20th Annual Tennessee Classic

20th Annual Tennessee Classic

The Tennessee Classic is an annual pilgrimage for many bowyers, knappers, and traditional archers throughout the southeastern and midwestern United States (and even some beyond). Every year hundreds of archers gather with their families in a valley near Clarksville, Tennessee and camp out, craft gear, and lose arrows in thick vegetation beyond tricky 3D targets. The actual 3D shoot, organized by the Twin Oaks Bowhunters, takes place on a Saturday and Sunday in April of May. Many arrive up to a week in advance, however, just to enjoy good company amidst amazing scenery.

This year marked the 20th annual gathering and was incredible as always, with record attendance despite heavy rains that soaked the course for two days straight before the shoot.

Thanks to the Twin Oaks Bowhunters for all their hard work setting up such a great event!

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Paddle Report: Hugo Point Launch, Cove, TX

Paddle Report: Hugo Point Launch, Cove, TX

Summary: If you’re looking for a short paddle through sheltered waters with plenty of wildlife, I highly recommend launching at Hugo Point. If the weather permits, you can also venture into some of the surrounding, bigger waters for more marsh to discover. The safety and quality of the launch site at Hugo Point Park is top-notch, and you can enjoy a pleasant day on the water without worrying about coming back to your windows being broken.

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Forgiveness is a Virtue of the Stave: Update

Forgiveness is a Virtue of the Stave: Update

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a shortbow I built and named Jumper. I hailed the all-forgiving Osage for allowing me to coax a bow from firewood. Today that stave’s forgiveness ran out and I learned a lesson about over-stressing wood.

Tension and compression failure of an osage bow limb.

Red marks indicate failure points on the back of the bow due to tension (left) and on the belly due to compression (right). The chrysals, or compression fractures, are directly opposite the limb from the splinter. Contrast is enhanced to the point of ugliness to show the chrysals.

I strung Jumper up cold and fired off a few arrows. There were no audible cracks, no strange feelings, and no other telltale sign of wood failure. It shot like it had hundreds of times before.

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Planning a Kayak Bowfishing Trip: Part Three

Planning a Kayak Bowfishing Trip: Part Three

Part one of this series began with a discussion about researching forums and blogs and state-level bowfishing regulations. Part two continued to discuss finding launch sites. Check them out if you missed them.

Local Regulations

I find that local regulations are the greatest impediment to launching a kayak and shooting fish. Therefore, it would make sense for this to be the first step in finding a new place to bowfish – except you have to narrow down where to launch before you can look for local regulations.

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Book Review: Traditional Bowhunting by Clay Hayes

Book Review: Traditional Bowhunting by Clay Hayes

Clay Hayes is no stranger to most traditional bowhunters. He’s well-known for his website, Twisted Stave Media, and has taught many a bowyer a lesson or two on his YouTube channel. If you’ve an interest in hunting with a traditional or primitive bow, I highly recommend reading his book, Traditional Bowhunting, available as e-book or paperback on Amazon and as a signed paperback at Twisted Stave.

“Nature is a great solvent for all the gunk that clogs a hunters head.”

The book begins following two archers on a sojourn through a swamp in pursuit of bullfrogs.  Skillful prose brings the swamp to life, and it’s a noisy, creepy, smelly, dirty… and downright magical place. Clay makes something clear in this story: you don’t have to chase something with antlers to have an incredible time hunting with buddies – it’s the pursuit that makes hunts memorable. This is a recurring theme throughout the book. Whether the prey is rabbit, elk, or bear, Clay’s love for hunting emanates from the page and inspires the reader to go make their own memories afield.

“What more could a romantic nut want than to be draped in braintan buckskin, hunting with a handmade yew longbow, camped in the shadow of the Teton with just enough grizzly sign around to keep things a little edgy.”

There are also a few chapters of plainly-written information the reader will find highly useful. Do you have trouble finding hogs? Clay is not only an experienced hunter but also a professional wildlife biologist, so his chapter on hog behavior alone justifies the price of the book. You’ll also learn tips about tree stands, survival techniques, butchering meat, and tanning hides. These informational chapters are short, sweet, and quick to reread on the eve before you try what you learn.

“With every pull of the pitted old knife another crenulated curl of paper thin osage, vibrant yellow with youth, drifted to the shop floor.”

While a short read at just under 100 pages, this book is as educational as it is enjoyable, and has the potential to inspire anyone to make a stickbow of their own and take it for a walk in the woods. If you’re still not interested in this book, then try the following:

  1. Go watch Clay’s films Ascent and Untamed
  2. Go see what Primitive Tim has to say about it
  3. Go soak your head (just kidding) (kind of)