Story telling is part of the great American outdoor tradition. Our ancestors passed knowledge and history through the spoken word. So I have decided to regale you with a story that is both educational and informative.

Years ago, back before “compound bows” were much more than articles in the back of hunting magazines and “Popular Mechanics™”, I used to sell recurve bows and all things archery. The purpose behind the “compound bow” was to make the draw a constant, smooth process. Recurves, no matter how well made, eventually suffered from “stacking” the the further out the draw. Stacking refers to an uneven draw that is the result of the forces that come in conflict as you change the “curve” of a bow, so that as you reach the full draw of the bow it actually requires more energy to maintain that curve which in turn makes it more difficult to hold a shot, increases fatigue, etc. The compound bow concept sought to eliminate this stacking through some fairly simple physics involving levers & pulleys.

That said I return to my days as an archery clerk. A general rule of thumb with recurves is the longer the bow, the less impact stacking has and the smoother the draw. The shorter the recurve, the more impact vis-a-vis stacking. Most of the bows I sold were for hunting purposes. Your choice of bow length was often determined by the area of the hunt. Open fields and spaces allowed longer bows. Brushy and timbered areas needed the shortest span to keep from getting hung up or tangled in undergrowth.

Enter the “macho” man. He is the quintessential essence of “bigger is better” and “more power” is best. One day in deer hunting season such a one as this came up to my counter looking for the perfect bow for hunting deer in the brush. “Brush Bows” as they were called were the shortest length bows on the market. This particular bow was 48″. A real stack happy bow. By regulation deer hunting bows must have a minimum 45# draw. This is to insure a clean, humane kill. My particular hunter wanted the heaviest draw we had (80#). His thinking was that if 45# was enough to kill a deer, then 80# should kill it even more. Or some such lunacy. Trying to talk him down was a waste of time. He would have nothing to do with the more sissy bow draws.

The trouble with short bows is how fast they stack, and how the stacking problem geometrically increases with the draw weight. Unless you work out diligently to build up your strength and stamina for the heavier draws, you tend to shake and fatigue as you try to hold the bow steady at full draw. This in turn drives you to steady your hand by resting it just behind the ear where you have a natural indentation to lock up against.

A week after I sold the 80# Brush Bow to my macho man, he walked past my archery counter without so much as an acknowledgement that I even existed. I did note however the massive bandage covering his right ear and head. The scary thing was that he was headed directly toward the rifle section of the store. . .

Story submitted by: Greg Gordon

The mission of the African American Hunting Association, LLC (AAHA) is to increase the number of African Americans and urban residents living in the United States involved in hunting, game management, shooting sports and conservation.

The AAHA supports the rights of all Americans to hunt for food and for sport. The AAHA believes that hunting is a legitimate endeavor. The AAHA supports the rights of individuals to own and use firearms and other weapons in accordance with the Constitution of the United States and all applicable federal, state and local laws. The AAHA invites everyone who support the mission, goals and objectives of our organization to participate with us regardless of their individual race, ethnicity, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. All are welcome to join AAHA.

The AAHA will work to promote better understanding and acceptance of the sport of hunting at the local, regional and national level. The AAHA will increase involvement of African American individuals and families in hunting and associated outdoor sports such as camping, hiking, fishing, biking, photography, etc. The AAHA will increase the opportunity for African American hunters to obtain state of the art or the best hunting equipment each hunter can afford. The AAHA will provide increased opportunities for African Americans to hunt locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.