. Case and Point - one of my friends shot a bull elk with a 50lbs. at 26" primitive osage recurve and a homemade wooden arrow with an obsidian tip. The elk was dead in seconds.

So when do some people decide when it's ok to judge others for their choices?

It's not much different hearing about how some rifle hunters or even some bowhunters who use compounds look down on trad bowhunters because they feel why would anyone want to make hunting tougher than what it already is.

Ultimately...it's a personal choice that fullfills an individuals goals. Some people like more of a challenge...while others prefer it easier. Nothing wrong with either choice. To each their own.

Ray :shade:
 

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Whether a hunter chooses a rifle, a compound, a recurve, a longbow or a primitive bow...the choice is their's and should not be judged as long as it is legal, has been proven to work and the hunter is well aware of their and their equipments limitations...I say GO FOR IT.
So when do some people decide when it's ok to judge others for their choices?
It has always been ok to judge people for their choices. That's how we, well, **judge** people. And not judging people is just silly. I judge you, BW, all the time, and I judge you to generally be an excellent poster. Judging people isn't inherently wrong.

I was surprised by the information in WindWalker's comments, but his note about how primitives used to hunt, and the consequences, is something I hadn't thought about, and it seems like an excellent and highly pertinent point to bring up. And, I would add, that bringing it up isn't, in and of itself, judgmental, but rather it is highly informative. And your post, BW, that people can succeed solo, is an important counter point. The OP should consider both bits of information.
 

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It has always been ok to judge people for their choices. That's how we, well, **judge** people. And not judging people is just silly. I judge you, BW, all the time, and I judge you to generally be an excellent poster. Judging people isn't inherently wrong.
You're right. We all judge to varing degrees and in some cases we need to.

I probably need to clarify what I was trying to say. I don't mind making judgements on the 'choices' a person makes but I think it is wrong to pass judgement upon the hunter as an individual solely based on their choices in hunting equipment or technique.

For example a hunter uses a rifle and hunts out of a blind or a treestand and someone passes judgement on them as being lazy. Wrong! :thumbs_do Don't agree.
Another example is a hunter who hunts with a primitive bow and arrows and someone passes judgement on them as being irresponsible. Again Wrong! :thumbs_do Don't agree.

Here's the main point I was trying to make. Bottom line....just because someone chooses more modern or more efficient equipment doesn't make them a better hunter than someone who uses more primitive gear. I hope that clears it up. Sorry I wasn't more clear in the beginning.

Ray :shade:
 

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i used to get some grief about hunting with homemade....

i made the bow with hickory from a hardwoods dealer & ipe from a decking company ripped on a tablesaw, sanded with a palm sander, glued with TB3, then tillered with a rasp, scraper, & sandpaper, and finished with tru oil. the handle is built up with leather scraps, and then wrapped with leather- it's supposedly a temp job, but i haven't gotten around to redoing it.
the arrows are hickory shafts purchased, straightened (there's always some straightening to do), sealed (mmm, bacon grease), and fletched by me with some ebay turkey feathers, wrapped on with artificial sinew (and a touch of ca glue). self nocks, too, wrapped in art sinew.
my knapping skills aren't there for hunting full primitive. as mentioned before, things get in the way of developing primitive skills (adorable little things in diapers for me). i like the way the magnus did its job.
i'd like to use stone heads eventually, and am putting together enough natural sinew to last me awhile. it might go on arrows, but only after i make a nice sinew backed juniper shorty to hunt with.
i'm having a hard time getting away from modern string material. the difference in shot noise is staggering. natural strings are way cool, but this bow is darn near silent with the tplus string. making a good sinew string takes more time & skill than i have (too much chewing), so i don't feel bad about using the modern stuff.
the quiver is braintanned elk that i traded for & sewed myself with artificial sinew.

it all worked pretty flawlessly on opening morning this year...:thumbs_up
 

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as i recall pope and young hunted very well with all stone age gear sans broadhead and linen strings. I also seem to remember them only preferring steel heads for there durability while admiring ishi's stone points for there keen edge
 

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Before some get their drawers in a wad, reread my statement and observe that I clearly indicated that "I" would not utilize primitive gear nor did I have any desire to do so. In no manner did I demean those that do use primitive gear nor did I put down the method.

There are many guys and girls that build and use excellent "primitive" gear but I would wager that most are highly skilled and probably build better and more accurate gear than what was made and used in early times. I also suspect that these primitive aficionados also utilize hunting methods and set limitations that they know must be met when using primitive-type gear.

As for being judgmental, there are times when being judgmental is valid; like when it is very obvious that a new bow shooter or someone thinking about getting into the sport display delusions of fantasy and are obviously more into role-playing "cowboys and Indians," excluding "sohcneondriver" who properly evaluated the idea.

PS: Isn't believing and stating that bowhunting whitetail is not a difficult endeavor, that all you have to do is hang a stand in a tree adjacent to a well-traveled trail and just sit and wait for the deer to parade by, a quasi-judgmental belief/statement? :wink:
 

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Before some get their drawers in a wad, reread my statement and observe that I clearly indicated that "I" would not utilize primitive gear nor did I have any desire to do so. In no manner did I demean those that do use primitive gear nor did I put down the method.

There are many guys and girls that build and use "primitive" gear but I would wager that most are highly skilled and probably build better and more accurate gear than what was made and used in early times. I also suspect that these primitive aficionados also utilize hunting methods and set limitations that they know must be met when using primitive-type gear.

As for being judgmental, there are times when being judgmental is valid. Like when it is very obvious that a new bow shooter or someone thinking about getting into the sport display delusions of fantasy and are obviously more into role-playing "cowboys and Indians," excluding "sohcneondriver" who properly evaluated the idea.

PS: Isn't believing and stating that bowhunting whitetail is not a difficult endeavor, that all you have to do is hang a stand in a tree adjacent to a well-traveled trail and just sit and wait for the deer to parade by, a quasi-judgmental belief/statement? :wink:
 

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When you consider using primitive gear and methods, keep in mind that the early drawings found on rock that depict a hunt usually show the animal surrounded by several hunters and 90 dozen arrows sticking out of its body. Also keep in mind that the ability to know how to track for long distances was imperative because the accuracy and killing efficiency of the early gear was not always that great.
this part was my only contention. one good shot with the primitive gear kills just as well as the new stuff. the only real problems are poorly built gear (i.e. a bad bow, dull heads that sort of thing) and the occasional rib or other bone when using stone points.
 

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I too misread WW first statement and was a bit dismayed. I'm glad it wasn't what we thought, but still that came off as pretty negative:(.

Hunting all natural is just an additional part of the fun. I know I like the romance associated with using selfbows and sinew backed bows, even when the glass laminated hybrids I've begun building are shooting the pants off of them:).

That being said, you should note that most of the folks who do it all primitive did it in steps: first they built their own bow and assembled their arrows from store bought parts. Then built their bow and their arrows and used store bought heads. Then built all their own gear, including their heads (be they stone or steel). It's usually more of a condifence builder than anything else. Rob's a great example of that:)!

However, most traditional shooters have, perhaps, a five yard advantage, on average, to those who shoot "natural". Most folks shooting "natural" keep their shots to 10-15. Seems most traditional shooters keep their shots to 15-20 on average. As WW indicated, what people are making today is alot better than years prior. Today, a well built 50# flatbw, if you watch the set and tip mass, could probably outshoot a 65# hunting bow used by Pope and Young, not to include the many people's who came before. This isn't besmirching their efforts, but it should be a good confidence booster if you choose to follow that path. Play it smart, and you'll have an advantage to those who did it the same way as you before.

Because we know how to build better, with tempering wood, understanding where mass should be in the limbs, spine testers and a better understanding of balance, an archer could build all his own gear and take to the woods knowing full well that it's just as lethal- and just as accurate within your comfortable range. In the end you just have to devote more of your time building and fine tuning your gear than you would watching the game or spending time on whatever other hobbies you might have. Hardly a challenge if you're having fun! If you'd ever like to talk about different methodologies for building or ideas you might have, feel free to PM me. Until then, best of luck:)!
 

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amen kegan!!!
 

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PS: Isn't believing and stating that bowhunting whitetail is not a difficult endeavor, that all you have to do is hang a stand in a tree adjacent to a well-traveled trail and just sit and wait for the deer to parade by, a quasi-judgmental belief/statement? :wink:
Yes...an individual would have had to come to some personal conclusion/judgement to believe that but the difference is....that making a judgement like that is based on a personal decision or personal experience and should not be taken as a reflexion of anyone else's personal choice or belief.

A person should feel confident enough in their own personal choices or beliefs to not become insecure when someone disagrees with them. More often than not....a person's ego or insecurities will control their thought processes to the point they become overly judgemental and make poor assumptions when they should be asking more questions to help clarify the issue.

Are you still trying to insist that your above statement are my words regarding deer hunting?

Ray :shade:
 

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I've hunted exclusively with selfbows and wooden arrows for the last decade, though I've only dabbled in totally primitive gear, including natural bowstrings, shoot arrows, flintknapping, etc. I haven't been up to the learning curve on flintknapping, and for the time being at least, just enjoy making selfbows more than the other stuff, so I don't hunt with completely primitive gear, though eventually I'd like to go that route. I still use steel broadheads (I've killed a few with homemade tradepoints) and D97 string material. When switching from glass bows, remember that handmade gear is nothing to scoff at. I'm coming up on 20 PA whitetails with a selfbow. My latest selfbow just sent an arrow lengthwise through a doe, from brisket to hip, which I measured at 22". These simple bows have plenty of ooomf.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the responses everyone, it's nice when other people say things that reinforce your ideas on something...

Also, I spend a lot of time on another (unrelated subject) forum, and the people here seem so much nicer and there is so much less fighting! Not that argueing about something is bad, it's just that it seems like everyone on here is really trying to help others... that's good.
 

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The only time tempers really flare here is when everyone's anxious for hunting season to start :lol:!
 
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