Bonus Post! Are You Wanting a New Bow? Then Read This!

This is just a quick reminder that if you are looking to get a new bow this year and want to get that bow sooner rather than later the time to act is now! Show season is almost here for bowyers and its during that show season that they take a ton of orders. Remember all bow orders are “first come first served”. So when you order a bow and put down a deposit you are basically reserving a spot in line. Then when the bow that was ordered right before yours is done, your bow starts to be made.

Wait times vary depending on the bowyer and how busy they are. But a good bowyer with a solid reputation will have wait times of 5-10 months.  Once the shows start and the orders start to pile up, you get later into that wait time frame. I know Steve Turay of Northern Mist Longbows (my favorite bowyer and great friend) will often take over 20 bow orders at a Traditional bowhunting show or gathering. I also know he makes over 100 bows a year. So using that for an example and also using the first big show coming up soon in the end of January (Kalamazoo Tradbow Expo) if you ordered a bow before the show you would get it 2 months quicker than if you order it the day after the show.

There are a ton of bowyers out there making fine bows. If you are looking for a new longbow I highly recommend Northern Mist Longbows. Steve Turay is the bowyer that builds every Northern Mist Bow by hand from start to finish exactly to what you want and need. If you don’t know what you need ask him, he does know. I could go on and on about all the bennifits of a Northern Mist bow and I have in many podcasts. But actions speak louder that words and anytime you see me with a bow in my hand it will be a Northern Mist Longbow. Period! And for anyone that thinks Im only saying that because he is a sponsor or due to perks, I can assure you I paid full price for my bows and always will. If another bowyer called me and said “I will make you any bow you want for free” my response would be “thanks but no thanks! I found exactly what I want in a bow and a bowyer, so Im good!” So understand I only use, promote, and recommend Northern Mist because I truly believe they are the best longbow made.

Now when it comes to recurves I cant help much as I have not ordered a custom recurve on 20 years. But the rules are the same as searching for a new longbow. Look for a bowyer with a good reputation, quality fit and finish, and the features that are important to you.

Now if you are not sure about what kind of bow you want or who you want to make it, then the shows are a great place to start! Show Season for bowyers starts in January and runs throughout the winter, spring and summer. They happen all over the country with big shows and small shows happening all the time and all over. at these shows you can get your hands on many different bows and shoot them right there on the spot. You can also buy bows right there at the shows. If you are looking at specific bowyers bows, call them and ask what shows they will be attending so you know where you can find them at to test out and handle their bows.

If you buy a bow at the show or a stock bow you will pay full price on the spot. If you order a custom bow you usually pay a deposit when ordering and the balance when the bow is finished. The cost of bows vary greatly and don’t let the price fool you. you don’t have to pay a fortune for a great bow. as a matter of fact use me for an example of that again. I would not blink an eye to pay 1500 bucks for a custom bow. But I actually get everything I want in a bow for under 700 bucks in my Northern Mist bows! Why does the price not matter? Because you are most likely gonna use the bow for many many years and that cost spread out of that kind of time frame is like a pizza dinner a month type of cost. Basically irrelevant!

So if 2017 is the year for a new bow for you, and you know what you want, get on it now to get ahead of the busy season. If you dont know what you want, hit the shows and get hands on with a bunch of bows to find what works best for you.

Must Have This Powerful New Way to Locate and Navigate

This is by far the coolest thing that I have seen in a while! And someone should of thought of this a long time ago! I heard about this from the survival podcast show I was listening to today.

This is an app for your phone and also a website base as well. basically this company has taken the whole globe and broke it down into 9 feet by 9 feet squares. (yep 9×9 feet area) and gave each 9×9 square a 3 word name. example if i wanted to give you directions to my front door (literally my front door, not house, or address, but where my front door is) you would type in “ballroom.curls.uncool” and it would bring you right to my front door. Much easier that dealing with all the lat and long numbers. and 9×9 feet accurate.

Now with the app you can instantly share your location to others and vise versa.

Some examples of the power of this.

share hunting spots, find out where you family is at the amusement park, killed a deer and need friends to come help you, pick your kids up at the mall, pinpoint scouting spots and go right to them, tell a buddy where your stand is (within 9 feet, no need to walk him in there), share fishing spots, etc.

If my buddy goes to ohio to hunt on state land while im in missouri hunting and he texts me saying he is getting his butt kicked and not seeing deer. I can send him 3 word directions to exact trees in spots i have previously hunted and had good luck. He types in the 3 word code and it takes him right to the tree!

Another example. your buddy just got a new hunting property and doesnt know it well yet. You can internet scout it for him and send him a list of 3 words spots to scout or hunt.

Also the safety aspect. You are hunting alone. you get to the tree. send your wife, mom, etc the 3 word code and if you dont make it home (fall out of stand or get hurt) she can find you within 9 feet of where you are.

There are a ton of uses for this. and its is very easy to use.

Just today i was on stand hunting about an hour from my house. my wife text me and said “Keegan wants to hunt tonight after his home work, is there a place with a good wind for him?”  I pulled up the app, picked the spot where a ladder stand is already set and ready, then sent her the 3 word name. I also gave here the 3 word name for where to park the car at when she was going to walk him in and pick him up. she gave this to Keegan to have on his phone as well. She was able to drive to the exact spot, park, walk Keegan in, find the stand and have him all set up. when it was dark she still knew exactly where he was and how to get back to the car.

This is a very powerful tool in my opinion and we should all have it. Not just for hunting but for everyday life. If I had a nickel for every time i had to pick my daughter up from a football game or other even and search all over for her. now when i say “Bella at 9pm send me the 3 word location and wait there” I will be with in 9 feet of here at 9pm!

The app is called “what3words”  the website is

NOTE: when you open the app or site and are looking at the maps you can also switch to satellite view to see the terrain and pic exact spots in the woods. this program is like a grid overlay on top of google maps so its just like using google maps or google earth.

I will be doing a podcast on this as well as some other cool apps and sites for hunters really soon. But this one I wanted to get out there to you guys right away so you could start using it. IT IS FREE!


Well Steve Turay of Northern Mist Longbows has done it again! A new longbow design that breaks all the rules!

Let’s say that you wanted a bow that was the most forgiving, most stable, most accurate, quietest bow you could get but still wanted it to shoot with great cast and performance. Most bowyers would tell you it cant be made. Well Steve actually made exactly that with exactly those specs! He did not think it was possible either. But a phone call from one of his customers and some experimenting in his shop lead to this new bow design.

Introducing the Norther Mist Ramer Longbow! This is a reverse handle string follow longbow.

ramier long for article

Now by design the reverse handle longbow will be more stable, more forgiving, more accurate, and quieter that other longbow designs. Also by design the string follow longbow will have those exact same qualities. When you combine both a reverse handle and string follow into the same bow you essentially double the benefits of those qualities. However i don’t believe anyone has every attempted it do to the assumption that both of those qualities combined would hurt arrow speed. What Steve actually found out is the Ramer is within 3-4 feet per second of the speeds of his other bow designs. Now 3-4 fps is nothing! Heck most of us cant release good enough to not get 5fps fluctuation in speed consistency out any bow we shoot.

So This Ramer will shoot plenty fast, will shoot more accurate, will shoot quieter, will be more forgiving, will be more stable, and will straight up make you a better shot and better bowhunter!

The Ramer has been being tested by a few of Steve’s friends as well as Steve himself and the results and feedback are amazing! This bow is not yet on the Northern Mist website but will be soon. In the meantime you can always contact Steve for more details. The Ramer is available now is lengths from 64″-68″ and all the same wood options and grip designs as his other bows.

Contact Steve at Northern Mist anytime for more info.


raimer 2 for article

10 dollar Bag Target Stand

My kids made a stand for our new bag target today. All I did was tell them the measurements needed and they did all the cuts and building it. The cost was under 10 bucks and if I was the one building it (or any adult with normal skills) it would of only taken about 15 minutes to make. It took my 12 and 13 year old about an hour including painting it. Build list will be under the pics in this article.  The “H” shaped wood on the cross beam is to hold the target from swinging. It was an after thought as i didnt like how the bag would swing when we pushed it. This tension on the bottom of the bag from the “H” shaped piece holds the bag perfectly still.

Itarget stand2

Itarget stand1

To make this (again it was under 10 bucks) here is what you need.

(3) 2x4x8, (1) 2x3x8 could also use another 2x4x8 but i had a 2×3 laying around, 2 eye bolts, 2 s hooks, some 3″ screws or nails.

upright boards are 48″, top cross bar and foot boards are all 30″. Then use the remaining pieces of wood to make angle supports and lower cross bar. Done! Sweet easy and fast. Its rock solid and works great. Cant believe I didn’t make one of these sooner!


My scouting video is now available! Its is over 4 hours long and a 2 dvd set. here is the trailer. Cost is 29.00 and includes priority shipping (lower 48 states only). Email me to purchase and I will get you my paypal info or you can send a check or use Visa, MC, or Discover.   email is or click contact button.

March 2015 Ohio Scouting/Camping Trip

article camping ohio

Jet Sled for Deer Dragging

The Jet Sled is the best way I have found to get deer out of the woods in all conditions!


This season I have used a Jet Sled to get 6 deer out of the field and can honestly say without a doubt it is the best way there is for 99% of the situations I hunt. I have tried deer carts and they have never worked good for me unless i was dragging over very gentle terrain. I don’t hunt gentle terrain ever so they were more of a hassle then a helper. I have tried deer drag harnesses and they worked pretty good. I used them on a lot of deer. but its still a lot of dead weight dragging and friction to deal with and tires you out fast.  I have quartered deer and brought them out on my frame back before as well, but unless the terrain requires this I’d rather bring them out whole and take my time with the processing after the meat has aged a while. So this summer I did some research and heard great things about using a jet sled. I once helped a buddy drag a deer on a roll up sled and it didn’t make it to the truck before ripping apart so I was skeptical about the durability of a plastic sled on dry ground. I found both the Jet Sled Original and the Jet Sled Jr. available on Amazon for a great price and free shipping so I ordered them. My UPS driver was laughing as he was delivering 2 sleds in August. I did some test runs around my property with my kids and found they work awesome and pull very easy over all types of terrain except sand or bare dirt.

I did some modifications to the sleds after testing with the kids. First thing I had to do was replace the cheap rope and add a handle to easy the tension on my hand. I replaced the rope with 7mm accessory rope from and added a rubber tube handle about a foot long. The rubber tube was bought at Home Depot as a 10 foot piece of wash machine hose. It was very cheap and supper thick yet flexible enough to not break or chew up the rope. The next modification I needed was a way to strap it down in the back of my truck, on trailers, etc so it would not blow out if empty. So I dripped a hole in each corner on the top and a couple holes along the side on the top. I threaded some paracord all the way around the top lip thru those holes. This now gave me places I could tie it down with and also gave me places I could use to lash to if i need to try anything in the sled. All these mods were super cheap and proved well worth it!

An added bonus with the Jet Sled is that it is much easier to load deer into your truck as you just lift the front of the sled and rest it on the tailgate. Then lift the back of the sled and slide it in. The blood, etc all stay in the sled so your truck stays clean!

The sled pulls very easy over grass, leaves, deadfalls, stumps, snow, etc. It only gets tough on loose soil like bare dirt and sand as those create more friction. Pulling over anything other than loose soil is super easy. I would say the “weight felt” is reduced by 60-70 percent. In fact it is so easy that my 12 year old daughter and 11 year old son took turns pulling my 4 point I killed over 7/8ths of a mile without a single pause or break. They did this all by themselves, one at a time! I have also pulled 2 does (a big one and little one) at the same time in the Jet Sled Jr. for over 400 yards when I was in Missouri this season!

I have also really come to love using the sled on far in hunts. I load my stand, sticks, pack, etc. all into the sled and drag it most of the way to my spot. When I get to about 100 yards away from the stand location I stash the sled under a tree, gear up and hike in the last 100 yards or so without the sled. Works amazing! I have in the past tried to keep my hunting spots under a mile do to having to hike stands and gear in and out each sit. Now with the sled I have no worries about going farther if I want to.

The Jet Sled Original is my “preferred” size sled. It fits deer inside very easily and nothing has to lashed down. Not only does it fit a deer but you can also throw your stand, sticks, etc. in with the deer and drag it all out in one trip!  The Jet Sled Jr. is a great sled as well but its a little smaller and I needed to strap deer legs and head in so they were not dragging or hooking on everything. The Jet Sled Jr. that I bought is now mainly for chores around the house and pulling the kids in the winter. The Jet Sled Original is my go to sled for hunting.

Jet Sled Original:







Jet Sled Jr. with 2 does being drug at the same time:



The Jet Sled has held up very well to all the dragging over the various terrains I have used them including a 2 mile stretch of gravel road. I would estimate they will last me about 6-7 seasons of very hard use and more than 10 seasons for most hunters. Not bad for a 40 dollar sled with free shipping! If you are looking for an easier way to drag deer I dont think you will find one that works as well in all terrains as a Jet Sled. There are other brands of sleds and some are thicker and heavier. I actually already owned a different brand sled that is thicker and much heavier. I did some side by side testing around my property and found the Jet Sled to not only be lighter to carry, but also much easier to pull.

For myself and the couple guys I told about this that also tested it out this year, we will not drag another deer or go on a hunt without a Jet Sled Original!



Steve Turay of Northern Mist Longbows

Yesterday I drove 5 hours north to the great little town of Ishpeming in Michigan’s upper peninsula to meet up with Steve Turay of Northern Mist Longbows. I was there to pick up my new Baraga longbow he made for me and to do a Podcast with him.

I spent 4 hours with him in his shop hanging out, talking about every subject known to man and shooting his bows. We actually ran out of time and never got around to doing the podcast, but will do it over the phone after the holidays.

When I walked into Steve’s shop I was shocked at its size and stuff. This place is multiple rooms including a whole extra floor above that is used for storage and a shooting range. He has rooms with sanders and saws, glue room with jigs of every sort, paint booth, office, and core woods, laminations, and wood stacked every where. Every corner has bows hanging or stashed. I’d be shocked if he had less than 50 of his own personal bows around his shop, many made for him by other great bowyers. There are so many boxes of wood shafts, and other hunting components that i’d bet he has not open some of them in 15 years. Everything about his shop is precise! Every single detail about the design of the jigs, locations of tools, etc is exact. Even his arrow jig is set up like a pro with all his jigs mounted on a rotating table and his 4 young feather burners neatly set up and ready. Other than the saws and similar purchasable tools everything in his shop is hand made or custom made to his specs. You can quickly see that not only does he love what he does, but he also takes it very seriously.

After checking out his shop and chatting for a bit it was time to hit his indoor range on the top floor of the building. When we walked into this huge room that used to be an actual archery shop and range it was easy to see that Steve shoots alot of arrows. His cedar bale backstops were all shot up and he had a bow table with about 10 different personal bows strung up with arrows everywhere. He said he shoots so much that he has to replace the bales every couple weeks from being shot out.

As soon as you walk close to the bow table you immediately feel like a little kid. Not because of the beautiful bows, including bows made my John Shultz and other great bowyers, but because of the sheer thickness and heft of the bows! The bows Steve shoots are all 80 to 100 pound draw bows! These bows are basically a utility pole cut to 68 inches with a shelf notched in it!  I was excited to see him shoot a 100# bow. The bow he grabbed was a 102# at his 26.5 draw length. He stood on the 20 yard line with his bow by his side and fingers on the string. As soon as his eyes locked on target the bow was coming up the same time the string was coming back. His glove hit the side of his face for a split second and the arrow was gone. I don’t just mean gone, I mean it was gone fast. It was hard to believe that anything moving that fast wasn’t charged by gun powder! I just imagined how far that arrow would go if he shot it outside on a 45 degree angle skyward. I figured it go far enough that they would have to offer a in flight meal and movie if you were on it.

It was a great 4 hours with Steve. He is the kind of guy that the world needs more of. Steve is straight forward, opinionated, strong willed, and genuine. He gets done what he needs and wants to get done. If something can’t be done he makes it happen anyway. His “take no prisoners but carry you anywhere” honest attitude radiates strong and stands in huge contrast to the entitlement and pansy ass attitude of the average person today.

Now about the bows! I had Steve build me a Baraga longbow when i decided I wanted to drop down a little in weight and also try a shorter longbow. I called Steve and he talked to me for over an hour helping me decide what would work best. I left most of the options to him and simply said make me a 60 inch upper 50 pound range sweet little shooter. He did exactly that. When I first saw the bow i immediately loved the wood combinations of bocote riser, american elm limbs and bamboo core with simple micarta tips. Then when i pulled on the string i was blown away! This bow was the smoothest drawing bow I have ever draws (I have owned over 20 custom bows by many top bow builders). I’m not sure if the smoothness is due to Steve’s design or the bamboo core witch I have never shot before. But this bow is the smoothest shooting bow I have ever drawn period! I love it!

Steve has been making longbows for well over 20 years. It used to be his reflex deflex designs like the Superior and the Baraga were the most popular. But with the massive interest in American Style straight limb longbows, he says orders for his Classic, Shelton, and Whisper have taken the lead. Steve offers straight limb bows in string follow models and also reverse handle as well. To get the specs on his bows check out his website. To see a bunch of his bow pictures look up Northern Mist Longbows on Facebook.  Keep an eye out if the near future for the podcast interview with Steve here on The Traditional Bow hunting and Wilderness Podcast.



My Home Made Cook/Rec Shelter

When I camp I like to have a good outdoor shelter area to cook in when it rains, hang out in when it rains, store gear under to keep it dry, Shower under on cold rainy days and other things. Its a nice luxury to have an open air sheltered area outside of your tent.

I have always used portable shelters like canopys or tarp over a ridge line between a couple trees. The problem with canopy set ups is the roof does not angle down far enough and everything gets wet in a big rain. and canopy shelters are not very touch or wind proof.

The issue with tarps is there is not always a couple trees close enough together to use correctly.


My solution is a 40 dollar set up. it gives me 4 ways to set it up (although I only show the worst case way here).  The height at the ridge line inside is 7 feet. the ridge poles are 8 feet tall. The tarp is 12’x16′ so the length pole to pole is 14′ with a 12′ tarp. I didn’t measure how wide it was when up but i figure about 12 feet or so. LOTS OF ROOM!

Option 1: use 2 trees and run the ridge line between them and drape tarp over ride line then use 4 posts in corners to really open it up.

Option 2: use 1 tree and one (2 piece) pole with a ridge line between the tree and pole, then drape tarp over ridge line. Use the 2 other poles to prop middle ends for more open area in the middle sides.

Option 3: Shown here with poles used support the ridge line staked out wide to give me good room but less than option 1 or 2.

Option 4: same as 3 but shorten the tarp guy lines on the sides to bring the sides in tighter to the ground to really weather proof everything inside.

This is what it consists of: a 5 foot piece of 1″ emt steel conduit, a 4 foot piece of 3/4″ emt conduit (the 4 foot and 5 foot nest together to make one telescoping pole). There are 2 of these nested poles so total is 2 5′ and 2 4′ pieces.   A 12×16 heavy duty tarp.  8mm mtn climbing rope for the ridge line (any strong rope or para cord would work).  Standard 1/8″ braided rope for guy lines. and 12 big nails as stakes (12″x3/8″).  Total cost was 40 bucks from home depot. I also used 2 1/4″ eye bolts to connect the ridge line and 2 1/4″ bolts to keep the 4″pole at the right height in the 5″pole.

It took me about an hour to cut the lines to size and get everything organized.  Then the set up only took me about 6 minutes to do alone and the take down took about 10 including getting the tarp rolled nice and in the bucket.  Everything fits in a 5 gallon bucket (need the bucket in camp anyway) and then you just have the 2 collapsed poles to throw in the truck bed.

It is super solid and i think it will hold up very very well. The 3/4″ emt flexes a little but I like that it nests in the 1″ and I dont have to carry 8 foot poles.

Im really excited to try this set up out this season as it gives us many options to set up and use it regardless of the tree options in camp.

IMG_4581 IMG_4576 IMG_4571 IMG_4583Below is the ideas I wanted the tarp set up to be able to do. These are different ways I can set this up that are important to me and can be customized for different camp locations.






Knife Patina How To Do

A knife patina is a process of controlled oxidation and chemical produced weathering. The main purpose of a forced patina is to protect the metal from rusting by doing a controlled oxidation via chemicals. This oxidation layer or “Patina” layer protects the knife from rust.   There are many ways to force a patina on metal. My favorite for knives is to use vinegar. All you have to do is soak a paper towel in vinegar and then wrap it around the bare metal knife and let it sit for an hour or 2. The patina will last for about a couple months of normal use then you can apply it again. The beauty of it is the patina doesn’t last forever but is very easy to do and redo. The protection provided by the patina is very good and rust never forms.

When to do a patina? Anytime you want to! For me I like Carbon knives. most carbon knives come coated with powder coating or other protective coating. It does not take long with normal use for this coating to get beat up, wore off, and looking like crap. Once this happens I strip the knife with zip strip or other chemical paint stripper. then I do a patina on the bare metal knife. Another great thing about a vinegar patina is if you don’t like it or what to change it all you have to do is scrub it off with some light steel wool and you are ready to do it again. Or just do it right over top of the old one.

As I said, I prefer to use vinegar for a patina. I like the way vinegar doesnt etch to deep and is easy to replace. Any acidic food can make a patina. Mustard, Ketchup, Lemon, steak juices, etc. All of them will work. But of the ones I have experimented with vinegar is my favorite. Mustard is also good but etches deep fast.

My favorite way to do a patina is to add a little design to it. I take a piece of string and soak it in vinegar. Then wrap the string around the knife in a pattern i want. Then cover the string wrapped knife with a paper towel soaked in vinegar and let it sit for 2-3 hours.

If you don’t want the lines just wrap the knife if a paper towel soaked in vinegar and it will have a nice textured look.

If you want just pure, dark grey patina you can heat up a vinegar bath and put the knife in it. just put a pot on the stove, add enough vinegar to cover the knife and then slowly heat it up and let it get a hot bath for a while until the color is to your liking.

Here are a couple of pictures of different patina and stripped options I have done all to the same knife over the course of the last 4 years I have carried the knife. This knife is on me every single day everywhere I go. It gets used every single day. It has been thru hell and back and will make the trip several more times. Did I mention I love carbon knives, especially my Izula?

Here is how i first half stripped it by putting a piece of tape around the handle where i didn’t want the zip strip to remove paint. Then I put a vinegar patina on the blade with string and wrapped in vinegar soaked paper towel. The bigger knife in the picture is my Esee #4 and its patina is just vinegar soaked paper towel, no string.


This is the same Izula as above but all paint stripped off and them sanded and polished on my bench grinder/polish wheel. This look is nice but it was too slippery to hold onto comfortably.


This is the same Izula after a full patina with vinegar soaked string wrap and then wrapped in paper towel soaked in vinegar. This is how I have been carrying the knife for the last few months. I like this way the best. I actually think when I need to replace this Izula (if ever) I will immediately strip it completely and do this same patina on it. I like it that much!


A patina not only adds protection to a knife if adds a little unique style to it. Its durable, semi long-lasting, and easy to redo. I have been putting a patina on knives for many years and thought I would share this simple process.

Awesome E.F.O.C Idea


So I’m looking for a way to get a certain arrow set up. I want 700 grains total weight with a 30% extreme f.o.c set up. I need to keep my 140 grain  broad heads as i have over 100 of them. I also like being able to use judos that are the same weight as my.

Here is what I have come up with. 2 brass 100 grain inserts. I grind down the end on one so that it would fit completely into the shaft. I used a finish nail and cut it to the length  i needed. Put the finish nail into one insert then slide the other insert on to the opposite end of the nail so that the ends of both inserts face each other. Then I put one punch in one end and the other punch in the opposite end and hit with a hammer to bend the nail locking the 2 inserts together.  Simple, quick, and effective.

This gives me a total insert weight of 185 grains.

My arrows im testing are my goldtip 3555 and some 5575 and so beman 340 ics. all arrows are cut to 27 inches. my longbow is a 63# at 26″ longbow and I pull about 25.5 inches. So far my bare shaft testing has me leaning really heavy on the goldtip 3555 flying the best. The 340s are way too stiff. the 5575 are just a hair to stiff. Still need to fine tune the testing. I want to stay with a 27″ arrow as I have a ton of them in a bunch of sizes. (don’t want to cut to tune).

So my 3555 set up (if i go that route) makes a 695 grain arrow with 30% E.F.O.C set up as follows 27″ GT 3555 shaft, 100 grain brass insert, extra 100 grain insert, 100 grain steel adapter, 140 grain head, and the knock.

Added bonus is the extra insert will work like a poor mans internal footer and help strengthen the shaft as the total insert length is about 3 inches with both inserts together.

I’m pretty excited to do more testing with this set up.