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!

Freedom To Bowhunt

It was a hot summer night, but I was lucky enough to spend part of my “off season” in a treestand hunting hogs on Independence Day 2016. I wrote quite a bit in my field journal about liberty before this hog came down the trail. My campfire/philosophy story turned into a hunting story in the matter of short minutes. The related article has been written, but is not yet published.

Bucket List Hunts

Reading Dennis Dunn’s books about the North American Super Slam has left my head swimming! I do not intend to pursue any of the “slams”, but I should organize my thoughts a little. This journal page seems like a good place to put it.

South Carolina spring hog 2018 (x2 this year!)
Africa plains game 2018
Wyoming DIY mule deer and cow elk 2018

Michigan fall black bear 2018
Australia buffalo, scrub bulls, hogs 2019
Ontario black bear 2019
Ontario moose 2019
Wyoming bull elk 2020
Texas aoudad, javelina 2021?
New Zealand 2022?

Done since I started this blog post:
South Africa 2017 – DONE!
South Carolina spring hog 2017 – DONE!
South Carolina fall deer/hog 2016 – DONE!
Wyoming pronghorn 2016 – DONE!

Then the ones I need to figure out a little better:
American buffalo; where, when?
Caribou; what type, where, when?
Mountain goat; draw potential, where, when?
Something in Europe?
Something in South America?

The American Feral Hog book review

It’s obvious that Tom Kidwell did a remarkable amount of research before publishing this book! It’s amazing that given how long humans and pigs have had this interwoven history that we don’t understand them much better!

After the forward by G. Fred Asbell, the first chapter gives a in depth look at how feral hogs reached the new world and where they readily took hold. I was surprised to learn that the place I hunt is very near a release location of 200 hogs in 1521. The chapter builds through time and covers many islands as well as Central and North America.

The next chapter is about hog habitat and although it covers a great deal I wish it could have contained more. Every bit of new information seemed to confirm something I’d suspected or observed first hand.

Chapter 3 is about hog attacks. I’ve seen very little first hand in the way of aggressive responses so it seems a little overly cautionary to me personally. The author must believe it’s important due to dedicating a chapter on it, I will say it’s a well researched chapter with many good case studies of attacks. The following chapter covers other dangers present when hog hunting and I found that to be a nicely framed topic.

I have to say, if you ever intend on bowhunting hogs, Chapter 5 on anatomy should be required reading for you! Many people could really up their odds on a clean kill by not only understanding the body structure better, but by also understanding their senses and intellect. Required reading for every bowhunter. Once the reader better understands their capabilities, the next chapter talks about what hunters must consider from their senses of sight and smell.

Chapters 8 and onward were all at some level interesting to me, and I’ve read each of them a few times over the past year or so. They seem to be mostly common sense, but it’s good info for the new hog hunter to have handy in this volume.

In conclusion, this is the best single source of information I have ever seen on feral hogs. I can’t recommend it strongly enough, and I have pushed many of my peers to take an evening or two and read it cover to cover. It’s a small commitment of time and it can only make you a better hunter!

Here is where you can get your own copy: The American Feral Hog on

When you use instead of you get the same product for the same price, but you are allowed to select a non-profit to receive a small donation from Amazon. I am currently supporting the Michigan Longbow Association.



The Problem with Momentum

I’ve learned a lot about momentum over my years of building and testing arrows. When you have great momentum in an arrow, you get great results.

The problem I have had lately is that the idea of publishing my hunting journals and stories spread across many different websites, magazines, and a pile of notepads had no momentum. For several months I’ve been looking at this blank website with a terrible case of writers block.

With this simple post I am going to take an action and pray the momentum follows. Many great stories will be coming soon.