Friday, March 28, 2008

Steel Verses Stone

The wind blowing out of the north carried the harsh bite of extreme cold .The fur clad hunter laying in wait along this river shivers with excitement and numbing cold. The huge beast is plodding along through the waist high snow drifts only ten arrow lengths away. The hunter’s Ewe wood bow feels small in his hands through the wolf hide mitten. His other hand is nearly numb against the bow string as he sights down the rosewood shafted arrow. His people have been hungry for fresh meat for moons now. Each of his fellow tribesmen, concealed in the snow along this river bottom, feels the same sense of urgency. The attack on this lone bull mammoth must be timed perfectly, if the people are to survive this long cold winter. As the bull quarters away, the hunter slowly rises up from the snow and sights down the arrow. At the end of the shaft, a black obsidian point fastened with pine pitch and animal sinews contrasts with the surrounding snowfall. The hunter says a quick prayer to the Great Spirit before releasing the feathered projectile.
From all sides the old bull hears the sound of arrows. He feels the impact of each shaft as they enter his body, and is overcome with weakness. His powerful lungs that have carried him for sixty winters suddenly refuse to supply him with the air his huge body desperately needs. He slowly sinks to his knees.
The hunters cautiously approach the downed bull. Six arrows from six different bows are all it took to slay this huge animal in as many minutes. The ancient hunters send up prayers of thanksgiving and begin to butcher their kill before the wolves and other predators smell the blood on the cold wind.
Ten thousand years later on that same stretch of river another hunter stalks silently through the tall grasses. His buckskin clothing blends perfectly as he slowly closes the distance on his prey. This is no Mammoth but worthy prey by any standards. She is feeding along the rivers edge at twenty yards. If she continues along the river, and the hunter can close the distance, he will have a ten or twelve foot shot at this beautiful whitetail.
The river moves slowly by as a backdrop to the archer’s sight window. He draws his Osage bow, the cedar arrow tipped with a sharp steel broad head speeds across the ten feet separating the hunter from his prey. The arrow enters behind the shoulder, at a downward angle. The graceful doe launches herself sideways away from the danger and swims the river, exiting the water on the other side of the river about thirty yards from the arrows point of impact. One moment she is looking back across the river the next her world goes black. The hunter silently thanks the creator for the swift kill and thanks the doe for giving her life on this hunt,..
Today’s broad heads and fast shooting bows are truly wonderful for the modern archer, delivering arrows with staggering amounts of speed and penetration. Most broad heads manufactured today are capable of killing any animal we as archers may encounter in our travels. And, if put to the test, would likely perform as well on Wooly Mammoth or even T-Rex with devastating results. The one thing that will ensure a swift clean kill, on any species of game, is not the material from which the point is made, but the placement of your sharp point. Shot placement IS the one variable that may make or break any given scenario. Next time you draw your bow, before you release that arrow, do a quick mental check ... is my point sharp? the animal inside my effective range? Do I have room in my freezer? ….


Stacey Huston said...

Beautiful show of respect Mike.

sky said...

Wow you two could write your own magazine articles together for major mags. Stacey this pic is PHENOM, seriously...wicked wild. Mike your words are very descriptive and with *thought* *awareness* and *feeling* thank you for sharing that.