It has been well over a year now since I picked up my first longbow. Since I purchased that initial longbow my stable of bows has increased substantially. As is the case with many folks, I have one in particular that just seems to “fit”. This was never the case during the years I carried a compound or even when I put away the wheels and started shooting traditional gear in the form of Recurves. Since I was 18 years old I have always kept a spare bow around for those moments when Murphy decides to make things interesting. This was more because of necessity rather than desire and it really did not matter which bow I was shooting. I had no real “attachment” to a specific bow. Function over form so-to-speak. This all changed with the longbow.
My decision to try a longbow formed out of this lackluster passion I had with archery. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed archery since an early age but I did not feel I had any passion for the sport. Many times I found myself shooting because I knew I had to in order to stay proficient not because I was really enjoying it. This was about to change.
My first longbow was a heavily used John Schulz 68” longbow. Nothing overly fancy and would even be considered dull by some. Yet, I found a good deal on the bow and figured if I didn’t like it then I wasn’t out a lot of money. When I first strung the bow and headed out to my backyard range I remember thinking, “this thing feels like a toy”. It was so light in my hand I wondered if it might snap. Well it didn’t snap and I quickly became very comfortable with that bow. Arrow after arrow was sent down range and I found that suddenly without really thinking about it I was consistently hitting my mark. By the end of that first session, as I was walking back to my house I suddenly realized that my arms were a bit sore and tired. I remember looking at the clock when I walked in. I had been shooting for nearly 3 hours!!!!! I was back out the next day, and the next, and since then shooting is practically a daily event for me. I had found what was missing all the years before. I found myself looking forward to shooting every day and in some cases I would be sad and depressed if I knew I would not get home before dark or had to be out of town for a few days.
I still have that John Schulz Trophy Hunter and even took a couple of animals with it during the 2011 deer season. Today, I still shoot it now and then and while enjoy doing so it no longer ranks as my “Go to”.
Along the course of that first year shooting longbows I managed to pick up a couple other longbows on the classifieds of various forums. I could shoot all of them well and enjoyed each of them for various reasons. While I did not realize it at the time………………………………..
Read the rest of this article along with other tales of the stick and string by navigating to the link provided below to Sting and String Magazine – Winter Edition 2012. The complete magazine is available to read on line for free in a digital edition or for the low price of $19 a year you can get it delivered to your door.