I haven’t written about archery for a while, but I thought I’d pop in and just do a quick post about what’s been going on.
This season, I’ve been shooting the Bear Archery Kodiak Magnum. It’s a 52″ AMO recurve, rated at 50#. I picked it up from the Bargain Cave at Cabela’s a few years ago, and it’s proven to be a good little bow. Yes, there’s a bit of handshock. I have a fairly long draw for such a short bow, and it doesn’t weigh a thing. Still, it’s a nice shooter, and gets along quite well with full length 400 spine carbon arrows. I always like it when I can slot in arrows that don’t need any fiddling to get on target.
In any case, I decided to change things up yesterday, and went for my biggest recurve, a Martin Hunter at 65# (62″ AMO). It could not be much more different. Huge, low grip handle, at least twice the heft, and the arrows I have tuned for it are big Easton 2317s with 200 grain points. I call it “Daddy Rolling Stone”, from the old Who song.
After a few shots to establish point of aim, I was shooting great (for my definition of said term – I’m not an Olympic archer by any stretch). Those massive arrows were slugging the target straight and true, and life was good. Do you get tired faster at 65# than 50#? Yes. But if you pace yourself and take small breaks, a fairly high volume of shooting is still possible. You just have to recognize when your bow arm shoulder starts to get tuckered out.
For whatever reason, the Martin/Damon Howatt bows I have seem to have some magic about them. I very rarely have a bad outing shooting those bows. If I miss, I tend to miss small. They never seem to feel as heavy as their draw weight, even when they measure spot-on. I guess there is a reason that they’ve been in business so long. Most people would probably not think about a 65# recurve as a “plinking” bow, but it is so smooth, quiet, and natural to shoot, that I find myself treating it as such. I shoot it kneeling, squatting, sitting down on the ground, bent double…all my weird practice shots. Even the kinked-up Asbell style is fine, or the “reach back” shot as if you were a Magyar shooting from horseback.
And the satisfying sound of the nearly 700 grain arrows hitting the target? Classic.
Don’t forget your old friends. They don’t have to be perfect, they don’t have to be pristine. They can be friendly to the hand like no spiffy new bow. I bought the big Martin for, I believe, $275 through the mail. I put a string scavenged from another bow on it, made an arrow rest out of Velcro, and I’ve never had to do a thing to it beyond that. That is a lot of fun for the dollar, my friends.