Two Buffaloes book review


Two Buffaloes: The Life And Times Of A Professional Hunter was written recently by Vivian James, but there is more to that story. Lois Woodruff was a Professional Hunter back in “Old Africa” striking out on safaris and hunts throughout the mid-twentieth century. Around 1990 “Woody” apparently recorded a great many of his adventures, and Vivian transcribed them into this book.

Each chapter builds on his life as a hunter, then as a Professional Hunter. He describes the African plains and it’s abundant game beautifully. He doesn’t hold back on the bureaucracy of government, nor the abilities/inabilities of his clients and peers. This is a honest dialogue from a “take it or leave it” sort of fellow.  This is definitely a gun book, it’s all about the side by sides, and the only mention of bows are those being held by starving natives.

To me the best way to approach this book is that of one as someone who is ready to embrace the romantic side of old Africa. Think Roosevelt or Hemingway and then dive in! I enjoyed this far more than the books of Capstick or Ruark.

The voice of the book does sound genuinely autobiographical, it could be a verbatim transcript although I have not contacted the author to discuss or confirm.

In summary if I had a 5 star rating, this would get all 5 stars. I loved the authentic tone of the old Africa tales and I devoured it in a very few hours.

Great Northern Kickback Quiver

During my first year of hunting with a longbow, I shared one deer camp with a nice bunch of fellows. They asked me a bit about my quiver, and I asked them a bit about theirs. Nearly all of them had Great Northern strap on quivers on their longbows. As we were wrapping up the conversation, Mike Vines quipped “you’ll have one of these eventually.” He was right.

In the years between that comment and June of 2016 I have bought and sold 5 bow quivers and 4 back or side quivers. I weighed out the pros and cons of my field experiences with all of them and decided on exactly what quiver I wanted for my “one bow”, a Great Northern side mounted Kickback.


Here is how I decided on this being my “ultimate” quiver.

Several of the “strap on” models from other manufacturers had a tendency to slip up the upper limb when putting arrows back into the hood after a failed stalk or uneventful sit. I really didn’t like the idea of it moving enough to effect my tune. When I had this bow made, I had quiver inserts put into the solid phenolic handle. I have used the rubber straps that Great Northern uses on it’s awesome Gadget Adapter for my string tracker and bowfishing, and I believe their strap on quiver would be a great choice too, but I want to eliminate that entirely from my quiver setup.

Great Northern uses little thumb screws. I bought two extra sets and stashed them in my hunting tote. I had a hunt where I had put a side bolt quiver on this bow with an allen wrench and then lost the tool during the hunt. I had to drive home with the quiver attached to both sides of the bow, and the bow not in the case. That was actually the event spurred me to finally contact Bob and get my quiver made.

Last thing I needed was an extra deep hood to keep my long 3:1 heads fully covered.

I took my bow to Compton Traditional Bowhunters Rendezvous and had that angle of the kickback measured up on my bow, and I put my 32″ long arrows in it to see how it would follow my lower limb. I REALLY like the kickback design and I’m really glad that Great Northern now offers it. About an hour later Bob had finished assembling my quiver and I put it on my bow where it still remains.

I really can’t say how happy I am with every aspect of this quiver. All of my old quivers are sold and gone except a side quiver that I still use on 3d courses. Now we know, Mike Vines was right.



Black Widow Longbow

After buying and selling many bows, I have one that I’ve pretty much settled on. Black Widow PLII takedown longbow 66″ 64@30.5″.


Here is a little about how I came to this bow.

Black Widow: I sure hope this doesn’t sound nasty, but I never really liked their bows. They seemed expensive, a little plain, and some of the people who tout them can be a little overbearing. For these reasons I fought against trying them for almost 3 years. At one point I sold all my longbows expecting my new custom to be delivered, but it was delayed for a week. My shooting partner handed me his 66″ PLV 57@29 to use while I waited for my new custom to be delivered. By the end of the first week I couldn’t give it back. It was the one Widow he wanted to sell because it was so long, and it was the only one I wanted to buy for the same reason. I am a very reluctant Black Widow fan.

PL 2: I shot the snot out of that old PLV and I killed some game with it. I really grew to like many things about the bow and it had pretty much turned into my “one bow”, that is until I had a chance to possibly fall into a last minute 10 day safari. I decided on the spot I would order a second PL as a two piece to be my go-to hunting bow, and move my PLV to my backup bow. The guys at Black Widow said they could meet my timeline with two weeks to spare so I sent in my deposit.

Since I wanted these bows as close to identical as possible, I gave the guys at Black Widow the serial number of my PLV and they pulled it up. They confirmed 66″, 57@29. Put on a digital scale, and drawn to my true draw length of 30.5″, these two bows build 6 years apart are only 4 ounces different. This was WAY closer than I expected!

With all of the functional parts being the same, I asked for a few things different.

  1. I wanted the PL2 to save money on the bow, since I planned to spray paint it I didn’t care about finishes.
  2. I took the money saved and ordered it +/-1 pound of the other bow. It came out on the money.
  3. I wanted a solid phenolic riser for durability, and I wanted them to put quiver inserts into it. I know, I know. “Longbows aren’t supposed to have those.” I’ve used every quiver mounting method, and I’ve owned all of the takedown systems. The 2 piece sleeve and bolt on quiver are MY combo. If you have something different that works for you, believe me, I am happy for you.

I’ve owned many faster bows, prettier bows, etc. I planned this bow out to remove as many points of failure as possible. I planned every piece to be resistant to as many environmental factors as possible. It has a rubber grip instead of the fancy beaver tail. I shoot D97 for cold weather, and BCY-X for hot weather. All silencers are rubber catwhisckers, rubber tip protectors on both ends, quiver has hand screw knobs instead of an allen attachment, etc.

Someday I’ll add a post about my journey with my old PLV. It’s a sweet story and it’s been a great bow. It hangs right next to my desk and it’s comforting to know it’s right there if I ever need it!

Oh and about the safari, it didn’t shake out. At least now I’m ready the next time the opportunity arises!