Face it. We are just a bunch of Old Romantics. Aint it Great? I wouldn't have it any other way. My first 22 rifle was a bolt action. My first shotgun was a pump. When I could afford it, I stepped up to an A5 Sweet Sixteen. My first bow was an Indian fiberglass. When I could afford it, my first bow was a Bear Kodiak Hunter and a Browning Wasp (bought together @ $33 each)!! and was I excited about that... In the long, cold, WI. winters, I watch Jeremiah Johnson for the 200th time, followed by my Fred Bear DVD set.. At night, I lay in bed reading Fred Bear Field Notes and Bows on the Little Delta for the 30th time. I make my own leather stuff, including pouches and Possibles bag, cuz I like the primitive/trad roots of such things. The point is, the world keeps spinning faster and I purposely apply the brakes. This thing of quieter, simpler choices is where true satisfaction lies. I am sure of it, and I know that you are all here because we share a similar view, are cut from a similar cloth so to speak. So far, work and rain has dampened my quest to get out there, but my time in the autumn woods is almost within grasp, and I can't wait.
I might add, I really regret, having not found my way back to wooden longbows and recurves, and all the things that traditional archery/bowhunting offers, until I was 56 years old. Lots of wasted youth when I think about it.
You know, even if I had traded half the beer I drank between 1976 and 1989 for wooden bows, wooden arrows, leather quivers and such, I would have one hell of a collection of classic items and memories too!!
I agree totally, couldn't of said it better myself. Yes the old ways are truly golden. Even though I live in the mountains of Colorado, allot of my memories are from my hunting in the Badger state before compounds etc. From the very beginning though, I only used recurves or longbows. I don't relate well with the modern trends out there now. Yes I live and hunt in the 50's and 60's in mind and spirit of the same literature you mention above. I don't care about what anyone else thinks, I'm obsolete, but it is good. I do build all of my archery equipment and it works very well on deer, elk and moose. Who needs more? Good memories are great aren't they? Been bowhunting about 58 years now, I think I only missed 2 seasons, not of my choosing. Still remember my first!
I don't hunt much these days, but I love the peace, quiet and solitude of shooting my bows how I see fit, according to what traditional archery means to me. I also enjoy the friendship and fellowship of getting together with other trad archers. Maybe learning something from time to time and maybe even teaching (without preaching).
While we are all certainly individuals, like you said, we are generally cut from the same cloth. Here is a crazy thought... Every time someone posts one of those "hot button" topics, instead of jumping into things, grab your bow and fling some arrows. Or maybe head to the workshop and create something. Outcome? Those threads die quickly and we become better trad archers, or have something useful. Which is what we all want anyway. Time much better spent!
What stirred me up was a book by Fred Bear with hunting stories I read the summer or so after the US Treasury ruined the back of the copper penny in the late fifties.
Was already primed, 'cause my brother and I read and quizzed each other on everything and every story, in all the hunting/fishing magazines and we kept up with multiple subscriptions to them. Mail was something special then. We even drew colored pictures of all the fish and knew them pretty good. Stories by Russell Anabell about hunting and living in Alaska, were our favorite. Used to study the details of the illustrations in those stories, and it had such an impact that later in life I illustrated a half dozen books and continued a watercolor painting hobby till this day. Catfishing off the bank with my brother a few years ago in OK, who encouraged me to get a lifetime hunting and fishing license, is a memory about as good as shooting my rosewoods.
A young man by the name of Brad Thurston is who hooked me. Brad was 10 years older than me, but treated me like a little brother. My dad worked for his dad before I came along, but we were always family friends. Brad made his own laminated recurves and every now and then when we'd visit, which we did a lot, Brad would talk my dad into shooting with him. Brad could flat out shoot a bow! He was killed in a motorcycle accident when I was 12, but I think of him often when I'm shooting my bows.
Sam, I personally enjoy reading of others adventures, whether it's Jack O'Connor, Fred Bear, Pat McManus or many others. I don't have a need to go romp about the mountains of western Montana or the plains of Africa. My kids are also readers and are now in their fifties. I'm very comfortable in my own realm here in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, and I have many great adventures in the woods that only cost me time. And beautiful woods they are for sure.
Romanticizing about exotic hunts or faraway trips are just a means of vicariously joining in without the cost or wear and tear to joints. ;) I can be home in an instant, drinking coffee and reading a good book. If I get adventurous, I still have hundreds of thousands of acres here of free access that I haven't stepped foot on yet. I don't know if I can live long enough to do that but I'll try.
Very well done Cobra. I was raised in archery as dad own a shop in the late 50's to late 60's. Never played ball just shot a bow. Must have went to 100's of archery tournaments over thee years. The one I remember best was Watkins Glenn, New York.Not because I shot in the tournament but because while my dad, uncle and brother were competing my cousin and I got picked up by the law for tossing rocks over the Glenn and they brought us back to the camp ground. That made my dad's day, lol. I went primitive in the last few years using a self bow and stone heads. The first and only deer I killed with stone was a thrill for sure. Now it's a self bow and stone but we shall see. A lot of us can agree to disagree at times but when some one is in need I don't think there isn't one of us that wouldn't step up and help someone. This is truly a great bunch of archers.
Doing it the old way is the rewarding way. This time of year on my farm it's a task getting everything done while watching the fall colors, fat lazy turkeys, and fat,chubby deer eating my alfalfa. Going to take a day and go sneaking and peeking. This has been happening over 50 years now. Every year gets better. Got skunked chasing Elk this fall, it was so close, but wonderful. Doing that since 2005. Don't wait or put it off, Just do it while you can.
I never found the romance, just think of the woods and prairies as a bit unspoiled by society. Not really unspoiled of course, but maybe a tiny bit less than some other places.
In reality, today much of our hunting and fishing is manufactured 'put and take" , catch and release, reintroduction etc etc. The game and fish are somewhat managed and farmed for our gratification. Not sure how I feel about some of today's so called trophies, artificially raised for gratification, horn porn and boasting. I do it, but get little accomplishment as money can buy any hunting result.
Love my Sweet 16!!! Love my bows too, and all that beer I drank and I still have too much 'stuff'. Rather, just enough to live the 'old way'. Training runs of late leading up to starting my hunting season this weekend. The mountains are calling and I must go. LOL! Nice! Those bottom lands have moose now. Bears, and bucks. I'll be there again this weekend. A big reason I love it was because of "The Mountain Man" by Vardis Fischer (inspired Jeremiah Johnson movie). One of the books I actually read during high school. :)
I've seen some cool stuff in the last few weeks. Leaves were late turning this year, reached peak and went beyond in less than a week. Amazingly quick this year. This was only three weeks ago. A great place to romanticize.
At 70, I have realized that my hunting and shooting enthusiasm started in my youth because of reading Outdoor life and subconsciously thinking that it was important because it was in a magazine. In psych class in college, we learned that people think things are fun because other people think they are fun.
Against the backdrop of eternity, these things are small potatoes. I don't think heaven has a happy hunting ground.
I still shoot and try to improve. But I try to keep my perspective.
I believe Heaven is right here on earth, and Earth will be the paradise once Christ returns and God 'cleans house'. I can imagine no more beautiful place than right here, and with the spectacular real variety no imagination could conjure, God has given us the opportunity to live here in eternity, undisturbed by the (D)evil. Ya just gotta believe. Its right here, not up 'in the clouds'.
I think some folks are confused by the term romantic. It doesn't just mean guys and gals, it's a deeper feeling one has with outdoors and the way things 'were'....and still are to some. Understanding what is being referred to is a good thing.
""Definition of romanticism
(1) : a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century, characterized chiefly by a reaction against neoclassicism and an emphasis on the imagination and emotions, and marked especially in English literature by sensibility and the use of autobiographical material.
An exaltation of the primitive and the common man, an appreciation of external nature, an interest in the remote, a predilection for melancholy, and the use in poetry of older verse forms.
I love shooting wood bows especially in jan- feb-march when there's not much to do but every year after fishing all summer next thing ya know bow season is here & I'm not 100% with the wood bow & as I get older arthritis complicates thing even more but absolutely a curvey well made wood bow is a special thing
My brothers in the late 50,s got me started in all kinds of sports, including archery.We were a poor family then,and i remember them shooting pink,yellow ,and green all fiberglass bows.They managed to kill a few deer,and the stories were great, and the meat even better.What great memories.Poor, but happy doing the things we loved most.How time slips by.