Buffalo arrow build

It all begins with a “simple” idea.

On a bitterly cold Sunday morning last winter I started scratching out ideas of different arrows I could build for my upcoming African buffalo hunt. The following day I started ordering different components and I organized them into different groups as they arrived in the mail.

Apparently other people call my arrow room a “kitchen”, whatever that means.

Over the next 6 months I was forced to go back to the drawing board six times to finally come to a combination of components that would tune to the desired up-front components.

Sleeving one shaft within anohter.

After having every .250 spine shaft be too weak, I ended up with the most complicated arrow of all my January scratch pad ideas. It has extra parts to fail and I had hoped to avoid it. I was not willing to change out the 300 grain Tuffhead broadhead, or my 250 grain insert/adapters from Traditional Archery Solutions. Since every .250 shaft was too weak with 550 grains up front out of my 87# longbow, I had to sleeve another arrow shaft inside of it.

Simply Traditional sent me some Black Eagle Deep Impact .400 spine shafts that I epoxied inside of my Black Eagle Carnivore .250 shafts. My initial test I used 8″, 16″, and 24″. The 8″ sleeved arrow was still too weak, the 24″ sleeved arrow was too stiff, but the 16″ sleeve came out just right.

Buff arrows, sleeved and footed.

The last thing I wanted to add was 2″ of aluminum footing, when I shoot I like to feel the footing touch my index finger as a draw check. I added the sections of 2216 to my first 3 test shafts with field points and started shooting them as bare shafts as well as through paper. I changed out the factory nocks for the illuminated nocks I covered in the past.

Testing with 2″ feathers would occasionally show a tear at close range through paper tuning, so I ended up going to four 3″ parabolic feathers at 90 degrees with a straight clamp. With arrow tuning complete I started testing integrity. After some hard hits I found the early arrows constructed with JB Weld and with 5 minute epoxy could have components loosen. Granted I was shooting concrete, rocks, and steel with them, I was hoping to drastically improve the overall integrity of my arrows now that the components and tune had been perfected. Enter golfers.

The 15 deadliest arrows I’ve ever made.

When I was done I had 15 arrows in my arrow box averaging over 1060 grains with an FOC well over 30%. After weighing, spin testing, and 10 test shots a piece, I took them to a paper wheel and some jewelers rouge yesterday.  With that these arrows are in my luggage and ready to go looking for buffalo, hopefully we can find one!

Michigan Bow Hunters

Michigan Bow Hunters logo

I’ve been a member of MBH since I moved back to Michigan and got serious about bowhunting. Although in the past I’ve been more active in other organizations, I’ve always paid my dues, bought some logo gear from time to time, and attended events as convenient.

Last fall I went on a Wyoming hunt with the current president of the organization and we had a few days in camp to talk as we both tagged out on the first day of the hunt. I always knew that this organization was fighting on my behalf for my rights as a bowhunter, but I didn’t know everything they did. After being briefed on everything that would be considered “current business”, I got a quick overview of the accomplishments from my six years of membership as well as the major victories across the entire 70 year life of the organization.

I no longer take for granted our long archery seasons, the existence of our combo-tag, or our right to legally pursue game on public land throughout the state. I am also no longer oblivious to all of the people who want to erode or completely dispose of these things I love. I decided I wanted to make a statement and apply for a life membership to show my dedicated support of this organization.

The number of hunters using bows in Michigan has hovered around 300,000 people for a long time. I would assume the membership in MBH would be at least a large minority, but it’s not even close. I have taken to asking every bowhunter I meet if they are a member of MBH, and not a single one I’ve met outside of MBH, MTB, or MLA has been. I’m just going to guess that I know 30 bowhunters from my circle of friends via my job, I am the only member. Most of them will spend $1,000-$2,000 per year on gear and tags, but they lack either the understanding or appreciation to the point of not spending $25 to keep people fighting for our rights in Lansing.

I am proud that I was accepted as a life member yesterday at the annual membership meeting, many of the people I admire most are counted in those ranks. While in the meeting I contacted the Membership Secretary and requested to be put on electronic newsletter only so the cost of print and mailing won’t drain the coffers. That’s a step I suggest to anyone holding an organizational life membership, that or making additional donations to offset the ongoing expense.

If you hunt with a bow in Michigan, go join today.