Skip to main content

The Journey For A Longbow Super Slam

The Journey For A Longbow Super Slam

It's often said archers do it "the hard way," but hunting with a longbow is, by far, the hardest way.

The grizzly was occupied chasing salmon when I loosed an arrow from my longbow. On impact the bear spun like a tornado, fighting the arrow. As I've done dozens of times, I subconsciously grabbed another arrow from my back quiver and nocked it by feel.

The shaft, fletched with turkey feathers, drew smoothly. My eyes locked on the flash of the chest, behind the moving shoulder, and the 56 pounds of draw weight of my ACS longbow jumped from my fingers. At under 10 yards, the arrow struck home, taking out both lungs. And my quest for the 29th species of North American big game animals with a longbow ended in a whirlwind of excitement.

At 14 years of age, I went to my first archery banquet in Sturgis, Michigan, at the Grange Hall. There were maybe 35 people in attendance. My dad, Emerson, sat next to me. I got an award for the most improved shooter. It was nice of them to encourage a young kid shooting a 45-pound Red Wing Hunter recurve. The entertainment was a black-and-white film featuring Fred Bear hunting North American big game. Fred stalked and shot caribou, moose, brown bears, and much more.


To read the full article and much more, pick up a copy of the August 2018 Big Game Special at your local newsstand! (Danny Dodge photo)


I sat wide-eyed, as it was the most exciting movie I'd ever seen. Mountains, bushplanes, huge horns, wall tents and campfires. I decided then and there that I was going to hunt everything Fred Bear did. Pretty big dreams for a middle-class kid from the Midwest.

I was a traditional bowhunter before there was such a thing. I killed my first whitetail buck at 18 years of age with a four-blade Bear Razorhead and a 60-pound Bear Takedown. It wasn't uncommon for me to wear a felt hat, or a plaid wool shirt.

A local bowhunter named Ken showed me how to build arrows. I liked the process and have handcrafted all my arrows since that time. In the late 1980s, everyone was switching equipment. I did, too. I ordered a longbow from Fred Asbell.

It was 1988, so why would a bowhunter choose to hunt with a weapon that is used by approximately one percent of bowhunters? I've always been a little bit of an outsider. I was a small-town boy, raised in a Christian family, doing farm chores, roaming the woods for small game, fishing in quiet lakes, and having a reverence for the beginnings of bowhunting. I was fascinated by the history of Native Americans and their bows. The movies of Robin Hood, with back quivers, wood arrows, and heavy drawing longbows intrigued me. I was a good student and a reader, and I had a subscription to Outdoor Life at nine years of age. In junior high, I read every book in the school library that had anything to do with cowboys, Indians, mountain men, Vikings, or explorers. My vision of archery and hunting was wood bows, turkey feathers on arrows, hand-sharpened broadheads, and long-bladed knives.


A longbow is simplistic, smooth, and forgiving. It has no weight, which is wonderful when walking mountaintops, but it's challenging when trying to shoot tight groups. But I had no doubt I could master the longbow, and I never looked back.


Check back soon to read the complete article!

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing Aider Options

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best New Climbing Aider Options

A climbing aider is a device that you use in conjunction with a stick that helps you gain more height per stick, but at the addition of very little weight to the stick setup. An aider can provide one or two more steps per each stick section, thereby greatly increasing height potential when needed and allowing you to carry fewer total sticks to gain a specific height.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Tree-Climbing Sticks

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Tree-Climbing Sticks

Sectional sticks are the most popular tree-climbing method among saddle enthusiasts because sticks are safe, effective, easy to use, and you only have to hang three or four of them to reach heights of 17-22 feet if you add a lightweight climbing aider.

Early Season Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Early Season Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Christian Berg begins the scouting process in Kentucky on his first whitetail hunt of the season.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Platforms & Ring of Steps

Tree Saddle Hunting: Best Platforms & Ring of Steps

We all need a spot to place our feet in life … and even more so when in the saddle. The two options are a platform or ring-of-steps. For longer hunts, platforms are more comfortable and most familiar. Ring-of-steps are lighter and easier to pack for shorter-duration hunts and long hikes.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

This venison kebabs recipe marinates for a full day to take the already flavorful Asian bulgogi sauce to the next level.Grilled Korean Bulgogi Venison Kebabs Recipe Recipes

Grilled Korean Bulgogi Venison Kebabs Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

This venison kebabs recipe marinates for a full day to take the already flavorful Asian...

Seeing is believing with this year's crop of exciting new optics.New Optics for 2021 ATA Show

New Optics for 2021

Taylor Pardue - January 12, 2021

Seeing is believing with this year's crop of exciting new optics.

With female bowhunting participation still on the rise, gear options for women are as well. Here are some of the best new products for lady bowhunters in 2021.New Women's Bowhunting Gear for 2021 ATA Show

New Women's Bowhunting Gear for 2021

Emily Kantner - January 14, 2021

With female bowhunting participation still on the rise, gear options for women are as well....

Scouting is critical to consistent success and these trail cameras put you on the right path to big-game success.New Trail Cameras for 2021 ATA Show

New Trail Cameras for 2021

Brian K. Strickland - January 08, 2021

Scouting is critical to consistent success and these trail cameras put you on the right path...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Dwight Schuh explains why it's okay to be serious about bowhunting - but not too serious!Hunting for the Fun of It Stories

Hunting for the Fun of It

Dwight Schuh

Dwight Schuh explains why it's okay to be serious about bowhunting - but not too serious!

As hunters, we need to give the respect we want to receive from others.Respect for the Hunt & Other Hunters Stories

Respect for the Hunt & Other Hunters

Dwight Schuh

As hunters, we need to give the respect we want to receive from others.

On a cold day in December 2014, I had the pleasure of viewing an incredibly special whitetail deer.A DIY Quest for a 200-Class Whitetail Stories

A DIY Quest for a 200-Class Whitetail

Dayne Majeau - July 27, 2016

On a cold day in December 2014, I had the pleasure of viewing an incredibly special whitetail...

Hunting seasons don't just happen in the fall. Editor Curt Wells details some spring bowhunting adventures to extend your time in the outdoors!Don't Forget About Spring Bowhunting Stories

Don't Forget About Spring Bowhunting

Curt Wells - March 20, 2018

Hunting seasons don't just happen in the fall. Editor Curt Wells details some spring...

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now