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!

Recommended for You

Check out our list of the best new-for-2019 optics from the ATA Show! ATA Show

Best New Binoculars for Bowhunters in 2019

Brian Strickland - January 11, 2019

Check out our list of the best new-for-2019 optics from the ATA Show!

Sweet, smoky and spicy - this is my the best combination for jerky! Recipes

Sweet & Smoky Venison Jerky Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Sweet, smoky and spicy - this is my the best combination for jerky!

From the street carts of Mexico City to your hands – you're going to love every bite of this venison carnitas recipe! Recipes

Mexican-Spiced Venison Carnitas Recipe

Robert Sweeney

From the street carts of Mexico City to your hands – you're going to love every bite of...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Dead On: Picking a Spot

Dead On: Picking a Spot

On this edition of "Dead On," Hall-of-Fame bowhunter Randy Ulmer shares advice on picking a spot.

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 13: The Call of Cross Mountain

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 13: The Call of Cross Mountain

Team Bowhunter makes its annual pilgrimage to the elk-rich high country of Colorado's Cross Mountain Ranch.

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Bowhunter Equipment Editor Tony Peterson sees plenty of action while hunting whitetails and hogs in Texas.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for Bows

9 Top Budget Bows for 2018

Tony J. Peterson - February 20, 2018

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for

Go farther, hunt deeper, and trek lighter while enjoying all-day comfort. How-To

Tree Saddle Hunting — Demo Climb With Aider

Mike Carney - June 07, 2019

Go farther, hunt deeper, and trek lighter while enjoying all-day comfort.

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves. Other Game

Tips for Bowhunting Predators

Joe Bell

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves.

See More Stories

More Stories

It's often said archers do it Stories

The Journey For A Longbow Super Slam

Nathan L. Andersohn - July 31, 2018

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

Suddenly quiet, the bright-orange, one-time Danish Coast Guard boat drifted with the current, water Stories

A Greenland Hunting Adventure to Remember

Jeff Waring - January 02, 2018

Suddenly quiet, the bright-orange, one-time Danish Coast Guard boat drifted with the current,...

Most of us are aware of the threat from glad-handing politicians who would love to get their greedy Stories

Why Public Hunting Land Is More Valuable Than Many Realize

Tony J. Peterson - January 30, 2018

Most of us are aware of the threat from glad-handing politicians who would love to get their...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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