Thursday, 8 May 2014

Tennessee Classic 2

The jet lag is easing off and it's raining, time to write up some more of my trip. I've included a couple of pics taken by someone else showing one of the 3D targets and the group of guys that shot it all using self bows (Osage by the look of 'em). Hopefully it shows what I mean about real hunting, no lucky leg shots there! Oh and by the way, one arrow only...
One guy was telling how he used to shoot compound and he came across a bedded deer 3 rows of corn away, that's less than ten yards. All his fancy sight marks were no use so he just went back to how it's been done for millennia, drew to somewhere near his nose and loosed. Watching these guys shoot confirmed my suspicions about Olympic style target archery. Now this is just my opinion and millions of people enjoy it so look away now if that's your thing.
I think it has evolved so far that it has nothing to do with archery, which is surely about hunting and warfare. The thought that the Olympics may include compound one day is appalling to me, far better if it reverted to self bows, or at least barebow.
As I said, just my opinion and we are all entitled to shoot what we want, however, in presenting "Archery" to the public gaze at the Olympics I feel something more natural and rooted in the history of mankind would serve better and be more entertaining, probably not so lucrative to the manufacturers of equipment though (hmmmm).

The other two pics show another Derik (it took a while to realise were were actually both 'Derek') and Matt who was there with his family, showing one of his horn and sinew bows backed with snake skin. He was helping out the new guys to get bows tillered and he let me use his spokeshave. I hadn't brought any tools over due to baggage limits, but all I had to do was call out "Anyone got a (insert tool of choice here)" and I'd be offered one. The farriers rasps were a revelation, huge coarse jobs that could really take off some wood, now I know what they look like I'll be trawling the web for one.
Derek was making a bow out of a skinny little piece of Ocean Spray it looked like it would make a plaything for an 8 year old kid, but that stuff was tough as old boots and at the size you see in the pic was still too tough to brace! It would easily have taken 60# or more to draw it to even 20". It had a fair bit of reflex and some nasty S shaped sideways bend. It was trying to flip sideways all the time, my experience with narrow English Longbows allowed me to give him some guidance (he was fairly new to bowmaking) and it was braced and on it way to being finished at the end of the weekend.

In one of my earlier posts I mentioned shipping bows, excess baggage and the like.
Someone asked for details, here is what I found. Note, the flights were with Virgin and Delta who are partners in transatlantic flight (other airlines will have different allocations and measurements)
Going out I took one carry on bag and my drainpipe with 3 bows in it to be checked in at no extra cost.
The free allowance was one carry on bag:- 10kg max.  dimensions 9x14x22" max
and one check in bag 23kg max. dimensions 81 linear inches (e.g length + width + depth)
That's enough for longbows but not warbows.

The big problem was that they say extra bags may be charged on each leg of a flight and you can get charged for it being over weight and over length as well. This could end up being horrendously expensive.
The may is irritating as it is not defined, maybe if you have 2 flights on the same airline they might not charge all legs but who knows.
Much of the information available is ambiguous or contradictory. If you are taking longbows just completely ignore their free sporting goods allowance as anything other than a modern take down or compound doesn't fit their allowance.
They know zip about bows. When I checked in the drainpipe of bows they asked if there were arrows in there too, I said yes. They said are they pointed (which I took to mean broadhead) so I said no. Of course a 50# longbow with a field arrow couldn't hurt a fly could it? They are just kids toys....
I had a great result for the return trip.
Due to it being a busy time of year and my booking the flights fairly late, I had to book a minor upgrade on both the return flights from Economy to Premium Economy.
When my E-Ticket arrived it showed I was allowed a second check in bag free! I also had more leg room etc. Because I was bringing back more stuff this probably saved me money and made me more comfortable. So if you are taking a lot of stuff it's well worth checking out the baggage allowance in the various grades of seat.


  1. AWESOME Del!! This is Derik from the Classic! HaHa, I made it on your blog. That's great!! Wonderful to meet you Del, and thanks for all the help on the stick bow. Coming along slowly right now, but I look at it daily. Cheers Brother!! dpgratz

    1. Yeah, man that skinny stick had a few of us scratchin' our heads. I could see exactly how the advice from one of the other guys made sense too. I was sayin' do one thing near the fade and he was suggesting the opposite near the tip! Classic illustration of how you need to feel along the process. Little of A and a little bit of B, do a bit and see what happens. That was one stubborn stick until it got bending.
      (I'll correct the spelling of your name)... you are an honourary "Del" too now !

  2. Del the Cat was like a puppy with two tails at the Tennessee Classic, and he still could not wag them fast enough. Every time his jet lag would catch up to him and he would head for the cabin for a cat nap, someone would catch his eye and he would start a cheery chat-up. He was certainly the Belle of the Ball! He was more than a little embarrassed over how he was treated like a celebrity, but he carried on with proper stiff upper lip and all.

    Saturday night we had a wonderful pot luck dinner. Del and I split a bottle of light bodied cabernet as we sampled great quantities of mystery game meat and nattered away like two old school chums. I will remember this meal for some great time to come as the perfect storm of food, drink, and good company.

    Del, it was an honor.

    Your friend,
    John Halverson

  3. Hi JW, Yeah, two old school chums sums it up... I reckon we were lucky there wasn't another bottle of wine else I'd have probably ruined that bow I was working. There was a worrisome knot on it, but the half bottle of red helped me attack it with carefree abandon... and a farriers rasp!
    It wouldn't have been the same if you'd not been there. Shame Rich wasn't there for the bow trade too. I'll be blogging his bow up today if it stops raining.

  4. Couldn't agree with you more about the Olympics. Glad you had such a good time. Paul King

  5. Looks like a nice time. Thanks for the info on carrying bows on flights.