I have the good fortune of calling Ron and Java “friend”. Two great guys whom I would have never met had it not been for traditional archery. I have the extreme privilege of hunting with Ron each fall at his old fashioned deer camp, “Shrewhaven”
I give you these bona fides not as a brag, but to preempt the notion that my opinions of Shrew bows are prejudiced by friendship. They aren’t. I take full advantage of venues like the upcoming Kalamazoo Expo and Comptons, and shoot every bow I can get my hands on. I have yet to find a bow….of any style…that I shoot better than a Shrew.
When Ron brought the Lil Favorite to camp 4 years ago, I was in love. I hogged the prototype, and hunted it more than anyone else. I was already on the list, and changed my order to the abbreviated recurve. I have 100% confidence when I release that bow on a game animal .(I couldn’t care less about 3D competition, I shoot a bow to hunt).
Then they screwed me up. This past season, Ron brought the Armstrong Ghost to camp. To be honest, I kind of ignored it for a couple days. I loved my Lil Favorite, and was determined to “dance with who brung me”. Then Ron, in his Granderfatherly, gruff way, stood in front of me as I was leaving the cabin to shoot.
“What the hell is wrong with the Ghost?” he wanted to know. He was bothered that I hadn’t sufficiently put it through its paces like I had the Lil Favorite years before.
I didn’t have an answer. I just simply loved my recurve, and didn’t think I wanted to change (I won’t jump back and forth between bows).
How wrong I was. I started stumping and fiddling around with the Ghost. To make a long story short, 3 days later I had a fat doe on the ground, courtesy of the new prototype. Dang it. Through lots of begging, hauling water, toting firewood, forgoing my spot on the list again, and a handy check book, that prototype went home with me. 52# at 54”. The Shrew grip. Perfect. I feel guilty every time I take it off the rack, and I can’t look my Lil Favorite in the eye. But I’m hooked again. I’m having the hide from that first doe made into a bow sleeve. I love it.
We have lots of Shrew bows in this house. I’ve waited 12 months, 18 months, and it’s always worth it. The time flies by. The only problem I have is that every time I get on the list with one bow in mind, they come up with something else.
Bows are personal, and I would never insult another man’s bow. But as long as Ron and Java are producing Shrew’s, that’s what I want.