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Twisted Stave Blog 2017-11-06T12:34:20+00:00

Bow Building Book – Traditional Bowyer’s Handbook

It's finally here! My new bow building book, Traditional Bowyer's Handbook, will guide you through the entire process of building a wood selfbow. The book starts off with a chapter on finding bow wood. No mater where you live in the country, you've got something close by that will make a bow. This chapter discusses many different species that can be found throughout the country and gives insight into how these woods can be used to make a great shooting bow. The vast majority of my bow making experience has been with Osage, pacific yew, Eastern redcedar, persimmon, hickory, and a few other species. There are many, many more that I have very little or no firsthand experience with. For these species, such as ocean spray, vine maple, etc. I’ve included descriptions by a number of very knowledgeable bowyers from across the country. Each of the woods we will discuss have different bow making qualities and, if we take those qualities into account, they’ll all make good bows. In [...]

By | November 20th, 2017|Categories: Primitive Archery, Traditional Archery|Tags: , |0 Comments

Bow Building Class with Clay Hayes

Bow Building Class with Clay Hayes A peremptory note from Clay: For information on small group bow building classes, see the Traditional Archery page or shoot me an email via the contact form. ch My Osage selfbow made at a bow building class with Clay Hayes. Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated by bows and bow building. There was a park nearby where saplings grew and my brothers and I would search for the perfect bow. I didn't know it at the time, but these stick and string bows would turn into an obsession for me. Fast forward 10 years I was working with native Wisconsin woods, actually shaping the wood, using directions in one of the first bow building books, The Bent Stick, by Paul Comstock. (This was long before the days of the internet and online tutorials, and well before I could afford any kind of bow building class.) I didn't really know what I was doing, but I built what I thought [...]

By | November 15th, 2017|Categories: Traditional Archery|Tags: , , |8 Comments

Apple Orchard Bucks – Hunting a Whitetails favorite food!

Part 2:  A Very Special Deer Food This is part 2 of a two part series on hunting white-tailed deer in feeding and bedding areas. See part 1 for brief introduction. A well worn deer trail through an old apple orchard. The top of the small apple tree swayed back and forth as if whipped by the wind. Yet the evening was calm, with nothing more than cool air draining down the ridge. I couldn’t see the tree well, but I could clearly hear the dull thud of heavy apples striking the forest floor. After a few minutes, the swaying stopped, but my curiosity kept me focused on the fruit-laden tree some 30 yards down slope. I envisioned a heavy-racked buck shaking the tree with such gusto that it trembled from its roots to its crown. Finally, when the culprit showed its self, I struggled to stifle an audible laugh. A giant buck, yea, right! A small woodchuck was laboring uphill with a red apple wedged in his [...]

By | October 14th, 2017|Categories: Ron Rohrbaugh, Traditional Archery|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Hunting Whitetail Deer Bedding Areas

It’s good to be back on the Twisted Stave blog. I’ve been busy preparing for a Newfoundland moose hunt, but here in upstate New York it’s hard to ignore that fall and deer hunting are right around the corner. Mornings have been crisp and dewy, sumac and Virginia creeper have already turned crimson, and at night, far above, I hear the nocturnal flight calls of migrating thrushes. This has my mind bending toward the glimmer of a “shine pole” and “b-r-r-r-t” of a rutty buck. In that vein, I thought maybe we could talk a little about deer hunting. Below is Part 1 of a 2 part series on hunting whitetail deer feeding and bedding areas. Much of this is excerpted from my book, “A Traditional Bowhunter’s Path.” Like most wildlife species, a white-tailed deer’s life cycle is driven by three primary forces: food, security, and reproduction. Any white-tail hunting book worth its salt covers these topics in detail, but in my experience there are often misconceptions and nuances in [...]

By | October 2nd, 2017|Categories: Bowhunting, Ron Rohrbaugh|Tags: , , , |10 Comments

The Next Big Thing

The first vehicle that was truly my own was a 1986 Toyota pickup with the venerable 22RE engine. When it came into my possession, it had 200,000 miles on it, was nicely highlighted with rust and badly needed new shocks. I was in college in northern Wisconsin and living in a log cabin with a woodstove and no running water.   Not much for amenities but the rent was $50 a month, a manageable sum given the $4.35 an hour minimum wage I was earning as a lifeguard at the college pool and cleaning a butcher shop in the evenings.  I had an old Stihl chainsaw, a beat up Remington 870, a hippie girlfriend and not much else.  I’m not sure what happened to the chainsaw, but I still have the 870 and have been married to that hippie for 25 years. I put another 100,000 miles on the Toyota before I finally sold it; putting gas, oil and not much else into it.  To this day, when I see an [...]

By | July 14th, 2017|Categories: Campfire Philosophy, Chuck Boggs|3 Comments

Flemish Twist bow string

How to Make a Flemish Twist Bow String Have you ever wondered how to make a Flemish twist bow string? At the 2017 Montana Selfbow Jamboree I got a chance to sit down with Todd Weldon of the Oklahoma Selfbow Society to learn how he makes a Flemish twist bowstring like a pro. This is a little different from the method I showed in a previous video and I really like how quick and simple it is to create the bottom loop and how he figures how long to make the string. Here's a step by step video showing how to make a Flemish twist bow string.

By | July 3rd, 2017|Categories: Primitive Archery, Traditional Archery|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Montana Selfbow Jamboree

Montana Selfbow Jamboree June 30th, July 1st and 2nd Mark Baker with a nice whitetail doe taken with an osage orange selfbow. If you’ve ever wanted to tackle the bow building process, you'll soon have a rare chance to take advantage of centuries of cumulative knowledge from experienced bowyers. The Traditional Bowhunters of Montana, along with the resources and skills of the membership of the Oklahoma Selfbow Society, are conducting a weekend bow building workshop for those folks wishing to delve into the primitive realm of bow hunting and archery. On the Bill Owens Ranch, in Logan, MT….we will gather and teach folks the fine art and science behind crafting these one of a kind tools. There, you will be able to acquire a fine Osage Stave – the best of bow woods – and utilize the tools on hand (or bring your own) and team up with an experienced bowyer to learn how to build your own selfbow. But that’s not all…. Arrow building, flint-knapping, youth activities, various [...]

By | June 2nd, 2017|Categories: Mark Baker, Primitive Archery, Traditional Archery|Tags: , |2 Comments

Buck, Buck, Moose book giveaway

Buck, Buck, Moose Click Here for Giveaway details! Bangers and Mash As a follow up to his last book, Duck, Duck, Goose, Hank Shaw hit one out of the park with Buck, Buck, Moose. I’ve been following his website and using his wild game recipes for the last few years and was pumped when he announced plans to write a venison specific cook book and launched a Kickstarter campaign to get it off the ground. Hank is also a big supporter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and an advocate for our public lands and the hunting community. Fast forward to two weeks before my elk hunt and the book arrived. Now, I’ve been butchering and processing my own deer for years and with the help a couple over the counter tags back in the midwest every year we pretty much sustain on venison alone in our house when it comes to red meat. From the time we started dating until now my wife has upped her game in the [...]

By | May 20th, 2017|Categories: DJ Zor, Field to Table, Wild Game Recipes|Tags: , |3 Comments

SPRING BEAR HUNTING -Part Two

Spring Bear Hunting - Part 2 Nearly thirteen years after the spring bear hunt, I can vividly remember the fine blond hairs that encircled the small eyes of a black bear sow as she stared a hole through me from ten yards away. I had spotted the cinnamon colored bear from almost half a mile away and, with just a quick look at its beautiful coat, had no idea of its size or sex. I eased to within a hundred yards of where I had last seen the bear and looked through the alders searching for any shape or shade that didn’t belong. Seeing no sign of the bear I continued my stalk around the alder patch. As usual, the second I eased up and began to make plans for my next move the bear appeared out of the brush and stared directly at me. Although she was only 10 yards away, I was after a mature boar so I let her slip away. But a few weeks later, we'd meet again. I [...]

By | May 13th, 2017|Categories: Bowhunting, Zach Swearingen|Tags: |2 Comments

Spring Bear Hunting-Part One

Spring Bear Hunting While I've used several methods of spring bear hunting (hounds, baiting, and calling) spot and stalk hunting has been my go to method, especially as life’s increasing responsibilities limit the time and money I can contribute to my outdoor pursuits. It takes a lot of time to run a bait properly, and hounds are both expensive and time consuming. In contrast, all you need for good spot and stalk spring bear hunting is a little motivation and the knowledge of how to find the bears. This will be a two part series focusing on finding bears in what I consider the “two seasons” of spring; early season (when bears focus on spring green up) and late season (when their food and social habits begin to change). Finding early spring bears call for getting up to snow line and glassing the new green growth that pops up soon after the snow melts off the hills. Finding spring bears can be tough. Although black bear populations are robust [...]

By | May 6th, 2017|Categories: Bowhunting, Zach Swearingen|4 Comments

The Four Essentials of Survival Shelters

The Four Essentials of Survival Shelters Almost all of us grew up making forts but some of us never really grow out of it. In my case, I've made a profession of building forts. But instead of building "forts," I now make "shelters." The most elegant shelter I've constructed is a 12'x18' log cabin in central Wisconsin but years ago I started building simple A-frame leaf huts that were filled inside with insulation and piled high with even more insulation. The ultimate "survival shelter." My cabin in Central Wisconsin. One of my first survival shelters. A simple litter hut I stayed in with temperatures well below zero. As different as they are, my cabin and those leaf huts have the same essential components of a good shelter. And if you are stranded while out hunting, scouting, or running your trapline, knowing the components of a survival shelter could just save your life. It can be helpful to know how to build specific kinds of shelters, but [...]

By | April 30th, 2017|Categories: John Yost, Woodsmanship|0 Comments

Free Range Kids

I sometimes wonder about the cost of constant supervision to a child’s development. It seems that the new social expectation is to either hawk over our children, assessing every risk while sheltering them from all potential harm – whether real or imagined. Or put a remote in their hands and have the TV keep them entertained – so long as they’re physically safe from the apparent dangers of the outside world. We’ve all heard about the Maryland parents that were charged with child neglect after allowing their two free range kids to walk home from the park unsupervised. If these concerned people had seen the way I grew up, they’d be appalled. We had little to no supervision and, in the time before video games, found entertainment wherever we could. Our teeter totter, for example, was a forty foot grain auger that, when balanced out, would send a kid 20 feet off the ground. The kid on the bottom only hopped off once sending the other crashing to the [...]

By | April 21st, 2017|Categories: Campfire Philosophy, Woodsmanship|25 Comments