Indian Hunting Bows And Arrows
Recently, I was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting to be seen and so I sorted through the magazines, found one on hunting, and leafed through it. I came across a section describing the latest and greatest hunting gear hitting the market including bows, arrows and other archery accessories. The bows’ prices ranged from a low of $749 to a high of $1,600. As I read through descriptions detailing why they deserved those price tags, I reflected on stories that my father had shared with me when I was a boy about when he was a boy growing up in Winona, Minnesota, near a band of Winnebago Indians.
Most Native Americans used a shorter bow than other primitive people. The standard hunting bow was less than five feet long, and some of the most convenient ones were only four feet.
The best bows were made of young elm, oak, hickory, ash, and dogwood. Ironwood was also preferred, but not commonly found. There were also elk horn and Rocky Mountain sheep horn bows, as well as buffalo rib bows, which were worked to perfect shape by the use of steam. They were usually made in two pieces, very difficult to make, and highly prized. A boy’s ordinary bow was made of any kind of wood, but always that from a sapling, so as to get the necessary elasticity.
The continuous curve bow was not a style used by Indians. They made their bows so they were concave on the ends and convex in the middle because it was easier to control and didn’t jerk the arrow off its true direction. As soon as the Indian had shaped his bow by whittling it, he dried it into its proper form, and oiled it while seasoning the bow to keep it supple. When thoroughly seasoned, he finished it by scraping and rubbing the bow with natural sandstone. He then tightly wound each end and the middle with flat sinew and notched the ends for the bowstring. The best bowstrings were made of sinew, though wild hemp and other materials were also used on occasion.
Throughout their native lifestyles, the Indian never saw arrows made of split wood. The young chokecherry and Juneberry furnished most of their arrows, though the coast tribes sometimes used reeds. The usual length was twenty-eight inches, including the head. They were about one-fourth of an inch in diameter and very light. The man’s arrow was feathered with three feathers five inches long, but most boys’ arrows had but two feathers, and these may be anywhere from two to five inches long, and were curved around the body of the arrow in screw fashion in order to make the arrow fly straight.
The Indians made arrow-heads of bone, horn, claws and bills of birds, and sometimes of clam shells. After the coming of the white man, they used iron. The stone arrow-head was apparently used by an even earlier race of people because they are too heavy to be used effectively with the native American arrows from more recent centuries. The Indian children would pick up stone arrow heads and play with them as a novelty much as might be the case today. Occasionally, a practical use for them was attempted, such as for shooting fish, but that’s about it. A boy’s arrow usually had no head at all. It would merely be sharpened at the point, or carved with a knob on the end, in which case no feather was needed. This was the safest and most convenient weapon for shooting in the woods, for it brought down all small birds and animals, and was readily recovered.
When Indian boys had successfully made their own bows and arrows, instruction on successfully using them began. The first thing they were taught was the correct stance. They were taught to take a position as though they were ready to jump from a springboard. Then they were taught to accustom themselves to the strength and spring of their bows, and to get to know their arrows well individually, their swiftness and peculiarities of flight. The greatest success in marksmanship, then and now, depends partly upon one’s natural gifts, yet faithful practice produces both a significant degree of improvement and a sense of satisfaction.
The exceptional Native American archer, with his sinew-backed, four-foot bow and bone-tipped arrow, was able to shoot clear through the body of a large animal, such as elk or buffalo, unless he happened to hit bone. All Indians could kill the largest animal with this convenient weapon, using the quick off-hand shot. I’m sure all the advancements that have been made in modern bows, arrows and other archery accessories have added value to justify the price tags that accompany them. But the final results that one achieves still comes down to a certain amount of natural ability and lots of practice, practice, practice!
4 Important Tips on How to Succeed in Your Archery Elk Hunting Trip
If you really want to test your skills in hunting, then you will love archery elk hunting, especially if you are also into bow hunting. The reason is that the hunted prey, the elk, happens to be one of the largest game animals to hunt – and also one of the shrewdest too. It is a challenge every hunter relish. To take home an elk is an achievement in itself, but to take home one using bows and arrows is even better.
Bow hunting in itself is a delicate and difficult sport. But if you are into archery elk hunting, the use of the bow is even more demanding. An archery elk hunter must know his quarry and his weapon on top of being able to calculate a number of variables in a given second it takes to draw and release their bow. This takes skills and precision.
So what are the things to consider in order to succeed in archery elk hunting? Here are some …
1. You need a special type of bow (& arrows) designed to take down a large animal like the elk. This type of bow is an amazing piece of equipment. The bow hunter must learn every aspect and capability of his hunting weapons – bow plus arrows. The hunting arrows must be of the right length. Not only that but the arrows must be able to pierce tough hide and cartilage for a quick kill. It may take you several hours of practice to be ready to effectively bring down an elk which can weigh up to several hundred pounds.
2. You must pay attention to every detail. Spend time learning the location of food and water sources for elk in the area. Find out they behave during certain times of the day and the temperature as well. Spend time reading local wildlife reports for ideas.
3. Practice shooting in heavy coats or coveralls.
4. If hunting from tree stands, you can spend time alternating between 2 or 3 stands in order to gain better perspective of the location. All this will take place before the hunt ever begins.
Archery elk hunting is not easy. Luckily there are guided hunting trips to cater to hunters who want to do archery elk hunting. Outfitters are able to provide services that are tailored to the bow hunting experience.
Even if you are a seasoned hunter, an experienced guide can help you put your skill and proficiency with a bow to the ultimate test. For those who succeed in bagging their trophy, archery elk hunting can be a very satisfying and rewarding sport.
Even if you don’t take home the trophy, you will still grateful for the wonderful learning experience. Knowledge is power and you can bet it will lead to assured, future success in the field.
Family Holiday Fun Any Time of the Year on Top of Grand Mesa
The State of Colorado boasts the largest number of 14,000 foot peaks in the United States, and also is home (according to some) to the largest flat-top mountain in the world, Grand Mesa. If you are looking for an outdoor adventure that offers something for everyone who loves the outdoors, Grand Mesa will do exactly that. It provides the outdoor enthusiast with a true bargain holiday. Many of its activities are free.
Rising for more than 5000 feet above the valley floor to elevations over 11,000 feet, you will see more variety of flora and fauna than you can identify. Combine holiday and travel for the entire family with this truly inspirational get-a-way.
Grand Mesa is a part of Grand Mesa National Forest and is most easily accessible by three routes and it’s a part of Colorado Scenic Byways.
1) Traveling west on I-70 from Denver to Grand Junction, or east on I-70 from Grand Junction to Denver, take exit 49 up DeBeque Canyon to Highway 65 and continue south through Mesa towards Cedaredge and Delta. The route over the tope of Grand Mesa is open year round except for occasional snow slides that may close it for a few hours or for occasional severe snow storms that dump enough snow that the road crews can’t keep it clear.
2) Traveling north or south through Delta, take Highway 92 east 4 miles and take Highway 65 north to Orchard City, Cory, Eckert, and through Cedaredge to access the top.
3) Traveling north from Delta to Grand Junction or south from Grand Junction, take Highway at to access the western point of Grand Mesa called Lands End. This road is graveled but good enough for highway cars usually from around the first of June through September. It is not maintained in the winter and is not open to travel.
Grand Mesa is a 4 season play ground including but not limited to the following spring, summer, and fall activities:
o Sight seeing
o Dining at one of the fine lodges on top
o Wild flower identification
o Jeep Trails
o Four Wheeling
o ATV Trails
o Horseback Riding
Grand Mesa rises through ecosystems, including subalpine, montane, and high desert. Formations vary including hoodoos, pediments or terraces, bookcliffs, canyons of the Mesa Verde group that include petroglyphs from Fremont Indians, talas slopes, igneous rock, lava flows, slumping and toe loading.
Vegetation again offers such a variety with tamarisk, cottonwood, willows, juniper, pinon, cactus, sage, conifers, fir, spruce, Colorado Columbine, pasque flowers, sulfur flowers, choke cherry, service berry, mountain candytuft, violets, Indian paintbrushes (red, pink, and cream colored), monk’s hood, monkey flower, and many more.
Chipmunks, squirrels, marmots, birds of all kinds, fox, coyotes, deer, elk, bear, and believe it or not, moose inhabit these slopes and meadows. Early mornings and dusk are ideal times to spot wildlife, but don’t be surprised with sightings during mid-day, especially of the smaller variety.
Oh, and did I mention that Grand Mesa is home to about 300 lakes and reservoirs and uncountable streams and creeks, most of which contain game fish including rainbow trout, cutthroat, lake, brown trout, and mountain white fish. Fishing is available year round, including ice fishing.
Winter adventures and activities include, but are not limited to:
o Dog sled races
o Downhill skiing
o Cross-country skiing
o Ice fishing
o Winter camping
When you vacation on Grand Mesa, may I offer just a few helpful hints? Temperature and weather extremes have to be expected, even during summer days and nights. At elevations above 10,000 feet, go prepared for the worst, and the worst can include snow and hail showers any month of the year. On the other hand, expect lots of sunshine and sunscreen, head covering, and layers of clothing are essential. And DON’T forget the insect repellant. Grand Mesa grows a huge mosquito population from mid June until mid August.
Why You Need to Think About When Going Archery Hunting
Archery hunting is a fun and rewarding experience for hunters across the country. Some believe that once you’ve tried bow hunting, you’ll never want to return to rifles again. There are some decided advantages to hunting with a bow that you won’t find with rifle hunting. Here are a few tips to consider when planning your next hunt.
One decided advantage to archery hunting is that it allows you to truly hone your skills. Any avid bow hunter will tell you that the excitement of the hunt is greatly enhanced in that using a bow and arrow or crossbow allows you to be closer to the hunt. While this requires greater stealth and patience on your part, this also allows you to see some truly extraordinary sights as well as add a new dimension to your technique. In addition to this, hunting with brightly colored arrows allows you to identify your kills easily, which is especially useful if you’re tracking a shot deer. They can also be useful for determining your kill from someone else’s.
Archery hunting is also fun for guided hunts. These hunts are ideal for those who are just easing into the sport or simply want to spend a leisurely weekend having a good time. They’re also fun for hunting in areas or climates you’ve never hunted in before. Guided hunting involves an outfitter providing you with private land, guides, and even camp grounds and cabins to dwell in over a period of time. In many cases, you even have meals provided for you. While bagging game isn’t guaranteed, at least you’ll be able to rest assured in the knowledge that you’ll be able to relax and have fun.
Of course, archery hunting isn’t suitable for all situations. While it’s quite ideal for everything from varmint game to deer and wild boar, archery hunting isn’t typically used for bigger game, such as moose or elk. While there are exceptions, in some cases it’s simply wiser to use a rifle. This is because sometimes the sheer size of the animal may make it so only certain arrows are able to penetrate. In other cases, it may be extremely difficult to sneak up on the animal, especially a moose, which has an incredible sense of smell. While it’s possible to do so with a bow and arrow, when it comes to bagging something as big and as rare as a moose, you’re better off using a weapon you’re certain can bring it down. Learn more about archery hunting today!
Mike Davidson finds the perfect prone shooting position on a large Utah elk, but it’s at 925 yards! With a Gunwerks rifle and zero wind, confidence is high.
Cow elk hunt at Vermejo Park Ranch in New Mexico high country. Cow was taken by bow at 44 yards – great guide and friend Chad Markert put us on her!
Despite all the warnings posted throughout the park, many people in Yellowstone National Park are just plain stupid. This video was recorded during the summer of 2010. I watched as a group…
Kassandra kills her first elk at 688 yds after following a large herd for hours. Rifle was a 243 Winchester shooting the 105 VLD.