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Four-Leaf Clover: Accepting Bowhunting Luck

The Eichler Signature Take Down Riser is part of Bear Archery's 2023 Launch Day.

Four-Leaf Clover: Accepting Bowhunting Luck

Here are the new Easton traditional arrows I helped design.

When I was a kid, I remember my dad telling me how rare it is to find a four-leaf clover. If I remember Dad’s words correctly, I think he said the odds of finding one is somewhere in the ballpark of one in 10,000. That’s why finding one is good luck. I’m not sure how that equates to bows and arrows, but I swear I have some that are luckier than others.

I will also admit to being a little superstitious, but I think that stems from having a mom who was raised in the foothills of North Carolina. If a black cat starts to cross my path, I’ll try to get in front of that kitty to keep it from walking in front of me. I also avoid cutting down trees where the main trunk forks… I am not insane, but I’m most definitely weird about certain things.

This past year, I got to work on two projects with two iconic archery companies, at the same time. I got to work with Bear Archery on a new riser (the Eichler Signature Take Down Riser), which is based on Fred Bear’s original takedown riser with the unique latch system Fred invented. That ingenious latch system allows you to assemble and disassemble a recurve quickly without any tools. It also enables bowhunters and archers to quickly change limbs in case heavier or lighter limbs are wanted, or longer or shorter limbs are required.

It was an honor to lend a hand in designing this new Bear riser.

As a traveling bowhunter, I take my bow everywhere with me, and a takedown is just easier to carry in my truck or put in a suitcase for airline travel. The fact that I was privy enough to provide input on a refinement of Fred Bear’s original riser design was a super-exciting project for me. I got to tweak prototypes and take them hunting to figure out what I liked, or what I wanted changed.

At the same time, I was testing out a new Easton shaft that we designed specifically for traditional shooters, and again I felt blessed at the opportunity to test Easton’s prototypes in the field. The thing is, I had amazing luck with all the prototypes, as well as with the finished versions!

I took the second-to-last Bear riser prototype with me to Alaska, and with my first shot at an animal I killed a beautiful brown bear. My next shot opportunity resulted in a miss on a black bear, when my bottom limb smacked the steep bank I was on and threw my arrow wide. But the amazing thing is, the bear came back and I didn’t make the same mistake twice — my next arrow double-lunged him.

Here’s the first game animal I took with my new bow and arrow combo!

The next thing that happened, which cemented my gut feeling that this new Bear/Easton combo was lucky, occurred when I received the finished version of the riser, and the arrows, two days before I headed out on an elk hunt in Oregon. I bare-shaft tested the setup, and after about three shots, two brace-height adjustments, and one change to point weight, I was getting perfect arrow flight. I was shooting bullet holes through paper and hitting the bull’s-eye at 20 yards with a bare shaft!

I was excited (shocking, right?), but I’ve always considered myself more of a hunter than a shooter, and I wanted to get in the field with my new combination.

My hunt was rough. It was a semi-guided deal, the weather was super-hot, and the elk just weren’t talking. When night fell on Day Three of my hunt, I had yet to see an elk — and I was worried my luck was waning.

The next morning, I went out to try it again. I was in a treestand, and my friend was running a video camera above me. I let out a few plaintive cow calls and then waited — much like I’d done the three previous days.

After my first calling sequence, I spotted a young bull coming toward me in search of the cow he’d heard. I slowly lifted my new 45-pound Bear recurve and readied the Easton arrow for the shot. I remember thinking I’d have to bear down (no pardon for the pun), as the bull wasn’t on the trail closest to me but approached from farther out in the meadow.

On the left shows where my arrow entered the bull elk. The video capture on the right shows my Muzzy broadhead exiting the crease of the bull’s shoulder.

I drew back and shot, and then watched as my arrow hit the bull about five ribs up from the last one, angling forward. When the bull turned, I could see my Muzzy broadhead poking out the opposite side, right at the crease of his shoulder.


I watched the bull stagger as he hit the trees, and I couldn’t believe my luck. I had just taken the only elk I’d seen in four days of hunting! I was impressed with the performance of my equipment, but I was even more impressed when I ranged the shot – it was 39 yards!

Before you judge, I shoot instinctive, and had I known the distance with the light setup I was using, I may have hesitated on taking the shot. Regardless, I do remember looking at the bull with incredible confidence and knowing that all would be well…and it was. I’ve passed shots at half that distance when they didn’t feel right. But this one felt right.

My next hunt was for antelope back home in Colorado, and when a young buck showed up at 22 yards (ranged after the shot), I smoked him as well.

As I mentioned earlier, I am a tad superstitious. That said, I have no doubt that my good luck came courtesy of the “four-leaf clovers” who go by the names of Fred Bear and Doug Easton.

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