Campfire Stories 2017-11-22T13:36:06+00:00

Campfire Stories

Hunting Stories from Traditional Bowhunting legends.

The Tradition Lives On Bow Raffle

Terry Harris, of Alabama, has taken on a magnificent project to commemorate traditional archery and raise funds for two worthy organizations. He has circulated a beautiful Howard Hill longbow to many of today’s [...]

Dancing With The Wind

I have been dancing with the wind most of my life. My mother told me that when I was a kid, I loved to chase bubbles floating on the breeze and run with [...]

The Ancient Hunter

The second day of the archery season brought clouds and a threat of rain. As I eased up the trail along a high mountain lake a shower caused me to seek shelter under [...]

In Search of 44-L

I was slipping out from the drawn-out awards program at the Pope and Young Club’s banquet in Phoenix two years ago when a good friend, Pete McKeen of K&P Outfitting, asked me to [...]

Archery Goes to War

At eight o’clock on a beautiful Sunday morning, members of the Hawaiian Archery Association were preparing for an American Round handicap tournament. One of the shooters, H.J. Green, recounted what happened next. “We [...]

Stubborn Choices—Youth Antelope Hunt

Like most of you reading this, I grew up in a traditional bowhunting household. As a kid, my dad would hang deer in the tree to cool as my friends and I would [...]

Solitude III

The trail, if you could call it a trail, followed a long rising bench above the river. The rain had stopped but everything was drippy wet and it seemed that each disturbed drop [...]

Three Days in Texas, Two Javelina, and One Lucky Hat

The box arrived on Tuesday, the night before we were scheduled to leave for a hunting trip to Texas. It was an afterthought for my husband Dave, who said, “Did you see this [...]

Thanksgiving Turkey

They're different birds in the fall. I'd heard a single elk bugle somewhere up the mountain at first light. With no sign of the main herd I'd been dogging the last two days [...]

Getting Ready for Cougar

One of the deadliest predators in North America is also the most elusive. Our largest cat, mountain lions often take down healthy big game animals like elk and moose that can outweigh them [...]

Big Small Game

April in Montana is a season of renewal, defined by vanishing snow banks, blooming pasque flowers, and the cries of northbound geese overhead. This has always been a favorite time of year for [...]

Bowhunter Education Pays Off

Shortly after he married my daughter, I found my new son-in-law, Clint, paying a great deal of attention to my longbows and recurves. His behavior suggested that he might be above average as [...]

Treestand Safety

With my 14 year-old daughter now beginning her journey as a bowhunter, I often find myself contemplating how things have changed since I was her age. Back then tree stand safety simply meant [...]

Kerri’s First Archery Hunt

History I had never actually been bowhunting until this season when I went on my first archery hunt. My shotgun has been on a few hikes as I tried to bring down dove [...]

Kodiak Special–Sitka Deer Hunt

We pulled one out of the archives, but this hunt is as good today as it was in 1998. Please keep in mind that prices or rules in Alaska may have changed, so [...]

Across The River

There aren’t many bridges in the backcountry. Travel around much there and you’ll eventually have to cross some flowing water to get where you want to go, a process that can range from [...]

String Silencers for Traditional Bows

This is an excerpt from T.J.'s book, The Traditional Bowhunter's Handbook. Many archers enjoy the sound their bowstring makes when loosing an arrow. It is one of those unique sounds that, along with [...]

Why Traditional Bowhunting?

I started hunting with traditional gear when I was about 20 years old. My dad and I both made the switch from compounds. He got a Martin Dream Catcher, and I got a [...]

Emergency Gear in the Backcountry

“Everybody understood one thing in the mountains—that he must keep his life by his own courage and valor, or at the least by his own prudence.”—Joe Meek, Rocky Mountain Trapper, 1829 The lure [...]

A Little Girl, A Coyote and Two Antelope

I fumbled with my binoculars to look at the buck as he ran. I could see that he was hit hard. He ran over the dam for 80 yards, stopped, and lay down. [...]

Common Bowhunting Violations and How to Avoid Them

The dispatcher's voice crackled over the radio informing me of a trespasser on a local landowner's property. I quickly jotted down the description of the vehicle and headed that way. I found the pickup [...]

Lightning Strikes Twice – Two Moose Tags

When Kim Young found the envelopes from Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the mailbox, she casually took them inside to open them and endorse the $2,064 refund checks for unsuccessful nonresident moose applications. [...]

The Old Bowhunter

The old bowhunter stood there running his bent fingers over his favorite bow. He mused how its nicks and scratches from time in the field marked its age, just as the lines on [...]

Fumble Fingers – A Treestand Feature

Most everyone has had a case of the Fumble Fingers from time to time. Here are a few funny and frustrating fumbles by Robb Sager The Startling "Bear" I lowered the predator call [...]

In the Eye of the Beholder

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not much different from the average hunter. I, too, occasionally love to take a buck or a bull that would demand the envy of everyone, to know that [...]

Scent, Sight, Sound and Sixth Sense

A cow elk drifted silently past, her spring calf romping along behind. Head down feeding, she was within longbow range. I watched, breathed, and relaxed as she made her way out of sight. [...]

Incredible Journey—Mountain Goat in Montana

I only needed to make another 20 feet before I should be able to see where the goat had gone. I was scrambling to gain my footing on the steep scree when a [...]

Last Day Luck

A return to the basic principles of bowhunting makes for a more enjoyable and successful hunt. It had been raining for three days, and the forest was soaked. I had not planned on [...]

Master of the Arts – An Interview with John Schulz

Here's a blast from the past! This article was published in the Oct/Nov 1994 issue of Traditional Bowhunter. A reader recently asked me to post it here for those of you who may [...]

Advanced Trade Point Techniques

In a recent issue of Traditional Bowhunter Magazine (TBM), Billy Berger had an article on how to make broadheads similar to the early trade points that were traded to Native Americans. (TBM Oct/Nov [...]

New Zealand Recurve Roar

All I can hear is my heart pounding in my chest, resonating into my head. My breathing is deep and shaky as I watch this huge figure emerge from the thick, wet scrub [...]


It was a hot, humid, early July morning in 1981. I was 13 years old and spending the week with my grandparents on their farm in southern Maine, and had just returned from [...]

3-10-5-20 Shooting Method

This is a method of shooting that I developed about 10 years ago. It is a simple way to learn how to shoot a recurve or longbow. The best part is that you [...]

Morning, Noon and Night: An Adventure with Stickbows

The morning started out much like the first few of our eight day elk hunt high in Idaho's back country. My partner Dave Stanley and I got up well before dawn, had breakfast, [...]

A Sagebrush Sasquatch Satire

"He stopped loving her todayyyyyy! They placed a wreath upon his doorrrrr. And soon they'll carry him awayyyyy, he stopped loving herrrr todayyyy." I giggle to myself as I see in my mind's [...]

From Beijing to Broadheads

Should I or shouldn't I? The question kept tumbling through my head. For the last five months I had been hosting a colleague and fellow biologist from Beijing, Dr. Jiliang Xu and it [...]

Ava’s Arrow

After my fourth notice from Wyoming Game and Fish in as many years telling me that I once again had missed the unit I really wanted to draw, I considered my options for [...]

I Felt Like A Bowhunter When I Felt Nothing At All

Like most bowhunters, I started out small; a hand-me-down recurve, a few scattered arrows, and limited knowledge passed down from my dad and an uncle. My dad was a traditional bowhunter, but back [...]

The Speed of the Longbow

Jake Hamilton belted it out on the radio as I drove into the fading darkness. There was something electric and alive that day that seemed to super charge the air and, as if [...]

Bowhunting the Deer of Sunny Spain

It was the last hour of our last hunting day. My brother and I were on our way home, and feeling defeated. Here we were, in the forests of our home country of [...]

A Visit to Custom Archery

In downtown Chicago, the intersection of Madison Avenue and State Street is the heart of the city. It is the dividing line between the north side and the south side, it separates the [...]

Javelina, Recurve and a Teenage Boy

The saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover" definitely applies to the South Texas brush country. At first glance it doesn't look like anything could survive in this dusty, dry, cactus-choked wasteland. [...]

How to Can a Mule Deer

My good buddy John lives just over the hill in Rapid City, South Dakota, and let me tell you, he makes the best canned venison I've ever tried. One of these days I'm [...]

A Freak Shot and a Freak Deer

The freak shot and the freak deer incidents didn't happen the same year. The shot came first. The year was 1942 when Lawrence Becker of Madison, Wisconsin, made what he called a "freak [...]

Hunting Stingrays; Learning From a Pioneer

The small skiff motored ahead through an increasingly stiffening headwind as the archers strained to see through the choppy surface and murky depths. Suddenly, one of the bowmen shouted “RAY” and pointed starboard with [...]

Medicine Bow Buck

He stared at me, straight through me it seemed, as I crouched in the soft undergrowth, nearly in fetal position gripping my longbow behind a primitive blind made of dead sticks and pine [...]