By: Bears Butt




Yesterday I had the pleasure of working my butt off for something I’ve never done before.  In this picture please notice there is plywood all around the outside of this dirt field.  Well, that wasn’t all that was put out yesterday.  We actually added more plywood than you see in this picture.  The object of the plywood is to stop arrows from hitting the building.  Hopefully arrows will stay within the dirt area, but I’m not really sure that will happen.

Here is what I understand is going to happen for the next two days.  First off you have to know there are 25 stations for each of the archers to “enjoy”.  Each archer will shoot 2 shots from each of these stations and each arrow is to be shot at pre-determined targets and at ranges that vary from a few feet to many yards away.  Some target are large and some are very small.  None of the targets move, which is a good thing.  Well, by move I mean they don’t run or jump, they might sway back and forth because of the way they are mounted.  So, put 50 archers out on the line (2 archers p/station), sound the “shoot” whistle and 50 archers are going to try to hit their particular target.  Some targets are kitty corner across the field from both directions.  Some are straight in front of the archer, some are at a diagonal from where they are standing, either right or left of them.  Close, far, in the middle.  Can you imagine 50 arrows flying through the air at the same time from all directions?  Well, that is the fun the people in the stands will enjoy!  Sort of like watching a car race and hoping for a crash.  There are people who like that sort of thing.

Well, let me tell you there is a whole lot of work that goes into setting up a tournament like this archery event.  I’d like to now post up some picture I took yesterday of this arena coming together to look like an archery event is going to take place.


EmptyArena2So, start with an empty arena and add the plywood.



Stand up a bunch of old Christmas trees and unload the 3D targets.  What do you have right now?  A mess.


You know what?  It takes a lot of people to pull this sort of thing off in such a short amount of time.



Someone has to put the stands on the trees if we are going to have them looking like a forest.


And what is an archery event like this without a lake?  Nothing!  HEY!  Quit showing off and get to work!  This looks like a typical government job…..One supervisor, one goof off and one worker.



Hey!  This is starting to take shape.  Maybe it will be done before the starting time.


I think I could hit that close target.


Let’s have some lunch!  Pizza and water!  There were lots of choices too!  Thanks Chris and Brigham Bowmen for the lunch, it was great!


Now, you have to know, I was in the middle of helping out and only once in awhile was I afforded time to take any pictures.  I almost lost my camera in this maylay and fortunately someone picked it up, otherwise it would have been buried in one of the piles of dirt used as backstops for some of the targets.


When you need a mountain….bring in a digger machine!


Targets are high and low!  Remember, don’t shoot at the antlers!


Now we are getting serious.  Placing red dots on the kill zones!


From an empty arena to this in just a few hours!  Now for the finishing touches.

Each of the 25 stations is placed along a line.  There is planned for two shooters at each station and each will be shooting at their respective target.  Most targets have two animals to be shot, but some only have one animal that needs to be hit twice.  One is a bear on a stump and the object is to hit the bear and the stump.  You will see that in a minute.


Well, it takes time to get them all trained to stand up.


It appears it is easier to train elk than is is to train foxes.


Now we are going to go down the line and let you see what the archers are looking at when they are at each of the stations.  Remember there are 25 stations!


I can’t remember what the targets are for each of the stations, but you will get the idea when you see which target looks like it is the most “broadside” to you.  Each one has a sign near it that tells the shooter “Hey, I’m your guy”!  Binoculars and range finders are both welcome in this event!  Even one guy gets to use a cross bow!  I hope I get to see him today when I go up to play.



See that elk way down there?  That is your target from this station!



Don’t shoot the close guys!  Those are for the kids!




How about this tricky shot.  Two foxes and one is on the other side of the pipe!  Gotta shoot through the pipe!



There are your targets folks, a deer and a cougar and try and miss the tree while you’re at it!


This will be fun!  Sitting in a chair and shooting out of a blind!


Ah Ha!  Kill the two wolverines!


Two fighting Jackalopes!  Get em boys!


And then a laying down bull elk!



It’s hard to see but there is a bear and the stump in there somewhere.  Let me see if I can make it bigger.

Station17BearAndStump copy



Station19Pigs Station20Caribou

Here you go, shoot that Caribou down there.  And remember there is someone on the other end shooting at the standing bull elk at the same time!





Well you shot at the Caribou, now shoot for the buffalo!

Station24Buffalo copy

And you are almost done.  You have shot big targets!  Small targets!  Close targets and far away targets.  You have shot and barely missed.  You have shot and barely hit!  You have shot and didn’t even make it to the target.  You have shot and lost your arrow in the forest.  You have shot and hit the sign that marked the target.  But wait!  You still have one more station!


It’s really close!  You should easily hit these guys!

Well, there you have it!  An event that will go down in history as one of the best!  Come on out and see what these guys have put together!  The event goes for today and tomorrow.  It’s at the Box Elder County Fair grounds in the newest building there.  An indoor arena that is heated, has lots of seating and every seat is a good one.  Follow your favorite archer as they move down the line taking their best shots!  Eat at the concession stand and buy some raffle tickets!

The Brigham Bowmen have really outdone themselves this year!  COME ON OUT AND ENJOY!

Bears Butt

February 28, 2015




Written on February 28th, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt


This picture looks pretty interesting and today Weasel and I are going to be part of a team setting up for a 3D archery event that is taking place this weekend in Tremonton.  Having never even seen such a setup will be extremely interesting to me and hopefully I’ll  get to shoot in the event this weekend as well.  I have heard there will be targets from close up to as far away as 60 yards.  60 yards?  I hope it ain’t a rabbit out that far….maybe an elephant!

At any rate, we will be taking in old Christmas trees to make the event more realisitc.  I’ll take a bunch of pictures and post up today’s set up and also plan on covering the entire event over the next two days as well.  These guys, The Brigham Bowmen, work their butts off for the archery sporting world and deserve a hand.

If you aren’t doing anything tomorrow or Sunday, you really need to come out and see what is going on.  It will be held at the Box Elder Fair Grounds in Tremonton and it is inside the brand new indoor arena.  I understand there will be vendors there with goods and services offered as well as food!  We will know more tomorrow!

Bears Butt

February 27, 2015

Written on February 27th, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt


How is that for a pile of raccoons?

As it turns out, these coons were in someone’s freezer and the guy decided to give them up to Brek and his buddy.  Most of them won’t be worth skinning as they appear to be road kills etc., and I understand the guy who had them also runs dogs.  They range in fur benefit from prime to summer scruffies.  They will decide whether to skin them or toss them.  But for sure they make an impressive pile.

Bears Butt

February 27, 2015

Written on February 27th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

TransportingTrapsThis was the picture yesterday of me moving my Trellis line.  It is not an easy task to pull a line of traps and try to get them out on the next line.  It takes hours and hours.  Pulling traps is one thing, setting them in another.

So, here you see the toy loaded down with iron.  The wood floats on the front make it look like a pack mule with a whole elk.  In actuality the floats are light but bulky and I only had to travel about 1/2 mile while balancing them.  Back at the truck they fit nicely in stacks of 3 high, 3 across.  The traps I left on the toy for the reset out on Big Spring.

I wish it were as easy to set traps as it is to pull them, but when I’m looking for “the set”, I want to maximize my chances of a full trap the next day and so I pass up a LOT of good sets to find that perfect one.  Needless to say, I pulled over 40 traps and only managed to set another 22.  I have miles of trapping space to set traps but limited time to do it.  Some of you might remember my getting stuck last year and if you are so inclined you can go search for my story about getting stuck while trapping and having to be “saved” by Wapiti and Weasel.  Without their help my toy would still be out there.  Well, this is the same place where I’m trapping now.  I will be sure and stay away from that bog hole!

Let’s look at what else is going on in my life right now.  Archery!  I finished my last lesson last night and it was a very fun evening with popping balloons and shooting to see which one of us could hit a popped balloon.  I think before the night was over we each won our rounds and tied.  Although none of us actually hit the small orange remnants of a balloon, we won by coming closer than the others.  Nuff said about that.  The Brigham Bowmen are hosting a 3D archery event this weekend out in Tremonton.  An indoor event where they have the entire brand new event center rented.  It is going to be a blast and I hope everyone reading this will at least come out and see archery shooters at their best…see their post on Facebook, under group, Brigham Bowmen.

Well, I’ve volunteered to help transport trees and 3D targets out to the event center, help set up, help during the event and help take it all down.  That will involve 3 or possibly 4 days, some full days, some partial days.  I won’t know that until things begin….Tomorrow at 10!  SOOOOOO!  Trapping is going to be on hold while I do this archery stuff.

I do still have an obligation to my trapping and will make time to check them every other day.  Not only is that the law, it is only ethical as a trapper to conduct myself in a responsible manner.  What it also means is I will NOT be setting any more traps until this event is over.  Normally I would not be sitting here typing right now, I’d be out on the line setting steel as fast as I could to try and have ALL my traps out before dark today.  So, this is kind of like a day off.  I’ll go out and check traps and be back in time to put up the rats and wait until tomorrows archery stuff begins.

What do I expect out on the line?  I set 22 traps yesterday and so my line is 44 traps in size.  The sign reminded me of a time a couple of years ago, where I set a whole “sh** pot” of traps and didn’t catch one rat in two days.  The sign I saw at that time was so fresh it almost steamed in the cool sun, but the rats had moved out.  Yesterdays setting might end up with the same result.  I hope not, but who knows for sure.  I expect to catch 15 rats today.  AND a couple of raccoons!

Why raccoons?  I set 3 dog proof traps yesterday!  I explained what a dog proof trap is and roughly how they work in yesterdays post.  Well, this is what one looks like ready to fire:


A simple and safe looking little devise.  In the tube is mini marshmallows, dry dog food bits and on the top edge a secret concoction of shellfish and assorted other smells that raccoons like.  I place each of the traps near likely raccoon trails and fully expect to have 3 raccoons this morning!

15 rats and 3 raccoons would clearly make my day!

Bears Butt

February 26, 2015


The weather was sort of weird today…snowy, cold, sunny, warm, windy, calm…typical of Utah Spring time.  But more important was last nights weather and how the rats move in the wind….they don’t.

Todays catch….9 rats…NO coons!  I can’t believe the lack of coons!  All the bait was gone in each of the traps and I suspect mice.  I reloaded each of them and hope tomorrow nets some fur.

Bob took the day off from trapping to get his truck inspected and registered.


Written on February 26th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


Yesterday felt like a day off even though I pulled 43 traps and managed to set 22.   Doing that actually takes quite a toll on this old guys body.  I guess what actually felt like a day off was time in the skinning shed.  With only 2 to skin and about 10 to flesh and stretch it didn’t take long at all.  What was very interesting was the fact that Bob had really taken the day off to fix up things in his rental, he also went to town and bought 6 “dog less” raccoon traps and assorted other stuff to go with them.

I’ve been reading about this sort of trap for many years but never thought about purchasing one to give it a try.  After seeing how simple they are I can see why they are such a craze to use against raccoons.  “Dog less” traps were designed to target only the curious animals with the ability to clench food with a fore paw.  Domestic dogs can’t do that.

I’ll be taking some pictures out in the field as I set the three he let me borrow.  But for now you have to just go along with me on how they work.  Raccoons are a curious animal.  They have really good noses when it comes to smelling out trouble and of course something to eat.  They will eat anything and everything.  They can scale straight up walls, climb trees, jump across huge expanses, dig, chew, swim and bite with the best of them.  The one thing that can get them into trouble is reaching into a hole to extract the goodies that are hiding down in it.  They like to reach into holes for stuff and their hand like front feet are dexterous enough to grasp items in the hole and hold onto it while they pull it out and then eat it.

I worked with an old boy from North Carolina and he told me of catching raccoons (coons) by finding a knot hole in an old log, placing a shiny button in the bottom of the hole and then driving three number 6 finish nails down on angles into the hole.  The raccoon would come along, see the button and reach in and take hold of it.  With his fist clinched on the button he would try and pull out of the hole, only to encounter the sharp points of the nails.  Rather than let the button go and pulling his paw out of the hole, he would hang onto the button and be there when the trapper came along to get it.

So, these “Dog less” traps do just about the same thing.  They are cylindrical pipes with a trigger and a wire catch.  The raccoon reaches in to get some food from the tube, fires the trigger and the wire catch pins his leg against the inside of the tube.  It is strong enough to hold him and he can’t pull out of it.

We were taught that using food such as marshmallows, dry dog or cat food or some sort of individual food pieces works the best as they keep reaching in for another bite until eventually they fire the trigger.

I made a beer bet with Bob that I catch three coons tomorrow (Thursday).

As for today on the rat lines.  I plan on completely pulling out of the Trellis line.  The rats that were there must have moved or maybe we have caught most of what was there.  I think between Bob and I we have taken nearly 50 rats from that area.  I’m also convinced there are at least that many more in there, but with time running out on our season (the run, slippage etc.), we need to move on and catch rats while we can.  Our goal is 500 and we are about 150 short right now (more is always better).

I set 22 traps yesterday and of them I think I’ll only catch 8 rats.  Several of those sets are on the big channel that goes from Big Spring down through Petes and onto the Goose Club (no trespassing).  Those traps will only attract rats swimming up and down the main channel and I’m hoping when the rats do go for a swim they swim the side of the channel where my traps are set.  Swimming on the other side will get me nothing!  Also, there are lots of ducks on that channel and I usually tag one or two of them.  They are always alive and I release them unharmed.

So, 8 rats expected in the new sets and I don’t expect to catch any in the Trellis line sets.

I do plan on setting more traps out on Big Spring so it will be a big day in the field.  The weather is looking pretty good today.  Partly cloudy with a high expected in the 40’s.  I love this time of year.  Not as much as the hunting season in the Fall, but still, Spring has its goodness to enjoy.  Like yesterday, I could hear some Chukars up on a rocky hill.  I stood there and looked on the hill trying to see them when all of a sudden I saw flapping of wings.  The birds were in their mating ritual and the males were battling over the females.  There were quite a few birds sitting on top of rocks watching the battle and I assume they were the females.  Can anyone enlighten me on this?

I’ll give an update later.  Bob is supposed to head out to the Goose Club and set some traps out there.  Eventually, he will understand his traps among Petes cows have caught all the rats that lived there and he will move them.  But for now, as long as he has traps in the truck, he will set them and continue to check the traps that have remained empty for weeks.  Old mind sets are hard to get to see thing differently.

Bears Butt

February 25, 2015


Well, Bob didn’t make it out to the Goose Club area….It was cold and VERY windy….nobody likes the wind.

I toughed it out and set another 22 traps, but he area looks very suspicious as to whether it holds rats or not.

My catch….11….Bob…3.




Written on February 25th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


This is a 40 rat pile I caught the other day!  Yesterdays catch was not nearly this big, but big enough considering the cold and wind.

What about today?  Tuesday, February 24?  Another cold night last night with winds dyeing down.

I had to break the ice around almost every one of my traps yesterday and as cold as it was, I’m sure the ice formed right back up around them after I left.  So, if I catch 5 rats today I will feel very lucky!

Bob is taking the day off from trapping today and doing something with his rental property.

I’m planning on pulling the floats from the Trellis line today.  They have only produced 4 rats in over a week and it’s just not worth baiting them every day just to have the mice scamper out and eat the bait.  They can be better served down on Big Spring.  That is where I’m moving next.

Gotta go!

Bears Butt

February 24, 2015


Sure was a different weather day out on the line today than it was yesterday.  Relatively warm with a slight South breeze blowing.  Little to no ice.

I began by pulling the traps from Fish Springs….all 42 of them and while I did I managed to catch 2 rats.  I was expecting 3.  Then on to check the Trellis line….nothing.

A quick trip out to Big Springs and I was setting traps in no time.  I placed the one float I pulled on the big flow of water from Big Springs.  The amount of water flowing is only about half what it normally is.  Then down the flow I drove the toy setting bait sets as I went.  Against the Goose Club fence is as far as I can go.  Back toward the top of the spring that heads South and East and I placed a couple of traps on two small spots on the way.  The spring itself had quite a bit of sign and so it was pretty easy to set 10 traps in there.  A total of 22 traps went out.

Tomorrow I’ll pull the Trellis line and continue to set Big Spring.  There are miles of water ways out there.


Written on February 24th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


The lanes were filled to near capacity last night as it seems most everyone was there to post up league scores for week 4.  Being new to this whole deal it seemed VERY crowded, however, everyone stayed in their particular portion of their shooting lane and it was quite organized.  Here is a picture of the shooters down range scoring their targets.



With that many shooters there has to be some kind of “safe” and “organized” method to allow everyone equal opportunity to shoot and not be disturbed while doing so.  From my limited knowledge, when it gets this crowded, the lane captain (in last nights case, the lane captain was Weasel), will call for “double line” shooting.  What does that mean to you and me?  I suppose right now I should show you what the range looks like when nobody is around.


This picture shows a double row of “bunks” (bunks is what I call the big blocks of foam material that stops the arrows).  The Brigham Bowmen have a range that looks almost exactly like this one.  So, you have upper bunks and lower bunks on which to put your target.  When the shooters come up to shoot, they will place their target on either the upper or lower bunk to start with.  And with any competition, there are stinking rules.  No matter whether you place your target on the range, upper or lower bunk, after half way through the shooting, you will move your target to the other bunk.  HEY!  Don’t ask me!  I just follow the stinking rules.

So, folks come down to shoot and do as well as they can, but remember, no alcohol is allowed in the range building, but also remember, you left it at home and it’s getting warmer by the minute.  So, you want to get down there, shoot your target, get is scored and signed off and get back home as quick as you can!  Here is where the double line comes in to play.


Multiple targets down range!  Some on the top bunks, some on the bottom bunks.

If you are shooting in a lane with someone else and their target is on the bottom bunk, you honor their position and let them shoot first.  When they are finished, they move out of the way and allow you to shoot your target on the upper bunk.  It stays organized and civil.  However, if you are the only one with a target on your bunk it doesn’t matter if you are on the top or bottom, you can go ahead and shoot whenever you wish.  It’s the “lane sharing” folks that have to live by the stinking double line rule.  That is the price you pay to have someone who likes to be close to you.

So, last night was week 4 scoring for Weasel, Squirrel and I.  With this weeks trapping and archery and orchestra happenings, I felt Monday was the only day I could go up and have a “sort of relaxing” shoot in which to score.  And it was obvious that a lot of folks felt the same way.


Squirrel did not want to take my soda money away from me last night and so we just shot for our scores.  I offered, he turned it down and I’m glad.  Wait till you see the results of the scoring last night.  Conner came up as well just to get some practice in and both he and Squirrel were shooting some impressive groups.  Squirrel even took more quarters from Weasel with his “X” shooting!

Conner kept his score on his target and came away with a very impressive 212 (I think).  When you think about a 212 against a 300 that is not a bad score for someone relatively new to this sport.  The target we are shooting requires 60 shots in sets of 5 p/end and to shoot a 212, that means you gave up about 1 1/2 points each time you shot, or in other words, with a 5 being the most you can score p/shot, you averaged 3 1/2 points each time you shot.  Averages are meant to make you feel good.

(I worked with a guy who liked to golf and when he shot a bad hole, he would always put his “average” score down on his score sheet rather than the score he actually shot.  I know!  I know!  That is not how you are supposed to do it, but that was his way of making himself feel good).

Squirrel was shooting extremely well last night and came away with a scratch score (no handicap added in) of an even 200!  Someday I’m going to grow up and shoot a 200 score.

We were scoring a couple next to us and they were scoring us (that is another example of following a stinking rule) and he said to me “That little guy is kicking my butt tonight”!  I told him to get used to it, he is just now getting his game on.

Well, let me remind you of myself.  Recurve bow, no sights, 7 lessons under my belt, limited practice time, old, tired out from trapping, arrows I’m told are not made for my bow (is there anything else I can throw in here?)… raw score….144!

I was ON FIRE last night!  I only gave up 2.6 points each time I shot!  AND, I’ll add, I only missed the target (paper) 6 times!  AND…I got an X!

That 144, my friends, is my personal best!

Bears Butt

February 24, 2015


Written on February 24th, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt


After a much needed day off from the trap line, I have restocked my anise-carrots, gassed the toy, filled up the crank case with oil and am ready for another full week of “stuff”.  Let’s look at this weeks schedule:

Monday: Trapping, Shed Duties (you should know what that means by now, as there is a whole lot more to trapping than setting and checking traps), Archery.

Tuesday: Trapping, Shed Duties, Other Duties as Assigned (yet to hear about these ones, they usually come with little or no notice).

Wednesday:  Trapping, Shed Duties, Archery (Last lesson, will probably end with a test that I can’t pass).

Thursday:  Trapping, Shed Duties.  (Hey!  What’s going on?  Is this a free day?)

Friday:  Trapping, Shed Duties, Help with the set up of the 3D archery range in Tremonton.  (I have not a clue as to what to expect with this one but I know they have a lot of work to do and a short window in which to do it and I want to help where I can).

Saturday:  3D tournament begins in Tremonton.  I want to play in it as well as help out where I can.

Sunday:  3D tournament ends, again, I want to play and help out.  After the event is completed, there will be take down duties.  Will these duties extend into the wee hours of Monday?  I’m not sure, but want to help where I can.

SOOOOO, it looks like the week begins slowly and ends in a flurry of activities that don’t necessarily include trapping.  With this, and my need to be moving traps from Fish Spring to the Big Spring out West, I’m sort of at odds with everything and my stress level is sort of high right now.  Do I begin moving traps today?  Do I just plan on pulling a few traps each day this week until Fish Springs is completely pulled and plan to set traps early next week?  I need to keep traps on the Trellis line until they just completely quit producing rats, so no moving them yet.  If I set traps out on Big Spring, than means a second stop to check traps and every stop means more time spent out on the line.  More time out on the line means a later time getting home for shed duties, and later shed duty means longer hours, longer hours means less time available for archery.  I have to laugh right now. 🙂 (Hey Weasel, are there smiley faces available for this web site?)

As my friend Muskrat always said:  “I’ll decide”!

Expected catch for today?  The weather has been cold, snowy and windy the last couple of days and nights.  I caught 13 on Saturday, which was a pretty good day.  Took yesterday off and so I’ll have two nights of catch waiting for me today.  The lines are starting to show signs of limited rats in the areas where they are set.  All of that leads me to believe I will catch less than 20 but should catch more than 10.  I’ll extend my hopes to the mid point and say 15 rats today.

Bears Butt

February 23, 2015



Ice everywhere!  All traps covered in at least 1/2 inch of ice, all rats under or in the ice.  That means they got caught before it froze.  I had to break every trap out of the ice today and ended up with 10 rats and 4 other traps set off with nothing in them.  I’ll take 10 rats any day when it’s that cold out there.  Also caught a big old colorful coon!

I needed the bait and so I sat down and skinned all 10 rats and used their carcasses in the coon traps.  They will be hungry when things warm up.

Bob had 4 rats when I stopped along the highway and talked to him.  He was almost finished checking his line and he didn’t think he would catch any more rats.

LATER:  Bob ended up with 5 rats today!





Written on February 23rd, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


Most archery nuts like to wish they could shoot their arrows and have them hit the target like this one.  It’s all our dream and some of the better people can do just that, or at least get close to it.  For the rest of us our dream is a little bigger than that.  I like to just hit the target….anywhere.

If I could do as good as this target shows I would be very happy.

My problem of late is the fact that I can’t seem to get the right arrows for my bow.  I’m learning a thing or two about arrows in my attempt to find ones that fit my bow and my type of shooting.  You see, most people shooting bows and arrows use compound bows.  They kind with wheels and strings going everywhere around the bow.  They have sights and long stabilizers sticking out the front, the sides and the back.  They are rock solid when it comes to shooting and the arrows fly straight and hit very hard.  The targets down range don’t have a chance.

Me, on the other hand, have a recurve bow, with no sights, no stabilizers, no wheels….just a stick with a string on it.  That’s all OK….I like it that way….simple.  And to hit the target is all on me to make it happen.  BUT, I need the right arrows.

There is a thing called “Archers Paradox”, you’ve no doubt read about it on here, or seen videos about how it works.  You nock the arrow, pull back the string and let it fly down range.  Upon movement toward the target, the arrow has to overcome the “nothingness” of being resting on the arrow rest.  You know, resting.  When that resting arrow is interrupted by the string and power in the bow’s limbs, forcing it to fly somewhere away from the rest, the arrow actually bends and it bends around the handle of the bow.  Once cleared from the bow handle the arrow wants to bend back the other way and then fly toward the target with ever smaller and smaller bending from side to side.  Like a fish tail.

So, what I have learned so far is that the stiffness of the arrow has everything to do with that bending process.  In order to achieve the correct archers paradox, the arrow has to be able to bend properly.  That bending must be proper for the draw weight of the bow.  The more powerful the bow, the stiffer the arrow shaft has to be.  My bow is considered a light weight.  It is only a 30 pound draw weight and so to find an arrow with a light weight stiffness is my latest problem.  I have contacted two different archery places and asked them to provide me with proper arrows for my 30 pound bow.  Both of them have provided me with arrows that are too stiff.  Experts?  I’m sure they shoot bows and arrows all the time and in my mind they sold me arrows that worked for them at some time or another when they began shooting bows.  But they probably started out with what they considered light weight bows in probably 40 to 50 pound draw weights.  I’m guessing.

Well, if I were their boss’s I would commend them on a job well done.  They sold me some pretty expensive arrows and I’ll be back to buy more.

Now, I have been researching arrows and spine weights and what can be done to make them work for my bow.  My buddy and mentor Lynn told me that the 500 spine weight arrows I have been using are too stiff and I need 600 spine weight arrows.  He also told me I could add weight to the front of the arrow to make the 500’s work with my bow.  His words were something like this:  Add weight to the front of the arrow to make it bend more.  Add weight to the back of the arrow to make it bend less.

When thinking about this theory, or law, or whatever it is, I like to think in extremes.  So, to add weight to the front of the arrow to make the spine weaker, I will add a huge block of lead, maybe 5 pounds of lead, melted to the point of the arrow.  I’m going to teach this arrow spine to bend and it will bend damn it!

Try shooting that one!  When you draw back and let that string go, the only thing that is going to happen is the arrow is going to break in half and teach the shooter a lesson on broken arrow shaft penetration!

On the other end of the spectrum, adding weight to the back or the nock area of the arrow will make the shaft stiffer.  Add that same 5 pound chunk of lead to the nock area and try shooting it.  The first pain will be in your bow holding hand, the second pain will be the doctor bill and the cost to replace the bow.  There is a lot to be said about “the stiffer the shaft”.

So, there is definitely something to be said about “compromise” when it comes to adding weight to either end of an arrow.  Try cutting the weight of that lead block down by half.  And then half again, and half again and half again.  At some point in time, your experimenting will arrive at the right amount of weight to be added to get your arrow to fly straight as a dart and end up where you desire it to be in the target.  That is, if all other things remain the same.  Remember form, draw, stance, bow straight, anchor points, release and follow through.

Well, I’m not the first person shooting a bow that has come across this issue of finding the proper arrow for my bow and this is what is so frustrating to me at this point.  Why on earth can’t I go to a store and buy the arrow I need?  How hard can that be?  They should be over stocked with arrows that will work for me and my bow…but NOOOOO!  The store guys always say the same thing, they must be taught it when they begin working at the arrow department….We Don’t Gots your arrows….

Let’s look a the following charts and try to figure this out on our own:

acecomponentsYou must know the parts of the arrow first of all in order to properly fit your arrow to your bow.  This chart shows you just what you need to know.

Apollo_ChartNext you need to know what size the arrow is and how much it weighs in gpi (grains per inch).  Then the flex in the spine in inches.  And don’t forget what we have already said about the weight in the front of the arrow and the weight in the back of the arrow.  Both of those will affect the flex…If you have too much weight in the front it will flex more and if you add weight to the back at the same time you will take that flex away and maybe even make it stiffer.  So the weight of the tip and the weight of the nock have to compliment each other.  And with that it is a good thing there is a distance between those two worlds.  “Hey tip, you sure are a cutie!”  “Nock it off bucko or I’ll reverse the archer paradox and have you hit the target first”!


Crossbow-Arrow-Drop This chart is tossed in here just so you can see that someone made a chart about arrow drop vs distance shot and how much energy is still left once the arrow reaches that distance.  Nothing more and besides you are not really interested in these charts anyway.  You just want Bears Butt to find the right arrow and get on with shooting perfect scores, right?


This chart is to show you how you can be nocked up.


This picture shows you how not to miss the target.

And the last one is me trying to figure out what arrow I need.


Bears Butt

February 22, 2015

Written on February 22nd, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt


Today is Saturday and it marks the end of week number two of trapping for this season.  Yesterday was a record catch for me at 40 rats.  The weather was cold and windy (see yesterdays update) and will effect the rat movement for last night.  We are seeing more sign that the run is going to happen in earnest really quick and perhaps yesterdays catch was the run in full force.  You never know with these little critters.

Today we have a 50% chance of rain.  I don’t mind the rain so much as the wind.  Keep the wind out of the equation and things are pretty good.

I’d like to get my trap line checked and then go off and do something different today.  We will see what happens.

Expected catch for today is half what yesterdays was.  I’m guessing at 20 rats and that would make for a pretty good days catch.  The skinning shed time will be all consuming today with over 40 rats to put up, but that is just the nature of the business.

An update will come later.

Bears Butt

February 21, 2015


I headed out early to get the traps checked, knowing there were going to be several hours worth of fleshing to be done later on.  As it turned out, I caught 13 rats and was home by 12 p.m.  A quick call to Weasel and he was quick to arrive at the skinning shed where he went right to work combing the rats that were drying from yesterday.  Unfortunately most of them were too wet to put up and so they went back on the drying rack and will have to be processed tomorrow.

We managed to put about a dozen up on stretchers and skinned the rats I caught today.  We also pulled down 50 rats from stretchers that were dry and put them on hangers.  We now have plenty of room for our catches for the next day or two.  We also skinned the 13 rats and put them with the others to dry.

When you think about trapping fur bearers it’s easy to think trapping is just going out in the field and catching animals….it is far from just that.  Catch, skin, flesh, stretch, take down, put up, comb and who knows what else.  It also involves more than just that with certain fur bearers like fox for instance.  Timing is everything with turning them.

Now I wait for Bob to get back from the line.  When I left the trapping area I ran into him just going out.  He was in for a very wet day.  The storm was blowing through just as I left and it was hailing like nothing else I’ve ever seen.  I hope he is safe out there and comes in with a large load of rats.

I’ll update his success on here when I know what he caught.  Bob came in about 4 p.m. with 8 rats!  Two of them got put up!



Written on February 21st, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS). | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man

Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.