Thursday, March 5, 2020

On Cross Dominance For The Traditional Archer

What determined the bow hand which I shoot my current, primary, right handed, center cut bow with, was the eye dominance test - 11 years ago; however, I am left handed, I dont look down the shaft to aim (I use both eyes to fix on my target), and my dominant eye is my right eye. To clarify, using the finger eye dominance test may start you out on the wrong foot if you are an "instinctive" archer with a cross dominant disposition.

As a result, when I shoot, I focus on my left hand, the one holding the bow (if I am shooting on the inside - yes, you can shoot on the outside with a center cut bow, but the hands are switched). I push, for the most part, and pull to a draw; but, I focus on the location of my left hand mainly engaged in the pushing to determine the correct point of release.

I find that if you are pushing the bow away, with a strong/practiced bow arm to a steady set, and pulling to the draw, there is a smooth arrow loose and more accurate throw where your hand (left) which was pushing is less likly to bounce to the left as a compensation for the sudden slack or resistance due to the string being let go. As iterated in a previous post, I find it easier to make the system right for a hit when the bow arm is heavily bent and up at the start of the draw cycle; it is also horizontal with the earth; this style uses both my shoulder joint and elbow to aim the arrow, rather than just the shoulder as in a streight arm archery style.

Try this too if you are cross dominant and have shot your right handed bow, drawing the string with your weeker hand - which some argue should be your stronger hand - for many years and are stuck on a accuracy plateau; your aim may improve. You may also try switching your bow hand if you wish; though I cant afford this option at the time in terms of a new bow, one can shoot a center cut bow with the arrow on the outside.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Snow Moccasins

By putting on more than four pairs of stockings (though this number can be less depending on the sock), even a wool material, it will induce enought tention to inhibit blood circulation resulting in cold feet.

Coupled with a large moose hide moccasin, you may consider only a couple pairs of wool socks, with the tops kept flat as opposed to curled in any way and my wool sweater modification.

Simply take a shrunk wool sweater (can be bought second hand) and cut to devide the sweater with one half having the front and a sleeve attached and the other the back of sweater with the other sleeve still attached. Put your food in the sleeve and wrap the excess material around your foot,( which is inside the sleve) then put it into your moccasin. The aim of this sweater wrap is to provide the a cheap, upcycled, insulation of wool without the tention of a sock. Beware of cold spots where the wrap is layed differently.

footwear warms from old sweater

If you are on the move, one sweater without socks is comfortable in the range of -5oC - -20oC but experiment for yourself to find what works and never put your safety or safety of your body parts in jeopardy based on information taken from the internet - ever.

If you can get a pelt wraped around your foot and fit it into your moccasins it may work even better.

The moose hide is essential for a winter moccasin material as deer hide is not thick enough to last.

The key to a winter moccasin setup is simply to keep the heat of your foot from the cold of the outdoors; enough wool or pelt insulation around your foot (inside the moccasin) will achieve this and prevent your smoked moose hide from becoming wet (due to heat melting the snow) and your foot - cold.

Also, smoked hide will never be a water proof material. If the temps come too close to 0oC water will penetrate the porous material and get wet, your foot too will get wet, and when temps drop over night, your foot will freeze.

Monday, February 24, 2020

On Fast Archery or Speed Shooting

Fast or "speed shooting" archery is a style of archery - popularize by Lars Anderson -where the archer can knock, draw, and fire many arrows quickly; it is also usually done while holding the arrows to be used in the hand which is also drawing the string.

The stlye of a cultures archy, as with many of that cultures charachteristics, is a reflection of the environment in which it appears.

Take the cable backed bow and the composite bow as an example. The former is a bow "backed" with a sinew cable which is not glued to the bows surface; these types of bows were used among primative Inutit cultures; the reason for this is perhaps due to the difficulty of using animal derived glues in cold climates - making the glue and maintaining the gules fluid viscosity long enough for it to saturate the sinew fibers; problems which are not as difficult to deal with in environments where the composite bows appeared such as the Steps of Russia, or further south in areas of North America.

Fast archery - not used by Intuit (to my knowledge) - would have been a practical skill in an enviroment where you are at war with people - not animals - which are also using bows and arrows against you.

I could speculate that if you where hunting large, slow moving animals, like the extinct wooly rhino, the fast archery skill may have been usful but not a single deer (possibly a moose).

A primative, isolated tribe, whose name escapes me, who not at war with other primative tribes, which do hunt deer and boar not only shoot one arrow without holding the other arrows in their draw hand, but also shoot on the "inside" of their bows.

I also want to articulate that the technique seen in any demonstration that Lars Anderson makes of archery is actually historically inaccurate as - at best- there are no pertinent environmental pressures to speed shooting available to him beyond a want to evoce the of impressed adoration of his YouTube fans.

LAs most commendable achievement has been the amalgamation of "historical material" regaurding archery and their use in the dissemination of personal opinions; and it is this effort that has broadened the scope of what many members of the traditional archery comunity realized as possible about the sport.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Slowing Down Your Archery Practice Pace

While practicing, slow down while taking your shots; im not the first to note this.

In stead of taking 10, fast. "just need to get em' down there", unconscious shots - feel, think, and experience every shot. Take note of your form, where the arrow flies and hits, how it exits the bow, what the bow wants to do after the shot, how your hands feel, etcetera.

You can lean a lot more in a single shot by focussing on what your doing and slow-down than you can on a thousand - dont let the only lesson of those thousand be this.

Saturday, February 1, 2020


The Canadian military beaver tail and "newer" bear paw magnesium snowshoes are great if you need a shoe to jump out of a plane with, or break trail a short distance through relatively shallow snow; however, a heavily overlooked quality I have observed in many modern snowshoes is their ability to provide loft. The two mentioned simply dont provide enough loft in deep snow; is this due to the insufficent surface area or the wire weave material used on their decks? Likely both.

magnesium snowshoe

magnesium snowshoe

The Canadian military bear paw shoe has aggressive spiking for traction and significanty more surface area to provide loft, as compared to the older beaver tail model, however the bear paw shoe will still sink my foot on a 160lb of pressure. Not only does a sunk foot have to be lifted that much more from the snow, but the shoe will "scoop" and hold snow on the way out. The Canadian Military BP, as shown above does have the advantage of being extrmely strong and likely to last through many hits and years of work; however, they cant be easily repaired to new condition in a isolated cabin (or you know what I mean), as a babbiche laced natural shoe would in the right hands. Additionally, the magnesium shoe does make an audible clatter when knocked against one-another; a point to take note of if making noise is a factor afield; I am personally unsure if using natural materials mitigates this issue.

 The shoes do keep the snow away from your shoe but modern companies must look at the old old designs or simply increase the surface areas of their shoe decks if the shoes they manufacture are to provide a reliable amount of loft in deep snow.

An article to consider while searching for your next pair.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Regarding my background.

I want to mention at this junkture that MOST of the information within my blog regarding the use of animal byproducts has come from working on road kill harvests. Im not some master traditional archery hunter as the information may suggest.

Monday, December 9, 2019

On Sharpening A Edge

The key(s) to owning a knife may be two fold: make it yourself, and knowing how to keep it sharp. The latter is the target of this article.

Knives, choke knives (aka, an ulu) or any tool designed for cutting take on a whole new value when the owner can confidently put a sharp edge back on.

A-feild, the diamond hone works well; it won't shatter or crack and the bite lasts if it is whiped clean after each sharpening session.

The "puck", a cheap, two sided, manufactured, abrasive stone, commonly used for axes, are useful for reducing iron quickly.

I didnt like the Arkansas stone, nore that an vegetable oil was required to use it. I dont like the idea of having to use a vegetable oil while sharpening an edge.

Spit works great to emulsify the metal that gets removed while sharpening, but the spit can have debris which is counter productive to what it was meant to accomplish; water, in a shallow pool with the edge moving back and forth, easing up on the pressure as the edge gets sharper works well too.

Ceramic stones have worked well for me; specifically referring to the "Whet stone" by Spyderco. During an indoor butcher, I like having the stone sit atop a wet rag which has dilute lye water soaked in. The lye helps to break up tallows that may get into the abrasive surface; it also mitigates bacterial build up to a degree. Once the surface looses its bite I wipe it firmly with the rag. Any ceramic works. I have little, yet successful, experience using the bottom of a mug. Again however, you need to keep the surface medium clean as it becomes clogged, fast.

I dont use knives now, I use home made ulus, but often enough, its optimal with the spine of the knife leading away, to use a steel rod or just the edge of a steel spoon handle to straighten the microscopic leading edge of a well heat treated knife.

The trick with a hone, which ever it may be, is to keep the abrasive clean. While in use, spit can work well for a diamond, as long as your saliva is clean of food. The ceramic hone has worked well when I try to exploit  all the edges and surfaces while they have bite and are not yet clogged with iron. When the hone won't bite any more, use a good soap to clean it or as mentioned a cotton rag with diluted lye water soaked in.

Its also wise to keep a constant angle throughout the length of the edge and from session to session.