By: Bears Butt


The big question:  Is it “Knocked” or “Nocked”, when shooting arrows?  In my mind, if someone said they are are knocking an arrow, they would be putting it down.  And not dropping it or laying it down either.  Like, “These arrows aren’t worth the carbon they are made of”!!!  Or “If I had a crick, I’d throw all these arrows right into it”!!!!  Just a side note.


There sure is a lot more to shooting an arrow to a point you want it to hit than meets the eye.  I used to think you picked up the bow, nocked an arrow, pulled back and let it fly.  If you were lucky it would hit where you wanted it to hit.  I suppose there is a lot of truth to that.  Actually there is a LOT of truth in that.  But, if you want to hit where you want to more often than not, you have to follow the rules (always stinking rules).

So, I have had 3 lessons so far and these are the rules I have learned to date.  And they are the rules I try to follow every time I shoot, however, sometimes I keep forgetting some of them.

Safety.  Always be safe and never nock an arrow while people are still down range.  And of course never shoot an arrow at anything you don’t want to either pay for or eat.  So, those are the easy ones.  Second, third, forth, fifth and I’m sure there will be a host more coming, all have to do with shooting consistently and hitting consistently what you are aiming at.

Your stance has to be about a 90 degree angle to your target and be relaxed.  Arrow nocked and pointing downward on about a 45 degree angle in front of you.  Raise the bow to be parallel to the ground and the arrow pointing in the general direction of the target.  With a light hold on the bow, draw back the arrow using your other hand to hold the string.  As you draw back, your elbow will rise above your shoulder.  Continue drawing back until your hand  reaches your jaw or face and the bow string actually touches your nose (usually the end of the nose).  With your hand touching your face or jaw and the string touching your nose, you have located your anchor point.  Look down range at the very point on your target you desire the arrow to strike, keep looking at that small point.  Now for the release of the arrow, your fingers will slowly relax allowing the string to fly forward carrying the arrow, and your releasing hand and fingers are to move backward across your cheek, or neck toward your rear shoulder.  If you are a right handed shooter, your “string holding” hand will move back over your right shoulder.

In my short archery career, whenever I have done all these things properly, my arrow will generally go where I like to see it when I have shot.  I have discovered I have a very long way to go.  I’m told by those who have been shooting for years and years, that at some point all of this will become second nature, like riding a bike or shooting under the belly of your horse.  (None of them have said anything about shooting under a horse, I made that up).

Well, I have been practicing all of these things and so far, it is not a natural anything as yet.  I have also been visiting the web and watching for videos on archery stuff.  There is a lot to learn on there.

Today I saw a video about a “second anchor” point, one for your string holding hand.  This guy shoots traditional bows and is pretty good at a bunch of stuff I shall call trick shooting.  But I think he is sincere about this video and its main point….finding a place for your shooting fingers to end up.  Consistency is the name of the game in archery.  Nobody can help you straighten up your shots if you are flying all over the place and not being consistent in what you are doing.

I’ll post up the video so you can see it if you want, but let me tell you about his theory.  I watched the video and grabbed my bow and went out in the garage to see about trying his idea.  I set up my target and walked back to ten yards.  Nocked up an arrow and thought about all the rules, bow up, draw back, anchor point, string against my nose, look at the center of the “x”, and now I had to conscientiously think about the video and what he said, end up with my fingers touching my ear.  I kept thinking about all of these things while looking at that tiny spot on my target, the arrow launched in a perfect arc and landed near the x!  HMMM.  Let’s try it again.

I continued to do this until I was pretty much wore out from shooting.  Well over 100 arrows shot down range.  Here is a picture after I had shot 12 arrows using this technique.

SecondAnchorPointLet’s get a closer look at this:

SecondAnchorPointAs a four week old archer I feel pretty dang good about shooting like this and so, I will be employing this man’s idea more and more in the next few weeks.  Take a look for yourself, maybe his idea will help you become a better archer.


Bears Butt
January 25, 2015

Leave A Comment, Written on January 25th, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt

Ice FishingA big day ahead!  The annual fishing contest at Hyrum State Park in Hyrum, Utah.  They call this event “The Best Dam Fishing Contest”!  They have contests for both adults and youth fisherpeople with some great prizes and of course drawings during the day.  I heard that Camp Chef will be there as well, serving hot chocolate and assorted other cooked goodies!  I like cooked goodies!

There is one rule I don’t see how they could possibly enforce….no fishing from an ice tent.  However, you can have an ice tent on the ice to get yourself warmed from the elements, but you are not allowed to fish while in it.  They might as well drop that stupid rule.

But, I will be leaving my tent home.  Mostly because it is heavy and I’ll be by myself.

Weasel is going to join me until about noon and then he has to leave to pick up his family and go with friends to Hardware Ranch to see the elk.  Not me!  I will endure until the contest ends at 3!  Each contestant can register up to 3 fish.  They will measure each fish and total up the lengths.  The one with the longest length wins the big prize.  A tie will be broken by the total weight of the 3 fish.  I’m certain that stuffing the fish with sinkers will be the ultimate tie breaker.  Just saying.

So, I will try and take a few pictures of the event between pulling in giant trout, and will give you an update later on.

Bears Butt

January 24, 2015

1 Comment, Written on January 24th, 2015 , Fishing Stories
By: Bears Butt

NakedGuyChoppingIceNow if you watch the following video and get an inclination to try it yourself……well…..don’t blame me!  In Utah I don’t know of any “Ice Auger Rodeo” that is going on.

However, I could see Shipley doing this.


Leave A Comment, Written on January 23rd, 2015 , Fishing Stories
By: Bears Butt


Let’s talk about “playing field” for a minute.

When a couple of guys, or a couple of teams are competing against one another for whatever the prize, you want to make sure all the rules (the stinking rules) are going to make the contest even.  This is what I’m talking about when I say “playing field”….the same rules applying to each of the contestants.  The same everything so that when one guy or team doesn’t do as well as the other, at least they were competing with the same stuff to keep it equal.

Recently there was a couple of football teams competing for a very big prize….the championship for their league as it was and with the win, they would go on to play in the big boy game, the Super Bowl.  Well, it has come to light that the winning team of that game had done something “not quite right” by deflating the football a bit which supposedly gave them an advantage over the other team.  You see it was raining pretty good during that game, and not being a football player myself, I can see where a deflated football might just give the guy throwing the ball and the guy catching it a bit of an advantage in being able to grip the ball better.  I don’t know if that is true or not, but the fact remains, there were stinking rules to be followed, and the one team didn’t follow that rule exactly.  Well, they won the game and are going on to the Super Bowl, but not without a lot of fans (of the losing team) calling fowl and wanting them out of the game, calling them cheaters and chanting the age old saying “Cheaters never win”!

So, they altered the playing field.

Last night at bow practice, I was using my Christmas present bow, which is about a 10 pound draw weight bow and my hand fletched arrows to fling down range and try to hit the target.  I tried for the 20 yard mark, but every arrow fell unbelievably low and I think in order to make the arrows reach the 20 yard target I would have had to of aimed at the heater blower that is mounted to the ceiling in order for the arrows to even reach 20 yards.  At any rate, I moved the portable target up to 15 yards and placed my target on that.  Still not an easy thing to reach, but I was doing OK, for a guy who has only been shooting for 3 or 4 weeks with limited equipment.  After all, I have had 3 lessons.

After about 30 shots, Squirrel was ready for competition.  Much like that of last week, where he cleaned my plow and I had to buy the sodas.  He was uncertain about the playing field.  You see he graduated to the 20 yard line with his shooting expertise and I have to admit, he is pretty good.

So, let’s examine the “playing field”:

Squirrel:  Compound bow, with sights, arrows made to shoot straight and true for his bow and bow weight, a trigger release for the bow string, a full year of experience behind him and shooting out to 20 yards.  Age 9 years old.

Me:  10 pound draw recurve bow, instinct shooting without a sight, arrows altered by hand to try and make them shoot straight, a hand made 3 finger tab to assist in bow string release, 3 lessons behind me and shooting out at 10 yards.  Age 65.

Does this seem to be about an even playing field to you?

We have shot our first round of 3 shots each.  I have scored a solid 20, and Squirrel has netted a grand score of 17.  Now, in bow and arrow competition, 3 points is not a big lead and one poke of an arrow could yield a 10X.  X’s scores are the breakers of ties and every archer tries their best to score as many X’s as they can.  I felt good about my lead, however, I know the hazards of over confidence.

Enter the “big deal”, the “deflated ball” if you will.

Suddenly, without warning, a young shooter approached me and asked if we could move the target to a distance he could shoot….8 yards!

Of course we can move the target!  That is what bow shooters do…accommodate!

But, what is that going to do with the “playing field”?

I counseled with my competitor.  HMMMMM.  We will have to see.  Was his comment.  (At least he knew about the “deflated ball”).  I was confused at that but continued to shoot and rack up my score.  Weasel was kind enough to score my target as he went down range to his own.  I wrote my score on my target and Squirrel put his on his scoring paper.  At the end of the 30 shots I ran my score through my trusty calculator and Squirrel scored his using his trusty brain.

Bottom line:  Squirrel = 143, me = 188 with one X.

Well, it is obvious who won, but Squirrel did not have 50 cents with which to buy me a soda.  We agreed that “next time”, I will shoot fairly at the 20 yard mark with my trusty 10 pound bow.  He calmly said “I would have conquered you if I was shooting at 8 yards”.  And I have no doubt about that.

Bears Butt

January 23, 2015


Leave A Comment, Written on January 23rd, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt

We could have used this system a few years back:

1 Comment, Written on January 21st, 2015 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

ice_fishing_043--wp.246215306_stdSaturday, January 17, 2015….A day for fishing!  I have read all week long about the success fishermen are having on Pineview, Mantua, Hyrum and nearly all the other takes in Utah.  Well, Windy, Chase and I are going to go and give it a try.  I think Pineview has our attention and my goal is to have Chase catch a fish…big fish…little fish…it doesn’t matter.  He missed out on the last outing because he was ill and he missed it dearly.  He was not disappointed that we didn’t even have a bite that day.  Today I have a secret bait that just might be the ticket.  We shall see.

More to come later!

Bears Butt

January 17, 2015

Follow Up:

The weather was absolutely beautiful if not hot for January.  We hit Pineview and went just North of Cemetery point.  There were quite a few people already on the ice and we did see a few fish get caught.  Nothing of any size and mostly all Crappie.

We went to our spot and drilled six holes rather quickly.  The power auger is the way to go!  The ice was about 6 inches thick and we found ourselves in about 30 feet of water.

Windy dropped in first with Chase’s pole, but Chase wasn’t as much into fishing as he was eating.  Before I could get my pole baited up, Windy had missed his first fish.  It looked like we were in for a great fish catching trip.  My first drop and 3 cranks up almost immediately produced a bite!  ZINGO!  Fish on!  Out of the hole came a little bitty Crappie.  I kept it just in case we caught a basket load of them.

Time continued to move along and to our surprise, no more bites!  How can that be?!  We stayed a couple of hours longer and then followed the crowds off the ice.  The people we talked to said the bite happens at night.  Well, I like my sleep and so there won’t be many fish for me from Pineview.

We decided to head up to Causey and give the trout a try.  Arriving there about 1 p.m., we found the ice to be very stable and about 5 inches thick.  We moved 3 times while we were there and didn’t have any bites.  Dang!  Well, at least we didn’t have to clean any.

Tomorrow is a holiday and the kids want to go fishing.  We will hit Hyrum and give it a go.  Saturday, Jan. 24, has a contest on there and for a $15 entry fee, you can have your 3 biggest fish measured for prizes.  Maybe we will give that a go next weekend….

Bears Butt

Jan. 18, 2015

1 Comment, Written on January 17th, 2015 , Fishing Stories
By: Bears Butt


A short read to let you know about my first competition last night at the range.

First of all, Squirrel is really taking his archery seriously, which is very good.  He is focused and very intent on becoming a good archer.  His goal is to be hunting with his bow in 3 years time.  You see he is 9 years old (as of last Saturday).  He received a very nice compound bow for Christmas and has been taking lessons for just over a year.  His bow from the past is just like the one they gave me for Christmas and it has a draw weight of about 15 pounds.  For an 8 year old that is quite enough to draw back.  His recurve bow is adjustable and I think his dad has it set for about 20 pounds draw.  Maybe a little less, but at any rate, it flings an arrow very much in a straight line to the target at 15 yards.

His dad gave him these goals:  Shooting at 10 yards and scoring the same way the big boys do, if he could reach a score of 200 or more, shooting the standard 10 sets of 3 shots each, he could then move out to 15 yards.  At 15 yards, if he can achieve the same 200 score (or more), he can move to 20 yards.  At 20 yards, once he again reaches the 200 mark, he will then begin increasing the draw weight of the bow.

These are very achievable goals and ones purely placed upon Squirrel to achieve.  There are no biases.  Reach the goal, and the goal changes to become more of a challenge.

Well, on Monday, last, he hit just over 200 at the 10 yard mark and was able to then move the target to 15 yards.  He was very excited.

We had our lessons on Wednesday night and he killed his target at the 20 yard mark during the lesson.  So, when his dad said he wanted to go shooting last night he was very excited because he knew he was going to be shooting at 15 yards and scoring.  He was pumped up to say the least and in his own mind he knew the 15 yard target would not have a chance of him not shooting over the 200 point mark.  And then he heard that Grandpa was going to be coming with them!

I will have my little bow and my 3, self fletched arrows and would be shooting along side him.

At the range we set things up and began shooting.  Of course my arrows were poking up and down and around in my target “area”, while his were pretty much sticking straight out and around the yellow ring which is center on the target.

Well, after a full round of him scoring and me just shooting to gain my form, we decided a competition was in order.  We would score my target as well, and whoever shot the best would be owed a soda by the other one.  I’m all for a good competition.  We agreed to score each others targets.

Each “set” is 3 shots and you score each set before advancing toward the next set.  There are 10 sets total for 30 shots and there is a total score of 300 possible.  Of course the very center of the yellow ring has an “X” in it and those get counted as well.  And so if you hear of someone shooting a 286 with 15 “x’s”, that means that half of their shots hit the very center of the target.  Ties are always given to the one with the most “x’s”.  The rings are scored from the center out, 10 (even the X is a 10), 9, 8, 7 etc. out to ZERO!  Zero’s are not good when competing against a 9 year old for a soda.

Let the games begin!

Here is my score sheet at the end of the competition:

1:15:15MyScore104!  With 7 zeros and no x’s.  I did have 2 nines but I also had 4 ones.

Well my competitor shot a whopping 184 and literally “kicked some Butt”!  He won the soda of choice but did not get to advance to the 20 yard mark.  That is his goal for tonight.  I wish him luck!

Bears Butt

January 16, 2015



Leave A Comment, Written on January 16th, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt

Check this map out!



Leave A Comment, Written on January 15th, 2015 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

Everyone can use a little pick me up:

1 Comment, Written on January 13th, 2015 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

FletchingsI took these newly fletched arrows up to the range yesterday and right off the bat one of the feathers came off the shaft.  I continued to shoot the arrow as it still went about as straight as I can shoot and it still gave me good practice in my form.

So, later I was talking with Lynn and he told me about how to build a tool out of leather that could help me to get my fletchings on straight.  He also suggested I wrap the fletchings with nylon thread and seal the thread ends with my glue.

So, home I came and went right to work getting the fletching tool fixed up.


FletchingToolFromNockEndIt isn’t hard to see how it works and the whole idea is to keep the fletchings as straight on the arrow shaft as you can.  Of course you still have to glue the entire length of the feather quill in addition to the wrapping of the thread.  For this arrow I used a Canadian Goose feather I have laying around.  We will see how well it flys later on.

After the glue had dried, I proceeded to wrap the fletching with the thread and this is the outcome.


I didn’t take a picture  after trimming down the feathers to the shape similar to the other arrows.  We shall see how things go tonight at the range.

Bears Butt

January 12, 2015

Leave A Comment, Written on January 12th, 2015 , Archery stuff | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.