By: Bears Butt

Arrows-and-Missing-the-TargetWhat a great day yesterday was!  I had a visit by the UPS guy who delivered my new bow!  YEAAA!  I have been mentored by a man named Lynn Heyes from Brigham and he is the go to guy for traditional archery information in the Brigham City Utah area.  A great and knowledgeable guy.  Anyway, he told me to come to his home when I got the bow and he would set it up for shooting.  I could hardly wait to head to his home.

Here is a look at the bow.  You have to understand first off the bow is 64 inches long and so to get all of it in a photo I would have to be too far away from it for you to see the beautiful wood that makes up the handle (riser in bow terms).

MyBowThis baby is made by Samick, a company out of Korea.  It is their Journey model in 30 pound weight.  It is also a take down model, in which you can remove the limbs for storage and to make it even more unique, I can purchase new limbs in different weights if I want.  Say to increase the weight to meet Utahs bow hunting laws (40 pounds).  So why a Korean bow?  Lynn tells me that the Koreans are the world class act in bow making and shooting in the world.  They take their kids from the womb and put a bow in their hands…..well, not quite, but they teach them from a very young age.

So, Lynn recommended this bow for me.  One, for the quality and two for the price.  This bow was only $140!  Limbs cost $75 if I choose to buy some later on.  Ok, so it came with a string and that is it.  I rushed up to Lynns place and he quickly put the string on the bow.  Then he put a leather patch on the side where the arrow rests.  See the dark half moon looking patch right behind the red mark on the bow.  That patch is to protect the bow from the arrow shaft sliding along it.  He also added an arrow rest, and that is what looks like a red mark.  It is actually red feathers glued down to a plate that form an arc about 1/4 inch wide.  The arrow shaft rests on top of that.

Well, that was not all Lynn wanted to do, he made me a sling to be able to safely put the string on the bow.  By standing on the stringer, you can pull up on the bow and place the bow string around its end groove.

bowstringerI have to say, Lynn is a remarkable guy and I’m sure glad he took me under his thumb to show me about this archery stuff.

Well, with the bow ready for action, Weasel called and wanted to hit the range.  He is scoring his targets for the upcoming archery contest and Squirrel and I need to shoot our new bows.

Squirrel was not up to a duel with Grandpa as yet and so it was a night to get the feel of my new bow.  Going from a weight of 10 pounds to 30 pounds is quite a change and it was very noticeable down range.  However, I never once missed the back stop and mostly hit the paper the target is printed on.  I really like the feel of this new bow.  Later in the evening, we moved a “bunk” up to the 10 yard mark and had ourselves a little contest.  Weasel spotted Squirrel and I 100 points and told us he would still kick our butts.  We took the challenge and in the end both of us beat his butt BAD!  He will never spot us 100 points again.  During this contest, I got to see exactly what my new bow is capable of:

Jan30ShotWithNewBowAll 3 arrows in the 10 ring!

Of course that was the only time that happened all night, but that doesn’t matter, I now know the bow is capable of doing some great stuff!

Bears Butt

January 31, 2015

Written on January 31st, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt


1:15:15MyScoreMore archery stuff.  You know this archery thing is getting more and more interesting.  I’ve said it before and I’ll probably be saying it until I die:  There is a whole lot more to shooting a bow than I ever thought.

Last night was lesson number 4 for me.  We learned about scoring our targets the official way.  I scored my neighbors target and they scored mine.  Here is something else I have observed about archery.  You have no advantage to be a large framed person.  You have no advantage being a tall skinny person.  You have no advantage being short, young or old.  This is one sport where it is all up to the individual to do good or do bad.    Yes, I see all the fancy stuff attached to a lot of the bows that must help the shooter hold the bow steady or sight on the target better.  I see some with what looks like magnified sights, like a scope on a rifle only not so long and “in the eye”.  There are some with long stabilizers sticking out the front, the side, the back.  Even Weasel has some of that on his bow.  But, if you don’t have all that stuff, you can still put up a pretty good score.  I’ll stick with my recurve bow and wooden arrows (I just made up the wooden arrow thing), no frills shooting.

Back to my lesson and scoring.

Chris is trying to teach us (some of us older than others) the right way to do these things and last night was no exception.  We need to learn what to expect if we ever get into competition shooting.  What are the signals that tell the shooters they can approach the firing line.  What are the signals to tell you it is OK to load (knock or nock) an arrow and take your shots.  What are the signals that stop the line and indicate a problem that needs to be fixed before you go on.  What are the signals that tell you it is alright to go down range and score your target and pick up your arrows.  These are the stinking rules that the archers have developed over the years that keeps things even and up and up….and most of all….SAFE!  HEY!  No RUNNING!

I think as part of a training regiment there should be a movie or a visit to an archery event to see how it all works in the end.  But, she did instill the sense of safe and practical shooting.

My form is coming along as I did manage to hit the paper more often than not last night, so something is coming together in that regard….however…I have developed a BAD HABIT that I had no idea I was developing.  It was pointed out by Lynn, my mentor, that when I shoot, my bow holding hand pushes my bow to my right as I shoot.  This can not be good.  He told me that I MUST hold the bow absolutely rock solid when I shoot and hold that position until the arrow reaches the target.

After being told I was doing that, I actually saw it happen.  Why on earth did I decide (unconsciously) I needed to let the bow move to the right after I shot?  Is there a force caused by the arrow as it proceeds forward that kicks that direction?  I have watched quite a few videos in slow motion that shows the arrow in flight, from the onset of the shot all the way out to the target and believe me there is a whole lot of wiggling of the arrow shaft in the process.

I took the following off a web site called “meta-synthesis dot com”:

An arrow has a massive pile (point) made of high density metal (iron or tungsten), a nock which fits onto the bow string, and fletchings or vanes (UK/USA) that add drag at the rear of the arrow.

An arrow has a centre of mass (centre of gravity or balance point) and a centre of drag:

The centre of drag MUST be behind the centre of mass, and the further behind the better, otherwise the arrow will be inherently unstable in flight. Indeed, if the centre of drag is in front of the centre of mass the arrow will have a tendency to turn round and fly “backwards”.


“Fly backwards”!  Holey crap, there isn’t anything safe about that!!!!

Just kidding.  But my point (Pile, high mass) here is that this whole bow and arrow stuff has a lot of science behind it and I’m just beginning to learn about all of it.  I am convinced there is something behind the arrow leaving the bow and my moving the bow to the right.  I just haven’t put my finger on it yet, but I will and I will conquer the errors of my way.

So, we kept a score of our shooting last night.  We were told not to worry so much about how many points we got, but to learn the “hows” of scoring…no cheating now!  It was my understanding that if the arrow shaft touches the line of the higher score ring and there was no “light” between the line and the arrow shaft, the score is to be the higher of the two scores.  I like that way of doing stuff.  You don’t have to break the line, but you must push the air out of it (so to speak).  With scoring you also have to keep track of the “x”s you hit.  X’s are hits at or very near the exact center of the target.  They still only score the highest score for that target, but “X’s” will be used to break any ties between shooters.  So, last night we kept track of all our “x’s”.

As the song says, “All my “x’s” live in Texas”, as none of them came to visit me last night.  Neither did they come and visit the shooter I kept score for.  I felt lucky to hit my target paper (not the rings in the target, put the paper on which the target is printed) and since I began this journey I did quite well considering all there is to accomplish.  Remember one of my first posts where I hit the paper like 4 times all night?  Well, I only missed it about 4 times last night and maybe didn’t miss it at all.  My goal last night was 30 “x’s”, my actual score looked like this:

FirstArcheryScore96.  96 out of a possible 300.  Zero “x’s” out of a possible 30.  I’d say “There is room for improvement”.  Watch for the improvement as time goes on!  When I get my bow hand to hold that bow still during and after the shot, more “x’s” will be adding up…I have faith!

Bears Butt

January 29, 2015


Written on January 29th, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt

As the warm weather continues to plague us ice fishermen here in Northern Utah, the chance of falling through the ice becomes more and more real every day.  I saw this video today and it is one of the most informative I have seen on self rescue after falling through the ice.

I have been to on site places that showed the methods this man uses, but none of them ever said anything about the fact that the person falling in would go through what is called “water shock”.  I can only imagine what the body must go through going from dry and warm, to icy cold and wet in a second or two time period.  I’m also certain that if I ever fall through the ice, my first instinct would be to get my body above the water and run to safety.  That would mean shooting straight up until my feet were out of the water and then running on top of the water and ultimately back to the truck.  At that point any gear that was left on or near the ice would become the property of anyone who found it as it would be my last ice fishing adventure and I would no longer need any of the gear.

So, take a look at this video and I hope no body viewing it will ever need to use this information.


Written on January 27th, 2015 , Fishing Stories
By: Bears Butt

SecondAnchorPointLast night Weasel, Squirrel and I hit the Brigham Bowmens archery range for a little practice.  With Squirrel and I it was more than just practice, a double or nothing event was in store.  You see, I promised him a re-match in the quest to see who could out shoot the other and I offered to shoot my 10 pound bow out to the 20 yard line.  After all isn’t it just plain fair that a 9 year old get a 65 year old to succumb to the old vs new mentality?  He with his youth and high powered compound bow and carbon arrows, and me with my age, 10 pound plastic bow and aluminum arrows with self made fletchings.

Well, we shot our six arrow practice and then went to work on the long range shooting for score.

As you can imagine, my butt was getting a bit sore as the contest began and his ego was getting the best of him around the mid shoot mark.  We shoot 10 sets of 3 arrows p/set and score at the end of each of the sets.  By set 5 he had me big time.  I don’t remember the score at that point but I needed something very big in order to stay in the game.  I thought about deflating the football and letting it all out, when at the end of set 6, I scored a huge 17 points!  All 3 of my arrows found the rings on the target!  At the same time Squirrel pulled a zero.  I was leading after that and I told him the lead was mine through the rest of the game!

As fate and my inability to control my arrows took over, I shot the next one with a zero end result.  In the meantime he pulled ahead by one point.

And then my game completely fell apart with arrows going like this picture:

Arrows-and-Missing-the-TargetOnly none of them were inside any of the rings.  I shot all the rest of the sets netting zero points.

After the 30th shot, Squirrel had me by 5 points.

So, congratulations Squirrel, you won your soda back.  But, remember this, when I get my new bow and fancy arrows and get things all tuned up, you are going down!

Bears Butt

January 27, 2015

Written on January 27th, 2015 , Archery stuff
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

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

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.


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


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

We could have used this system a few years back:

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

Written on January 17th, 2015 , Fishing Stories | 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.