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I bought my 1st real bow in 1956 & joined organized archery & local club then. I haven't stopped yet (2017 makes 61 years). I bowhunted Illinois 1st ever deer Season in 1957 missing 4 shots that season. In 1958 I arrowed a yearling Doe with my 1st shot on opening weekend. I joined the Navy in Jan 1959 & had my bow with me. I managed some tournaments (N.C. State field was one) & a little hunting in N.C & California. My ship time was with the Marines so never more than 3 weeks at a time but "several". I managed lots of out of state bowhunts from 1964 through mid 90s chasing Elk & Mule deer many times & Whitetails in several states. Bears, over 15 trips to Northern states & Canada 8 times. Almost all of my hunts have been DIY, public land & the guided were required by law. I've managed a pretty good list & variety of Biggame though never a trophy/horn hunter I guess I've dabbled in all parts of Archer/bowhunting from owning 2 Shops/lanes for 18 years (64 thru 82), writing a few stories that managed to be published in National magazines + several locals stuff & a column in a state wide sports paper for a few years. Officer in Local club + long ago held positions in the state association. I competed real heavy in those early years until about 1985 & then just a few for fun & concentrated on bowhunting hard. In 2010 & Master Senior I got the competition bug again due to my G-kids wanting to shoot 3-Ds. I've since shot 2 NFAA 5 day field Nationals (1 compound division & 1 Longbow division) & 1 Target Nationals (Compound) + many of our State Field, Target outdoors & indoor state 300s.. I truly enjoy these a great deal & socializing with so many awesome people. I've come to a time in my bowhunting I no longer have the desire to shoot a Whitetail Doe or younger Bucks & have set a personal goal (head gear wise) for myself on the next one. So, I guess in Whitetail, I have become the horn hunter. Any other biggame "FEMALE", beware if legal (except Antelope, I have 1 Doe & that was my 1st ever hunt at age 68). I now share out of state bowhunts on occasion with people I have met along the way in the sport & even on AT. My most enjoyable times now are with my bowhunting family that consists of 2 adult children & currently 5 G-kids bowhunting also. I am fortunate to be able to furnish most of their archery needs & for sure build & repair everyones arrows. Archery & bowhunting is a major part of my life but we find time to enjoy water & amusement parks in summer with fishing outings too. Family always comes 1st (that's why I missed the Nationals this year). Anyway, lets hear your story. IF, God willing your at the NFAA Field or Target Nationals, I'll be there & would be glad to meet & buy you a coffee or brew. I have been blessed in many ways
 

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First bow was a lemonwood self bow mid 50's followed quickly by a solid ben pearson fibergalass and later by a bear grizzly. two friends and I talked parents into leaving us for a week long camping trip along the tucannon river (SE Washington), all of us 14 years old. Hazardous I admit; shot at everything and lost/broke 3 dozen homemade cedar arrows. Not many 14YOs camping unsupervised in today's world. No competitive archery experience but a member of local Green Valley Archers (3D shoot Jan 6 and 7, rain, snow, or shine). Currently hunt elk/deer/bear. Last year with a Carbon Overdrive and just purchased a PSE evolve 31 for the upcoming NE Oregon seasons. Run and Gun has slowed to a crawl at age 74 so the ground blind is the better option these days but still great to be out.

Always Thankful for sure Jerry
 

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like you blueriverjerry I was hunting unsupervised & camping at 13-14 with my friends. I just turned 76 so know about the slow, closer walk to my stand though I still use ladder stands for Whitetail. I made a couple Lemonwood longbows when I was 14 from a kit (Stave & grip) glued together, shaped the grip & cut the string grooves. Shot them for a summer & then sold them.. I would think we have lots of seniors with stories like this...
 

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Had to have my mother sign for me to join the Austin (Texas) Archery Club at age 14. Traveled with a pretty regular group of men to tournaments throughout the state over the next several years. Won my division at State while still in college (full disclosure - this was the "Amateur" Division, and back then there was wide disagreement over what constituted an amateur, so there were many less competing in that division than would be the case today).

Have enjoyed primarily hunting since getting target panic in the '60s (have been in remission for several years now). Shot instinctively even with the first few compounds I bought, but now shoot my compound with a sight, as well as shooting an old Ed Thompson recurve instinctively, but not competitively anymore. The pic below was what I call my "reciprocity." I bowshot the hog on the very night I found out I had bladder cancer (also now in remission).

AJ's Reciprocity.jpg
 

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I grew up in a small town in South Carolina. One evening when I was 7 yo, I did't get home on time. My big sister found me watching a neighbor shooting his new recurve bow. It was a beautiful bow with all the neat stuff on it. I simply lost track of time watching him let the arrows fly. A couple of weeks later, my big birthday present was a pink fiberglass bow. It was probably 15# and I could barely pull it back. That bow was my constant companion that summer. Shot it until it finally broke.

One summer a few years later I was working a construction job and bought a Pearson Predator from one of the other guys who needed money. Paid $35.00 and have been offered several times that. There were no archery clubs that I knew of in SC at the time so I just shot it for fun. It would sit in a closet for months at a time until I would think of it and pull it out to shoot.

I still had the bug, so in 2000, I bought my son & I, two cheap compound bows to shoot together. Fortunately, that fueled my addiction to archery and 16 compound bows later, I'm still at it. I still love watching the arrows fly. :)

Allen
 

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Hello All
My hunting bow And a step through Honda bike. And me doing it the hard way as usual , Check out the Camo and sent control ha ha 87 Toyota I revamped for my 4 wheeler.[ Later
 

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In the late 50's got my first fiberglass long bow, shot many, many cedar shafts with that bow through cardboard cutout targets I made. I remember going to the local Woolco store and rummaging through their bins of cedar target arrows to find the straightest ones.....ruined and lost many dozen cedar arrows.
Some years later(about 1969-70) bought a Bear Kodiak Magnum and decided to try archery deer hunting. Still using cedar shafts with the Bear razor head. Back then Missouri's archery season opened October 1, I hunted all month long 3-4 days each week without seeing a single deer while hunting. On the last day of October I was squirrel hunting on public land and came across a spot that had a lot of deer sign. Decided to come back that afternoon and bowhunt. Found a likely looking tree with a horizontal branch about 7 feet of the ground, climbed up, and secured myself with a rope under my armpits(unusual since back the I rarely tied myself in). About a half hour before sunset a 4x3 buck came through the brush and gave me an opportunity. The shot was low, but left a reasonable blood trail. I picked up the trail and followed it until 11pm that night, jumping him once from his bed, pushed off public ground onto private farm. Decided to come back early next morning.

Got the owner of the ground and he and I tracked the buck down to his final resting place. First deer after a month of hunting! I was hooked! And dam near flunked out of school spending so much time in the woods.
It was two years until I took another deer. Eventually in the early 70's graduated to a Jennings model T and aluminum arrows, then years later a Browning Maxim, then what I thought was the ultimate in 2006 a Bowtech Tribute, and carbon shafts. I still have these bows and each has taken many, many deer. Now a Bowtech Experience or Prodigy sits on the bowhanger in the woods with me.....matter of fact we may hit the woods again this afternoon.
 

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Got my first recurve in early '60's, a Bear Grizzly 45 lb. I wasn't even teenage yet, but a pretty big, strong farm kid so could draw it. My uncle and aunt were big into the local archery club so I would ride with them once a week to 'league' shoot. Graduated to one of the first Jennings compounds (70 lb. draw) in the early '70s and took my first deer (whitetail doe) with it. Always shot instinctive until mid-90's when I got a peep and pin. Guided archery elk hunters a few years back, but I haven't done much archery hunting myself. Currently have a 2013 Hoyt Carbon Matrix I've been practicing with and hope to get out and do more hunting for me again. I still have the old Jennings!!
 

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I got a fiberglass Bear recurve in1960. I shot frogs, *****, possums, squirrels and quail. My dad bought me a Martin recurve and a dozen fiberglass arrows with Bear razor heads in 62. I shot that for several years. Then a buddy told me about a bow with pulleys. Turned out to be a Bear WT. I didn't like his so stayed with the recurve. I eventually found a Jennings and I was off to the races with it. Like most, I continued to move up in bows to 2 wheel compounds, then Martin came out with a twin cam, now that was a rocket. Since then; I have been through almost every make at one time or another. Now, I shoot BowTechs and 1 PSE; all at 50 or under killing deer regularly. As I have gone through all of these years with slow bows, I can't for the life of me understand why the new age needs some much speed, hard to draw, noisey bows. They say the deer jump the string:confused: How did we ever get by and how did the Indians eat with what they had?? Probably like most seniors here I shoot low poundage and still fill my freezers ever year. Just had a shoulder recon, so I am not sure where I will wind up, but I will find a way to shoot a bow.
 

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Wow there are some great stories here. I congratulate those who have such a legacy in the sport. My story isn't much. My brother and I had an old recurve when we were young. I think it was a Ben Pearson. We were primarily gun hunters and I used the recurve one year just to get more hunting time in. A few years later I was visiting my brother and he and a friend were shooting these compound bows. I was bitten. Went home and purchased my first compound, a Jennings Split T. Hunted a few years with it and then family and work took priority. When our son turned 15 he wanted to take up deer hunting. We took up bow hunting for deer and since that time I have done very little gun hunting. Thanks Trent for getting me back into it.
 

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1959 friend & his Dad were shooting when I stopped by & they asked if I wanted to try shooting & of course I wanted to. They were shooting Eddings recurve bows that were made in north east Iowa. I loved it & with in a couple weeks I had a new Stag Horn Archery bow that was made in Merrill,WI.
only 35 miles from Tomahawk,WI. where I lived at the time. continued to shoot Stag Horns & in the late 60's my wife & I shot for Stag Horn for 2 years. About 1970 when switched to Astro Compounds & in 1972 went to work for Astro Bows. My main archery was hunting but did do quite a bit of target shooting till the mid 80's when my son was born, from that time till about 2005 only hunted with bow as my son had more interest in playing basketball.
Got back into competitive archery in 2005 & have been at it ever since. Been shooting in the Master free style for the last 3 years. Still love shooting
my bow & bow hunting. During the summer I usually shoot 4 to 5 hours almost every day & try to shoot tournaments on the weekends. Have a 6 Yr. old Granddaughter that I am working with starting to shoot a bow.
 

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My great uncle was an archer and used a longbow to hunt with and to win tournaments in the 1920s - 1950s. I inherited his bow after my uncle died and that is his bow in the picture. He taught his son (my uncle) who became a Bowyer and a knife maker in Springfield, Oregon. My uncle made laminated recurves from Oregon Yew wood. He was well known for his bows.

In 1954 when I was 7, we visited my uncle and he made bows for my brother and I. The first thing I hunted with my new bow was bullfrogs and I became hooked. I have shot since, competing in tournaments because hunting was not enough shooting for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Kballer1-My 1st real bow was an Eddings Cadet (bought in 1956 & killed my 1st Deer in 1958 with it). I had a shop lanes from 1964 thru 82 AND shot Georges ASTROS (recurves then compounds). My personal Astro Target recurve had the wrinkle paint & it was a Lavender color. George told me he was never able to duplicate that color.. Like you I did it all "heavy" until 1982 when I just spent time bowhunting as much as possible & trips I had always wanted to take (Many Elk/Mule Deer, many Black Bear & 2 Caribou bowhunts + 15 states). I rekindled my tournament interest due to my G-kids shooting & wanting to do 3-Ds in about 2010. Now, I reserve the NFAA Field, Target completions for myself & 3-Ds are family fun events. I shoot Master Senior Bowhunter (5 fixed pins). Oh & I've bowhunted Ws more times than I can count (started in 1958). My 1st horns there in 1964 & Ive been all over the state & lots around Black River Falls & the areas you mentioned.. Of all my bowhunting, Ws. is still my favorite for Whitetail of any where. My adult son & I are planning a trip this fall with a friend that now owns some ground N of Merrill. Take care, small world.
All the deer pics are late 50s early 60s Ws. & the porky was taken on an Elk Hunt in Co mid 70s with an Astro (I think). The sheep ranch we hunted had a poisen/kill porkys permit & we were requested to kill any we came across. Yes, I was lucky & arrowed a Cow Elk on this trip too.
 

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First bow was a Bear Grizzly seems like sometime in the early 70's hunted with that for many years. Bought a compound bow sometime in the late 90's for a few years and my old shoulder gave out quit bowhunting because of it about 2000. Had shoulder rebuilt in 2006 and didnt get back into shooting a bow until this year. Didnt realize how much I missed it. Hope for lots more years
 

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Discussion Starter #15
bump.
 

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I have been a gun hunter since I was old enough to get my hunting license. In 2001 I received a federal stimulus check for $350. Figured it was found money and decided that I was going to buy a bow. (I don't remember how or why I got the idea for a bow) Ended up buying a Parker Hunter Mag II for the $350. Plus tax, plus aluminum arrows, plus release plus plus plus.... LOL. I ended up spending much more than that $350. I got proficient enough that summer to be confident in a shot range of up to 25 yards that season and ended up taking my 1st buck with a bow at 3 paces! I was hooked!! I love bow hunting better than gun hunting in any form, although I do still gun hunt. Have since taken many deer through the years and my passion just keeps getting stronger. I now shoot local 3D for fun, but can't wait for the next hunting season.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
bump.
 

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Old archery club.jpg

I must have been the one taking this picture of our local Vincennes, Indiana, archery club from back in the late 1950's or early 1960's. Great bunch of guys.
 
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