There are many factors to consider when making the choice between purchasing a traditional or compound bow. Traditional bows (longbows and recurves) offer a historic as well as a simplistic advantage. There is a certain mystique associated with shooting a stick and string. The bow’s physical weight is much lighter, and you will not get bogged down with technology and a bunch of accessories. There is certainly an argument to be made for keeping it simple.
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Crossbows are a great crossover product. Hunters used to taking a firearm afield feel comfortable with a crossbow. The stock, trigger and sight systems are familiar and make the conversion to new challenges and an expanded hunting season a breeze. Beyond that, crossbows are flat-out cool and fun to shoot regardless whether you goal is to punch holes in paper or let the air out of Bambi.
Hoyt continues its dominating presence in 2013 with the introduction of the Spyder line, which includes the Spyder 30, Spyder 34 and Spyder Turbo. The Spyder 30 is short, stout and deadly in the field. It is also the subject of Cheaper Than Dirt’s latest archery review. The Spyder has so many features it is impossible to cover them all here in the space provided, but worthy of note are the smooth draw cycle with a comfortable valley and easy letdown. Hoyt refers to this system as the ErgoDraw. The one-piece wood grip offers a repeatable low-wrist design, but if that does not fit your preference, no worries. Hoyt also offers the Pro-Fit Grip system, which includes four grip styles that share a common mounting platform to ensure the Spyder will fit your hand and shooting style.
Target panic is more than a problem it’s a disease. It can strike anytime, anywhere and anyone. If you haven’t been bit the target panic bug yet, your time is coming. Perhaps that last statement is a bit of an overstatement, but you get the idea of the seriousness. The good news is target panic is not only curable it’s preventable.
The weather hadn’t cooperated for the first couple of days, but my southern guide, Jeff, had a few tricks to turn the tide. We headed to a secret spot, a stand of planted pines, and Jeff started talkin’ turkey. Before long, we could hear gobblers headed our way. The pines did not offer much cover and we did not have a choice because the toms were reluctant to come out. We started putting the sneak on the birds to close the distance. After that, we were relying on our camo to tip the scales in our favor. A short time later, I spotted two toms coming through the trees.
Coyotes are ripe year round. They can devastate local livestock and wildlife during calving season. Calves and fawn are easy prey for a coyote. Just as the deer or elk rut is prime season, late February through early March is the coyote breeding season and the best time to thin the pack.
I doubt anyone ever confused refletching with rocket science, but if they did, it must have been after one crazy night. Fletching your arrows is not only easy, it can be downright simple. Feathers and vanes—otherwise known as fletching—quite simply steer the arrow. However, vanes and feathers do it in different ways and have separate advantages and disadvantages. Plastic vanes steer the arrow, feathers correct flight through drag. As a result, feathers will correct flight faster and will make bow tuning easier. The downside of a feather is that it is more fragile, its effectiveness can be altered by water (when wet it essentially mimics a vane) and it is more expensive than its plastic cousin.
The weather should just be getting ripe for bowfishing. Never tried it before? Who cares? You get to shoot fish! When bowfishing, the action can be fast and for most shots you will be snap shooting, not aiming. Do not think of a rifle and scope but more of throwing a football. When throwing a football, you just look at the target and let it rip. You’ll want to do the same when bowfishing. When you see your target, pull back and let string go—grip it and rip it style!
However, just because it’s good for the ecosystem may not be enough of a reason to go on a fish-shooting spree. I still want to get the most from what Mother Nature has provided. From my extremely limited experience, carp does not make great table fare. I have heard of a few recipes and certain ethnicities that claim carp makes for great eats, but I think I will stick to tuna and venison.
Given the growing popularity of archery, the powers above me have decided that Cheaper Than Dirt needed to start giving it the proper attention it deserves. In fact, I was beaming and swollen with pride when my boss assigned me this task. The prepared “prepper” spirit that is becoming more in vogue and infiltrating the psyche of everyday Americans, archery is a natural fit. Beyond being a ton of fun and a great way to spend a Saturday (or any other day of the week), it is the ultimate survival skill. Why? For the most part, you can reshoot the bullets—both for practice and under more dire circumstances.