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Proud to be "Old School"

733 Views 20 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  bradd7
In 1962 when I started in archery it wasn’t called traditional, it was just archery. For me it was steeped in lore and tradition, a spiritual experience. Mastering the art of archery was a challenge, only a few bothered. Everyone from that time seems to have been taught out of the same book; today we call it “old school”. Getting my first deer with a bow was like the rites of passage to becoming a bowhunter. All archers were as one; a brotherhood.
In the 60s’ and early 70s’ I shot a Bear Kodiak with wooden arrows. Knowing how to float index the shafts, referencing the error for correction when shooting, waterproofing the arrows were all just part of being an “old school” archer.
All that mattered is how well the arrows flew out of the bow and hit the target. We used basic guidelines that have worked for the last 10,000 years. Nobody talked gpp, nobody even weighed their arrows. Penetration was never an issue, get everything right and it just happened.
We didn’t sit in trees, we didn’t bait deer. We didn’t need to strap a camera to a tree; we could look at the ground and see the tracks. Hunting was for food not trophies. We took pride in our skills and ethics.
I embrace new stuff just fine. I think aluminum arrows are the greatest thing to come along since Baskin Robbins; you will also find a Flipper II rest with a plunger on my bow.
I still shoot the bow I bought in 1982, a #80 Martin TD, with the Warthog riser, shooting XX75 Autumn Orange arrows that I bought back then. I’m down to the last 14, but they still shoot just as well as they did in 1982. “Old School” seems to still work just fine today.

I miss that brotherhood.

Good shooting,
Chris
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· One crazy Mutant ;)
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Very well thought out, I started my path in 1981 but was taught by my grandfather who taught me the "OLD SCHOOL" ways but I have ventured to the modern ways & have been sucessful but now I'm retraining my brain to return to the ways that I had learned that many years ago, but many have stuck with me all these years like tracking, hunting more for food than trophies.

Thank you for bringing this to light. :)
 

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Chris -

Great post! The only thing I'll slightly differ on was that part about:

Mastering the art of archery was a challenge, only a few bothered.
I lived in Brooklyn, NY of all ungodly places for acrhery. To my surprise, the first time I walked in to an archery "club", I was amazed at how many other archers there where. Our local club boasted over 200 members, and the total including the interburo league was over 500!

I don't now if there are more now than 40 years ago, but it sure seemed more organized then. And yeah, the only thing that mattered was where the arrows landed.

Thank you Sir!

Viper1 out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Viper,

I was in the south, Louisiana and Texas, and it seems the interest in archery only took off when they created a separate hunting season. However, in my travels I've noticed that different areas have more archers than others, Brooklyn, NY now that's interesting.

Good Shooting,
Chris
 

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My "journey" started a few years earlier and was quite different. What's that they say in real estate...location, location, location!

I spent my formative years in a small mid-West town (Ohio) where I believe I was the only person interested in archery. Earned a Boy Scout Merit Badge in 1958, which was when I started becoming really involved.

There were no deer in that part of the country back then, so I only hunted small game. There was a crude, 14 target field course on a farmer's wood lot some 27 miles from the town where I lived. The men who were in that club shot on Sundays so I could never join them (had to be in church). When I could get a ride or once I turned 16 and could borrow the family car, I would shoot the field target on a Saturday, generally by myself. Field archery became my primary focus although I never was much of a shot. It taught me that wood arrows break too easily, aluminum (24-SRT-X) bend too easily and Micro-flight fiberglass shafts were tough but heavy.

I read about archery clubs and events where there were lots of people back then but until about 5 years ago, my archery journey was pretty much a private thing. Always wondered what being part of a group would have been like and if it would have changed my path through archery. For my first 14 years there were no shooting partners, not real competition and no instruction. Funny how different things can be for us, depending on location, and of course circumstances.

Dave
 

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I began 'Indian Style' (I'm Mohawk) with bows and arrows first made by Grandpa and later by myself, back in the late 50s and early 60s. I spent a lot of time chasing old rolled up socks and sticks around my grandparents properties.

Grandpa showed me how to use a small stick for a rest and thing of leather for a sight...just like the really old-school days(There are LOTS of examples of old 'Indian' bows in the archives of the Canadian Museum with sights and arrows rests). Nothing was left to chance when killing was involved, and he taught me the difference between hunting and hoping. Later, when everyone picked up their pellet guns or 22s to shoot bunnies and ground hogs, I grabbed my bow.

But back then, there were school, YMCA and Scouting archery programs. From them I learned the art of ultra-accuracy and never looked back. Too bad those are still running. Too bad Grandpa is gone.
 

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Dang didn't know there were so many old timers around here lol.

I don't know if there was less interest then than now, at a guess I'd say Per Capita there were more people into archery in the 50s and 60s then now.. Someone had to be buying all those Bear, Pearson,Indian ETC ETC bows that we now see on the Auction site !!!!

Myself I grew up way out west, got into Archery in my early teens in the early 70s. I knew some folks that were into target archery but not may around who hunted with a bow. Of those I met who hunted with a bow in those days, they didn't hunt for food or to feed themselves and or family. They were for the most part like myself in that they did it because they liked hunting and preferred to hunt with a bow . The extra season sure helped swell the ranks some.

I look at now as compared to then and yeah sometimes wish for the good old days lol fewer deer but way fewer Bow hunters and easier to find a place to hunt. The equipment now is better and a whole lot easier to find but we still had fewer bow Hunters then lol..

The word Traditional what was it the mid to late 90s when that word came into vogue !!! Never have liked the word. Into the 70s sticks were still the thing,then in the 80s and early 90s we stick bow folks were oddities lol sort of the Cousins that were never spoken of ..Now it's 'Traditional' and to some it is like some kind of Country Club that they now belong to where they can look down on others who use something different. If I meet someone who says they hunt Traditional before using the words Bow and or Hunt it gives me a good idea of where they come from.

I guess that's what I miss most about way back when, we were all just bow hunters then.. Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don’t think “old school” is so much about age as it is about a way of thinking, a way of doing things. It didn’t seem to matter where you learned archery, or whether it was for target or hunting, we appear to have all been taught the same principles. Viper was in the city in New York, I was in the country in Louisiana, yet we’re always on the same page.

Most of the people that taught me hunting were country folk that grew up during the Depression and World War II. To them hunting was not a game, it was the difference between food on the table and going to bed hungry. It is amazing how good people can become when it becomes a necessity. It also explains why I’m really good at rabbit hunting. I imagine American Natives were really dialed into nature.

I already own my retirement property. My neighbor tells me that the deer getting into the garden and bears on the porch are real problems. I’m buying a big freezer. Did I mention it’s on an island accessible only by boat or ferry, surrounded by fish. I’ll be keeping my hooks and broadheads sharp.

Good shooting,
Chris
 

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Dang didn't know there were so many old timers around here lol.

I don't know if there was less interest then than now, at a guess I'd say Per Capita there were more people into archery in the 50s and 60s then now.. Someone had to be buying all those Bear, Pearson,Indian ETC ETC bows that we now see on the Auction site !!!!

The equipment now is better and a whole lot easier to find but we still had fewer bow Hunters then.

Randy
I don't know either, since I was born in 1969, and my dad prefered fishing to hunting. But I do believe that archery is experiencing a renaissance in every form (except for field :cry: which seems to have been replaced in the hearts of archers by 3-D).

Why would you say it is easier to get equipment today? I read a thread (on the TT site) by Bob Gordon on "the good old days" in which he stated that in the 60s you could by archery equipment at most hardware and department stores. Unless of course you take the internet into consideration.

My first bow was a one piece wooden recurve with sort of a greenish-white fiberglass lamination on the limbs bought at a garage sale for $3. I've no idea what make, or even the drawweight. But my buddy's father got some hay bales and set them up against a tall wooden fence for us to shoot at. We had no idea what we were doing and nobody to tell us how to do it right. But we sure had a great time trying to hit things! It was enough to plant a seed that would lie dormant for 20 years until my own son caused it to sprout by telling me he wanted to shoot bow and arrow...
 

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Because it is easier to get good equipment.. the stores you speak of had a little bit of stuff but no real selection and usually lower end stuff. Yeah I was speaking of the internet...Randy
 

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Old School

Great post; very interesting. My Uncle a [full blood Delaware] built stick bows for his own use. In 58 he made one for me. It turned out that he was quite an artist and that 30# bow with a built in shelf rest was an excellant piece of equiptment. It was made of Yew and the arrows were [ I think, Birch]. He used Turkey feathers in a [4] fletch design. I got a couple bails of hay from my Grandfathers small ranch here in Oklahoma, wired them together and started shooting. "Hooked for Life"! To this day there is not, in August, a Carp, Gar, Flathead or Turtle safe in any river in this area! Outdoor targets, Field targets and 3D in the summer, indoor NFAA 20 yd. faces in the fall and winter all "get their share". Deer and Turkey fear little in the late fall now. They just stand at 40 Yds. and look at me with a "so what" grin! They seem to know I'm shooting a 1969 BW 1200H.B./T/D and will not launch at over 30 yds. Now, I have a rule for Bear. "I will launch an arrow at no distance under 100 Yds. at them!" If I can't tag him at that distance, I'll leave him alone!
Archery is the greatest sport, the finest way of life, the most magnificant
philosophy and is about as much fun as you can experience.
 

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Now, I have a rule for Bear. "I will launch an arrow at no distance under 100 Yds. at them!" If I can't tag him at that distance, I'll leave him alone!
Archery is the greatest sport, the finest way of life, the most magnificant
philosophy and is about as much fun as you can experience.
Aw come one, a teddy bear rug would look great in the den. ;)
Actually I have taken a Black Bear at 7 yards once "my only one" with a old Hoyt Spectra but it wasn't because I wanted to get that close, trust me.
 

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Now, I have a rule for Bear. "I will launch an arrow at no distance under 100 Yds. at them!" If I can't tag him at that distance, I'll leave him alone!
I've gone for bear with a bow (compound) once and I'm thoroughly hooked.....the bear I arrowed walked under my tree 5 yards away (shot him at 20)....it was a thrill to say the least, and provided some delicious table fare. I'll be heading North again late August of 2010 for them.....with my Bear Take-down this time.....:wink:
 

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Archery is the greatest sport, the finest way of life, the most magnificant
philosophy and is about as much fun as you can experience.
:set1_applaud:

Plus a wonderful journey just full of fine folks!

Thank you for a great post!
 

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To me, this is real hunting. The hell with the rangefinders, GPS, game ear, and all the other contraptions. A bow, arrows, water, compass and a snack is all you need.
 

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I don't put that much emphasis on the equipment a person uses.

I'm more interested in their passion, dedication and willingness to help others.

An archer or bowhunter does NOT have to shoot simple equipment to be dedicated or passionate about their sport.

I've seen compound shooters who use range finders, GPSes, tree stands and other more modern contraptions that were more dedicated and passionate than a trad archer or trad bowhunter.

People can make generalizations...but those generalizations don't hold true for everyone.

Ultimately...it shouldn't be about the gear a person chooses to use...it should be about their heart.

Ray ;)
 

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Well said Ray!

IMHO many trad guys could really benefit from the use of a rangefinder, especially when it comes to up/down hill shots.
 

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Bradd -

IMHO many trad guys could really benefit from the use of a rangefinder, especially when it comes to up/down hill shots.
Careful there, a rangefinder can be the worst thing to use on uphill/ downhill shots, unless you understand that the "distance to target" is along level ground and NOT line of sight to the target. At close distances, the delta is small but as distances get longer and the angles get steeper, it's a sure way to shoot over your target.

Now, using a rangefinder to train yourself to estimate distance, that's a different animal and should be a required exercise, IMHO.

Viper1 out.
 
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