Home Forums Campfire Forum Elkhearts, old and new

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    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      I have long been a fan (as in fanatic) of Shrew bows, particularly the bantam-weight “Classic Hunter” deflex-reflex longbow, designed and built for Shrew by MI bowyer Gregg Coffey. So far I’ve owned three of these little beauties (paying full price for each) and killed an elk with every one of them. Although we’ve only met him in person once, through the years I’ve gotten to know Gregg well enough to respect him not only as a superb bowyer but also as a humble, caring, and giving person. Consequently, when I learned that Gregg is no longer building bows for Shrew but has decided it’s time to invest all his energy in his own line of Java Man Archery bows, and that a flagship bow in that expanded line is basically a next-generation Classic Hunter, I was really happy for Gregg and wanted to help spread the word. So I brazenly offered the only thing I have, my name—specifically my nom de plumb “Elkheart”—for the new bow. I have never sold or rented my name for endorsements and never will. This is an unsolicited gift, and I warned Gregg that he’d be sticking his neck out to publicly align with me. 😛 So I was deeply honored when Gregg took me up on that offer and you can meet the new Elkheart at the Java Man Archery booth at Kalamazoo next month, where the elderly Elkheart will be hanging out when not running around spending money on goodies I don’t need but will (I know from experience) “have” to have.

      My central point here is that I have no business or financial stake in Java Man Archery or the Elkheart bow. My compensation is limited to the considerable honor of having my name attached to my all-time favorite bow—I just finished a week of shooting the Elkheart prototype and find it indeed to be an improvement on a design I had thought was already perfect. In sum, I’m openly endorsing Java Man Archery products for the same reason I openly endorse Tuffhead broadheads, KME sharpeners, L.L. Bean Maine Hunting Shoes, Traditional Bowhunter Magazine and more … because they’re all exceptional products offered by exceptional people. I know there are many more but these are the ones I’ve come to know and appreciate best. –Dave Petersen

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      Dave,

      Good to see the preemptive disclaimer. I’m sure the new bow is a beauty. All the best to you and to Gregg Coffey. dwc

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      I think some of the screen names around here would be attention gutters too….the Lyagooshka, the Wildschwein… the Paleoman would look good but would shoot like a corkscrew!

    • garydavis
      Post count: 101

      Glad to hear the new bow works good. I’ll have to mail Mr. Coffey a deposit check. Have fun in Michigan.

      Gary

    • Wexbow
      Post count: 403

      When a gifted bowyer and true hunter combine the results can but only be good 😀

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Paleoman said: “I think some of the screen names around here would be attention gutters…” 😛 Absolutely, “attention gutting” is my fear too (as in more enemies than friends), but Mr. Coffey clearly is a gambler. 😀

    • david Keech
      Post count: 18

      W’ell I’ve been lusting over the Shrew bow’s for awhile now..Now it’s the”Elkheart”I’ve got to pull the trigger because it’s another great looking Coffey design..I’m saving up my deposit right now…

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      David Petersen wrote: Paleoman said: “I think some of the screen names around here would be attention gutters…” 😛 Absolutely, “attention gutting” is my fear too (as in more enemies than friends), but Mr. Coffey clearly is a gambler. 😀

      Oops big fat fingers……little keys.

    • JodyS
      Post count: 114

      With the combination of Gregg’s outstanding bow-making and Dave’s high standards, the Elkheart is sure to be a dandy. Now I wish that I hadn’t passed up the opportunity to shoot the prototype after Dave tested it. My dumb mistake, as I probably would have kept it and send Gregg some cash instead of returning it. 😀

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      paleoman wrote: I think some of the screen names around here would be attention gutters too….the Lyagooshka, the Wildschwein… the Paleoman would look good but would shoot like a corkscrew!

      😀

      I love my Gregg Coffey Classic Hunter. I stopped having bowitis in June 2010 when I got it, and haven’t had the desire to shoot any other bow since! I might not experience the excitment and joy of opening a package with a new (to me) bow anymore, but gained so much accuracy by being a one bow/arrow guy, that the joy of seeing my arrow hit its mark consistently is where my excitment and joy come from nowadays.

      Having said that, I might crack and get an Elkheart, if it doesn’t throw my shooting out of whack, which Gregg said it wouldn’t, if he re-creates a handle close to my CH!! 🙄

    • Roger Norris
      Post count: 91

      Gregg is an awesome bowyer and an all around good guy. I have been hunting with Coffey built Shrews now for a long time. I have recently drifted away from the compact Shrew bows, and started shooting one of Gregg’s Duo Flex models. Amazing quality.

      I know from conversation that he is extremely proud of this EH model. When a guy like Gregg puts “his all” into something like this….expect great things. 😀

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      I have “brace” of Coffey Shrew CHs,[one is a Take Down]that I am very fond of. Finest handling short bow I have used. I find them perfect for hunting in a confined environment [ or anywhere for that matter]

      Looks Like I will be saving up for an “Elkheart” now, as I could not Be without Gregg’s latest creation! haha.

      Scout

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Hey, I’ve typed some “gutter balls” in the past :D:D. Shot some with my bow too :lol::lol: At least the results were the same.

      Would like to be where I could see and shoot a shrew. Someday!!!! An “Elkheart” sounds way interesting.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Alex — The handles on the EH (Elkheart) and CH (Classic Hunter) are precisely the same if you have your eyes closed and grip them. There are very slight visual differences: Gregg has taken just a tad bit of the forward projection off the handle section, and the thumb rest is now a valley rather than a ridge/shelf and valley. When the two braced bows are laid one atop the other you see a small difference in where the limb tips align, reflecting a very slightly improved limb design(faster, quieter, smoother, all very subtle but there). For all practical purposes they look, feel in hand, and shoot the same. No radical change. In short, the EH in no way makes the CH obsolete, but rather complements it. The prototype EH I tested (read: played with for a week) was 51.7# as I recall, while my CH is marked 53# but pulls 54# on my scale. So let’s say the CH is 2″ heavier draw than the EH, yet the EH clocked some 2 fps faster in most cases, and the heavier the arrows the more the difference. Again, subtle improvements; it’s a new generation, not a new bow. I have one on order that’s nearly a twin to my beloved CH, with elk antler trim I provided. But rather than skins on the limbs for camo, this one will be a variety of “striped” ebony Gregg has recently started using that is very dark with a natural camo pattern and together with the matte finish does not shine or glint even in direct sun and thus precludes the need for any further camo, yet the wood’s beauty shines through. Gregg could stand to upgrade the photos on his website to better show the beauty and fine detailed work on his bows, and I’m sure that will come in time. Right now he’s a bit overwhelmed. Building bows, believe it or not, is a moonlight job for him. I can’t wait to hold and shoot my Christmas present to myself, whether I have any justifiable need for it or not. This is the only area of my life where I splurge a bit, other than giving to a growing list of nonprofits and charities this time of year, which seems to balance the scale. It’s all good.

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      Ahh, you fellers are killing me. I’ve been dearly wanting a Shrew (Classic Hunter? Samurai?) for sometime now. This Elkheart model is a fine looking bow, and may be the ticket.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      I’m afraid my “One bow man” days will soon be over, I got on the list for a Javaman Elkheart.

    • Roger Norris
      Post count: 91

      Somedays my life is so good I have to look around and make sure it isn’t a dream. I just met Gregg 30 minutes ago and got the “Elk Heart” to try. We didn’t chat for 45 minutes, as we usually do…..I rushed home so I could shoot it while still light out.

      I hve some arrows made up from Surewood shafts with 170 grain Ace broadheads attached. They were made for my Armstrong Ghost Classic Hunter, both bows are of the same weight…about 52#.

      The second arrow was as perfect a shot as I can make, dead in the 10 ring of my Mckenzie target. The bow spits an arrow,to my eye as fast as my 57# bows.

      It is dead in the hand, and without silencers is very close to hunting quiet.

      I wish I could brag and gush more, but I can’t. I have been shooting Gregg’s bows for a long time now, and this is exactly as I expected. It is quality, practical, and beautiful. I will play with this bow for a few days….more to come.:D

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Roger, your experience with the EH prototype echoes my own. Gregg says he’ll have that bow at Kzoo for folks who want to try this newest offering from JMA.

      Meanwhile, I have my fingers crossed that I’ll receive my own Elkheart, serial number #1, by Christmas so I can take it to AZ the first week of Jan. to chase Coues deer. You know how that goes — once we decide to buy a new bow, we can’t wait to get our paws on it and thereby create a “need” that doesn’t exist. When I was regularly attending trad bowhunter events I found myself buying a new bow at every show … until I discovered Gregg’s work. Now I still buy too many bows, but they’re all by him. I think guys like you and me are his retirement plan. 😆

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      When did want and need become two separate entities when it comes to a new bow? :lol::lol:

      Kinda like putting a teaspoon of sugar in my cup of coffee, I don’t need it but I want it. Same deal!!:P Trouble is I can afford the sugar.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      R2 wrote: When did want and need become two separate entities when it comes to a new bow? :lol::lol:

      :D:D

      I always needed a new bow, never wanted one!!

    • Tony Huckaby
      Member
      Post count: 6

      I HAD to get on the list. My favorite bowyer with respect to my favorite author 😀 I may have to rename it Heartsblood though.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      On another thread somewhere here–I can’t find it just now–someone said they had a JMA “American” on order, or already owned one. So I looked it up on the Java Man Archery website and it looks like a real dandy for super-traditional shooters. Looking at the photos before reading Gregg’s description of the bow, I thought “OK, a Hill-style bow with just a tad of reflex at the tips, which really doesn’t show when braced … this should really help with the traditional Hill-style problems of low speed, hand shock, and stacking.” Then I read the description and that’s exactly what’s claims for the bow. And for $550? Whoa! While I have the bow I personally want forever, I’m still curious and would love to shoot this straightforward longbow someday. Which leads me to ask Gregg, if you’re here, which model JMA bows you plan to have at Kalamazoo for folks to try out? Unlike spouses, we are free to declare our lifelong love for a single bow, yet enjoy test-shooting all the hot young beauties we can get our hands on. 😛 And why not? 😆

    • Gregg Coffey
      Member
      Post count: 13

      Dave,

      That was lyagooshka that mentioned the American. I had one in stock that had been sitting here for a while, so now he owns it. Then he ordered another.

      Was not planning to have any of them at Kalamazoo. Not enought time and too many Elkhearts to get done by then. There will be a couple models under-represented at the Expo.

      Thanks for all the nice comments folks.

      Gregg

    • ssumner1
      Post count: 109

      Although I still want this style of bow, I really would love to master the Hill style bow before I purchase any other longbow style. I hurt my arm again pretty bad shooting the Hill I have now. That being said, I picked up my recurve because of the lighter draw and was sinking it in the 10 ring EVERY time. I think that I may, when Gregg Catches up with all the EH’s, I will try and snag an American from him 😀

      -Andrew

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Andrew — It strikes me that you have been burdening yourself with the two best-known “most difficult possible archery obstacles” — work UP to a Hill style, don’t try to start with one … and being overbowed. Natural, unstrained, thought-free shooting and accuracy absolutely must come first. If, after we have that mastered we can and want to move up in weight, and/or move to a more challenging bow design … well, running comes easiest to those who first learn to walk. I have always been challenged with similar urges, but happily not in archery. IMHO 😀 I envy how you are shooting now and encourage you to hunt with the same equipment.

      A young man fears that if he doesn’t hurry, he will miss something. An old man knows that to hurry too much is to risk missing everything. 😯 COM

    • ssumner1
      Post count: 109

      You are right in all accounts. The cold hurt me when I tried to use that bow and I have decided to hang it on the wall. It hurts me to do so, but it must be done. I love my recurve and will hunt the rest of the season with it. The issue I have with it, is I truly fear it doesn’t have the cast that would allow for a full pass through. It, compared to my brother’s longbow (similar weight), doesn’t compare. My bow is much slower/it drops much faster with same arrows. That being said, I want to get a new longbow of similar if not same wait to become proficient with.

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