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Bison by bow Part 1

by Josh Fletcher 13. February 2012 14:45
Josh Fletcher

The North American Bison also called the buffalo once roamed in the eastern forests, the oak savannahs of the Midwest, in the vast prairies and mountains of the west.  The Bison population in the early 1800’s was estimated at approximately 50 million strong.  It was common for trains to be stopped for hours waiting for the immense herds of the thunder beasts to cross the railroad tracks. Herds would stretch miles wide by miles long, turning the prairie black from a distance with their shaggy coats. The bison were Mother Nature’s cultivators of the prairie. With so many bison with their massive weight, the hooves would tear up the prairie, stirring up dormant seeds in the soil, buffalo chips were natural fertilizer to help jump start the new seeds growth, to provide new and fresh forage in the years to come. They were the perfect balance between fauna and flora on the North American continent.

The Native Americans survived off the large thundering beasts. Natives would do large buffalo drives, luring and funneling bison to stampede off an edge of a cliff, ultimately falling to their death. Quickly the members of the tribe would all work together at cutting up and utilizing the dead beasts. The bones were used as tools, hides as shelter and cloths, dried meat for food and the bladders for water bags. Nothing was left to waste; the bison provided life to those who depended on them.

The author making his final preparations before the hunt

After the Spanish introduced the horse to North America, Native Americans developed new and more efficient ways of feeding their families with buffalo. They utilized this new animal that carried man on their back while running at the speed of the bison. Native Americans began chasing bison on horseback. They were equipped with spears and the bow and arrow. The arrows were often equipped with flint sharpened to a razors edge.

As the early settlers began expanding their way west of the Mississippi River, the bison began to compete with the settler’s crops and cattle for the valuable yet vulnerable land.  The settlers had no concept of conservation, and believed that they would never eliminate the herds in their life time.
As the railroads worked their way west, buffalo were shot to feed the workers. These buffalo hunters were hired by the railroad companies to supply fresh buffalo meat to their workers. One of these buffalo hunters became known as Buffalo Bill Cody.

The bison hunters would use the modern technology of the time with their long range guns. They would look for the herd leader. By taking out the leader of the herd first, the remainder of the bison would stand there not knowing what to do. They would just keep dropping the bison one by one until they ran out of shells. I was once written by a buffalo hunter that his hunting partners shot so many bison that they had to urinate on their guns to cool the barrels.
As railroad’s made their way west, the hide of the bison became popular, along with the bison tongue as a delicacy in fancy restaurants. The hunters turned from shooting for meat to shooting for hide and tongue. Thousands of carcasses would be left to waste in the blood stained prairies. The vast herds of approximately 50 million strong were decimated to less than a 1,500 in North America. As the bison disappeared, early conservationists realized that the bison were on the brink of being extinct.

Citizens lobbied the United States President Ulysses S. Grant to help save the buffalo. President Grant replied that the Indians depend on the buffalo to live, with the elimination of the buffalo, means the elimination of the Indians, leaving them subject to reservations. President Grant refused to save the bison.

Several private organizations along with concerned citizens captured and raised several of their own herds to prevent them from becoming just a page in the history book. Other remaining herds sought refuge in the remote Canadian wilderness.

Today the bison are no longer in danger of becoming extinct. The population that was once approximately 1,500 animals has been brought back to approximately 500,000. This is still a far cry from the once 50 million that roamed North America. Out of 500,000 bison today, half is found in the United States. Out of approximately 250,000 animals in the US, over 90 percent are privately owned bison on farms and ranches.
I began my quest for taking a buffalo with the bow just this winter. Being intrigued by the history of the North American Bison, I too wanted to take part in a hunt that dates back centuries ago. I began my quest looking for a free ranging wild buffalo.  After doing research on places to go, I quickly felt the impact of the early settlers over a hundred years ago. There are only several select areas in North America that true free ranging bison exist. They are Alaska, parts of Canada, Utah, Arizona, along with smaller herds in several other states. I learned that some of these tags may take a life time to draw, or the price of the tag was too high for me to afford in my life time. I was determined to hunt bison by bow and was not willing to except that this hunt may take years before I could get a chance. I realized that my best option was to begin looking at hunting with the 90 percent private herds for a hunt this year.

I began calling outfitters and ranchers. The first one I called offered the quality of hunt I was looking for. I wanted to fill my freezer with good clean high quality protein at a reasonable price. With all things there are the pluses and the minuses. This ranch offered a great hunt, however by the time I paid for the hunt and the gas to get out to South Dakota I would have maxed out my wallet for this years hunt.

Again being determined to find the right place to make my dream hunt come true at a reasonable price and at a very short notice, I contacted another ranch. This ranch offered a bison hunt at a reasonable price and was close to home. When I asked how big of an area I would have to chase down my dream bison, I was told it was a vast 70 acres! That’s not vast! That’s a pasture! Was my reply as I quickly hung up the phone trying to be polite to the rancher.  I know that the majority of buffalo are privately owned on ranches but I still wanted a real experience, not a walk up to your animal and kill it experience.
Just when I thought there was no hope for a buffalo hunt this year, and that it may take me many years to draw a wild herd tag, I found a ranch located in north east Iowa. The ranch is called Scenic View Ranch, located near the little town of Monona, Iowa. I quickly called the owner, Lloyd Johanningmeier. As I asked Lloyd questions about his ranch, I quickly realized this is where I am going to try and take my first buffalo with the bow.
Scenic View Ranch has over 300 acres of beautiful hard woods bluffs with the fastest running river in Iowa, the Yellow River running through the property. As I talked with Lloyd it became quickly apparent that Scenic View Ranch’s main goal to show the hunter a good time in a very relaxed atmosphere. Some ranches I contacted did not even allow archery hunting for buffalo, but not Lloyd, he actually encouraged it and his hunts were close to home at a very reasonable price.
I have never hunted on a ranch a day in my life, so I have no clue what to expect.  My biggest concern was that I did not want a “canned” hunt. I truly wanted to match wits with one of these big thunder beasts. Lloyd reassured me that this will truly be a hunt. 300 acres in the wide open prairie may seem small, but 300 acres in the large rolling hard wood bluffs means they can be any ware. Also some ranches would not let you keep your entire animal that you killed. Being a do-it yourself style of hunter, I didn’t feel that this was fare. If I’m paying for the hunt, shouldn’t I get to keep the entire animal that I killed? At Scenic View Ranch you keep what you shoot, and you don’t pay unless you shoot what you are looking for.

A recipicating saw does an excellent job at cutting through large bone

Lloyd was patient with me and all the questions that I was inquiring about the hunt, and every time I talked with him, the conversation started out about the hunt but quickly we found ourselves talking like we have known each other for years. It didn’t take me long to book my buffalo hunt at Scenic View Ranch.

With the hunt booked, I immediately began preparing for the hunt. I will be using the Mathews Helim bow set at 68 pounds of draw weight. My arrows are Carbon Express Maxima Hunters and the broad heads will be the NAP two blade Blood Runners.

I quickly started hitting the range, fine tuning my archery skills. The best part about shooting outside in the winter time is that I’m practicing at the range wearing the heavy bulky clothing that I will be wearing during the hunt.

While practicing daily under cold weather conditions, I also hit the web and books learning about the anatomy of the buffalo. The key is a well-placed shot. You can shoot 80 pounds with the  best broad head, but if you don’t hit your mark, or if you don’t even know where that mark even is, that high powered bow doesn’t do you any good. I quickly learned that the vitals in a buffalo sit very low in the chest cavity, I also learned from reading forums of different hunters that most people shoot too high in the buffalo’s chest. The mark that I am looking for is the top of the heart or both lungs. If I find the buffalo’s elbow joint and draw a horizontal line until I hit the shoulder crease, ware those two lines meet will be my mark. Hopefully I can be presented with a quartering away shot to lodge the arrow up into the kill zone of the big thunder beast.

It takes alot of preperation to process a 1000 pund animal yourself

Next I had to figure out what I’m going to do with the buffalo if all goes right and I get him on the ground. Again being a do-it yourself hunter, I’m choosing to process the buffalo myself. To transport the meat we are using an elk hunting trick, by placing a freezer in a trailer and trailering it to the hunting location. This works great for handling a large animal such as an elk. Once back at camp, you cut the meat up and vacuum pack the meat prior to placing it in the freezer. Then just plug the freezer into a portable generator and let it run over night to cool and freeze the meat if you are in a remote location. If the meat is frozen solid and the lid stays closed, the meat will remain frozen in the freezer for days. Also a chest freezer has the capabilities of holding several hundred pounds of meat.

For cutting the meat we will be bringing knives of varying sizes. A handy trick for cutting large sections of bone, such as splitting a carcass in half, is using a reciprocating saw with a fine tooth blade. We will also have a hand bone saw for the smaller bone cuts. I also have two vacuum packing machines; two meat grinders, 200 one pound bags for holding ground burger, 12 boxes of vacuum bags, freezer paper, and don’t forget a good knife sharpener.
The weather looks like it is going to be warm, in the mid 30’s for the hunt which is going to take place in less than a week, on February 17. We will be packing all the camera gear to bring the action into your home right here at Be sure to check back for part two of this blog to read about how the hunt unfolded, and the end results.

Alpine Archery Lil Guff Bow is Perfect for Your Little Hunter!

by Bow Staff 26. December 2010 13:57
Bow Staff

Parents looking to bring their children into the sport of archery look no further than below! Offered at a great price is a NEW little bow for your perfect little hunter!

Lewiston, ID- Alpine Archery has always had its eyes on the future and nothing is more important to the sport than our future generation of archers and bowhunters. It started with the popular Alpine Colt, a bow designed specifically for the youth market. Now Alpine has taken these two decades of expertise and manufacturing prowess and is proud to offer the new LIL GUFF compound bow.

Alpine Archery Lil Guff

Endorsed by hunting superstar Jim Shockey, Alpine’s LIL GUFF is a design achievement every parent will be happy to place in their children’s hands and importantly, every child will be excited to shoot.

Bob Proctor, President of Alpine made the announcement: “We know the future rests with our younger generation. It is imperative that not only do we get them interested in the sport of archery but we provide the absolute best equipment possible to ensure they succeed at it and enjoy it to the fullest so they will stay in it.

We have pulled out all the stops with the introduction of our 2011 Jim Shockey Signature Series LIL GUFF to make sure every child shooting one will be pleased with the performance and accuracy of this bow.”

The LIL GUFF features a machined aluminum riser with Power Tuff limbs and Radial Force A cams. It sports 7” of draw adjustments of 17” to 23” and weight range of 10 to 35 pound peak with 65% let-off. The bow is 32”overall with a maneuverable 28” axle-to-axle length and weighs a light 2.5 lbs.

The LIL GUFF is designed to fit children in ages of 5 to 12 years and is available in black/bonz and black/pink camo. The LIL GUFF comes in at a parent pleasing low retail of only $219.

Alpine didn’t compromise so you don’t have to either. Want your children loving the sport of archery? Put a LIL GUFF in their hands and watch them really enjoy hitting what they aim at.


For more information on Alpine Archery please take a look for them on the web.



G5 Releases NEW Prime Bow.

by Bow Staff 13. December 2010 11:31
Bow Staff

With its proprietary and exclusive Parallel Cam Technology, this new line of premiums bows virtually eliminates CAM LEAN, making the bows more forgiving and more accurate at greater distances.

“The new Prime Bows will raise the bar in compound bow performance.” Stated President Matt Grace. “We are thrilled with the ingenuity our engineers and designers have shown in developing a product that effectively addresses one of the nagging problems in current bow designs.”

G5 Release Their New Line of Prime Bows to Their Impressive Line of Archery Products

The Parallel Cam Technology looks to make CAM LEAN a problem of the past as the new design balances the load equally on each side of the cable resulting in practically no CAM LEAN, reduced horizontal nock travel, and reduced limb fatigue. In addition to the Parallel Cam Design, the new Prime series offers a long list of unique features that make the bow truly one of a kind:

• Forged 7000 Series T6 Aluminum Riser is twice as strong as traditional 6061 T6 aluminum risers.
o -This durable design helps to increase riser stiffness and reduce shooter’s hand shock.
• C-1 Laminated Limbs
o These limbs utilize a cross weft design to significantly reduce torsional stresses in the limb resulting in improved consistency and accuracy
• GoreTM Fiber String & Cables
o o This proprietary string material is a blend of Gore TM performance fibers and BCYTM 452X.
o The Marriage of these tow industry leading technologies results in a superior string with less vibration, a reduction in noise, and increased durability.
• TI-Glide Titanium Flexing Cable System
o The Prime’s Flexible Titanium cable guard system reduces cam lean by 25% by reducing side load on the cables during draw. In conjunction with the Parallel Cam Design, cam lean is virtually eliminated.
• Shield Grip
o First of its kind in the industry, made of G10 material that repels water, odors or any other unwanted element. It stays dry and comfortable in the hand no matter the conditions.
• Available in Optifade TM Forest, Optifade TM Open Country , Realtree AP HD TM or Black
o Superior patterns for superior concealment

The revolutionary Prime bow is available in two models the Shift and the Centroid.

Shift Specs
• IBO Speed (FPS) 333
• Axle to Axle (in) 30”
• Brace Height 7”
• Mass Weight 4 lbs.
• Draw Length 26” – 30”
• Draw Weight (lbs) 40-50, 50-60, 60-70
• Centroid Specs
• IBO Speed (FPS) 330
• Axle to Axle (in) 34”
• Brace Height 7”
• Mass Weight 4.3 lbs
• Draw Length 27” – 31”
• Draw Weight (lbs) 40-50, 50-60, 60-70

Finally, Prime seeks to deliver the highest level of Quality Assurance in the Bow Industry. Every Prime bow is fully assembled and tune. G5 then takes the extra effort of cycling every bow 100 times on an automated cycling machine, and then super tunes the bow again. This process ensures that strings are properly stretched, and limbs and limb pockets have properly settled – eliminating the need to retune your bow after your first 100 shots.

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NEW Quest Torch Bow Aims for Young Hunters.

by Bow Staff 7. December 2010 09:29
Bow Staff


New Quest Torch Bow Aims To Ignite Passion In Young Hunters.

Memphis, Mich., Quest BowhuntingTM, a division of G5 Outdoors, Introduces the new Torch Bow featuring the QS SD Cam Technology. With the release of this bow Quest targets the next generation of avid hunters so they too can enjoy all the great qualities that the Quest Bow line offers. The Torch gives young, small frame, women and intermediate hunters all of the features they need for a rewarding and enjoyable shooting experience.

“Quest is very proud to offer a bow that caters to the needs of the next generation of hunters. Stated Quest President and co-owner Matt Grace.  “Bowhunting is a great way for parents and their children to share a common love for the outdoors, and what better way to learn than with a Quest Torch.”
A Forged T6061 aluminum riser makes this bow durable and lightweight, allowing a hunter to make the most of his time in the field. 

The Torch’s Fuel:

The Torch features a forged T6061 aluminum riser – making it durable yet light weight.  The Bow
measures 33” axle-to-axle, has a 6” brace height, weighs in at 4.2 lbs and comes draw lengths ranging from 24” to 28” and draw weights in 30 to 45 pounds.  In addition, the Torch is available in the impressive and innovative GfadeTM finish including Pink AP Snow Camo or AP camo. 
An economical price of $399.99 in the GfadeTM pattern and $379.99 in Camo makes it very easy for someone to get their first bow.  The Torch continues Quest’s commitment to delivering superior performance and value to hard working, hard hunting archery enthusiasts. 
Quest Bowhunting: The Bowhunters’ Bow.

About Quest Bowhunting:
Quest Bowhunting™ is a family owned business backed by more than 40 years of precision manufacturing experience. Quest Bowhunting™ strives to provide superior Bowhunting products that enhance the archery experience.  To learn more about Quest, take a look at them on the web.


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Categories: Current News

Mission Archery by Mathews Introdcues the Maniac Bow

by Bow Staff 10. November 2010 06:27
Bow Staff

Without a doubt, it's safe to assume that Mathews knows the world of archery and bowhunting and it's members.  With years of leading innovation and design to back their reputation as the industry leader, Mathews and it's brother company Mission archery have conlcuded the following about bowhunters.  Bowhunters are the real McCoy- genuine woodsmen that don’t care if their belt doesn’t match their boots or if the paint job on their truck has a few scars.  But when it comes to the hunt, their attention to detail maniacal.  They obsess over which way the wind is blowing, where the best food sources are and the size of the racks roaming their territory.

The all new Maniac is a testament to bowhunting savvy, with parallel limbs, string suppressors and an adjustable dual cam system that reaches up to 310 fps all in one compact, light-weight package.  The Maniac by Mission Archery is simply the best bow in it's price range. 



- IBO Rate- Up tp 310 fps

- Physical Weight- 4.12lbs

- Axle to Axle- 31"

- Brace Height- 7 1/8"

- Let-off- Up to 77%

- Riser- Fully Machined

- Draw Weight- 20-70lbs

- Draw Length- 22-30"

- Silencers- D-Amplifiers

- Suppressors- String Suppressors

- Cam (s)- Dual/ Adjustable

- Cable Guard- Carbon Rod 

- Bow Strings- Zebra Hybrid

- Grip- Composite

- String Length- 57 1/4"

- Cable Length- 34 1/8"


The Mission Maniac- a safe bet when hitting the woods in pursuit of trophy animals.


NEW Alpine Blush Bow is All About the Ladies.

by Bow Staff 5. October 2010 10:53
Bow Staff

Check out the NEWEST bow by the good people at Alpine Archery. This ain’t your father’s stick and string!

Lewiston, Idaho - Alpine archery has always appreciated our lady archers and for 2011 they have wrapped all that appreciation up in one solid, smooth shooting, fantastic looking bow.

Say hello to the new Alpine BLUSH.

Bob Proctor, President of Alpine put it this way: “One thing about Alpine, we listen. We had been getting more and more requests from the females in our sport to make a bow just for them.

They wanted a bow that would not only look awesome on the shooting line but have the performance and accuracy needed to win. So we went to work.

We combined all the features Alpine is known for; stand out looks, light weight, shootability and the high-performance every archer wants.

We made it Alpine smooth and forgiving because today’s woman wants it that way. And, because women want a distinctive female look we offered the BLUSH in a striking pink camo with beautiful Rosewood grip. Then we added a nice little touch to the riser, an antique finished emblem that tells the world – ‘Because you are as good as he is’.”

Alpine believes every woman should look good on the archery line, especially when accepting the trophy!

The BLUSH may look terrific and shoot smooth as silk but it is all business with a very un-lady like IBO speed of 290 fps at 27” draw length and its all available for a bank account pleasing low, out the door price of about $399.

Now you can afford to travel to the shoots you plan on winning.

BLUSH – Just for the ladies.

For more information please look up Alpine Archery on the web!



The Ben Pearson Advantage. A NEW Bow for 2010.

by Bow Staff 20. April 2010 13:30
Bow Staff

Built with competition shooters in mind, the Ben Pearson Advantage truly gives you the upper hand when target or 3D shooting. Ben Pearson's Research and Development department gathered extensive data from shooters around the country and even the world to find out what they wanted in a bow, and then they built that perfect bow. The result is a rock-solid platform with amazing speed as well as low shock, vibration and noise.
Now the talk of the competitive circuit, the Avantage holds like a dream thanks to the  AccuGrip and FlowThru Riser, which creates a smaller profile in your hand while eliminating torque on the bow and producing more consistent shots.
Quick Specs:
• Axle to axle: 37 1/2"
• Brace height: 7 5/8"
• IBO Speed: 327-318 fps
• Draw Lengths: 26" - 31.5"
• Draw Weights: 40, 50, 60, and 70#
• String Length: 59 3/8"
• Cable Lengths: 41 7/8"
• Physical Weight: 4.1 pounds


Colors offered include black w/black limbs, black w/camo limbs, pink w/black limbs, candy red w/black limbs, blue w/black limbs and Mothwing Orange w/black limbs.
Suggested Retail Price will be about: $ 949

To check out more from the good people at Pearson Bows, please visit their website.


Introducing The Predator by Pearson Bows

by Bow Staff 16. March 2010 14:05
Bow Staff

The world's top predators attack with deadly stealth and speed. Few escape these silent hunters and all fear their presence. The same can be said for Ben Pearson's Predator. New for 2010, the Predator not only features Ben Pearson's innovation, quality and performance, but it's affordable as well.

Tired of bows getting more and more out of your price range? Ben Pearson hears you loud and clear and has created the 2010 Predator in response. It comes with the smooth-as-butter Z-7 single cam and can be outfitted with a Copper John Battle Axe 3 Pin sight, drop-away arrow rest, peep sight, Sims S-coil stabilizer, wrist sling and Bohning quiver.

Available as a bow only or in a complete hunting package, the Predator is the best way to reach the top of the food chain.

•I.B.O. speed 303-294 fps
•Axle-to-Axle 30 inches
•Brace Height 7 1/4 inches
•String Length 83 11/16 inches
•Cables (2) 31 5/8 inches
•Draw Weights 40, 50, 60, & 70 lb. (75% Let Off)
•Draw Lengths 26 1/2 - 30 1/2 inches (half-inch increments)
•Weight 3.3 lbs

Also available; The Predator Package Includes:
•Copper John Battle Axe 3 pin all-aluminium sight
•Bohning Archery Lynx 4-arrow, quick detaching quiver
•Fully-machined, aluminium drop-a-way rest
•Sims S-Coil stabilizer & silencers
•Peep sight & bow sling
•All this for LESS than $600.00

Available Colors:
•Mossy Oak Obsession

Suggested retail (without package) price is around $499.00. To learn more about the quality line-up of bows and packages available from Pearson bows, please visit their website.

Categories: Bowhunting Blogs

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