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

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe. Recipes

Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison...

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!

A micro project could enhance the action. How-To

Small Prescribed Burns for Your Treestand Locations

C.J. Winand

A micro project could enhance the action.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek sets up for some hog and whitetail hunting at Canyon Ranch in Texas.

Daybreak Whitetail Bowhunt

Daybreak Whitetail Bowhunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek has a chance to fill his buck tag on a mixed bag hunt in Texas.

Season Opener: Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Season Opener: Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Christian Berg arrives at Whitetail Heaven Outfitters in Kentucky to kick off the beginning of his hunting season.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Follow this advice before embarking on your first hunt! Big Game

Beginner's Guide to Bowhunting Mule Deer

Ron Niziolek

Follow this advice before embarking on your first hunt!

Archer Chris Cammack has arrowed the new world record for brown bears with his Alaskan giant. Other Game

Massive Alaskan Brown Bear is the New World Record

Lynn Burkhead - October 18, 2018

Archer Chris Cammack has arrowed the new world record for brown bears with his Alaskan giant.

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe. Recipes

Vietnamese Black Bear Pâté Chaud (Meat Pie) Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe.

See More Stories

More Stories

Although there was never any question as to whether my two girls would hunt, my first step was Stories

Who Says Girls Can't Bowhunt?

C. J. Winand - December 14, 2017

Although there was never any question as to whether my two girls would hunt, my first step was

Choosing to bowhunt during gun season certainly adds an extra layer of difficult to and already Stories

Yes, You Can Bowhunt During Gun Season

Bowhunter TV - November 20, 2014

Choosing to bowhunt during gun season certainly adds an extra layer of difficult to and...

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

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.